Friday, April 10, 2015

Theo Throws At Clark

Theo Epstein was in South Bend to throw out the first pitch at a Cubs minor league game, and Cubs mascot Clark was in the batter's box.

Theo threw a brushback pitch.

I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing.

Disappointing Jon Hamm News

Everyone loves Jon Hamm, right? Not so fast. The first chink in his armor emerged when he announced he was a Cardinals fan. The second chink is much worse. Turns out, he was a bit of a bully in college.

We all did stupid things in college (thank God there were no cell-phone cameras then), but this hazing story from his days at the University of Texas is pretty bad.

These Are The Good Old Days

A Rough Day for the Graphics Department

The Cubs game aired on Channel 7 in Chicago the other day (their first Cubs broadcast in many years), and it's safe to say that the graphics department had a rough day. Here's the most obvious mistake, but there are several others at the link...

The Opie & Anthony Feud

They were a radio duo for twenty years, but split up last year after Anthony went on a racist Twitter rant and was fired. Since then, they have been airing some of their long-simmering dirty laundry.

Newsweek has the story. Here's a small excerpt...

The duo’s fight was in many ways a long time coming: Both Anthony and Opie point to events from as long ago as 1999, as well as multiple “jabs” exchanged between the two since Anthony’s firing. “Since he got fired nine months ago, he’s been passive-aggressively taking shots at me on podcasts, allowing people on his show to trash me,” Opie said on his show this week. The disagreements, which have been raised on social media and on air, include everything from how Opie treated Anthony's girlfriend in the late '90s to Anthony not visiting Opie's home.

“Me and Anthony had not had a relationship since 1999. That is a fact,” Opie said on his show on Tuesday. “Before that, from '94 to '99, we were best friends.”

The tipping point was supposedly a woman Anthony was dating in the late '90s. When the pair moved from Long Island to Massachusetts, they were both in serious relationships. “It was the four musketeers,” Anthony says. “We were new in town, new at doing this kind of radio. It was exciting, fun and we depended on each other very much.” The foursome wouldn’t last, as Anthony and his wife began an ugly divorce in 1999, and he eventually began dating someone new. “Opie’s girlfriend was very good friends with my wife, so he had to deal with his girlfriend, who is friends with my wife, who I can’t stand because of the divorce process,” Anthony says. “It was instant resentment. I broke up the team.”

For Chicago fans, this story is very reminiscent of the Steve & Garry breakup.

A Radio Stalker

This is a terrifying story from the RAMP Newsletter. Everyone who has ever been in radio has encountered some sort of stalking issue, but for women it's much scarier...

Over the years, many of us in the radio industry have casually tossed around the old "Play Misty For Me" reference when discussing a particularly over-zealous fan. However, in the case of Mary Lucia of Minnesota Public Radio's KCMP (89.3 The Current)/Minneapolis, that frightening scenario is all-too-real -- and deadly serious. Lucia recently revealed that she's been dealing with a stalker for over a year, and due to the emotional toll this situation has exacted upon her, Lucia announced she's taking a leave of absence from a job she loves. In a candid letter posted on The Current's website, Lucia gave her listeners some insight into what her life has become as a result of this personal terror, as she wrote, "My friends, This has been a tough year for me. I have been stalked; by someone I do not know, at both work and home. I hope no one else ever has to go through this. My life over the last year has involved a series of restraining orders, seemingly endless calls to 911, the installation of security cameras at home, and police photo ID line-ups. I've been constantly looking over my shoulder, dead-bolting doors, and jumping when someone rings my doorbell or my motion lights go off."

The station's PD is taking over for her while she's away. I know him--his name is Jim McGuinn. He worked with me in Champaign. Jim's a good guy. Mary is lucky to have an understanding boss. Hopefully she can reclaim some normalcy in her life.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Eddie V's Road Show

Eddie Volkman has posted his podcast featuring me.

You can listen to it here.

My portion of the show begins at 3:45 mark. I'm on the podcast for the rest of the hour.

The Civil War

Last time I was in South Carolina, I swear they had not yet heard this news...

The 12 Biggest Movie Flops

I've seen 4 of the 12 on this list, and three of the four I've seen most definitely deserve to be movie flops. ("Waterworld" is the worst movie I've ever seen. It was like getting stabbed in the eyes repeatedly.)

I liked The Lone Ranger.

Don't care what the critics said.

The Golden Bear

75-year-old Jack Nicklaus hits a hole-in-one at Augusta. He's still got it.

Watch it here.

The White House Correspondent's Dinner

This year's MC is SNL cast member (and Chicago's very own) Cecily Strong. She comes across as humble and self effacing in this interview.

That has to be a terrifying gig. I'm always rooting for the MC not to bomb.

Bob Schieffer Retires

Schieffer is the host of Face the Nation and has been with CBS News for 46 years.

He actually tried to retire about ten years ago, and they wouldn't let him. It looks like he's really leaving this time.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


Another SNL alum has declared his candidacy. Gary Kroeger is running in Iowa.

Will he someday join his fellow SNL alum Al Franken on Capitol Hill?

Jon Stewart on Trevor Noah

Jon Stewart returned from vacation last night and talked about the firestorm facing his replacement Trevor Noah...“He is an incredibly thoughtful and considerate and funny and smart individual, and man, I think, you give him that time, and it’s going to be well worth it.”

Video is here.

Behind The Scenes at the Clinton White House

This piece in Politico is a refresher course in the drama that was the Clinton White House, but it makes me feel a little icky. It's secret behind-the-scenes stuff from the servants who worked there.

RIP Stan Freberg

The Hollywood Reporter has the news of his passing. He was 88 years old.

Stan was the godfather of the wacky satirical bit.

Eddie & Rickbo

Thanks to Eddie Volkman for having me on his podcast yesterday. That was fun. I understand he will post it on Thursday. I'll post a link when it's up...

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Maybe Salt Isn't That Bad For You

That's the discussion in this Washington Post article.

I hope the professors who posit this theory are not on the payroll of the big salt companies, because this is a story I really want to believe.

Eddie V's Road Show

If you're downtown, stop by...

Radio Money Makers

From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

In the Chicago-market 2014 revenues, BIA/Kelsey places all-news WBBM at #1. That agrees with the 2014 estimates from Miller Kaplan, and in fact a comparison of the Miller Kaplans (January 23 NOW) with the BIA/Kelsey numbers shared by Chicagoland Radio & Media shows the two services agree on the entire Top Ten, station by station. The biggest variance between them might’ve been their assessment of 2013 (prior-year) billing for talk WGN. But let’s get to the BIA/Kelsey numbers - #1 is CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM/WCFS (780/105.9), down from $42 million in 2013 to $39.2 million in 2014. #2 is Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX, down dramatically from an estimated $37.5 million to $30.9 million. #3 is Tribune’s talk WGN, down from $29.2 million to $27.3 million. (Miller Kaplan had WGN up two-tenths of a percent, to $29,266,000.) #4 in BIA/Kelsey is CBS Radio’s rhythmic “B96” WBBM-FM, off from $25.3 million to $22.7 million. #5 is CBS all-sports “Score” WSCR, off from $24.8 million to $22 million. #6 is yet another CBS property, giving that company four of Chicago’s top six. It’s country “US99.5” WUSN, at $21.2 million this time. #7 is iHeart’s top 40 “Kiss” WKSC at $20.2 million. #8 is iHeart urban AC “V103” WVAZ at an estimated $19.5 million. #9 is Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO at $18.5 million. And #10 is iHeart’s urban WGCI at $18.2 million. Note the ground rule for BIA/Kelsey about revenue – they don’t include off-air revenue such as concerts and other live events.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The "Power" of Satire

This is a brilliant piece in the Baffler about the explosion of satire in this country. This is a pretty good thesis paragraph, taken from about 2/3 through the piece...

We often hear talk of satire’s devastating impact on its targets. But this age of humorous excess has shown that satire, even when delivered in the sharpest and most unforgiving forms, hardly makes a dent. The proliferation of satirists has multiplied the amount of funny material out there. But it has diminished the belief that satire, political or otherwise, can serve any real purpose beyond amusing us.

Rick on the radio

I was on WGN radio last night between Midnight and 1am, and I'm a little bit groggy this morning. Turns out I'm not 22 anymore. The host of the show was Patti Vasquez, and I'm pretty sure she had no idea who I was. She kept referring to me as the "official Cubs historian" (which I'm not) before switching to "Cubs biographer" (which I sort of am). I gave it my all, and hope it was entertaining for the audience, but I have a feeling that was my last ever post Midnight radio appearance. That 6am wakeup call to take the boys to school was a bit much this morning.

(WGN posted the interview on their site, if you're interested. My section starts around the 12:35 mark.)

Tomorrow afternoon I'm heading downtown to tape an interview with Eddie Volkman for his new podcast "Eddie V's Road Show". It tapes at Harry Caray's at 5pm. If you're in the area, stop by and say hello.

Next week I've got a TV spot lined up to promote "Father Knows Nothing". I'll fill you in more as we get closer.

Jack Diamond is back at WLS

He left under a medical cloud a few months ago, but Jack Diamond has recovered sufficiently to return to his morning gig at WLS-FM.

Robert Feder has the details.

Cubs Apologize For Bathroom Fiasco

I wasn't at the game last night (thank God), but it appears there was more going on than just the 0 for 13 hitting with runners in scoring position. There was also this small matter with the bathrooms: Cubs apologize for bathroom fiasco.

It's a good thing Cub fans don't drink much, otherwise there would have been a big problem with the limited bathroom choices...oh wait a minute.

Easter Rabbits

Would you believe the Cubs have had three different players over the years known as Rabbit?

We featured them yesterday at JOBC under the title Easter Rabbits.

You can read it here.