Friday, June 05, 2015

Bobby Skafish Out at The Drive

Whoa! Totally shocked by this news. The Drive has fired Bobby Skafish.

Love Bobby Skafish. When I got my IE column, he was the first one I interviewed.

Seaver will be taking his place.

Nothing against Seaver (who is actually very good), but I sure hope they know what they're doing here. When I think of the Drive, I think of Stroud and Skafish. I can't be the only one who feels that way.

This Wasn't in the Listing!

Imagine buying a house and discovering that there was a turn of the century (last century) Chicago electric streetcar hidden in the backyard.

That actually just happened to a couple in Weyauwega.

What does Eddie O have in common with Rogers Hornsby?

They both loved to play the horses.

The difference is that Hornsby was a notorious loser who borrowed money from everyone he knew--including the players on the team he managed. Eddie, on the other hand, once won $500,000 on a single longshot bet.

Eddie's story is here.

Rogers' story is here.

Meet Two Broadcasting Legends...and Me

One last pitch for this sure-to-be fun event tomorrow (June 6th) at 4:15pm...

The Lit Fest is calling the event: “Media Memoirs: John Records Landecker, Joel Daly, and Rich King in conversation with Rick Kaempfer.” Unfortunately Rich can’t be there now because he’ll be covering the Blackhawks in Tampa, but the rest of us will be. And it’s FREE.

I will be asking legendary broadcasters with over 100 years of collective experience (!) questions to get some of their incredible stories out of them, but we’ll also have a Q&A session with the audience. All of our books will be available there, including the perfect Father’s Day gift–”Father Knows Nothing” (written by a lesser former broadcaster).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert Names Band Leader

His name is Jon Batiste, and he's a jazz musician from New Orleans.

Among his credits--HBO's "Treme" and Spike Lee's "Red Hook Summer"

More info about this talented musician here.

National Donut Day

Our country celebrates another fake holiday...

Royal Pranker Finally Gets a New Job

Remember the jock who pranked Kate Middleton's nurse, resulting in that nurse's suicide? She's been unemployed ever since (almost three years), but finally landed a new job. From this morning's Tom Taylor column...

‘Royal prank” jock Mel Greig opens up about the two-year depression she’s coming out of. Also the new job she just landed, all on a conference panel in Sydney, Australia. In a December 2012 phone prank for Sydney’s top 40 2Day FM, Greig posed as Queen Elizabeth II and her then-partner Michael Christian was “Prince Charles.” That started a chain of circumstances that culminated in the suicide of a London nurse caring for Duchess Kate Middleton. Now Greig tells the Mumbrella 360 panel that “basically, our integrity failed, common sense failed, and the process failed, when that call was aired.” Note the way she says that, about the process. As we’ve been saying here, it was management at Southern Cross Austereo that deliberated for an hour before deciding to air the tape of the call. Greig finally reached for professional help with the “really deep depression” she suffered, after receiving death threats from around the world. She says “when you go completely numb from depression, you can’t feel anything…and you need to get help.” After being rejected by potential employers “about hundred times…yesterday, I got a ‘yes.’” Mel’s starting a content marketing manager for an advertising agency.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Colbeard

Cougars vs. Hawks

Chicago sports fans of a certain age remember a time when Chicago had two professional hockey teams. The Chicago Cougars were the WHA team for a few seasons. The star of that team was former Blackhawks defenseman Pat Stapleton (photo).

Well last night, I was at a Cougars game during the Blackhawks game. Unfortunately, it wasn't the Chicago Cougars hockey team--it was the Kane County Cougars minor league baseball team. My son Sean was part of the band that performed the National Anthem before the game.

It was a bummer to miss Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final (though I DVRed it, and listened to the third period on the way home after the game), but I thought it was somehow fitting to be at a Cougars game instead.

The Cougars lost 3-1, by the way, but that middle school band was excellent.

Not a Good Day for Afternoon Radio Talent

At WBEZ, "The Afternoon Shift" was cut from lineup, and the host Niala Boodhoo was fired. The rest of the staff was moved over to the "The Morning Shift", which now must have a staff of ten or so for a one hour show. (Slight exaggeration on the number of producers, but I bet it's not far off)

At Kiss-FM, afternoon host Jordan was let go after five years in that slot. It wasn't because of the ratings. He was rated 3rd in the whole market, and 2nd in the 18-34 demo.

Both of these scoops come courtesy of Robert Feder.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Cubs Bummer

Father Knows Nothing Review

Jeepers, this sure is a nice review courtesy of fellow author K.P. Lynne. We're not related, I swear...

Book Review: Father Knows Nothing By Rick Kaempfer Is The Perfect Father's Day Gift

Father's Day is coming soon! In fact, it is just around the corner. You will need to find the perfect gift for your Dad. Let’s be honest, your dad will love whatever you give him, because the gift is from YOU, but your dad is a really special guy. Doesn't your dad deserve a Father’s Day gift as awesome as the man himself?
Let’s face it! Dad does NOT need another flashing, light-up, battery-operated neck tie, with a small sticker that says "Press Here For (Tacky) Music." Unless you were raised by a family of wolves or grizzly bears, I have a hunch your father is more than likely evolved enough to shower with soap from a soap dish, so Dad really could do without Wild Cinnamon Man Musk Scented Soap On A Rope.

You've already given your Dad 8 or 9 fishing poles that are nicely rusted together in a clump in the back of the pickup truck, enough golf clubs to open his own shop, and a box load of various bottles of after-shave that put skunks to shame. Then there are all of those boxes of discount power tools piled up and there’s that shiny new treadmill Dad asked for last year that now serves as a beautiful coat and hat rack.

If you are seeking the perfect, quintessential "Father's Day Gift," please buy your dad what he really wants and needs! Every Dad MUST HAVE a copy of "Father Knows Nothing" by Rick Kaempfer! Some Dads just don’t know they want it yet, but trust me, they do! In fact, buy two copies, one for your dad, and one for you!

Once you open the book and start skimming through it (and you know that you will) you will never put it down again, and that will defeat the purpose, because you'll be back to square one, and still need a gift for your Dad! Better yet, buy a whole case full of books, and give a copy to your Grandpa, your Godfather, your favorite Uncle, and that great guy that coaches your kid’s soccer team! It is really THAT good!

“Father Knows Nothing” is one of the most fascinating, humorous, heartfelt and insightful books ever written about fatherhood, penned by an exceptional author, stay-at-home-dad and father of 3 wonderful, energetic and adventurous boys. In his own inimitable style, Rick Kaempfer, a highly versatile story weaver, casts his heartfelt, yet humor-filled net over his readers, and holds them captive from cover to cover!

With a style all his own, he has mastered something that most authors only dream of doing – he effectively and successfully blends the smile with the tear. During his serious moments, he pens profound and meaningful reflections of the unconditional love he holds deep within his heart for his children. This is a sentiment every dad wishes he could fully express, yet few are blest with the gift for words that Kaempfer possesses or the artistic ability to put the pen to the paper, and share these emotions in such a warm, open, thought-provoking and genuine manner.

At the other end of the spectrum, Rick Kaempfer leaves the reader rolling on the floor with waves of uproarious, uncontrollable laughter, with lighthearted anecdotes, and hilarious realistic portrayals of the hysterically funny things that his real-life kids say and do each day! There are comedic moments in this book that put every stand-up comic and night time talk show host to shame.

Hmmm....Maybe the author should develop his own stand-up routine based upon this book!

Through the laughter, love and tears, Rick Kaempfer paints a colorful portrait of his parenting experiences and gently offers advice, without being preachy about his methods. In fact, his methods are so carefully woven into the tapestry of the story that the reader may not even realize the lessons that were learned until much later. That is a sign of truly good writing!

Rick Kaempfer has effectively blended and balanced laughter and tears to create what is quite possibly one of the most honest and realistic portrayals of family life in contemporary America! “Father Knows Nothing” is a celebration of fatherhood and family, along with all of its trials and tribulations, and most importantly, the unconditional love that a father feels for his children. My only issue is with the book's title. The author called it “Father Knows Nothing.” By the end of the book, it becomes quite clear that Father does indeed know “something” after all and everything he knows was taught to him by his children. “Father Knows Nothing” is the must-have book for Father’s Day. Put it right at the top of your gift-giving list!

- K.P. Lynne

Media Memoirs: John Records Landecker & Joel Daly in Conversation with Rick Kaempfer

I'm really getting excited about my appearance this weekend at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. I'll be at the Center Stage at 4:15pm this Saturday along with two of my heroes (and friends), the incomparable Joel Daly and John Landecker. The Lit Fest is calling the event: "Media Memoirs: John Records Landecker, Joel Daly, and Rich King in conversation with Rick Kaempfer." Unfortunately Rich can't be there now because he'll be covering the Blackhawks in Tampa, but the rest of us will be. And it's FREE. I'll be asking those guys questions to get some of their incredible stories out of them, but we'll also have a Q&A session with the audience. All of our books will be available there, including the perfect Father's Day gift--"Father Knows Nothing".

Come on out and meet some legends. They don't like me saying this, but between the two of them, John and Joel have over 100 years of broadcasting experience.

Bobbie Gentry

Used to play this on the radio once a year...on the 3rd of June. See if you can figure out why...

Bob Ley

He has been with ESPN since 1979, and now the longest serving on-air personality at the network has signed a long-term deal to remain there.

I watched his coverage of the Sepp Blatter resignation yesterday--basically 90 minutes of filling time without many details--and I was marveling at how well he can handle any situation. His "Outside the Lines" show is routinely one of the best on sports television.

Good move, ESPN.

Tom Hanks' Son & the N-Word

Did you know that Tom Hanks' son is a rapper? His stage name is Chet Haze.

He posted something on social media yesterday talking about the N-word and why he feels he should have the right to use it. You can read that here.

The gist of his argument is that he identifies with this culture and it's an important word in that culture. I have one big question, and I'm not trying to be snarky about this. How can a white billionaire's son possibly relate to that culture? I'm serious. I can see a poor white guy relating, or one that has faced struggle or hardship, but Tom Hanks' son? I can even see liking the music, the beats, the words and the rhythym, but relating to the culture? Am I missing something here?

I probably am. Please disregard the unfiltered thoughts of a clearly aging man.

Tony Sculfield

Glad to see Tony is back on the air. Thought he got a raw deal at his last gig. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Crawford Broadcasting Urban AC WSRB (106.3 Chicago's R&B) announces the hire of market vet Tony Sculfield to do nights, effective June 15. Sculfield (left) is an experienced stand-up comic who is best known for his run across the street on iHeartMedia Urban WGCI, first in middays and later, as host of The Morning Riot until December of 2014, when he was among several staffers released due to a personnel restructuring. Since then he's remained busy hosting local events, performing his stand-up act and making featured appearances on local ABC 7 daytime talk show, Windy City Live. Sculfield joins a staff that includes Tom Joyner in mornings, Sundance in middays and Mike Love in afternoons. He will succeed another Chicago radio fave, Ramonski Luv, who exited last week.

I miss this guy

His show starts up in September...

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

FIFA President Sepp Blatter Resigns

It's about time. Makes me wonder if the Feds have photos of Sepp being handed cash and a sign that says "BRIBE FROM QATAR". I figured that was the only way he would voluntarily resign.

Time Magazine has the announcement.

Father Knows Nothing via Skype

I really enjoyed talking to Dr. Marcie Beigel​ about my book "Father Knows Nothing". You can watch and listen to the Skype interview at her blog.

It's nice hearing an expert essentially endorsing my "by the seat of my pants" parenting techniques.

Truffle Hunting in Rhode Island

Tampa Bay Policy

Have you heard the ridiculous policy the Tampa Bay Lightning is enforcing to keep Blackhawks fans out of the stands for Games 1 & 2 in Tampa Bay?

Here's something you won't see me write very often: I agree with Dan Berstein about this. The headline for his piece is: Tampa Bay Lightning Ticket Policy Is Pathetic.

Women's World Cup

It starts on June 6th, and the Americans are sporting a very strong team. It will be airing on Fox Sports. Here are the first round details from their website...

Dellacamera, Whitehill and DiCicco have been assigned to the three U.S. games in the group stage: Monday, June 8 vs. Australia (7:30 p.m. ET/FOX Sports 1), Friday, June 12 vs. Sweden (8 p.m. ET/FOX) and Tuesday, June 16 vs. Nigeria (8 p.m. ET/FOX).

The good news is that since the games are in Canada, they air at normal times. The bummer is that all the games will be on turf.

RIP Steve Nelson

Steve was a radio sales and marketing guy in Chicago for a variety of radio stations. I met with him while he worked and WLS, and I owned my advertising agency (AMISH Chicago Advertising). I thought he was one of the good guys in the business. The last time I saw him was when John Landecker and I appeared on WBEZ just after "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" came out. (WBEZ was Steve's last gig). He told me that "The Living Wills" was sitting on his desk at that very moment--a gift from my co-author Brendan Sullivan. I never got the chance to ask him what he thought of it.

Steve passed away over the weekend at the age of 67.

His son Jon posted a few stories about his dad. If you have any Steve Nelson stories, he's collecting them at

His son Christopher writes for Automobile magazine. This is his tribute to his dad.

Jay Marvin

The former WLS talk show host has been living through some pretty serious health issues these past few years. He recently re-emerged for a public appearance in Colorado.

This article tells all about Jay and what he's gone through.

Least Trusted News Sources

The Pew Research Center did a survey of over 3000 people, covering three generations (Boomers, Millennials, & Gen Xers) and the results were pretty refreshing if you ask me.

From Variety this morning...

According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, the trio of age groups distrust the same four political news sources: the digital outlet BuzzFeed and radio shows the “Glenn Beck Program,” “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and “The Sean Hannity Show.”

Nailed it.

Apparently Americans are smarter than we've been led to believe.

Monday, June 01, 2015

John Oliver Takes Down FIFA...again

I laughed so hard in this last minute or so of this, I was wiping the tears from my eyes.

Stanley Cup Final Schedule

The Blackhawks are in the Stanley Cup Final, and the league announced the schedule for the games...

Game 1: Chicago vs. Tampa Bay, Wednesday, 7 p.m. NBC
Game 2: Chicago vs. Tampa Bay, Saturday, June 6, 6:15 p.m. NBC
Game 3: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago, Monday, June 8, 7 p.m. NBCSN
Game 4: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago, Wednesday, June 10, 7 p.m. NBCSN
Game 5: Chicago vs. Tampa Bay, Saturday, June 13*, 7 p.m. NBC
Game 6: Tampa Bay vs. Chicago, Monday, June 15*, 7 p.m. NBC
Game 7: Chicago vs. Tampa Bay, Wednesday, June 17*, 7 p.m. NBC
* = if necessary

Ex-FIFA official cites Onion article to defend himself

Oh, FIFA, will you never fail to entertain me?

Using The Onion to defend yourself is another high moment.

Tracy Morgan's First Interview since the crash

Truffle Hunt at the Farmer's Market

Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen russles up some truffle grub at the Farmer's Market...

If you're in Rhode Island, Brent is making two appearances this week, including one tonight at the Newport Athletic Club, 66 Valley Road in Middletown.

Mark Zander

My latest Illinois Entertainer media column was posted today. It features an interview with Me-TV FM's Mark Zander.

You can read it here.

RIP Lennie Merullo

Sad story over the weekend. The last surviving member of the 1945 Cubs team passed away. RIP Lennie Merullo...

This is Lennie's entry in Every Cub Ever at Just One bad Century...

Lennie was the starting shortstop for the Cubs in the 1940s, including the pennant winning season of 1945. He wasn't known as a great fielder or hitter. Merullo averaged an error every three and half games or so (172 errors in 602 games), a home run every 345 at-bats (6 in 2071), and had a lifetime average of .240. But he was one of the team leaders. One time he fought former Cub Eddie Stanky, leading to a benches clearing brawl. While Stanky and Merullo punched each other repeatedly, Cubs pitcher Claude Passeau attacked the most hated man in baseball, Leo Durocher—-tearing off his shirt in the process. (Leo would become the manager of the Cubs in the 1960s.) The day after the Stanky/Durocher beating, Lenny and Phil Cavarretta were attacked by Dixie Walker before the game, and had to be pulled off by the police. Walker lost a tooth and chipped another. Merullo got an eight game suspension. Lenny Merullo retired after the 1947 season. When Lenny passed away at the age of 98 in 2015, he was the last surviving member of the last Chicago Cubs World Series team.

Weekend at Wrigley

After a particlurly taxing last few weeks at the office, I decided to take a few days off this weekend, and went to one of my favorite places in the world.

On Friday evening I went to Wrigley with my bride. It was a beautiful evening, but the Cubs lost. On Sunday I took my youngest son. It was a cold and windy day, but the Cubs won an incredibly dramatic game in the bottom of the 11th inning. After the game, the boy got to run the bases.

Thoroughly enjoyed both experiences.