Saturday, October 22, 2016

Kathleen Parker

Every now and then I read a newspaper column that wows me, not for the brilliance of the writer's point of view, but just for the sheer brilliance of the writing. Kathleen Parker's column today about the Donald Trump appearance at the Al Smith dinner has a few passages that are simply great.

The first one is about Maria Bartiromo, who was sitting right behind the speakers...

No one watching could have missed the cleavage clad in candy apple red beneath long sparkling earrings, as Bartiromo’s elbow-length gloves fluttered like white doves directing traffic to the heart of things. A flickering female vision floating in the TV frame among four, dusty-white males, the television journalist appeared as one of those online ads that distract readers as they try to concentrate.

Absolutely love that. The second passage I love was about Trump's supporters watching on television...

To them, the dais was a diorama of self-congratulatory elites, smugly tittering at insider humor and then, suddenly, betraying white-tie outrage at their redneck Gatsby, who hocked up his couth and hurled it into the nearest vat of Dom Perignon.

And finally, about Trump himself...

Like Gollum, he loathes what he loves and can’t resist sabotaging himself. Like Capote, he turns on his own. If Capote alienated all his “swans,” the belles of Upper East Side New York, by betraying their confidences in “La Cote Basque, 1965,” Trump betrayed the hopes of his powerful and wealthy colleagues that he could be trusted to behave.

Bravo. Really. Seriously. That's some great writing there.

Friday, October 21, 2016

One More Spin

Fingers crossed this weekend. C'mon Cubs.

Bill Murray's Dilemma

On Sunday night Bill Murray is scheduled to receive the Mark Twain Prize for Humor at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the highest award in the comedy world.

On the same night, the Cubs could be playing in Game 7 of the NLCS. Murray hasn't missed any of the playoff games in Chicago...and this one could lead them to the World Series for the first time since 1945.

I know what I would do. I would pray for a Cubs win in Game 6.*

*Of course, I'm already doing that.

SAG-AFTRA goes on strike versus video game companies


The details are here in the LA Times.

As the only non-gamer in my family, and the only SAG-AFTRA member, I feel vindicated somehow.

Debate Ratings

How many people watched that third debate? The "I'll see if I accept the outcome" debate?

71.6 million.

I was not among that group. The Cubs were on.

Eckhartz Synergy

See if you can't find the Eckhartz Press synergy in this item in Robert Feder's column this morning...

Chicago radio veteran Katherine Kelly Murphy has signed on as executive producer of “Brandwidth on Demand,” the weekly radio insiders’ podcast hosted by eminent programmers and consultants David Martin and Kipper McGee. Murphy, former operations manager at Harpo Radio and news anchor for “FM News 101.1,” most recently was morning show exec producer at CBS Radio country WUSN FM 99.5. Special guest this week on “Brandwidth on Demand” is Chicago rock radio legend Bobby Skafish, author of We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters.

See it? Kipper McGee (co-host of the Brandwidth podcast) is also the author of the book "Brandwidth", which spawned the podcast. And Bobby Skafish's new book is an Eckhartz Press product too.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Minutia Men, Episode 25


EP25 – Rick and Dave discuss medical mishaps, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs, bad airplane stories, the 1908 Cubs, and Rick’s brush with White Sox legend Minnie Minoso.

Listen to it here.

Bruce Bohrer on WCIU

A few photos from Eckhartz Press author Bruce Bohrer's appearance on WCIU-TV this morning...

Rizzo Apologizes to Ump

Love this...

Kevin Matthews Interviews Bobby Skafish



Two Chicago radio legends (Kevin Matthews and Bobby Skafish) talk about the business and Bobby's great new book.

Listen to it here.

Rick On WCIU

Told a little Cubs trivia, revealed one of our JOBC shirts...

Megyn Kelly Will Dish About Ailes in Her Upcoming Book

From Vanity Fair...

Kelly has yet to address the allegations publicly. But as Ellison revealed onstage at the third-annual Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Tuesday morning, all of that is about to change. Ellison told the audience that Kelly has added a chapter to her forthcoming book about the Ailes fiasco. “Nobody knew if she was really going to address this,“ Ellison said, “but she’s added a chapter to her book.”

And now Ailes doesn't have access to a network that he can order to smear her. So sad.

Rick on TV


This morning during the 6am hour, I'll be on WCIU-TV live from Wrigleyville to discuss the Cubs and Just One Bad Century. Tune in if you get a chance.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tommy Kaempfer is Legal

I can't even believe it, but my oldest son Tommy is 21 years old today. He's a junior at Columbia College in Chicago, and I'm very proud of the lad. Despite my parenting, he's become an upstanding citizen.

Tommy is super low-key mellow dude, but his life began in the spotlight. When he was born, I was the executive producer of the John Landecker show. Tommy was on the radio when he was only a few hours old.






The following is a transcript of the telephone conversation on the air the morning of Tommy's birth. The participants are John Landecker (center), sidekick Vicki Truax (the only female in the group picture), and proud papa Rick.








John: Oldies 104.3 WJMK, It's 12 minutes after 6:00 with John Records Landecker and Vicki Truax. The hotline...the private line...is ringing. Hello.

Rick: Hello.

John: Well?

Rick: I'm a papa.

(Loud cheering and whooping in the studio)

Vicki: A girl or a boy?

Rick: A boy.

Vicki: I KNEW IT!!! What's his name?

Rick: Thomas Peter.

Vicki: What time?

Rick: 4:06 a.m.

John: Wow. How's everybody doing?

Rick: Everyone is fine.

Vicki: Bridget is fine too? Is she exhausted?

Rick: Yup, she's holding Thomas right now.

John & Vicki: Awwwww.

Rick: 7 pounds, 3 ounces.

John & Vicki: Awwwww.

Rick: And I recorded the entire thing on Digital audio tape.

Vicki: You're kidding? She didn't make you turn it off?

Rick: No. I had it put in a nice place where it didn't get in anyone's way.

John: We've got Thomas' birth on tape.

Rick: Yup. And we got his first bath on tape too, and his first cry.

John: Something tells me we better get more tape. OK, here's his first eyelid opening. Better get that on tape. We're going through his first toll...let's get that on tape. Hey Rick, don't you just want to...

John, Vicki & Rick: Hug and kiss them all the time?

(That was something Vicki said so often about her daughter it was a running joke on the show)

Rick: He is so damn cute.

John & Vicki: Awwwwww.

Rick: Wait a second...is he crying? Hold on.

Sound: A tiny baby cry can be heard.


John: Is that him?

Rick: Yup. His on-air debut.

John: Wow!

Rick: He's got some lungs on him.

John: That kid sounds like he's two years old.

Rick: Yeah, he's got good pipes.

John: Does he want to come in and do a few record talkovers?

Vicki: How long is he?

Rick: 21 inches.

John: So what was it like?

Rick: It was so cool. It was just like the movie "Alien." The baby kind of popped out and looked around. Then he jumped up and sucked my eyes out...

John & Vicki: (Laughing)

John: Then Siguorney Weaver came in with some sort of a mechanical device. It was unbelievable.

Vicki: You guys. Is he all wrinkly. Does he have hair?

Rick: Yeah, he does have hair. That was the first thing we saw. I asked the nurse...ewww...what is that? That's his hair. Oh.

John: Did you get it on tape?

Rick: Of course. Uh, oh. I have to go. We need to take Bridget up to the recovery room.

Vicki: You're still in the delivery room?

Rick: Yeah.

Vicki: That's dedication.

John: How many calls have you made so far?

Rick: This is my second call. I called my mom first.

John: Wow. Well take care of everyone.

Rick: Thanks.

John & Vicki: Bye.

John: There they go. Dad Rick, Mom Bridget and now Thomas Kaempfer.

Vicki: I kind of liked the other name Rick was talking about before.

John: I don't think Bridget was ever going to agree to Ringo.






A $1.5 Billion Lawsuit

That has to be a record of some kind. Relativity Media is suing Netflix for damages of $1.5 billion. That's billion with a b.

Variety has the details.

I read the article a few times, and I have to admit I don't quite understand it exactly. One of the things they are suing for is that Neflix wanted Relativity to release their films on Netflix before they went into theaters. Not sure how this desire caused Relativity to lose over a billion. Maybe if you read the article you'll understand and you can fill me in.

Ali Velshi



The former CNN anchor is moving to MSNBC.

TV Newser has the details.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The list was released today, and this is who is on the ballot...

Pearl Jam and Tupac Shakur as well as the previously nominated Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Kraftwerk, Yes, Chic, The Cars, The Zombies, Joe Tex, J. Geils Band, MC5, and previously eligible artists (on ballot for the first time) Bad Brains, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, Jane’s Addiction, Joan Baez, Journey, and Steppenwolf.

Janet Jackson? Really?

There are some great bands that still haven't even been nominated including the Doobie Brothers, Bad Company, The Replacements, Roxy Music, Dire Straits, and Three Dog Night.

Canadians Giving America a Pep Talk

The whole world is freaking out about the things that Donald Trump is saying. These Canadians took some time out of their busy lives to give us a pep talk...

Trump TV

If you've wondered about the questionable strategy of Donald Trump over the past few weeks--going hard right, scorched earth, conspiracy-theory-nuts--wonder no more. People have been speculating that he was going to create a Trump TV network to go up against Fox News if he didn't win. That appears to be true. His son-in-law already had a meeting with potential financial backers.

Coffee Magic

About once a week I spill the coffee grinds all over the counter. This morning I was extra careful and got them into the filter without incident...then, I turned around quickly and knocked the entire coffee canister on the floor--spilling about a pound of coffee. (Sigh) Once the coffee kicks in I'm fine. Before then...not so much.

That's why I got a kick out of this. Thanks "MC" for sharing it...

Sox Fans

White Sox fans have been quiet for the most part during the playoffs, but you will hear from them on days the Cubs lose. It's usually disguised in a passive aggressive (incredibly insincere), "Ooh, that's a bummer."

But I can see right through y'all. I get it. The media coverage in Chicago is a bit over the top for the Cubs, especially compared to the coverage the White Sox received when they went to the World Series. (And the Cubs aren't even in the series yet). The jealousy is there, bubbling just below the surface. In some cases, it's not very far below the surface.

Exhibit A: NBA player (and White Sox fan) Frank Kaminsky. Take a look at the jersey he was wearing when his Charlotte Hornets came to town this week.

New night jock for B-96

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

CBS Radio Top 40 WBBM-FM (B96)/Chicago has filled its night vacancy with the hire Corey B. as its new 7-midnight personality. Corey is an eight-year radio pro who spent the past four years doing nights at Entercom Top 40 WEZB (B97)/New Orleans. Prior to joining B97, Corey worked on-air at WFLZ in his hometown of Tampa, FL. "We believe we've uncovered a true diamond in the rough with Corey B.," said Todd Cavanah, VP of Programming CBS Radio Chicago. "In addition to driving the station over the air at night, Corey's skill and creativity on social media is off the charts. We can't wait to introduce him to Chicagoland later this month." Corey succeeds Eric Tyler, who was recently upped to afternoons.

Note to the youngsters out ther youngsters out there. Corey is young, and has only been in the biz for eight years, but he's already hit the bigtime in Chicago. Read the quote from the man who hired him. It was his social media expertise that put him over the top.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Watching Debates with an Arrested Development Voiceover

Shep Smith Casually Comes Out

It was probably the worst kept secret in the news business, but Shephard Smith made it official in an interview posted by the Huffington Post today.

He is gay.

I love that the article only mentions it in passing in the middle of the piece. There are two big reasons for that. One, everyone sort of knew it already. Two, nobody cares.

The stigma is still there for some parts of American society, but the majority of Americans no longer consider it a big deal or strange if someone they know is gay. That's a great thing.

By the way, all three all-news cable outlets now feature openly gay anchors. CNN has Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon. MSNBC has Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts. And Fox News has Shep.

Guess Who Tweeted Again?



It's called comedy, big guy. Grow a spine.

Billy Bush Learns Valuable Lesson


This will teach Billy Bush not to demean women with a man like Donald Trump. He's nearing a settlement to leave NBC.

He'll only get about ten million dollars.

Lesson Learned.

Green White Soccer Club

I spent the evening on Saturday night emceeing the 60th anniversary banquet for Green White Soccer Club. You may not realize it, but Saturday was officially Green White Soccer Club day in Illinois (per the governor). Fun night. The Cubs game was on in the hall...but of course I was on stage when the grand slam was hit.