Friday, December 23, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

I'll be back at the blogging desk in January.

Enjoy this classic from "Father Knows Nothing"...

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Minutia Men, Episode 33

EP33 – Rick and Dave discuss the whipped cream shortage, sitcom doctors and dentists, a truly boozy flight, a 37-year-old rookie, and Rick’s brush with John Mahoney.

Listen to it here.

Penny Stock

How much financial trouble is Cumulus Broadcasting (owners locally of WLS-AM, WLS-FM, WLUP & WKQX) experiencing these days? Tom Taylor's NOW column explains...

It happened – Cumulus stock closed below $1 a share, less than three months after the one-for-eight reverse stock split that should’ve repaired the share-price problem. If “CMLS” continues to close below a buck a share, the NASDAQ exchange will shoot off another de-listing warning letter, and give it 180 days to work out the issue. Yesterday’s trading volume was much lighter than usual, during this holiday week. But even so, it was down two pennies to 98 cents. A couple of times it touched 95 cents a share.

That's very bad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime

This is Everything that's Wrong with America

I think the headline speaks for itself: Suit: McDonald’s ‘Value Meal’ Costs More Than Buying Items Separately

From the CBS reporting: "James Gertie of Des Plaines tells The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that bundling two cheeseburgers, medium french fries and a drink at $5.90 is 41 cents more than when individual items are purchased."

Seriously. What lawyer took this case? Why in the world is this being allowed to proceed?

Here's a tip, James Gertie. Buy the items seperately and save yourself 41 cents.

For cryin' out loud.

Robert Murphy out at WLS-FM

Another great is shown the door. Here's the saddest quote from the Robert Feder article about Robert Murphy's departure. It comes from Murphy himself...

“A lot went right, not sure what went wrong,” he said of his three-year run. “I did have some difficulty adjusting to what management wanted, and at times I was not really aware what indeed they did want. So I just tried to do good radio and hope for the best.”

I've been there before. Sounds like they had already made up their minds to go with a cheaper option, so they let him twist in the wind until his contract ran out.

I hate to see that. Especially with a talent like Robert Murphy.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2017's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class

From Rolling Stone magazine...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced next year's inductees: Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Journey, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra and Joan Baez will all join the class of 2017. Chic's Nile Rodgers will be given the Award For Musical Excellence.

Should be interesting to see if Steve Perry plays with Journey, or if Jon Anderson plays with Yes. Neither have been in the band now for many years, but both are undoubtedly remembered as the "voice" of those bands.

Cubs are #1

Not just in the standings. From the Chicago Tribune...

The Lovable Winners are ranked No. 1 in FanSided's inaugural Fandom 250, which ranks the 250 most rabid fan bases in sports, movies, music and even politics. Cubdom got the nod over "Star Wars," the science fiction movie franchise legendary for its fan devotion.

Around the Publishing World (December 20)

At Chicago Author Solutions (a division of Eckhartz Press), we stay on top of happenings/trends in the publishing world to help out busy writers who are spending their time doing what they should be doing: writing.

1. Tips for Poets
Writer's Digest talked to a handful of published poets and got some good advice. My favorite is: "Don’t love everything. Hating certain types of poetry helps define your own aesthetic."

2. Tips for New Writers
These tips are provided from a PR perspective (PR Daily), but they are actually quite useful to all writers.

3. Tips for writing short stories
TIf you're a short story writer these are important things to consider before you send out your short stories to publishers. My favorite writing tip: "You need to know way more about your story than you tell to your readers." My favorite marketing tip: "Accept semi-pro payments as you build your name and career."

4. Tips for New Bloggers
As someone who has written a blog now for ten-plus years, I agree with all of the tips in this article.

Chicago Radio Ratings

From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Chicago stories include the inevitable rise of iHeart’s hot AC/Christmas WLIT and the expect post-World Series hangover of CBS Radio’s sports “Score” WSCR. Just like last year, WLIT can’t quite catch CBS Radio’s news WBBM/WCFS for first place. The ’BBM combo’s steady (6.8-6.5-6.4) and stays #1, despite not being #1 in any discrete daypart. Second is WLIT (3.1-2.9-6.3), and it’s #1 from 10am through 3pm. Third is iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ (5.8-5.7-6.2, and #1 at nights and on weekends). Fourth is Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (4.9-5.3-5.4, and #1 mornings with Eric & Kathy). Fifth is Tribune’s talk WGN (4.3-4.0-4.2, and third in mornings). Further down, Hubbard began using the Seattle-based Brooke & Jubal morning show on AC WSHE as of November 14, and mornings were unchanged. Total-week WSHE is steady (2.4-2.6-2.7). Country radio’s closely watching the cage-match between CBS Radio’s revamped “US 99” WUSN (2.5-2.2-2.3) and iHeart’s “Big” WEBG (2.2-2.0-2.1). Cumulus talker WLS is basically flat during this election season (2.2-2.2-2.1). Top-cume station is iHeart’s top 40 “Kiss 103.5” WKSC at 2,218,200. In AQH share, it’s #6 (4.4-4.0-3.9).

2016 Wasn't a Bad Year for Everyone

It was great for the Cubs and Donald Trump.

Turns out, it was also great for Disney. They pulled in $7 Billion in movie box office sales alone, thanks to Rogue One, Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Finding Dory, Moana, Zootopia, The Jungle Book, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which made its debut in December 2015.

Monday, December 19, 2016

SNL Says Bye to Obama

With a Run-DMC-style rap song with Chance the Rapper...

RIP Bob Coburn

He was a very famous disc jockey in Los Angeles (KLOS), but he was also known nationwide as the host of the rock and roll interview show "Rockline". Bob Coburn passed away yesterday at the age of 68.

SNL Skewers Trump

Vanity Fair Subscriptions Rise

Remember this tweet from last week?

Well, after that tweet, something really great happened. Vanity Fair got 13,000 new subscribers in one day!

That really makes me happy for some reason.

As the Sumner Turns

Sumner Redstone is stepping down from the Viacom board after their upcoming February meeting. This will mark the first time since 1987 (when he bought Viacom) that he will not have a say in the company.

Of course, he's essentially been medically unable to have a say for a while now, so this is more or less an acknowledgement of the obvious.

Sumner is 93 years old now.

Variety has the further details.

Bob & Marianne are back on the air

Bob Sirott returns to the call letters and frequency that made him famous, WLS-AM 890. He and his wife Marianne Murciano will be filling the 10-noon shift there every day--which moves Rush Limbaugh to Noon-3pm and Steve Dahl to 3-7pm.

Full details at Chicagoland Radio & Media.