Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Free Kicks, Episode 28

EP28: On this week’s Free Kicks, Adam & Rick recap the London Derbies, explore the nuances of the January transfer window, and take a quiz about Manchester City FC.

Listen to it here.

R.I.P. Pat Colander

Just got some very shocking news--my good friend Pat Colander passed away.

I knew she had cancer, and I knew she had been undergoing treatment for a while, but I had no idea this day was near. I'm in shock.

I met Pat almost twenty years ago when I was working with John Landecker. She was the editor of Lake Magazine at the time, and they were doing a story about John. In our first conversation I mentioned that I was a writer too, and she asked me to write an article for her magazine on the spot. I did. She liked it, and I wrote many more.

When Landecker's show ended, she encouraged me to write full-time. And I did.

My first two books "The Radio Producer's Handbook" and "$everance" were both championed by Pat in the pages of her magazine. She sent her friend Andy Shaw to write about the first one. Our mutual friend John Landecker to write about the second.

When she moved over to Shore Magazine to be the editor there, I moved with her. I wrote even more for her there, including the column that came to be my pride and joy--Father Knows Nothing.

When it came out in book form, Pat gave me an enthusiastic endorsement on the back cover.

Pat was always encouraging, always supportive. She was a great cheerleader for me and all the writers she employed. It was thanks to Pat that I was nominated several times for Lisagor Awards. I had no idea what that even was until I was nominated for Father Knows Nothing.

When Dave & I started up Eckhartz Press, Pat came to us with a book idea. She wanted to print some of the great articles from her writing days (from The Reader, The Tribune, etc). She was an absolutely gifted writer, and those articles make "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral and Other Tales of Love & Death in Chicago" a must read. We weren't surprised at all when it won the Book of the Year award in 2016. It's that good.

As long as we are in business at Eckhartz Press, it will remain in print. It deserves to be.

I'm a little taken aback by this news. You only encounter so many truly special people in your life, and when one of them is suddenly gone, it's a bit overwhelming.

I'm happy I got to know her. I'm happy to have seen the tremendous example she set for how to treat people, how to be generous in spirit, and how to be giving to others.

Rest in peace, Pat. We miss you already.

CWA Board

This photo was taken on Saturday night at the CWA Book of the Year Awards. This is the board for the Chicago Writers Association. L-R: Charlie Monteverde, Randy Richardson, George Rawlinson, Samantha Hoffman, Christina Rodriguez, Becky Sarwate-Maxwell, Me, and Dan Burns.

Great night and great turnout in the middle of a snowstorm, somehow.

Bowling for Veterans

This is where we will be this Saturday with Chet Coppock. What a worthy cause--we're happy to support it. Details below...

The Skokie Men's Bowling Inc. in conjunction with Leadoff Bowler 'Big Daddy' will be having their 1st Annual Winter Bowling Benefit on Sunday, January 27, 2019, at the Niles Brunswick Zone - Bowlero, located at 7333 Milwaukee Avenue, in Niles, Illinois; registration begins at 9:30 AM; with a special and unique kickoff not-to-be-missed for the benefit at 10:00 AM.

Over 150 bowlers have signed up and nearly 50 sponsors are in support of this event including local dignitaries such as Illinois State Representative John D'Amico (15th District), Mayor Dan DiMaria of the Village of Morton Grove, Trustee George 'Kappy's' Alpogianis of the Village of Niles and more! Chicagoland radio broadcasting legend and hall-of-famer and Chet Coppock 'The Godfather of Sports Talk Radio,' will be on-hand for the book signing of his newly-released book: 'Your Dime, My Dance Floor: Chet Coppock in Pursuit of Chet Coppock' (https://eckhartzpress.com/shop/your-dime-my-dance-floor-chet-coppock-in-pursuit-of-chet-coppock).

A silent auction will be conducted by Hobb's Hobby Hut and raffles and prizes will be on-going throughout the event. All proceeds will benefit The Bowlers to Veterans Link (BVL) (www.BowlForVeterans.org), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit with high distinction as one of "America's Best Charities" due to their low costs in running their organization (6%). This means that 94% of funds donated to this organization are spent on programs and services to aid our veterans directly for rehabilitation and recreation.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Minutia Men, Episode 122

EP122: Rick and Dave discuss ash sniffing, Trump TV show from the 50s, an injection that won’t help your back, Rick’s brush with comedian Tom Dreesen, and they interview former Olympian track star Dwight Stones

Listen to it here.

What the World Needs Now

I share this song every year on MLK day. It was produced and recorded by DJ Tom Clay in 1970. Captures the spirit of MLK about as well as anything...

Len Kasper

Happy birthday to Len Kasper, the TV voice of the Cubs. Len was kind enough to contribute to the book "Cubsessions" last year. Spoke to the authors of that book the other night (Becky & Randy) and they are working on an updated version to be released this year with even more Cubs and celebrity Cub fans talking about their love of the team. All proceeds go to charity.

New at B-96

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Entercom Top 40 WBBM-FM (B96)/Chicago has filled its prime evening vacancy with Julia Lepidi, who will take over the 7-midnight show on Monday, January 28. Lepidi spent the past three years at Entercom's former Top 40 sister WDZH (98.7 AMP Radio)/Detroit -- she started there in nights in 2015, added Promotions Coordinator duties, and last June was elevated to morning co-host, alongside Chris Cruise. However, that wake-up dream came to a screeching halt in November when the station flipped to Soft AC as 98.7 The Breeze. Earlier in her career Lepidi was on the air at WBTI/Port Huron, MI. "Julia's energetic, vibrant personality coupled with her high engagement on social media will make for a tremendous addition to our team," said Jimmy de Castro, SVP/Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. "We are confident that Julia will connect with nighttime listeners and help further extend the station’s reach." Lepidi commented, "When the opportunity came to become a part of the legendary B96 staff, it was a no-brainer. Thanks to Jimmy de Castro, [PD] Todd Cavanah and [APD/MD] Erik Bradley for this opportunity. I'm genuinely humbled and beyond ecstatic to join the team in the great city of Chicago."

Friday, January 18, 2019

Just One Bad Century

On the eve of the #Cubs convention in 2008, we launched our website and company Just One Bad Century (http://ow.ly/CeYI50kf5Ne). That led to the creation of our publishing company Eckhartz Press (http://ow.ly/ZmIU50kf5Ni). We're combining the two on Opening Day this year with the release of our book "Every Cub Ever". More details about that book in the coming weeks.

Richard Reeder with Rabbi Doug

When I first met Eckhartz Press author Richard Reeder ("1001 Train Rides in Chicago"), he immediately reminded me of my old friend Rabbi Doug. Doug is the host of a local television show, so I connected the two of them yesterday for an interview. They hit it off as much as I predicted they would. In a weird twist of fate, Doug's office is now in the same building Richard's grandmother once lived...and Richard has a painting of that building up in his living room.

The interview will air in four or five weeks.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Chet on Mancow

The SNL Experience

Good marketing move by the Museum of Broadcasting. Robert Feder has the details...

Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications is offering free admission to “Saturday Night Live: The Experience” to all federal employees during the government shutdown. (Employment IDs or business cards must be shown to gain complimentary admission.) Held over through the end of March, the immersive multimedia exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes of the comedy series. Among the displays are Alec Baldwin’s President Trump costume and the hand-crafted wig worn on an episode of “SNL.” The exhibit has been drawing crowds to the museum at 360 North State Street since October 2017. (Photo: Dave and I on the set the day Landecker got inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame)

Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

On this day in 2017, Pat Colander's book "Hugh Hefner's First Funeral" was named Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association. Pat's award winning book is still available at Eckhartz Press and features an amazing cover photo shot by famed Chicago photographer Barry Butler. We're blessed at Eckhartz Press to have such a talented stable of authors. This weekend we'll pick up even more hardware for Lee Kingsmill's book "Safe Inside". Looking over the 17+ books we have coming out this year, there's a good chance that streak will continue. Thanks for your support Chicago!


I may never eat vegetables again...

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Programming Alert!

Programming alert: Eckhartz Press author Chet Coppock will be on Mancow's show tomorrow morning (Thursday) on WLS AM 890 from 7-9am. That should be a fun merging of personalities!

Out The Door

On this day last year, Eckhartz Press author M.L. Collins picked up her Chicago Writers Association award for Book of the Year. We're very proud of her excellent book, "Out the Door", still available at Eckhartz Press.

This weekend we're picking up some more hardware for Lee Kingsmill's book "Safe Inside". Thanks to all the great authors we have at Eckhartz Press! It's so easy to promote books we believe in!

Jazz Festival Lineup

This is an unbelievable lineup for Jazz Fest in New Orleans this year. It's more like Woodstock. From jambands.com...

Organizers for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have announced the lineup for the 50th annual iteration of the legendary gathering, and this year’s bill is topped by the confirmation of previously rumored headliners The Rolling Stones, plus Dave Matthews Band, Katy Perry, Jimmy Buffett, Chris Stapleton and Bob Seger, along with a bevy of NOLA staples and many others.

Also included in the always expansive lineup are Santana, Van Morrison, Al Green, Logic, Pitbull, Earth Wind & Fire, John Fogerty, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue (who will be teaming up with NOLA royalty the Nevilles), Gladys Knight, The Revivalists, Leon Bridges, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Tank and the Bangas, Bonnie Raitt, Alanis Morissette, Ciara, Gary Clark Jr., Irma Thomas, The Doobie Brothers, Ziggy Marley, Mavis Staples, The Head and the Heart, Jimmy Cliff, Boz Scaggs, Aaron Neville, Galactic, Jerry Lee Lewis, Rebirth Brass Band, Indigo Girls, Los Lobos, Big Freedia, Kamasi Washington, Buddy Guy, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Better Than Ezra, Dumpstaphunk, Taj Mahal, Ani DiFranco, Hurray for the Riff Raff, The Radiators, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, North Mississippi Allstars, Anders Osborne, Little Feat, Samantha Fish, Foundation of Funk, George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners and many more.

Jazz Fest 2019 is set for April 25–May 5, with eight days of official festival programming and an array of shows around the city throughout the week. Tickets for the festival go on sale this Friday, January 18, with ticket sale opportunities for Louisiana residents on January 17.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Today would have been the 90th birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. A great man. And a man that was actually interviewed by Eckhartz Press author Joel Daly. That story is featured in Joel's great book "The Daly News"

Check it out here.

The Hills Are Not Alive

Sportscaster of the Year

The Illinois Sportscaster of the Year was announced yesterday.

Pat Hughes wins again!

They should just call it the Pat Hughes award.

Free Kicks, Episode 27

EP27: Adam and Rick podcasting from McCormick Place, right smack in the middle of an international soccer coaches convention.

Listen to it here.

Monday, January 14, 2019


Wasn't familiar with this podcast, but I listened to it today because they interviewed Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis. Listen to it here.

Not bad.

The Who

Would you believe they have a new album coming out?

To answer your next question, yes, of course I'll go. I've seen their last five farewell shows. Time for a Hello show.

A Rather Distressing Headline

From this morning's Washington Post, one of the best newspapers we have in this country, comes the following headline: Here are 18 Reasons Trump Could Be a Russian Asset.

Oh, and then there's this little tidbit from Newsweek. Yes, that's right, Newsweek...

The Living Wills

On this day in 2012, our very first authors Rick Kaempfer & Brendan Sullivan appeared on WGN-TV midday news, and announced to the world that Eckhartz Press was here. Their book "The Living Wills" is still available at Eckhartz Press--and remains one of our big sellers. There are now 47 books available through our press.

MInutia Men, Episode 121

EP121 – Rick and Dave discuss vomiting, a scary Swedish film festival, Snowflake Army Recruitment, Jenkins in Space, Rick’s brush with Tony Award winning director Robert Falls, and interview one of the stars of “The Sandlot”, actor Shane Obedzinski.

Listen to it here.

United Soccer Coaches Convention

Over 13,000 coaches from around the world gathered in Chicago this past week--a huge event. I was lucky enough to be invited. Adam & I hosted our podcast "Free Kicks" there, which will be posted later this week.

I also got to meet some very interesting people, including the French Soccer Federation. They let me take a picture with the World Cup.

The Comeback of Billy Bush

It seems only fair. The man who said the repulsive things on Access Hollywood is now the president. Seems like the guy he said it to should be allowed to work.

Billy Bush is in talks to make his TV return on the show "Extra"

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Let's Just Write!

Pretty excited about the upcoming Writer's Conference "Let's Just Write". I'm part of a panel of small publishers who may have a chance to meet that next great writer. Submit the first chapter of your novel to be read and critiqued by a publisher on our Small Press Panel. Four winning entries will be chosen. Mail your first chapter as an attachment (Word document with no name, only the title) with the subject line Publisher First Chapter to samantha@chicagowrites.org. Oh, and sign up for the conference. Last year's was a blast!

Sign up here.

John Lassiter

The first comeback of the Hollywood-types swept out by the #metoo moment.

The former head of Pixar, who was forced out after reports of unwanted touching, is back. He will be the CEO of Skydance...with contract provisions, of course.

Variety has the details.

Rod Stewart

Today is Rod Stewart's 74th birthday. There's a great story about Rod in Mitch Michael's book "Doin' the Cruise" involving the accidental discovery of "Maggie Mae" and Mitch's inadvertant role in that process. That story alone is worth the price of admission for "Doin the Cruise"

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Dave & Mancow

On this day in 2013, the David Stern "Balding Handbook" publicity tour stopped at Mancow's television show in the Fox complex on Michigan Avenue. Now that Mancow is back on the air (at WLS Radio, 890 AM) it's probably time to bring back Dave for a spiritual balding experience. Don't you think, Mancow?

Jam Productions

This is kind of a surprise, via Radio Online...

Jam Productions co-founder Arny Granat has announced he'll depart the company after 46 years. Co-founder Jerry Mickelson will continue to manage the daily operations. Granat will remain the CEO and Founder of Grand Slam Productions where he continues to explore new opportunities.

Arny Granat commented, "Over the past four decades, I have enjoyed a career that has allowed me to work with some of the biggest stars on the most memorable concerts, including the Rolling Stones, Adele, Prince and Frank Sinatra, as well as awe inspiring theater productions, and other unforgettable events. I am looking forward to producing and promoting shows throughout the country in association with other partners and collaborators."

He is still producing shows (and writing a book), but he'll no longer be doing it with Jam. Arny is a Chicago institution. I wish him the best.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The King

On a cold and gray Chicago morn, happy 84th birthday to the King...

Jeanne Bellezzo

You probably knew that today Elvis Presley's and David Bowie's birthday, but did you realize it's also the birthday of Eckhartz Press author Jeanne Bellezzo (Rantings of a Bitter Childless Woman)? Lordamighty, Let's Dance...Happy birthday Jeanne!

(Her book is here.)

Spanish Bears

I don't understand Spanish, yet I understand every word...

Chet Coppock in Orland

Chet Coppock is making an appearance on Thursday, January 10th, in Orland Park!

Details are here if you are interested.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Hall of Fame Edition on Kindle!

We've gotten a ton of requests for this, so here it is! John Landecker's updated Hall of Fame edition of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" is now available on Kindle! We threw in an extra new chapter about John's college graduation last year!

Check it out here.

New Face at WLIT

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

We are sending our belated best wishes to Mick Lee, PD/afternoon personality at iHeartMedia AC WLIT (93.9 Lite FM)/Chicago and his lovely wife, Claire Scattergood Lee, who became proud parents again during the holidays -- daughter Maren Jacqueline Lee was born at 11:45pm on Dec. 26, 2018, weighing in at 7lbs 5oz and spanning 20 inches.

Congrats to the family.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Surprise winner in the Golden Globes last night. The Hollywood Reporter sums up the moment nicely this way...

“That was unexpected,” producer Graham King himself admitted while accepting the award for Fox’s Bohemian Rapsody, which managed to defeat such highly touted contenders as A Star Is Born and Black Panther. Joined onstage by Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor, he continued, “The power of movies is that it brings us all together — Freddie Mercury and Queen did that so successfully by their music.” Just moments earlier, Rami Malek earned the first Golden Globe of his career for his performance as Mercury. “Thank you, Freddie Mercury, for giving me the joy of a lifetime,” he proclaimed.

One of Fox News' 3 Actual Journalists Interviews Sarah Sanders

And look at her eyes in this clip...it's a 'hey this is Fox News, where are the softballs?' look isn't it?

Da Bears

So...I was at my son's soccer game. 4th quarter. Bears fall behind 16-15, less than a minute left. The soccer game is starting, so I leave the TV in the lobby of the complex to watch my son, but I'm following Bears game on my phone...like every other parent there. I jokingly quip, "Bears will take this into field goal range, and the kicker will hit the goalpost." Laughs all around. When it actually happens, I'm the devil.

Friday, January 04, 2019

Thursday, January 03, 2019

RIP Super Dave Osborne

This is a major bummer. Bob Einstein, who for years played the character of Super Dave Osborne, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. Deadline Hollywood has the details.

He was the brother of Albert Brooks, and was just as funny. Most recently he played the character of Larry Funkhauser on Curb Your Enthusiasm. This tweet below was my favorite moment with that character. Warning, definitely not suitable for work...


Went to the Bulls game last night with the youngster. Wow, I had no idea the Bulls were this bad. I played most of the third quarter at strong forward.

Still, had a good time. They really do hustle during breaks in the basketball action to entertain the crowds. I know this is outside the box thinking, but what if they just eliminated the basketball altogether next time?

RIP Daryl Dragon

Sad news again. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Daryl Dragon, the "Captain" half of the hugely successful 1970s duo the Captain & Tennille, died of renal failure in Prescott, AZ on Tuesday, Jan. 1 while under hospice care. He was 76. Spokesperson Harlon Boll told Variety that Dragon's ex-wife, Toni Tennille, "was with him as he took his last breath." In a statement, Tennille said of Dragon, "He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him."

I saw the Captain & Tennille perform live once. It was at a 70s night at Wrigley Field a few years ago. Naturally, they played this one...

How Does Government Shutdown Affect FCC?

I thought this piece in Inside Radio was telling. Tell me this isn't an obvious sign of the times...

Late Wednesday the FCC said among those areas that will remain open for business are the Consolidated Database System (CDBS). That means station deal-making will face less of a disruption. Broadcasters and communications attorneys will still be able to access documents on the Electronic Document Management System (EDOCS). And, if needed, the Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) and the Public Safety Support Center will both be operational.

Don't worry, conglomerates. If you want to make bigger conglomerates, that's an essential need. You can still do that. Oh, and I suppose if there's an emergency or saftey concern (blah blah blah), we can cover that too. But only if needed. First and foremost--deal making will not be impeded.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

RIP Ray Sawyer

The singer from Dr. Hook, Ray Sawyer, passed away over the weekend. He was 81 years old.

JOBC Anniversary

On this day in 2008, Dave and I founded Just One Bad Century (justonebadcentury.com). It was really nothing more than a Cubs website for fans of Cubs history. Our goal was to figure out where it all went wrong. It was the 100th anniversary of their last World Series victory.

Three years later Just One Bad Century started up a publishing company, Eckhartz Press.

Despite the Cubs World Series win in 2016, the website lives on. Over the weekend I updated the entire site, created about a hundred new stories and features that would appear this year, and generally re-immersed myself in Cubs-ness. We will have an announcement later in the year about an exciting new Cubs project.

In the meantime, visit the site. It updates daily. Thanks!

Cubs Fodder

John Howell & Mancow

From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

With Windy City radio vet Mancow set to debut in morning drive tomorrow on Cumulus News-Talk WLS-AM/Chicago, current wake-up personality John Howell will move to late afternoons -- The John Howell Show will now air from 5-7pm weekdays, starting tomorrow.

Marv Nyren, VP/Market Manager of Cumulus Chicago, said, "As part of the new lineup at WLS-AM 890, keeping an experienced Chicago talent like John Howell solidifies the lineup and will give our audience a reason to stay tuned throughout the entire day. John has been entertaining Chicagoland for over 30 years and his program will be the perfect way to wrap up the day on your way home."

Howell, a 30-year market vet, said, "I'm very excited about hosting the new afternoon show at WLS-AM 890. I intend to present Chicago with a quick-paced, informative, honest and intelligent summary of the day's biggest stories; an afternoon wrap of the day's biggest events featuring prominent newsmakers, reporters, experts and stars. Of course, our town's most colorful characters will also be welcome. In addition, I'm looking forward to (finally) golfing when the sun's in the east."

Dave Fogel

The January edition of the Illinois Entertainer is out, and includes my interview with WLS-FM morning man Dave Fogel.

You can read it here.