Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Dobie Maxwell

 The latest Minutia Men Celebrity Interview dropped today. Listen to it here.

Dobie Maxwell has performed comedy in 49 states, and has some great road stories. He shares them with Rick and Dave. [Ep107]

October in Wrigley

 The Cubs season is over (and whoo boy, it wasn't good), but in the past there have been some big moments in Wrigley Field in October. From Just One Bad Century...


 OCT 1ST, 2022

October 1, 1932

The most famous moment in Wrigley Field history occurred. Or did it?

It was Game 3 of the World Series. The Yankees had won the first two at Yankee Stadium. Soon-to-be President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (sitting next to Chicago mayor Anton Cermak) threw out the first pitch. In the stands; a young boy named John Paul Stevens, who would go on to become a Supreme Court Justice.

The 1932 Yankees were a riled up team who hated the Cubs for dissing one of their former teammates. Mark Koenig had replaced Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges during the season after Jurges was shot by a fan. Despite hitting .353 during the season and saving the hides of the Cubs, the players voted not to give him a full World Series share. This really angered the Yankees, especially their emotional leader Babe Ruth.

He was ticked off and let the Cubs know it in no uncertain terms.

Did Babe Ruth really call the shot? Almost certainly not. The writers said he did, and he played along with it, but he also privately acknowledged that he never would have done that to Charlie Root who was known as a ruthless headhunter. Charlie swore to his dying day that Babe did not call the shot.

According to the Cubs players, Ruth was being taunted by the Cubs dugout (who should have had their heads examined after they already ticked off the Babe). Ruth was more than likely pointing at the dugout, gesturing that he still had one strike left. That may have looked to the writers like he was calling his shot. Plus, the writers said he pointing to left–but he hit nearly all of his homers to right, and the actual homer went to deep centerfield…an unusual location for a homer by the Babe. The called shot is probably nothing more than a legend.

Nevertheless, part of the legend is true. He did homer. And Gehrig homered right after that. And they both homered again later in the game.

The 1932 World Series was a 4-game pummeling. But as famous as that supposed “called shot” was, Babe Ruth was not even the player of the series. Lou Gehrig hit .529, and would have been named the MVP if they had such an honor in those days.

October 1, 1950

Andy PafkoAndy Pafko puts the finishing touches on a great season. Joe DiMaggio is probably known as the greatest player in baseball history to possess both power and patience at the plate. In four different seasons he actually had more homers than strikeouts. His final career numbers are absolutely jaw dropping: 361 homers, and only 369 Ks.

One Cubs player also had that same combination of power and patience, and his 1950 season in particular can only be described as “DiMaggio-esque”.

That year Andy Pafko knocked the ball out of National League ballparks 36 times while only striking out 32 times. Only 14 players have ever accomplished that feat: Ken Williams (1922), Lefty O’Doul (1929), Mel Ott (1929), Al Simmons (1930), Lou Gehrig (1934, 1936), Joe DiMaggio (1937, 1938, 1939, 1940), Ted Williams (1941), Willard Marshall (1947), Johnny Mize (1947, 1948), Stan Musial (1948), Yogi Berra (1952, 1956), Ted Kluszewki (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956), and Barry Bonds (2004).

Pafko’s 1950 season was so impressive that Reds’ president Warren Giles said if he could choose any player in the National League to help improve his team, he would choose Pafko.

Naturally, Handy Andy was rewarded for that incredible season in true Cubs fashion. He was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

October 1: In 2008 Ryan Dempster walks the bases loaded then gives up a grand slam to James Loney as the Dodgers beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the playoffs.


October 2, 1984.

The Cubs played their first playoff game in 39 years.

The 1984 Cubs won the division going away with the most wins in the National League (96). They had the most exciting young player in the league (MVP Ryne Sandberg). They had a team of veterans (Cey, Moreland, Bowa, Sutcliffe) that had won championships before. With that entertaining cast of cast of characters, and Harry Caray at the microphone broadcasting every single game on a Superstation (WGN), the 1984 Cubs were America’s darlings.

The first game went exactly as planned. Cy Young winner Rick Sutcliffe shut down the Padres on the mound, and Cubs batters immediately took it to San Diego. In the bottom of the first inning lead off man Bob Dernier cracked a homer, and two batters later Gary Mathews did the same. He later hit another one, as did Ron Cey, and even the pitcher Rick Sutcliffe joined in on the fireworks display.

At the end of the game the scoreboard said: Cubs 13–Padres 0.

America’s darlings were well on their way to the title.


October 2: In 1932, the Yankees sweep the 1932 World Series with a crushing 13-6 victory. Future Cub Tony Lazzeri hits 2 homers for the Yanks. In 2001, Sammy hits his 60th homer in a 5-4 loss. In 2008, every single Cubs infielder commits an error and the Dodgers take a commanding 2-0 lead in the five game series.


October 3, 1976

Ken Griffey’s final game of the 1976 season is a cautionary tale for anyone who tries to take the conservative way out to win the batting title. He was leading the league in hitting on the second to last day of the season, and when someone did the math, it looked like there was no way he could lose it. The second leading hitter, Bill Madlock of the Cubs, would have to go 3 for 3 or better to steal it away. Going with the odds, Griffey was rested on that last day to secure the title.

bill mad dog madlockUnfortunately for him, Bill Madlock decided not to follow the script. He got hits in his first three at-bats of the Cubs game, and word reached Griffey in the Cincinnati dugout that his batting title was at stake. So, he came into the game as a pinch hitter and made an out. Madlock, on the other hand, got another hit, ending his day 4 for 4.

The batting title went to Bill Madlock, his second batting title during his Cubs career.

The 1976 Reds went on to win the World Series that year, while the Cubs finished in the cellar. And, after the season ended, Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley authorized the team to trade Madlock so that he wouldn’t have to meet his salary demands. (The Cubs traded him to the Giants for Bobby Murcer.) But Ken Griffey Sr. played another fifteen big league seasons and never won the batting title.

October 3: In 1930 the Cubs win a rare game in the City Series against the White Sox.7. In 1998, Kerry Wood faces Greg Maddux in the playoffs, and Maddux comes out on top to sweep the Cubs out of the playoffs. Wood will miss the entire 1999 season because of an injury. In 2000, Jon Lieber wins his 20th game of the season, 13-7 over the Reds.


October 4, 1989

Greg Maddux 6If you look at the roster of the 1989 Cubs, you realize that they had no business making the playoffs that year. Even manager Don Zimmer and general manager Jim Frey thought they would win about 70 games. Two thirds of the starting outfield were rookies–Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith. Rookie catchers Damon Berryhill, Joe Girardi, and Rick Wrona split time behind the plate. The third basemen were Vance Law and Luis Salazar. But somehow, with this group of players and the veteran presence of Ryne Sandberg, Andre Dawson, and Mark Grace (who was actually quite young too), the Cubs caught lightning in a bottle.

This motley group became known as the Boys of Zimmer. Don Zimmer’s unorthodox managing style confounded his opponents all year, and with smoke and mirrors the Cubs won the division. Mark Grace led the team with a whopping 79 RBI. The rookies played way above their heads. Jerome Walton was the rookie of the year and had a 30-game hitting streak. Dwight Smith hit .323 in left field sharing time with converted catcher Lloyd McClendon. Shawon Dunston became a sensation with his frightening arm at shortstop, and the entire city followed his batting average thanks to the Shawon-O-Meter; maintained by a bleacher fan. A crazy kid reliever named Mitch Williams had the most terrifying saves imaginable–yet he pulled it off time and time again. And a young pitcher emerged to lead the starting rotation…his name was Greg Maddux.

Still, this team had no business being in the playoffs and they discovered that pretty quickly. The Cubs were clearly overmatched by the Giants, who sported a lineup featuring the likes of Will Clark, Matt Williams, and the MVP of the league–Kevin Mitchell. They say that good pitching always beats good hitting, which can mean only one thing. The Cubs didn’t have good pitching.

Greg Maddux was torched in Game 1. The Cubs lost 11-3. The worst moment of the game occurred when Don Zimmer came out to talk to Maddux just before Will Clark came up to bat. The first pitch after the mound visit was crushed for a home run. Clark later said he read Maddux’s lips and knew which pitch was coming. That moment sparked the trend of pitchers and catchers covering up their mouths with their gloves when they talk.

October 4: In 1935, the Cubs lose Game 3 of the World Series to the Tigers, 6-5 in 11 innings. The Tigers have a 2-1 lead in the series. In 1992, Andre Dawson hits his last homer as a Cub, and the 399th of his career.


October 5, 2003
The Cubs won their first playoff series since 1908. Kerry Wood was on the mound in Atlanta, facing off against Mike Hampton.

Cubs leadoff man Kenny Lofton got the ball rolling immediately, scoring in the top of the first on a Moises Alou single. The Cubs added a second run in the top of the second on an Alex Gonzalez home run, and then padded the lead in the sixth on a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez.

Kerry Wood did the rest. He struck out seven, allowed only one run, and was named the MVP of the series. (He had also won Game 1 in Atlanta).

The Cubs didn’t win another playoff series until 2015.

October 5: In 1935, the Cubs fall behind 3 games to 1 in the World Series after the Tigers beat them 2-1 at Wrigley. In 1938, Cubs ace Bill Lee loses Game 1 of the World Series to the Yankees, 3-1. In 1980, Bill Buckner wins the batting title. In 1989, the Cubs beat former Cub Rick Reuschel 9-5 to even up the NLCS at 1 game apiece. Mark Grace is on fire.


October 6, 1938
The Cubs were playing in the World Series against the New York Yankees at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had dropped the first game of the series, but for Game 2 they had their old warrior Dizzy Dean (photo) on the mound.

The Cubs actually had the lead going into the 8th inning. Somehow, the cocky Dean was getting them out with nothing more than guts and guile. It really looked like he may have one more miracle left in that bag of tricks. Then the Yankees came to bat in the top of the eighth. Leadoff man Frankie Crosetti knocked a ball out of the park, and the Yanks took a slim lead. The score was 4-3 in the ninth, and ol’ Diz took the mound one last time.

Tommy Heinrich led off the inning with a single, and Joe DiMaggio came to the plate. DiMaggio was the most feared hitter in baseball that year, and it didn’t take Dizzy Dean too long to figure out why. He easily cleared the left field wall with a mammoth shot, and the Yanks sealed the win. Dizzy was yanked from the game, never to return to the big stage again.

After losing those first two games in Chicago, the series was essentially over. The Yankees beat Clay Bryant 5-2 in Game 3, and then clobbered the Cubs in Game 4 for an easy four game sweep.

October 6: In 1935, the Cubs win Game 5 of the World Series against the Tigers, 3-1. Cubs ace Lon Warneke gets the win. In 1945, the Tigers tie up the series by beating the Cubs 4-1. Dizzy Trout (father of Steve) wins the game. In 1963, the Bears beat the Colts 10-3 on their way to the NFL Championship. In 2007, the Diamondbacks sweep the Cubs out of the playoffs.


October 7: In 1945, the Tigers go up 3 games to 2, by beating the Cubs 8-4. In 2001, Sammy Sosa hits his 64th homer of the season in a 4-3 loss to the Pirates. In 2016, Jon Lester outduels Johnny Cueto and Cubs beat the Giants 1-0 to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS. Javy Baez hits a homer for the only run of the game.

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2018, two Eckhartz Press books were named finalists for CWA Book of the Year, Mitch Michaels' book Doin the Cruise, and Lee Kingsmill's novel Safe Inside.

*On this day in 2017, Eckhartz Press author Randy Richardson won a national award for writing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2022


The latest @ie_entertainer came out this past weekend and features my interview with Rich Koz @Svengoolie. Fun interview with a Chicago icon.

Coming Soon

Studio Walls

  Every week I send my Minutia Men Co-Host Dave Stern a list from our audio archives for this week's Studio Walls feature. These are the possibilities for this week. Which one will he choose?

*October 2, 1938, Dizzy Dean's last stand as a big leaguer. His final World Series game. The Cubs fight valiantly but lose to the Yankees (AUDIO)

*October 2nd is actor Eric Fellows birthday. He appeared as our guest a few years ago.

*October 3 is jazz great Von Freeman's brithday. Jazz vocalist Kurt Elling told us a great story about Von, and the advice he gave him about drinking.

*October 3, 1995, OJ Simpson was acquitted. The John Landecker show did a number of songs about that trial, including "YDNA", "Johnny Cochran" and "OJ Walked" (AUDIO)

*October 4, 2011, Siri debuted. We had the first voice of Siri on the show to discuss the unusual way they recorded her voice.

*October 4 is songwriter John Denicola's birthday. The Dirty Dancing songwriter appeared on our show to talk about the making of that movie.

*October 4, 1990 was the debut of the television show Beverly Hills 90210. The first theme song to that show was written by Stacey Widelitz, and he told us the unusual reason that theme song was dropped in favor of another.

*October 6 is the birthday of former MLB pitcher Valerio De Los Santos. His claim to fame was beaning Cubs batter Adam Greenberg in the only at bat of his career. Adam told us all about that.

*October 6, 1978, the film Midnight Express was released. We interviewed the author of that book, Billy Hayes.

*October 7 is John Mellencamp's birthday. He was friends with Essra Mohawk early in his career, and she told us about their early struggles and the way he repaid her friendship.

*October 7, 1981, Loverboy's biggest hit album Get Lucky was released. Loverboy's lead singer Mike Reno told us how that album changed his life.

*October 7, 1996, Fox News debuted. Journalist Judd Legum came on our show and we asked him how much Fox News is responsible for breaking our country.

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Happy birthday to Eckhartz Press author Ryan Trembath. His book Signature Shoes is still available at Eckhartz Press.

*On this day in 1979, Pope John Paul II came to Chicago for the first and only time in his Papacy. The city with the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw came out in force. Eckhartz Press author Roger Badesch was there reporting on the visit, and tells what that was like in his book The Unplanned Life.

Monday, October 03, 2022

Get Well Soon Ringo

Q&A with Chuck Swirsky

 Chuck Swirsky has written a memoir about his broadcasting career and life called Always a Pleasure. We recently sat down with Chuck to discuss the book, available for pre-order now at Eckhartz Press.


EP: After such a long and distinguished career in broadcasting, what was the tipping point reason for you to sit down and write this memoir?

Chuck: In the past I’ve been approached but just felt it wasn’t the right time. Now it is. This is my 25th season broadcasting NBA basketball, approaching 2000 career games. I have a story to tell that involves passion, positivity, purpose and perseverance in life, broadcasting and sports. I love engaging with young people who have goals and dreams of excelling at a high level in our industry. Mentoring is important. Whatever I have achieved in this business would not have been possible without the assistance and support of others.

EP: This book has so much information for sports fans, and we’ll get to that in a moment, but it’s also about your journey as a radio broadcaster. You take readers all across the country from Seattle to Ohio to Chicago to Michigan, and even across the border to Toronto. Can you tell us a little bit about why each of those radio stops was important to you?

Chuck: In each stop I grew as a broadcaster, and more importantly as a person. Seattle was my home and I wanted so very much to establish a solid foundation in the business. Columbus was important because it was my first day in/day out on-air job. It provided me confidence which I needed to have. Chicago in 1979 was a new world. It was the big leagues. I appreciate WCFL for taking a chance on a 25-year-old, placed in a position of hosting the city’s first nightly sports talk show. Calling University of Michigan basketball was big time hoops. Big stage. Big program. Big time games. I loved Ann Arbor. Loved being around the Wolverines athletic department. Toronto will always have a special place in my heart. My first NBA job was everything I dreamed of since the age of five. I loved the Canadian culture, and the Raptors were outstanding to me.

EP: If readers are interested in sports stories, this book has a ton of them. I think one of our favorite tales is the one that happened behind the scenes during the famous Ryne Sandberg game in 1984. Can you tell us what happened that day?

Chuck: June 23, 1984, was a turning point in Cubs franchise history. The game magnified the emergence of a budding young superstar in Ryne Sandberg and a clear message sent by an upstart Cubs team that they were ready to compete on a national stage. With NBC televising the game there was plenty of drama in the radio booth. Trust me.

EP: People will have to buy the book to read that story. (It involves Milo Hamilton and Harry Caray). Those are just a few of the big names that appear in this book. Anyone who goes on the webpage for Always a Pleasure will be blown away by the star-power of the blurbs…Steph Curry, Chris Bosh, Jerry Reinsdorf, et al. Tell us why you chose to ask those people to contribute to the book.

Chuck: I thought long and hard about whom I wanted to contribute to Always a Pleasure. I’ve known Stephen Curry since he was12 years old. He and his brother Seth would accompany their dad Dell, who played for the Raptors, to the Air Canada Centre. He was draining NBA three pointers even then but what truly impressed me was his politeness and manners. Chris Bosh is total class. Intelligent, articulate and a wonderful human being. I called his first NBA game and admire and respect him. I’ve known Jerry Reinsdorf over 40 years. I love the man. He’s a winner in the sporting arena but his passion for people, education, and charitable causes is unparalleled.

EP: You’ve been an NBA announcer now for 25 years and you’re beginning your 15th year with the Bulls. What does it mean to you to behind the microphone broadcasting those games?

Chuck: I can’t believe I’m entering my 25th season. It seems like yesterday I was in Boston calling a Raptors-Celtics game featuring two rookies in Vince Carter and Paul Pierce. I have loved every second. I have plenty left in the tank and want to broadcast hoops for many more years.

EP: There are so many great stories about basketball. Do you have a few favorites to share?

Chuck: I have many stories in college and pro. I loved the Meyer years at DePaul and Michigan ball. Calling Raptors game featuring Tracey McGrady, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh then the Bulls with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and others became front page news. I called Kobe’s 81-point game. The highlight of my career.

EP: There are many other highlights Chuck shares in the pages of Always a Pleasure. That phrase is Chuck’s signature sign-off, and it’s really the perfect title for the book. Always a Pleasure is positive, reaffirming and enthusiastic, just like its author.

The book is available now for pre-order. It ships towards the end of the month.

Minutia Men--Off Air Fights

 The latest episode has dropped. You can listen to it here.

The worst off-air fight ever, women judging men’s personalities. Brady Bunch memories, airline intercom gone awry, and the most depressing e-mail ever, are among the minutiae discussed by Rick and Dave. [Ep287]

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2017, two Eckhartz Press books were nominated for CWA Book of the Year, We Have Company by Bobby Skafish, and Out the Door by M.L. Collins.

*On this day in 2016, the anti-bullying kids book Patty & the Stump was released by Eckhartz Press.

Friday, September 30, 2022

Media Notebook--9-30-22


A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago…



*Chuck Swirsky Releases His Memoir

=He is beginning his 25th year as an NBA announcer and his 15th season with the Bulls, and now Chuck Swirsky is also an author. His book is available for pre-order beginning today via Eckhartz Press. It ships on October 26th. Chuck has some great stories in this book, including about his days at the Loop (with Steve & Garry), WGN Radio (a story you’ll never forget about Milo Hamilton & Harry Caray), University of Michigan (as a one man basketball broadcasting crew), and of course, as the play-by-play man for the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls. Steph Curry, Chris Bosch, Jerry Reinsdorf, and Toronto Raptors owner Larry Tanenbaum all contribute to the book, and there are tons of incredible photographs.


*New Morning Show at WBMX

=The Ed Lover Morning show is no more at Classic Hip Hop WBMX (104.3FM). His former co-host Jen BT (Jennifer Farina) is taking over as the main host. The new name of the morning show is now Jams Throwback Mornings with Jen BT. Lover remains with the company (Audacy) as the night-time jock in New York (WXBK). Radio Insight has more details.



*Blues Breakers Breaks Away from WXRT

=Tom Marker shocked the fans of XRT’s Blues Breakers show, which has aired on 93.1 FM since 1984, when he announced that this Sunday’s show will be the last one on WXRT.

=The show will continue, 2-hours commercial free, as part of the 11-hour block of Blues on WDCB (College of DuPage) every Saturday.

*Jane Clauss Joins Steve Cochran Show

=There’s a new voice on Steve Cochran’s morning show at WLS-AM 890. Jane Clauss has been added to the show. You may remember her from her stint at WLUP (2005-2008), but she has also hosted television shows on Direct-TV and worked as an entertainment reporter for local TV in Phoenix. Jane responded to the news...

    "I'm thrilled to call the 'Big 89' my new radio home. Being a part of the legendary WLS call letters and working alongside Steve Cochran every weekday morning is a true honor."


*iHeart’s Sista Strut

=Tomorrow is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness month and iHeart Chicago is participating in the Sista Strut Pink Celebration, which is a 3K breast cancer walk sponsored by local Ford dealers to benefit the Sisters Network Chicago, Inc. WGCI’s Kendra G will be there, V103’s Bionce Foxx, 1390s Sonya Blakely, and Steve Harvey’s co-host Carla Ferrell. The stations are partnering with ABC7 Chicago. The event kicks off at 10am at the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center on the southside.


*Detroit News Anchor Murdered

=This is a horrible story from Detroit. The WWJ news anchor’s name was Jim Matthews. An acquaintance of the family murdered Jim and injured four others including his 10-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter. The suspect is in custody and has been arraigned.



*What Does Tom Jones Tell Us About Radio?

=Tom Jones was in town this week performing at the Chicago Theater. Famed radio blogger Dick Taylor wrote a piece last week that was inspired by going to a Tom Jones show. He called it "What I Learned at a Tom Jones Concert." Hint: it has something to do with demographics and radio.



*Podcast Corner

=Here’s a podcast you surely never expected. It’s hosted and produced by the CIA. I’m sure it’s wacky.

=CNN has been a prominent podcaster. It appears that is no longer their model. This week they announced a major reduction in the podcast staff.

=Edison Research reports the differences between podcasts popular with Democratic and Republican listeners. Democrats are more likely to listen to podcasts, but they often choose non-political ones. Republicans are less invested in the podcast world, but are more likely to listen to political podcasts. The weirdest information to come out of this research? The #1 podcast is the same for both sides. Can you guess which one it is? The Joe Rogan Show.

=Another odd tidbit from another research study. The Morning Consult survey says that YouTube is now the top podcast provider choice for both adults and kids.

=Congrats to the Destination Eat Drink podcast (a great pod for traveling foodies) for posting their 200th episode today. That’s an impressive milestone. 






*Kerri Kendall’s birthday was September 25. The former Playboy Playmate was the co-host of Playtime with Bill & Kerri on WGCO for several years. I featured them in my Illinois Entertainer column afew years ago.

*Former Chicago Bear and WBBM-TV sports anchor Johnny Morris celebrated a birthday on September 26th. Johnny has kept a pretty low profile since stepping down at Channel 2, although he did make this appearance at Rich King’s book signing in 2014.


*September 26th was also the birthday of former Chicago Tonight host Phil Ponce. This photo was taken in 2013 when John Records Landecker appeared on the program with Phil.

*Me-TV’s Neal Sabin’s birthday was September 27. He is featured prominently in this piece I wrote for Illinois Entertainer a few years ago, when Me-TV FM first started making an impact.



*Former Jammin Oldies and WE-FM morning man Doug James celebrated a birthday on September 27. I’ve worked with the talented voice over man in the past. He was kind enough to pen this guest blog for me when I first began blogging back in 2006.



*September 27 is also the birthday of former Brandmeier producer Guy Bauer. I interviewed Guy for Illinois Entertainer after he left Johnny’s show and started up his own video production company.



*September 27, 1992, the Dr. Demento Show featured a song I wrote for the Ebony & Ivory show on AM 1000 (“Okoberfest is Hier!). I still have the record.



*September 28 would have been Ed Sullivan’s birthday. If you’ve ever wondered what the experience of being on the Ed Sullivan show was like, I’ve interviewed a few people who have told their stories about Ed, including former Rascals lead singer Felix Cavaliere, and Buckinghams guitarist Carl Giammarese.



*September 29, 1952, Garfield Goose debuted on Chicago television, WBKB. The host was not Frazier Thomas. It was Bruce Newton. The first puppeteer for Garfield was the station secretary Leann Prineas. The show ran opposite Howdy Doody on NBC.



*September 29 is the birthday of former Channel 2 & 7 anchor Diann Burns. She was an Emmy winner as a newscaster, but I recently also spotted her in the film Richie Rich. Don’t judge. I was babysitting.



*September 30 is former WBBM-AM and WMAQ-AM morning news anchor Pat Cassidy’s birthday. I’ve previously interviewed him a few times, including this one in Illinois Entertainer in 2020.


 *Remember Java Joel Murphy from Kiss-FM. I talked to him during his Chicago heyday back in 2008 for Chicago Radio Spotlight.

*Amy Landecker’s birthday is September 30th. The talented offspring of John Landecker is a successful actress in Hollywood now. She has been in 88 different movies or television series including the Emmy-winning Transparent, and the Academy-Award nominated Coen Brothers film A Serious Man. She’s also been on my podcast.



*Carol Harmon’s birthday is September 30 as well. Carol was Jonathan Brandmeier’s producer for many years and is very highly regarded.



*Radio’s Best Friend Art Vuolo is also celebrating a birthday on September 30th. Here he is at the most recent Morning Radio Boot Camp in Chicago with the creator of the event, Don Anthony.






*Svengoolie Interview

=The new issue of Illinois Entertainer comes out tomorrow (October 1) and will feature my interview with Rich Koz, the Chicago icon Svengoolie. Be sure to look for it.



*Charlie Schumacher Obituary

=I mentioned Charlie’s passing last week, but I wanted to also pass along this obit about him in the Oak Park/River Forest Journal from this week. I think it captures him well.



*Coming soon to NBC-5 Chicago: Evrod Cassidy

=For the past few years Evrod has been working in the Detroit market, and that’s where he’ll be until November 4th. After that, he’ll be an anchor and reporter at Channel 5 in Chicago. Evrod grew up in Chicago.



*R.I.P. Bill Plante

=The famous newsman passed away this week. Plante was best known for his many years at CBS News, where he worked as a White House correspondent, but Bill got his start right here in his hometown of Chicago. More details are in the Wrap.



*Katie Couric Announces She Has Breast Cancer

=She was filming a feature of herself getting a mammogram to promote the importance of women getting them, when the doctor told her to turn off the camera. They needed to talk in private. Katie has breast cancer. She wrote about that experience on her website.


*Trevor Noah Leaving the Daily Show

=He is in his 7th season as the host of the iconic late night show, but Trevor Noah is ready to spread his wings a little bit. Variety has the story this morning.

*R.I.P. Dale McRaven

=You might not be familiar with McRaven’s name, but you’ve certainly seen his work. McRaven created Mork & Mindy with Garry Marshall and later Perfect Strangers. He also wrote for The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Partridge Family. Dale was 83 years old when lung cancer got the best of him. The Hollywood Reporter has a good obit about this interesting man.






*The Robert R. McCormick Foundation Announces $7.5 million in grants

=That money is ticketed for sustainable fact-based reporting. They are investing in the likes of BlockClub Chicago, Capitol News Illinois, Injustice Watch, and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. The announcement came on Tuesday.

If you have any media stories (Chicago or national) that you think I might like to share in future columns, feel free to drop me a line at or