Saturday, June 30, 2007

Media professionals sound off on $everance

I wanted to thank everyone who has been so kind about my new novel "$everance." It is getting excellent reviews and notices across the country, particularly from media professionals who would know whether or not this portrays an accurate picture of the current media landscape.

Listen to what they have to say...

"I think it’s a great, funny, sarcastic, entertaining and thought provoking book…that really shows how broadcasting has changed over the last few years.”
--Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Records Landecker
WZZN Radio

"It's about time somebody told this story. $everance certainly captured the world of radio, warts and all."
--Legendary broadcaster Clark Weber

"Other than 'love', 'Severance' is the sweetest word in the English language. This really made me laugh."
--WGN Radio's Steve Cochran

"Told with the keen insight of a veteran insider, it's a humorous indictment of an industry that has lost all sense of purpose -- except for making money, of course."
--Chicago Sun Times media columnist Robert Feder

"A hysterical critique of corporate morality"
--Chicago Tribune's RedEye Columnist and WGN-TV Morning News Anchor Larry Potash

"I was with it the whole way, and I love the appended real life figures at the end. I enjoyed the hell out of $everance."
--The Beachwood Reporter's Steve Rhodes

"Brilliant satire! I got a paper cut from the sarcasm. I wish I could say it was great fiction, but having worked in radio, I think it’s just really funny non-fiction. The reality in between the laughs will scare the hell out of you."
--Longtime radio personality and playwright Spike Manton

"I thought this novel was just going to be an amusing story about radio. But the way Kaempfer has woven in elements of all media and politics is masterful, to say nothing of insightful, and frequently laugh-out-loud funny! It’s a brilliant first entry. I can't wait for his next page-turner!"
--Legendary broadcaster and programmer Bob Dearborn

"$everance is a comical, suspenseful, thought-provoking novel about the frightening realities of corporate media in America. Kaempfer writes with ease, quickly drawing the reader in to the satirical-yet oddly realistic-world he's created. This one is tough to put down-a delightful page-turner!"
--Julia Perla, Managing Editor, Shore Magazine

"Too bad Zagorski (the main character) is fictional. Today's media could use someone like him to shake things up. He's the personification of fairness with just enough wicked cynicism to make him completely irresistible. The thought that a team like Zagorski and Lawrence might actually exist should make some big bosses more than a little uneasy."
--Leslie Keiling, WGN Radio

"Rick Kaempfer’s “$everence” is whiplash-fast, choke-on-your-coffee funny, and ultimately frightening. Kaempfer has seen it all in the radio business, and has some dire predictions for the rest of the media, too. It’s the summer’s must-discuss beach read – and probably a sign of the apocalypse."
--Paige Wiser, Chicago Sun-Times columnist

"I laughed out loud many times while reading it - yeah, it's that funny! If you work in the radio business you'll love the inside view of the industry and if you're not in the media you will certainly learn a lot of eye-opening trade secrets."
--Cara Carriveau

"I began laughing almost immediately! The first paragraph alone made me feel like I was back at my first radio job trying to avoid doing anything remotely near the station’s break room! I absolutely LOVE the book! The plot twists and turns were totally unpredictable!"
--Darren Marlar, "Marlar in the Morning", 101-QFL

"As funny as this book is, $everance is a must read for anyone who cares about the state of radio and the media in general. The more ridiculous the plot gets, the more one realizes that it's probably the closest to the truth about what comes out of our radios, tvs and newspapers every day! Kaempfer has done his homework and manages to weave a delightful tale questioning the terrifying possibilities of truth for sale."
---Jeanne Ashley, Star 102 KCKC, Kansas City

"Richard Kaempfer has peeled the lid off your favorite radio station and shown what's inside. $everance turns the radio business on its head and makes you laugh out loud, but it also asks some tough questions. A great read!"
--Reed Pence, Media Tracks

"Got this book and read it in one sitting. Fantastic. I'm realizing that I worked with - and for - most of the characters in this book!"
--Len O'Kelly, WFGR Morning Host

"It's a ripe satire that rips the media giants a new one. Kaempfer throws his rocks with a keen insight."
--Jeff Hoover, WGN-TV Morning News

"A fast moving read that gives the reader insight into the fast moving radio industry; Kaempfer folds the reality of the business with the ridiculous...which is more often than not, the reality of the business!"
--Andi Kuhn, longtime radio personality

"Severance may be a novel – but the storyline it presents is a very realistic – albeit extreme look at the corporate media world – written as only an industry insider could do."
--Dan Kelley, longtime radio programmer

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Half Empty: Giving Back to our University

They say that when you hit your 40s, your life is half over. We prefer to think of it as HALF EMPTY. Our age has finally caught up with our outlook on life. Remember, it is possible to turn that frown upside down...but you might pull a muscle.

By Rick Kaempfer & Dave Stern

As university graduates, we are constantly bombarded by our alma mater with phone and mail requests to contribute money to the cause of higher learning.

This year we’re going to contribute something even better. If modern day students are anything like we were, they will appreciate these gifts far more than money. A box will be arriving in Champaign-Urbana shortly with the following items...

Our Smith Corona
You’ve probably heard about Rick’s “Portrait of an Artist who uses run-on sentences” English 106 paper or Dave’s “The bells are ringing, Pavlov” Psych 100 paper. We can’t give you the reports themselves because that would encourage plagiarism. We can, however, donate the typewriter that punched out those magical “A+” papers one letter, backspace, whiteout, blow on the whiteout, type the correct letter, at a time.

Our Albums
Between the two of us we’ve accumulated over 1000 albums. In this collection of albums with the corner cut out and giant letters “WPGU” written on them (a tribute to our college radio station), you’ll find everything from the hot new releases like The Thompson Twins and Kajagoogoo to classic hits by The Beatles and The Who. We wish we could be there to see the kids put those gems on their turntables and crank the quadraphonic sound! Since there aren’t enough for everyone, however, please record them on cassette so the rest of the kids can listen to them on their walkmans.

Our Textbooks
College textbooks are ridiculously expensive (except, of course, Rick’s book “The Radio Producer’s Handbook” which is available at for a measly $19.95). Well, don’t worry kids, because each of us has a whole boxful of textbooks that we’re willing to donate to the cause of higher learning. Whether you enjoy Rick’s political science book about the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia or Dave’s astronomy book about the last planet Pluto, the knowledge on those pages is timeless…and for the first time, FREE!

Our Movies
College isn’t just about studying and learning. With all of that pressure to succeed, college kids need to blow off a little steam too. Enjoy one of the great slasher flicks from our big box of beta video movies. Trust us; Jamie Lee Curtis has never looked better. Rick will also throw in his entire (laserdisc) movie collection acquired in the years shortly after college. Those babies are digital.

Free Computer Gear
The cost of this nickel and dime computer gear adds up, doesn’t it? A box of 5-inch floppy discs here, a Lotus and/or DOS manual there, and before you know it, you don’t have any money left over for quarter beer night. We still have loads of this stuff, and we’re happy to donate it to the university. As a special tip for you advertising students…look through that box of floppy discs closely. One of them is labeled “Ad-Plan” and will show you how advertising on “Moonlighting” and “Knight Rider,” while creating point-of-purchase displays for K-Mart and Woolworth, will give your client the most bang for the buck.

We know that contributing all of this priceless stuff is a tad on the “overly-generous” side. It’s just who we are. We’re givers. If this stuff can help just one kid enjoy the kind of college life we enjoyed, that’s all the thanks we need.