Monday, December 01, 2008

See you in 2009

After 1063 posts over the past three years, I need a bit of a break.

I have a screenplay to finish (oh so close), and I'm working on two book projects that need research and care.

So...I'm taking the month of December off from this blog.

I will still be writing my Father Knows Nothing column at NWI Parent. I usually post those on Sunday. Check them out and please, feel free to comment. My latest "Family Room" essay is on the back page of the current magazine. It's called "The Rest of the Story" and it's my take on Twas the Night Before X-mas."

I will also still be writing new material for my Just One Bad Century website. In December I've got stories about the last month of 1908, Cubs with nicknames like HoJo, the Hoosier Hammerer, the Human Icicle, Jigger, and Jittery Joe, stories about some of the worst shortstops in Cubs history (you've got to read these to believe 'em), and another batch of world class mustaches. Check it out if you think of it. I'm working on two very cool new weekly features for 2009. I think you'll really like them (if you like the other stuff).

And don't forget that all of your Christmas Shopping needs can be taken care of there for any Cubs fan on your list.

If you like Chicago Radio Spotlight, check out my post on December 6th. I'll have links to one hundred interviews I've done the past two years. A new one, however, won't appear until next year.

I'll be back here in 2009 with all sorts of new material.

I'm thinking of trying out a few new things, but I'll still be writing about my family, my team, and my former profession (although...probably less), among other things. It just might be a little different than it has been these last three years.

So, happy holidays to one and all.

Talk to you next year.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Chicago Radio Spotlight: Update

I've interviewed the following people over the past two years and they have all undergone a change of some kind (either personal or professional) since our original interviews. So, I dropped them each a line...

Todd Manley
When I interviewed Todd in November 2007, he was the creative director at WGN. He has since moved to St. Louis and is the program director of KTRS. I asked him how he is liking his new gig...

Todd: I’m lovin’ the work. The team here is full of energy, and can do it all. You’d dig it, because that’s your background. Sling sound. Host. Book. Package. Kiss babies. I just got our FIX-IT guy booked as the builder on the St. Louis episode of ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition !!

August 18th we re-launched our morning show – I reunited our current star with his former partner and they’re really a great combo platter of jib and jab and have a taste of Bill and Wendy(aka Q101 days). I always loved those two. It will be a re-freshing way to do News-Talk. Also very proud of our web-site – – Our PM drive star has a tremendous blog internal to the site. I sure miss Chicago – but this has been a really rewarding adventure.

Bob Stroud
When I originally interviewed Bob Stroud in June of 2007, he was denying a published report in Bill Zwecker's column that he was thinking about marriage. He is now married, so I asked if he would like to revise those statements...

Bob: Well the "potential wedding" became reality in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on February 7th, 2008. (the date Buddy Holly was laid to rest in Lubbock, Texas in 1959....very important for a guy like me to have a date that means something to me so I don't forget what it REALLY means to me now). No family, no friends, no muss, no fuss, just us, a beach and a justice of the peace who we couldn't understand. Thank god they provided a translator or who knows what I might have been saying "I Do" to. And then I see where those copycats Susanna Homan and Tom Negovan went and got married as well. Sheesh, some people. Anyway, she is the former Diane Totura and she's the best friend I've ever had. And this February is the 50 year anniversary of Buddy Holly's funeral and our 1st anniversary. I'm trying to figure out a way how we can celebrate both.

Jenniffer Weigel & Clay Champlin
I interviewed Jenniffer and her husband (and fellow broadcaster) Clay Champlin in December of 2007, not too long after her book "Stay Tuned: Conversations with Dad from the Other Side" came out. She has since turned that into a one woman play, and I asked her about the status of that show...

Jen: The producer of Tony N Tina's wedding has picked up my one woman show, "I'm Spiritual, Dammit!"! It re-opens at the Chicago Center for the Performing Arts on Dec 10th. The show is based on my book and talks about my life in broadcasting and all that got me where I am, so broadcasting is definitely in there! It runs until Feb 1st- on Wednesday and Thursday nights 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.

Cara Caravieu
I originally interviewed Cara back in February of 2007 and updated her status in May of this year, but just a few months after I did so, she got a brand new gig--midday host at WTMX. I asked her how things were going in the new job...

Cara: The old saying "when one door closes, another opens" is so true! I am so happy working for Bonneville hosting middays at WTMX. I love coming on after Eric & Kathy, a morning show I've long listened to and admire even more strongly now that I've witnessed first hand the mass amount of work that goes into it. And to be back working for Bonneville, the best company in the broadcasting industry, is awesome!

I worked really hard to earn this position - unlike other radio stations that claim they are doing a nationwide search but ultimately promote from within rather quickly, WTMX truly did take months deciding on who would fill the midday slot because they really were looking all over the country. Since I was competing with a nationwide search I put together quite a unique demo package and even designed a specific website just for the job including a power-point presentation about why they should hire me (taking the time to learn HTML really paid off). When the position was finally offered to me, I was absolutely thrilled. My bosses didn't choose me just for my on air presence - they also recognize my ability to harness the internet and are also utilizing my talents in many ways in that arena, which I truly enjoy. Check out my Mix web page "Cara's Connection" for a constantly growing amount of content.

Besides hosting middays at WTMX, I continue to host my Cara's Basement podcast, provide artist interviews for The Chicago Music Guide, supply content for the NBC Chicago website, and co-host a podcast with my husband Bill Busch called Fitness From The Inside Out. I'm really busy but I enjoy everything I'm doing so it's a pleasure.

Life is very good right now and I'm thankful every day for not only having a full-time job but having one that I love so much. Especially in this crazy economy. I'm well aware of the many talented broadcasters who are currently "on the beach" and my advice to them is to take this opportunity to learn something new and enjoy some much needed R&R while you have the chance. I consider my time in between gigs a blessing.