Friday, May 31, 2013


I would be the happy baby in the photo...

UPDATE: I posted this on Facebook and it's been shared more than 100 times. Thanks to my brother (a Sox fan) for sending it to me.

The Cubs

If you asked me if I cared about the Cubs/Sox series I'd have told you no. But then I saw this picture, and well, gosh darnit, how sweet it is!

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Kyle Lippert ‏@Kyle_Lippert 5 Apr
Give a man a fish & he'll be all "WTF are you giving me a fish for? That's weird" Teach a man to fish & he'll be all "Again with the fish?"

Jim O'Donnell ‏@jodonnell17 6m
Scoffing remain staffers at Sun-Times are estimating their paid buffoonery of "digitally savvy" readers currently numbers less than 12,000.

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 11m
Quayle adviser on Perry being seen as dumb and inept: "Once it happens, it's almost impossible to reverse." …

Zach Zaidman ‏@ZachZaidman 15m
With Brian Urlacher's retirement, Lance Briggs is now the active leader in most starts in a #Bears uniform (153). Season begins in 100 days.

Sarah Spain ‏@SarahSpain 16m
Every time I wake up late & throw on a hoodie & a Hawks hat, I say a silent thanks for having a job that doesn't require "work clothes."

Dave Wischnowsky ‏@wischlist 16m
Sun-Times reporters to begin mandatory training on "iPhone photography basics" per @RobertFeder …

POLITICO ‏@politico 17m
Authorities have intercepted yet another ricin-laden letter bound for Obama, reports @joshgerstein:

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom 18m
The Kings have a real goalie. The Hawks have a real problem. The RosenBlog:

Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 21m
Cubs vs D'Backs for coveted Campana Trophy this weekend at Wrigley.

Slate ‏@Slate 39m
No, mermaids do not exist and Animal Planet's fake documentaries are worthless:

Michelle Bachman

Michelle Bachman won't be seeking re-election to Congress. As a tribute, I'm posting my favorite photo from her presidential campaign one last time...

Before I get those "that's sexist" e-mails, let me just point out that I laugh just as hard at the male politicians eating corndogs. I'm just an adolescent at heart, really.

Sun Times Lays Off Entire Photo Staff

This story broke when I was a radio station yesterday working on an upcoming column and we all couldn't believe it. What a crazy headline this is.

They literally fired every single photographer.

Every. Single. Photographer.

At a newspaper.

Get that fork out. Any day now you'll be able to stick it in the Chicago Sun Times.

Bonham and Harrison

I got a kick out of this story from Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac from 40 years ago today...

May 31, 1973…At the band's show in Los Angeles, Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham celebrated his 25th birthday with a Robert Plant-led audience singalong of "Happy Birthday," and afterward at a hotel he caroused with friend George Harrison, who playfully threw a birthday cake at Bonham. He retaliated by pushing George into the hotel pool.

Hadn't heard that one before. Enjoy Bonham on the drums below...

Dr. Demento

From Tom Taylor's column this morning, an update about Dr. Demento...

“Dr. Demento” Barry Hansen was honored by the National Radio Hall of Fame in November 2009 and shortly thereafter left his longtime broadcast syndication gig. But Richard Wagoner at the L.A. Daily News finds the good doctor of novelty records “still producing a new show every week” – online. A single dose of the doctor’s humor will cost $2, or you can go for a monthly or yearly subscription. Hansen’s show had a lot to with discovering talents like “Weird Al” Yankovic and making gifted satirists like Tom Lehrer available to new audiences. If you read Mad magazine under the covers at night, you probably made it a point to tune in Dr. Demento.

One of the biggest thrills of my radio career (and I'm not kidding about this) was the first time one of my songs was played on the Dr. Demento show. Stan Lawrence and I did a few parody songs during the days of Ebony & Ivory, and Dr. Demento kindly played them on his nationwide show. I still have the LP of the first one (the show was played on a record in those days), and the CD of the second one.

Many more songs I wrote for other radio shows were played by him in the years after that, but those first two were really a big thrill because I was one of those kids who read Mad Magazine and listened to Dr. Demento. (He was even on Armed Forces Radio in Germany when I lived there).

Glad to hear he's still going strong.

Music To My Ears

Sometimes I see a story about radio that just makes me smile. This one in Inside Radio this morning did it for me...

PDs: Talk must evolve to reverse aging demos. News/talk remains radio’s second most listened to format with a highly educated, high-income audience. But new Arbitron data shows the format’s mostly white male audience is getting older — and smaller. For radio’s top-billing talk station, the answer is going beyond politics.

Emphasis added by me. I can only say: Amen.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Working on a Column

I won't be blogging today.

I'm going downtown to sit in on a radio show to prepare for an upcoming Illinois Entertainer media column.

I'll be back in the saddle tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Green White

One of my on-going writing projects is chronicling the history of Green White Soccer Club, a club co-founded by my father in 1956. Every month I write about one year in Green White history. This month I write about 1976.

You can read it here.

Tubular Bells

Released 40 years ago still gives me the chills (and not in a good way) because I will always associate it with the movie "The Exorcist"

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Jon Heyman ‏@JonHeymanCBS 5m
#cubs former No. 1 albert almora isnt off to a bad start at class-a kane county. batting .519.

David Schuster ‏@Schumouse 9m
There are a lot of exciting events in sports but not much else is more exciting then a 7th game of a Stanley Cup playoff series

Lizz Winstead ‏@lizzwinstead 9m
FLASHBACK: A fun mini bio on Michele Bachmann my comedy group Shoot The Messenger did in 2008. Enjoy!

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 13m
Justin Bieber was confronted by former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson for speeding in their neighborhood:

Keith Conrad ‏@keithrconrad 18m
Shouldn't the White Sox let Minnie Minoso play instead of just throwing out the 1st pitch?

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 21m
Was going to go see the Rolling Stones but instead decided to send my kids to college.

Roger Simon ‏@politicoroger 24m
The GOP is dazed and confused. My latest column:

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 25m
ESPN Stats and Info: Mariano Rivera blew a save without recording an out last night for the 1st time in his career.

MLB Public Relations ‏@MLB_PR 25m
Today in 1976, Joe Niekro hit his only career HR... off his brother, Phil.

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980 29m
According to the Fox News "mole," Bill O'Reilly has an inflated view of himself. Thanks for the scoop, Serpico!

Relentless Cost Cutting

When a corporation uses the word "relentless" in association with "cost cutting", it's gonna get ugly.

Reuters has the scoop about plans for News Corp's recently split newspaper division, and the "relentless" cost cutting in store for newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and the Times of London. It also applies to HarperCollins, their publishing company.

Why does this story give me a visual of Norman Bates dressed like his mother, ripping open the shower curtains, with knife in hand?

American Pie

The Bismark Tribune did a nice piece about my old friend Bob Dearborn's famous analysis of "American Pie", using it as an example of how the internet has changed our lives.

Definitely worth a read.

Father Knows Nothing

My latest Father Knows Nothing column has been posted. This week's is called "Nobody Mows The Trouble I've Seen".

You can read it here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Promo Picture 1987 or 1988

A very young me stylin' with the Cosby Sweater and the mullet.

Here's a tip to young broadcasters out there. Don't ever give a promo picture to a friend, even as a joke. He is likely to save it and put it on facebook (or whatever takes it place) twenty five years later...

The Us Festival

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this little tidbit from 30 years ago today...

May 28, 1983…More than 670,000 fans attended the four-day US Festival '83 in California, sponsored by Steve Wozniak, formerly of Apple Computer. Among 35 acts that performed were U2, David Bowie, Van Halen, the Pretenders, Stevie Nicks, Joe Walsh, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Judas Priest, the Clash, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams, Jr., Waylon Jennings, Alabama, Emmylou Harris, the Stray Cats, Berlin, INXS, and Men At Work.

It seemed like yesterday to me, until I watched the video...

Arbitron Sues

Arbitron has always closely guarded it's data, and with good reason. After all, that's what they sell. If radio stations want to use that data to sell advertising, they have to pay Arbitron for the privilege.

The problem is that Arbitron charges a LOT of money for that right, and some radio companies don't want to pay it. Saga just found out what happens when you don't.

Arbitron is suing them.

The Future of Media

I wish I could have attended this session in New York over the weekend. Among the panelists: New York Times CEO Mark Thompson, Buzzfeed founder Jonah Peretti, Roy Sekoff, the president of the Huffington Post’s video arm, Henry Blodget, CEO of Web site Business Insider, and Cindy Jeffers, CEO of

The article offers precious few details of what was said, except the odd revelation that the Times is going to be offering more games online.

Games? The New York Times?

Sarah Spain to TV?

When I read that ESPN Radio's Sarah Spain might be moving to sports television, I wasn't surprised in the least.

I've been expecting it for the past few years. Not sure why.

How Censorship Really Works in America

Both sides of the political spectrum believe that their side is occasionally censored in the media--stories are just not reported for political reasons. I've never believed that to be the case. If there's a story, it will get out.

On the other hand, if a broadcasting entity offends a rich sponsor...that's a different ballgame.

Read this piece in the New Yorker to see a real life example.*

*Although, even in this case the New Yorker is reporting it...which means the story is getting out.

Today's Best Tweets

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today...

Paul M. Banks ‏@PaulMBanks 13m
Cubs acquire reliever; may only lose 100 games this year! NOT 105!: The Chicago Cubs yesterday acquired some b...

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom 34m
Who had Handzus, Bickell and Frolik in a Saved the Hawks' Season Pool? The RosenBlog:

Nick Cotsonika ‏@cotsonika 7m
Chicago is 49th team in history to force Game 7 after trailing 3-1. Of those teams, 24 have gone on to win Game 7 (.500).

Karl Klockars ‏@karlklockars 46m
Not surprisingly, @nbcchicago is still running yesterday's news crawl. In case you needed to know, Metra was on a Sunday schedule yesterday.

Nicholas Kristof ‏@NickKristof 1h
Gun manufacturers avert their eyes from dealers with a record of crime, prefer not to know

Joe Scarborough ‏@JoeNBC 1h
Obamacare is unpopular. Over 50% oppose it. But 16% say its not liberal enough.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 2h
What I would want to look like if I was a cat.

Mark Czerniec ‏@MarkCzerniec 8m
When I was young, we learned resilience. Now kids learn resiliency. Maybe their kids will learn resilienciness.

Jim Wiser ‏@JimWiser 12m
Woo Hoo! ‘Simpsons’ Theme Park Coming to Universal Orlando

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 24m
#Cubs Samardzija loves everything about the South Side, including the smell. Throws 2 H shutout for win … via @MLB