Friday, June 07, 2013

Meet the Eckhartz Press Author Stable at Printer's Row Litfest

All of us will be at the Printer's Row Litfest this weekend. The Tribune hasn't printed a map yet this year, but here's the map from last year. I assume it will be the same. We'll be in tent H on Dearborn.

Who can you meet there?

The Living Wills co-author Rick Kaempfer (and possibly Brendan Sullivan too), Down at the Golden Coin author Kim Strickland, Records Truly Is My Middle Name author John Records Landecker, The Balding Handbook's David Stern (we'll all be there from Noon-2pm on Saturday), and Cheeseland author Randy Richardson will be there most of the day on Saturday, and Recalled to Life author Dan Burns will be there most of the day on Sunday.

Here's a photo guide of our authors...Rick, Kim, John, Dave, Randy, & Dan.

(Note: Dan will be appearing in full color)

You will have a chance to purchase all of these beautiful books below...


In my satirical novel "$everance" I predicted the future Nascar-ization of television and radio. It wasn't really a joke...I honestly believed it was going to happen. It's been happening on television for the last few years (think those pop up ads that constantly fill up part of your screen), but now it's happening in radio too.

From Tom Taylor's column this morning...

The CBS folks on the “Future of radio” panel said they’re now selling spots as short as five seconds and as long as two minutes. Scott Herman says the flexibility of local radio is such that “if somebody wants to come in and buy the whole four-minute spot set” and sponsor a song, they’re open to that. He and Michael Weiss agree that there’s been a turnaround in the thinking about sales calls. Years ago, an in-person visit might have been 80% the sales rep talking and then 20% of the time the client. They’d like to reverse that, then have the sellers come back to the station where they (in Herman’s favorite new word) “ideate” about the client’s needs. CBS is also selling “the Allstate route” during traffic reports in multiple markets, keyed to the insurance company. Weiss says they’re also pursuing selling naming rights to stations. He says “we just did it with [all-news] WBBM in Chicago, which says it’s broadcasting from the MB Financial Studios, one time an hour, 24/7.” Agency rep Michael Maze of Local Broadcast Initiative welcomes the new flexibility – “it’s great that we’ve moved away from the standard :60s and :30s.”

Rich People Libel

Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns London's Savoy hotel, is suing Forbes magazine for libel.

What did they do? They underestimated his wealth in their most recent "Rich List". Forbes said he had $20 billion. The prince says he has $30 billion.

How can he show his face when they've only ranked him #26 on the list?

You can see why he had no choice but to sue them for libel.

Lisa Miller on JRL (via Radio Ink)

I was surprised to see this piece written by big-time talent agent Lisa Miller. She's married to Brant Miller (NBC and WLS), but in the business she's even bigger than her husband. She wrote this about John Landecker in Radio Ink...

I first met John in 1977 when my husband went to work at WLS. John was the night jock and the hot young guy on the station. All the girls loved him and at every appearance he had a huge following of dedicated and loyal fans. John was a great ambassador for WLS and, for the 18-34 demographic, John was the hippest, coolest, edgiest guy in radio. As a fellow family member of the WLS team, we all spent a lot of time together at events, appearances, ball games, charity events, concerts, dinners, and pretty much anything happening in Chicago. Every weekend the WLS basketball and baseball teams played rock bands, celebrities, and other pro ball players all in an effort to raise money for a charity or someone in need. Besides being a talented on-air jock, John was an equally proficient jock on the basketball court and the baseball field. But John’s great love was rock and roll. He didn’t just love the music, he also enjoyed playing the music on stage.

So whether it was “Boogie Check” on the radio or as the lead singer with his band “Landecker and the Legends,” or his cameo appearance as part of the band “The Kind,” John was willing to donate his talents for the good of others. But the day he stood up in the WLS conference room in front of all his colleagues and management and announced he would volunteer his talent to be the fifth member of “The Knack” in order to make the band's Chicago debut a promotional blowout, was the coolest idea that never happened. It was always John’s style to give of himself so unselfishly. John is truly an icon in Chicago, and you can’t help but love him. But it’s his years of hard work and dedication that makes you respect him above all else.

There's more here at Radio Ink.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

This morning I was at the famous Lou Mitchell's Restaurant in Chicago to help WRLR (98.3FM) and 92.3 Forest FM (from the UK) kick off their Rt. 66 radio tour. Lou Mitchell's is just a few blocks away from the very beginning of Route 66.

John Landecker stopped by and chatted with the hosts from England, Paul Peters and Geoff Kemp, as well as WRLR's morning man Paul Lepek. It was fascinating to hear how excited the Englishmen were to be touring on Route 66. They had wanted to see it ever since the Rolling Stones came out with their version of "Route 66".

"Get your kicks on Route 66," John Landecker said.

"Precisely!" Geoff Kemp replied.

A good time was had by all. Their rest of their radio tour will continue without us, but we wish them the best of luck.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Landecker at Lou Mitchell's on Thursday Morning (June 6th)

Lou Mitchell's

John Landecker is on the air at WLS-FM doing mornings this week for Brant Miller. After he gets off the air Thursday morning, he'll head over to the best breakfast place in Chicago, Lou Mitchell's restaurant (565 W Jackson Blvd) to join WRLR's Route 66 broadcast. (Details about the broadcast are here)

John will have copies of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" available for sale, and he'll happily sign them for you. It will be a short appearance (from around 10:30 until 11am), so if you're in the area, swing by, say hello, and get some great food.

I'll be there taking photos, and I'll post them on the Eckhartz Press blog.*

*Yes, you're right. I am much more likely to attend when there is good food being served.

Gordon Sinclair

40 years ago today, courtesy of Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

June 5, 1973…CFRB-Toronto radio newsman Gordon Sinclair aired an editorial, later released as the recording "The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion)," his reaction to the growing amount of U.S.-bashing around the world. Another recorded version of his dissertation, "Americans" by CKLW-Windsor/Detroit radio news director Byron MacGregor, peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974 and became one of the most popular spoken-word recordings of all time.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 8m
Today's column is posted. … Why crime still pays in MLB, and why Ryan Braun could be the Lance Armstrong of baseball.

Ezra Klein ‏@ezraklein 20m
Immigration reform is looking iffy: …

phil_rosenthal ‏@phil_rosenthal 50m
Peggy Olson never would have signed off on this: …

ABC News ‏@ABC 29m
Wine, Beer and Spirits Could Get Nutrition Labels

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 30m
Thanks to Obamacare, major insurers have to give back $36 million to California small businesses

The Daily Caller ‏@DailyCaller 33m
Conrad Black is out of jail, and is sharing his thoughts on America and its justice system:

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 34m
Toad the Wet Sprocket are back with their first album since 1997 - get a first listen here:

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 18m
With Johnny Cash's postage stamp being released today, see other artists immortalized on stamps:

Tim McGill ‏@WGNWeatherGuy 43m
What Not to Do During a Tornado - via

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 21m
The #Bears can't get here fast enough #Cubs and #WhiteSox both d.o.a.

MLB Doping Bombshell

According to USA Today, this could be a very bad week for players like Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun, and others. (I don't believe there are any Cubs on the list)

An informant is about to blow the whistle.

I don't know if it's true or not, but USA Today isn't exactly known for their reckless reporting.

TV Reporter Attacked By Dogs

ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Ferris Bueller & the Cubs

On this day in 1985 a Cubs game was immortalized in film. Read all about it at Cubs 365.

A Rally For Fired Sun-Times Photographers

From Poynter...

The Chicago News Guild will picket the Chicago Sun-Times building Thursday morning, the Guild said in a press release. The Sun-Times laid off its photo staff last week and announced plans to train reporters in iPhone photography. The event “will make a statement to the company that people care about quality journalism,” the release reads.

I'll be downtown at a Landecker event on Thursday morning. Maybe I'll swing by and check it out.

Rebekah Brooks Pleads Not Guilty

She was the CEO of Rupert Murdoch's News International when she was charged with phone hacking and corruption in the UK. The case is finally coming to court.

Yesterday she and her husband (also charged) pleaded Not Guilty.

Radio Host Fired After Violent Exchange with Producer

It happened in Denver Colorado to radio host Peter Boyles. He (allegedly) not only got violent with his producer, he did it in front of a television crew.

I have no knowledge of the situation at all, but I'm 100% behind the producer on this one. Anyone who does that to his producer with a television crew present has probably done worse when they aren't.

I saw it happen once to a friend of mine back in the early days of radio producers. Nothing happened to the host who did it. I don't think management even spoke to him about it. I've heard of at least two other incidents involving other radio producers since then (second hand), and nothing happened to those hosts either.

Makes me wonder if Peter Boyles just had lousy ratings and the bosses were looking for an excuse to fire him.

The Hottest Women in Radio

Since 2009 Popcrunch has held a contest to name the Hottest Woman in Radio, but they opted not to do it this year.

Mark Kaye (WAPE) has filled the void. He's taking nominations at his website.

A few from Chicago radio have made the list in the past. In 2011, Nina Chanetele (107.5FM) came in at #27...

Angie Taylor (103.5FM) came in #13...

Electra was #17 in 2010

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Wolf Blitzer Surprises Anderson Cooper

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing is posted...It's about the final school week of the year, and my impending panic.

You can read it here.

Here Comes iRadio

CNET has the latest news about a music deal between Apple and Warner, and why it may signal a soon-to-be-announced launch of Apple's iRadio, which would be a direct competitor of Pandora.

Details are here.

Bill White is Out at WGN

This is not a surprise. From Radio Insight...

On Jimmy de Castro’s first day as President/GM of News/Talk 720 WGN Chicago, the station continues its shake-up with the dismissal of Program Director Bill White. Robert Feder reports that the leading candidate to replace White is Mitch Rosen, the PD of CBS’ Sports “670 The Score” WSCR since 2005. Rosen previously worked for de Castro from 1992 to 1995 as a producer at 97.9 WLUP. He has also programmed Sports “ESPN 1000” WMVP Chicago.

WGN has a mix of the two things Rosen has worked with the most at his stations; managing strong personalities and maintaining relationships with the teams the station covers as WGN is flagship of Chicago Cubs baseball, Chicago Blackhawks hockey, and Northwestern University football and basketball.

You know, it's funny. I just saw Mitch Rosen the other day when I was working on my next Illinois Entertainer column (an interview with Dan McNeil), and I jokingly said to him: "So Mitch, when do you start at WGN? Have you talked to Jimmy yet?" He just smiled and avoided the question.

As for Bill White, I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight shortly after he came to town, and then I met him again on Opening Day at Wrigley Field last year during a live Brandmeier broadcast and reintroduced myself. He had no memory of being interviewed by me. Then I met him again when Landecker & Brandmeier were on the air together (photo below...he's the one on the right), and he had no memory of me at all. I don't know what that says about him (or me), but I always thought it was strange.

RIP Jean Stapleton

Jean Stapleton, known to a generation of Americans as Edith Bunker (from All in the Family) has passed away. Norman Lear, the creator of the show, wrote the following tribute to her in the Huffington Post...

This will be short and sweet. Never as sweet as I'd wish it to be if I took a month to write it. I only just learned that Jean Stapleton, our beloved Edith -- or Edith, our beloved Jean Stapleton -- has passed.

Back in 1971, possibly the first time I was asked by a journalist "What is Jean Stapleton like?", my reflexive response was: "She's always where she is." I was surprised by my answer; I'd never had the thought before and never knew it resided within me. Can I reach deeply enough inside me now to express how much that, the idea and Jean Stapleton herself, has meant to me?

I was at my computer when her glorious children, John and Pam, phoned me, and I told them I was working on my memoir, and reflecting on the time I was a gone-to-work father to my personal family on Mooncrest Drive while also fathering Archie and Edith and three other families on CBS. And I added -- so, at 90, here still is Jean Stapleton, "always where she is," helping me to see my own frailties and humanity yet again. No one gave more profound "How to be a Human Being" lessons than Jean Stapleton. Goodbye, Edith darling.

My family never missed an episode of "All in the Family" and my mom laughed every single time Edith butchered the high note in the theme song...

Monday, June 03, 2013

Reader Reviews for "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name" is currently rated 4.5 stars out of 5 at All of these reviews come from people that purchased the e-book at amazon...

"I heard of John Records Landecker from 'The Don Geronimo Show' and immediately purchased the book... I wasn't disappointed, it's a great account about an amazing era in radio history."
-Brian Hoekstra

"Very interesting life and story. It is very enlightening to learn about the person behind the voice we listened to on WLS."
-Tim Blackmore

"I was a generation before him and I never listened to him. But he gave a real insight to the radio business."

"Enjoyed reading about WLS AM radio and it's changes over the years. Mr. Landecker was successful in his dream career."
-K Kussro

"I have listened to this man since I was a teenager. He always makes his shows fun. John Landecker is hilarious"
-Pat Milash

If you've also read the book and purchased it at amazon, please add your reviews to the site. If you've read the hard copy, you can review it at GoodReads. Help us spread the word about this incredible book!


New PD for Rewind 100

Barry James announced he was leaving Rewind 100 a few weeks ago.

His replacmeent was named today. The new program director of Rewind 100 will be Marty Bender.

His claim to fame is his 20 plus years in Indianapolis overseeing the flagship station of Bob & Tom.

Happy Birthday Ian Hunter

He was the lead singer of Mott the Hoople ("All the Young Dudes"), and he's 74 years old today. "All the Young Dudes" was actually written by David Bowie. Here are Ian and David performing the song together...

Storm Chaser Tragedy

The star of Storm Chasers was among those killed in the tornados in Oklahoma.

TV Newser has the story here.

It's an undeniable tragedy, but if we can be honest for a moment, its tragic in the same way that Croc Hunter Steve Irwin's death was tragic. You feel for their families, but you know they are prepared for this day more than the rest of us are. They have to be.

CNN's plans

Less of Wolf Blitzer, more of hunkier anchors.

That's their plan.

I'm not a huge Blitzer fan, but to me, his hunkiness isn't the problem.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Mark Edwards ‏@markedwards 3m
7 Things To Avoid To Protect Your Career And Reputation | westXdesignwestXdesign

Dan Bernstein ‏@dan_bernstein 1m
#Sox GM Rick Hahn tells @mullyhanley "messages have been sent" to players. Like what? "Be somebody else, who's better at baseball?"

Media Blowtorch ‏@MediaBlowtorch 4m
Podcast: WGN/Chicago's new President and General Manger Jimmy de Castro starts today. What he will and will not do.

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 7m
Watch Alice Cooper tell aspiring guitarists about his favorite players in this exclusive clip:

Geoff Pinkus ‏@GeoffPinkus 27m
Well Jonathon Quick choked...

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 36m
Good morning, folks--today's column is posted. … Mariano Rivera explains why he won't reconsider his decision to retire

NBC News ‏@NBCNews 45m
The world's best tippers are...

HuffPost Chicago ‏@HuffPostChicago 52m
ICYMI: Police recover $500,000 in chocolate, booze and.. water fountains?

Joan Walsh ‏@joanwalsh 55m
Democrats’ deal-making fetish will backfire: How bad will an immigration bill have to get to get 70 votes? …

Lizz Winstead ‏@lizzwinstead 54m
I don't watch #GameOfThrones but the uncontrollable sobbing sounded like people were live tweeting the first Passover.

Kenny Holtzman Throws a No-Hitter

It happened on this day in 1971.

Details at Cubs 365.

Larry Lujack

It was an honor to spend about an hour on the phone with Larry Lujack in preparation for my current Illinois Entertainer column. I probably got enough material for five more.

Read about Ol' Uncle Lar here.

New F.C.C. Commissioner Loves AM Radio

Radio Ink has a piece about new F.C.C. Commissioner Ajit Pai, quoting him extensively from his appearance with the Missouri Broadcasters Association. Worth a read if you're an AM Radio fan. It sounds like the comish has got your back.

WGN Sets Streaming Record

From this morning's Radio Online...

WGN-AM/Chicago delivered its highest digital ratings ever Wednesday night for its coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks 2013 Western Conference semifinals game 7 defeat of the Detroit Redwings. The game registered 22,917 simultaneous digital listeners at 10pm, the peak of the overtime playoff victory. Its previous streaming record of 11,771 was recorded on May 27 and the next closest was 10,318 during the Blackhawks Stanley Cup run on June 2, 2010.

As someone who has Wide Open West cable, which doesn't carry NBC Sports Network, I was among the record audience. Had to go to a bar/restaurant to watch the game last night.