Friday, July 12, 2013

Disco Demolition

It was 34 years ago today...

This is the day that made their reputations. They will be inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame later this year.

I didn't work for them for another seven years after Disco Demolition, but it was still a crazy show. In my opinion, Steve & Garry had one of the best shows in radio history.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Steve Dahl ‏@SteveDahlShow 9m
It's the 34th Anniversary of #DiscoDemolition. Get a copy of the DVD and relive the glory. Free gift with purchase!

Svengoolie ‏@Svengoolie 4m
Sat. nite on Me-TV- giant grasshoppers over-run Chicago- "Beginning of the End"! 10 e & p, 9 c, etc.- WARNING!!!...

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 5m
In Focus: Teen Drug Use Traced To Ineffective PSAs

natasha korecki ‏@natashakorecki 7m
Ald. Dick Mell mum on allegation he was silent partner with ex-con on landfill that spurred Blago feud #twill …

Mike North ‏@North2North 18m
"Why were those in room with Bieber not disturbed?" Daily Herald #RebelInside

Eric & Kathy ‏@EricandKathy 21m
RT "@spmcwhinnie: According to @1019MIXChicago having sex regularly causes you to look 7 years younger." Darn right!

John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 1h
Cubs Minors Recap: Great outings from Paniagua, Johnson, Cabrera; Vitters back, Hanneman on the way | Cubs Den

The Associated Press ‏@AP 2m
MORE: Source says Edward Snowden wants asylum in Russia and is willing to stop leaking information: #NSA

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 6m
Poll: Most Blame GOP Obstruction For Gridlock, Not Obama's Lack Of Persuasion … via @tomkludt

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 10m
Theo and the #Cubs trade Jeff Samadzija. he's not a #1 but wants #1 money. will end his career 72 and 84. #Loveablelosers

The Wrigley Jumbotron

It looks like the city and the Ricketts family have come to an agreement on the jumbotron.

I personally have no problem with it. I was just in Fenway Park and they have a jumbotron there too (in addition to an old fashioned scoreboard) and it works just fine. They went to great efforts to make it look the rest of the ballpark. I know Ricketts has been to Boston to look at how they did it, and I have faith that he is planning on doing the same thing at Wrigley.

Nothing he has said or done would lead me to believe we can't trust him on this. That's my two cents.

Bicycle Kick Against the Stars

This is kind of like the Washington Generals pwning the Harlem Globetrotters. Lionel Messi, the greatest player in the world, came to Chicago with a group of all-stars and played against a bunch of college kids in an exhibition at Soldier Field. Look at what happened...

It's gone viral. As of this morning, nearly 3,000,000 views on YouTube.

Brian Kilmeade Throws Basketball In Toddler's Face

And makes him on television.

Watch it here.

It sounds worse than it is, but I just love the headline.

Sirott Returns To Daily Radio on WGN

This is a very interesting development indeed. Robert Feder has the details on his facebook page.

Veteran Chicago broadcaster and Fox 32 news anchor Bob Sirott is headed to a Monday-through-Friday air shift at WGN AM 720 with his wife, Marianne Murciano. They're expected to co-host a midday or afternoon show on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station, starting in the next few weeks. Sirott continues to anchor the 9 p.m. weekday newscast for the Fox-owned station under an extension of his contract, which was to have expired Saturday (July 6). While talks proceed between Sirott's agent, Steve Mandell, and management, Sirott remains onboard with co-anchor Robin Robinson, whose contract expires in August. Fox Chicago bosses did not respond to inquiries about reported plans to alter their anchor lineup. If Sirott does leave Fox 32, his agreement with Tribune Broadcasting likely would be expanded to include television work. But sources emphasized that he was not being considered for the 9 p.m. news anchor position at WGN-Channel 9 currently held by Mark Suppelsa.

What does this mean for the rest of the WGN lineup? Obviously someone has to go. McConnell? Meier? Brandmeier? WGN GM Jimmy de Castro has a previous relationship with both Meier and Brandmeier, so the educated guess is McConell, but he still has several years left on his contract. We'll obviously have to keep an eye on this.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

FC Bayern Youth Cup

I'll be blogging only sporadically next week because I'm co-ordinating a youth soccer camp in Mt. Prospect for Green White Soccer Club. It's a German soccer camp sponsored by FC Bayern Munich (European Soccer Champs), the German Consulate, Concordia Language Schools, and Auf Ballhoehe. The campers will learn a little about German culture and a lot about soccer. It culminates on Saturday with an open skills competition for 12-16 year old boys and girls.

Just spreading the word in case anyone is interested in the Saturday event. Click on the photos below to enlarge.

There's more information at the Green White website.

And while I'm at it (on the soccer beat), congratulations to Green White's Over-40 Men's team. They won the 2013 Over-40 Illinois Men's State Cup Championship last night.

They are thinking of starting an over-50 team next year and asked if I'd be willing to play (I turn 50 in a few weeks). I said I'd think about it...but just thinking about it made me tear an achilles. Is it a bad thing when you get winded running two blocks? Would that hinder you at all in a soccer game? I think my playing days need to stay in my rear view mirror.

Apple Guilty of Price Fixing E-Books

After an Apple executive basically admitted he discussed this very thing with the publishers, this wasn't a surprising decision by the judge.

Details here via Reuters.

Apple, of course, plans to appeal.

Harry Shearer

It looks like his Le Show is coming back. From today's RAMP Newsletter...

"Great news for the millions of fans of Harry Shearer's long running weekly radio program, Le Show -- the acclaimed actor, author, filmmaker and social commentator is bringing Le Show over to KCSN/Los Angeles, the public radio station operated by California State University, Northridge. Until recently, Le Show ran for 30 years on KCRW/Santa Monica. Le Show is a virtual media playground that allows Shearer to showcase his many talents as he expounds upon the worlds of media, politics, comedy, sports and show business, interspersing his unique commentary with an eclectic mix of music."

Harry's new program director is a name well known to Chicago radio listeners: Sky Daniels.

Tribune Not Selling Anything...At Least For Now

The Tribune has decided to follow Rupert Murdoch's lead and split it's company into will be Tribune Publishing (all the newspapers), and one will be Tribune Company (mostly television, plus WGN radio). The details are in this press release.

The New York Times assesses the move this way: "By spinning off the newspapers instead of selling them, Tribune avoids the tax consequences of a sale in the near term while still allowing the company, now led by Peter Liguori, a longtime broadcasting executive, to focus its efforts on television, including 19 local stations that it acquired for $2.7 billion at the beginning of the month.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Letter From Across The Pond

About a month ago John Landecker appeared on a British radio duo's show (Geoff Kemp & Paul Peters). They were in Chicago to start a radio tour of Route 66 (which was also broadcast locally on WRLR), and John was there to promote "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". Yesterday we received this very nice letter from them...

I am writing to you, as I want you to know that both Geoff Kemp, and I, were so pleased that we met up with John Records Landecker at Lou Mitchell's last month, as we started out of our journey along Route 66.

We had the most wonderful time, but best of all for me was meeting up with John, who had so much to tell us about his life in radio. I could have spent a day, just listening to everything that he could tell me, but sadly he, and we, had to leave and go our separate ways.

Ever since I was a young kid I have been mad about radio. I even managed to get myself a job as a d.j. on a pirate radio station when I was just 16, in November 1965. This station broadcast from an old WW2 Naval Fort called Knock John, 18 miles out into the North sea. I never became that big name on the radio, but I have so much enjoyed the small part that I have played over the years. I still get a great thrill, all these years later, hearing myself on the radio.

When we came back to the U.K. we found that there had been quite a lot of interest, in the local press, in what we had been doing. We were also asked to be guests on the Dave Cash Radio Show on the BBC. If you are interested, here is the 'Internet Archive' link where you can 'Stream' or download it and have a listen.

Please pass all our very best wishes and thanks onto John, and tell him that Geoff and I spent the few days that we stayed in Grayslake, after the trip, sitting in the sun reading our copies of his GREAT book, that he so kindly gave us. We shall treasure them, and our meeting with John forever.

All the best,

Paul Peters
P.S. Geoff sends his best wishes too!
I've added a few photos to remind you of us. The B/W photo was taken of me out at the fort in the 60's, the far right photo above was taken on the LV 18, the same ship used to make the film 'Pirate Radio', when I did 'Pirate BBC Essex' for the BBC in 2009.

The photo below is from the day at Lou Mitchell's...

Rupert Murdoch Summoned Back To Parliament

News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch (shown above) has been summoned back to Parliament for the second time in three years to testify about the secret tape that has emerged. In the tape, Murdoch clearly admits that he knew about the use of police bribery by his newsroom staff.

From what I remember of his previous testimony on "the most humble day" of his life, he testified to exactly the opposite when he last appeared before Parliament. At the very least he denied knowledge of it. Once again he will be testifying "under oath". Should be very interesting indeed if they play the tape, then play his previous testimony. He's obviously going to be practicing an answer every day between now and then.

Hasselbeck Leaving The View for Fox & Friends

Elisabeth Hasselbeck, the conservative member of the View panel, is leaving the show to go to Fox News Channel. She'll be joining Steve Ducey and Brian Kilmeade on "Fox & Friends", replacing Gretchen Carlson. Carlson is getting her own show later in the day.

I can't believe I'm saying this, but Hasselbeck will definitely be an upgrade over Carlson. She's far less "sky is falling" nuts, although let's see if she changes once she is inside the bubble full-time.

Chicago Radio Ratings

Tom Taylor's NOW column today had a recap of the most recent Chicago radio ratings book...

A Blackhawks boost for Tribune’s talk WGN? The station finally catches a break (4.8-4.3-5.3), perhaps assisted by the Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks. WGN now ranks third, behind Clear Channel’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ (7.0-6.9-6.9), and hot AC “Mix 101.9” WTMX. Hubbard’s Mix loses its May-book 6.4 share, dropping to a 5.6, but it’s still #2. CBS Radio’s all-news WBBM and its FM simulcast are fourth, 5.4-4.5-4.5. While sister country “US99.5” WUSN gains again, 3.7-4.1-4.2. Merlin’s classic rock “Loop” WLUP broaches a 4-share (3.5-3.7-4.0). That’s the Loop’s best showing in PPM. While contemporary music rivals Kiss and B96 stay close to each other. CC’s “Kiss” WKSC moves 3.8-3.9-4.0 and CBS Radio’s B96/WBBM-FM moves 3.7-3.9-3.8. Clear Channel recently up-tempoed AC “Lite” WLIT, but it’s too early to make a call about that strategy (2.8-2.9-2.6). Tough couple of books at Cumulus’ talk WLS, with longtime morning team Don Wade and Roma off of mornings due to Don’s health. WLS drops 2.7-2.5-2.1. Sports-wise, it’s CBS Radio’s “Score” WSCR (2.8-2.7-2.5) over Disney’s WMVP (1.1-1.5-1.2).

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Barnes & Noble on Life Support

Today they got rid of their CEO.

I've dealt with Barnes and Noble as a vendor (nightmare) and customer. Their troubles do not surprise me in the least. It's one of the worst-run organizations imaginable (in my opinion).

It's just a matter of time before they follow the example of Borders, and slowly fade into the rear view mirror of history.

Love What You Do

Saw these assembled quotes in a piece at Linked In (by Shane Snow). People constantly ask me why I do what I do (instead of, you know, something more traditional), and I think these quotes explain it about as well as it can be explained...

More about Sunday's Appearance

From the Beverly Villager...

DJ Landecker Discusses 'Records Truly is My Middle Name'

(July 2013) -- Author Afternoons, a book discussion event featuring Chicago area writers who read from and discuss their works, will welcome John Records Landecker, legendary disc jockey and author of “Records Truly is My Middle Name,” Sun., July 14, 3 p.m. at the Beverly Arts Center , 2407 W. 111th St.

After a 40-year career as a major market disc jockey, John Records Landecker and his former executive producer at WJMK Rick Kaempfer have written the story of Landecker’s amazing life and extraordinary career. In “Records Truly is My Middle Name,” Landecker shares stories from behind the scenes of Top 40s radio heydays and his encounters with celebrities like George Harrison, Mel Brooks, Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, The Rolling Stones and many others. The book is filled with the stories behind Landecker’s famous bits and songs, as well as photos and personal memories.

Born and raised in Ann Arbor, Mich., that’s where Landecker started a radio career that would take him to Philadelphia, Toronto, Cleveland and Chicago . While at WLS in the 1970s, Landecker was named Billboard Magazine’s Radio Personality of the Year. “Records Truly is My Middle Name” was published by Eckhartz Press.

Author Afternoons is facilitated by Penny Golden and part of the Beverly Arts Center ’s literary arts programming. For information call 773-445-3838 or

Come on out if you're in the neighborhood.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Father Knows Nothing

This week's Father Knows Nothing is a journey into the fight Twilight Zone.

You can read it here.

The Secret Rupert Tape

Last week details emerged about a secret audio recording of Rupert Murdoch conceding that he knew bribery was a commonplace event in his London newspapers.

Now Scotland Yard wants that tape.

Of course it sounds ominous, but let's remember that the Scotland Yard was often the target of the bribes. None of this can possibly surprise them. I'm starting to think that this entire investigation/news story/scandal is just a big show to make it look like everyone is shocked (shocked!).

They are about as shocked as Louis in Casablanca.

Fenway Park

My family had a great time on vacation last week. We went to Cape Cod for a family reunion, and while we were there, managed a stop over in Boston. There were a few hiccups (which will be featured in an upcoming Father Knows Nothing), but for the most part, it was a fun time.

We got to see Fenway...

We were sitting right by the Pesky Pole. What a place. Loved it. Bridget and I also went to Wrigley when we got back. I think Fenway's concourses are cleaner, and Wrigley's a little prettier on the actual field, but both places are still magical.

50 Things I've Learned in 50 Years

If you've seen the current issue of Shore Magazine, you may have read my latest "A Fine Mess" column. I love the way they laid it out in a two-page spread with funny illustrations. That magazine does such a nice job. I'm proud to be associated with it, especially in such a prominent role.

The on-line version of it is here: 50 Things I've learned in 50 Years.

It's been getting a great reaction in social media circles.

Dan McNeil Interview in the Illinois Entertainer

My July column in the Illinois Entertainer came out while I was out of town last week. I had a chance to sit in and observe the McNeil and Spiegel show on the Score (670 AM), and discovered something quite surprising.

You can read the column here.

Below are a few of the pics I snapped the day I was there.

Dan in the studio...

The pre-show meeting...

The control room for the live on-camera web simulcast...

"Recalled To Life" Now Available as an E-book


Dan Burns has been doing quite well selling and promoting the trade paperback version of his debut novel "Recalled to Life". It's been available here at Eckhartz Press for a few weeks now, and it's been getting lots of friendly publicity.

Perhaps you saw this piece in Suburban Life or this one in the Sun-Times.

Well, Eckhartz Press is also pleased to announce that "Recalled to Life" is now also available as an e-book in the Kindle format. If you have a Nook, you can also get it at Barnes & Noble's Nook Store.

If you've read it and enjoyed it, join the growing community of people at GoodReads who are giving it good reviews. Barbara Wells, for instance, wrote this: "I loved this story. Recommend this to all. I couldn't put this book down!"

Get your copy today, whether you choose to purchase the beautiful paperback version, or the incredibly convenient electronic version.


Eckhartz Press Releases Chug-A-Chug


Eckhartz Press is excited to announce our very first children's book; "Chug-A-Chug" by Scott D.H Redman.

Chug-A-Chug was the result of a little boy named Will who loved trains, but would not go to sleep. His father Scott would often make up lyrics to popular children’s songs and sing them to Will to help him fall asleep. Chug-A-Chug was one of these songs. Will liked it so much that his father made it into a book with drawings that Will’s Grandma Carla had made. This “first edition” was bound, brought to pre-school for show and tell and literary history was made!

But that's just the beginning of the story. Will and his father built a large model railroad in their Chicago basement so when it came time to illustrate the real Chug-A-Chug book, it provided the perfect setting. Thanks to the amazing photography of Ray Nilsen, a commercial product photographer in Chicago, it came to life. For Chug-A-Chug, Ray used many elements pieced together to make the various backgrounds. (Examples of Ray’s other work can be viewed here.)


Cynthia A. Moore, Librarian La Plata Public Library, said this about the book: "Author Scott Redman hits the mark with this pre-school rhyming, sing-a-long book. It is wonderful to find an author that understands the read-aloud needs of parents, teachers, and librarians."

Get your copy today.

Rover Arrested

Remember Rover? He was in Chicago for a nano-second--brought in as a high profile replacement for Howard Stern. It didn't work out here, but he's been very popular in Cleveland ever since. Unfortunately that popularity took a little hit when he was arrested over the weekend. Tom Taylor's NOW column explains...

Cleveland’s “Rover” is arrested after too much Fourth of July fun. It happened early Friday morning, says WEWS-TV - about 3:40am, “an off-duty Cleveland police officer asked [Shane French] and another man to stop shooting off illegal fireworks.” The lead personality of “Rover’s Morning Glory” on Clear Channel’s rock WMMS (100.7) didn’t like it when the police officer stepped on the cigarette lighter Rover was using for ignition purposes. Rover allegedly grabbed the officer by the shirt and began pushing him. Channel 5 says “according to police, French started to walk away, then turned around and pushed the cop in the back,” saying he didn’t believe the guy was really a law enforcement officer. 37-year-old Shane French – who was briefly one of CBS Radio’s Howard Stern replacements, based in in Chicago – was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault, and possession of fireworks. French’s friend is looking at the same charges. Cleveland’s Fox 8 Television adds that Rover was released on $5,000 personal bond following a court appearance on Saturday.

WGN Radio Shuffles Deck

WGN made a few moves while I was out of town last week.

They jettisoned noon show host Carol Roth and evening host Turi Ryder, expanded David Kaplan's role (making him 7-Midnight weeknights), and brought back Steve Cochran (for now, in a fill-in role).

They also brought back Todd Manley as their creative services director. (Note: the photo at the link is NOT Todd Manley. Not sure where Radio Online got that pic)

I previously interviewed several of those people at Chicago Radio Spotlight (Kap, Steve Cochran, and Todd Manley). All of them were Tribune/WGN employees when I interviewed them for the first time, and now they are back.