Friday, August 30, 2013

Einstein's Prediction Comes True

Thanks to "BD" for sending me these. I know it's one of those e-mail chains that is going around, but it landed in my e-mail box last night...

Today's Best Tweets

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

J'Marcus Webb ‏@jmarcuswebb 8m
Good bye, Chicago! I gave you 3 years of me.

Jay Zawaski ‏@JayZawaski670 3m
I always feel for dudes who get cut, but it's hard to feel for Webb. Constant false starts and mental mistakes. He can only blame himself.

Jordan Palmer ‏@JwPalms 42m
I really appreciate all the kind words from the #Bears fans but I'm headed home today. Crazy biz but appreciative

David Haugh ‏@DavidHaugh 2m
Earlier, Jordan Palmer went Twitter route to announce Bears had waived him, signaling choice to go with two QBs. The right roster call.

In honor of Ryno's return to Wrigley (1:00 Ch. 9) we unearthed this cool 16mm footage from a '94 shoot: #Cubs

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 16m
George W. Bush: Obama has a "tough choice" to make on Syria:

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 20m
POLL: 50% of Americans support cruise missile strikes on Assad’s chemical weapons infrastructure

Bill Clinton ‏@billclinton 19m
"Once in a lifetime the longed for tidal wave of justice can rise up, and hope and history rhyme." - Seamus Heaney

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 23m
Stop Slipping, Pirates

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 30m
The alcohol brands mentioned most in music

The New Third Largest Radio Company in America

The players change, but the size and scope of the players don't. The newest third largest radio company is Townsquare. Radio Ink has the details...

Townsquare Media announced today that it has executed definitive documentation related to three transactions with Cumulus and Peak II Holding which, upon consummation, will result in Townsquare acquiring assets including 71 radio stations in 15 markets. Pro forma for the Transactions, Townsquare will own 312 radio stations in 66 markets and have operations in 25 states, making it the third largest owner of radio stations in the United States and the largest, best-capitalized owner and operator of radio stations solely focused on small and mid-sized markets.

They will be the biggest fish in the smallest ponds. I'm guessing that their plan does not involve focusing on local programming. What do you think?

Great Cover Letter Writing Advice

I've gotten a ton of cover letters for media jobs in my career, and I think these cover-letter writing tips for entry level jobs by Slate editor Katherine Goldstein are right on the money.

They might not be right for other fields, but for entry level media gigs, they couldn't be better.

A True Rarity

Shhh. Now follow me closely. We're going to observe something that is rarely seen by the human eye. Quiet, everyone. Observe the O'Reilly in his natural habitat. Instead of bloviating...he will be apologizing.

This is the sort of rarity you can tell your grandchildren about.

"I saw it once, kids. I really did. He not only apologized, he said 'always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement.'"

"But Grandpa, doesn't he do that every night?"

"Yes he does, young man, but on this one day in August 2013, he admitted it was a bad thing."

New Traffic Service for WGN Radio

From this morning's Radio Online...

Tribune's Talk WGN-AM/Chicago has partnered with Radiate Media to provide traffic information to its audience across broadcast, online and mobile platforms. Radiate Media will begin the 24/7 service for WGN on September 1 as part of a multi-year partnership. Radiate Media currently provides real-time traffic and video solutions to 12 Tribune television stations including WGN-TV/Chicago and CLTV/Chicago. Radiate also serves five Local TV LLC stations, whose acquisition by Tribune has been announced.

"WGN was one of the first stations in the country to provide traffic reports and maintains a rich tradition of service," commented Radiate Media VP/GM Gary Lee. "We are proud to add WGN to our growing affiliate lineup."

Gary Lee, of course, has been involved in traffic since the beginning of traffic. This is just his latest venture.

It's All Relative

Think this year's Cubs team is bad? On this day in 1948, the owner of the Cubs took out an ad in the newspaper to apologize to Chicago for fielding such a bad team.

That's today's Cubs 365 story.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Official New WGN Radio Lineup

This news courtesy of Robert Feder's facebook page...

• 2-5a.m.: Nick Digilio
• 5-9a.m.: Steve Cochran
• 9a.m.-12p.m.: Bill & Wendy (Leff & Snyder)
• 12-3p.m.: Sirott and Murciano
• 3-7p.m.: Garry Meier
• 7-11p.m.: David Kaplan
• 11p.m.-2a.m.: Pete McMurray

• 2-5a.m..: Matt Bubala
• 5-6a.m.: The Morning Show with Orion Samuelson & Max Armstrong
• 6-7a.m..: The Design Dude Frank Fontana
• 7-10a.m.: Mr. Fix-it Lou Manfredini
• 10a.m.-12p.m.: Kathy & Judy
• 12-3p.m: Bill Moller
• 3-6p.m.: Sports Central
• 6-8p.m.: Girls Night Out with Hannah Stanley
• 8p.m-Midnight - Nick Digilio

• Midnight-5:00a.m. Various Hosts
• 5:00a.m.-5:30a.m.: Great Outdoors with Charlie Potter
• 5:30-6:00a.m.: Love Changes Life
• 6-6:30a.m.: The Lutheran Hour
• 6:30-7a.m.: Steve Dale’s Pet World
• 7-9a.m.: The Chicago Way: Politics with Pearson
• 9a.m.-1p.m.: The Dean Richards Sunday Special
• 1-3p.m.: Bill Moller
• 3-6p.m.:Sports Central
• 6-9p.m.: Brian Noonan
• 9p.m.-11p.m: After Hours with Rick Kogan
• 11p.m.-2a.m. Patti Vasquez

A couple of notes: Very happy for Wendy Snyder. The return of the Bill & Wendy show is going to be fun. Also happy for Pete McMurray. Good to see he got a full-time gig. He'll fit in nicely between Kaplan and Digilio. And also happy to see that Rick Kogan is back on WGN, and now he'll be on when he should be night.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Karl Klockars ‏@karlklockars 9m
I don't know how your day is going, but I just made a date with my wife to drink beer & talk about the flaws of the Terminator films tonight

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 28s
OOPS: State Senator who advocates arming teachers accidentally shoots teacher with rubber bullet

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 23m
Putting the sister of Kate Middleton on the cover of your magazine is a fun and easy way to boost your circulation

Slate ‏@Slate 2m
Unconfirmed report of the day: Kim Jong-Un had his ex-girlfriend executed for making a sex tape:

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 24m
#Cubs: Off-Day Check-In: Cubs Have the Third Worst Record in Baseball

Suleika Jaouad ‏@suleikajaouad 33m
Study confirms, haters are gonna hate: via @Slate

The Chicago Reporter ‏@ChicagoReporter 31m
It's been a rough week for Todd Stroger, as his aide is indicted. We asked in 2010 - is Stroger the antichrist?

Jan Parr ‏@JanParr 40m
Spam-bot user profile:"Hipster-friendly bacon junkie. Incurable alcohol specialist. Music expert Thailand"

New York Daily News ‏@NYDailyNews 43m
Facebook addicts will be shocked by this. Like, literally shocked. ‏@TIME 55m
Prospect of U.K. military support in Syria dims amid Parliament debate | (via @TIMEWorld)

Every Breath You Take

#1 on this day, thirty years was basically #1 the entire summer of 1983.

Bears New Center

Thanks to "JH" for this one...

Better Call Saul

A very funny spinoff idea from "Breaking Bad": Better Call Saul

Here's a webisode...

See Anything Wrong With This Picture?

Thanks to "DS" for sending it to me.

The Million Second Quiz

It's NBC's big gamble, and if it's successful, it may be the future of network television.

So says this AP report on the show.

I have a ridiculous amount of useless knowledge that tends to shine in these kind of trivia games, but I've never tried out for a television show. I'm waiting for the right moment, which I think will come in a few years. I figure by then everyone else's trivia muscles will have attrophied because of their smart phones. Why bother remembering useless information when you can just look it up?

I'll admit I'm playing a long game here, but that's my plan.

Hopefully my brain is still functioning when it's time to jump in.


I've always called my coverage of Rupert Murdoch "As The Rupert Turns" because the man's life is like a soap opera. Well, I'm apparently not the only one who thinks that. In his native Australia, the country's top playwright has written a play about him.

Here's an Australian television report about the play.

Cyber-Attack Against the NY Times

The New York Times website was down for two days after being attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army.

Even if you're one of those people who think the NY Times is a liberal rag (I've heard it), you should be concerned about an attack like this. The Washington Post has a very good piece today explaining all the implications of this attack. I strongly recommend it.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I was flipping through the channels last night and came across one of the most unbelievable films I have ever seen. It was called "King: A Filmed Record. Montgomery to Memphis" and it came out in 1970. It was just footage of commentary at all. Just footage of his marches, his speeches, his confrontations, his personal moments, his death, and his funeral. As a Chicagoan, the footage from his time in Chicago was really hard to watch. If you ever get a chance, check it out. I couldn't turn it off. I've always told my boys that MLK was my hero, that I couldn't comprehend the courage he must have had to do what he did. After watching this film, I admire him even more.

Here's a taste of it...


I've been very nervous watching the news about Syria the last few days. I wouldn't want to be the president right now, because it appears like there are literally zero good options. George Packer sums up the options beautifully in this internal dialog.

I think I agree with his not-exactly-perfect conclusion.

Who Needs Humans?

Dear Prudence

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac today...

August 28, 1968…At Trident Studios in London, the Beatles began recording a new John Lennon composition, "Dear Prudence." They built the song instrument by instrument, utilizing the 8-track equipment at Trident that was not yet available at Abbey Road Studios. John and George played guitars while Paul played drums in place of Ringo, who had temporarily quit the band less than a week earlier.

Funny Quote

Thanks to "DT" for sending it...

Eckhartz Press at the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame Silent Auction

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is holding their third annual silent auction this coming Sunday night at the Haymarket Pub & Brewery. You can get tickets here. I will be attending the fundraising event with my lovely wife. (It's just a coincidence that I've been lured to appear at another brewery). NPR's Peter Sagal will be the celebrity guest this year.

Eckhartz Press has donated several things to the silent auction this year...

*An autographed copy of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" along with lunch with the book's author, legendary radio personality John Records Landecker.

*A basket full of every Eckhartz Press release ("The Living Wills", "Down at the Golden Coin", "Cheeseland", "The Balding Handbook", "Recalled to Life", "Chug-a-Chug" and "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"), autographed by the authors.

*A lunch with WGN radio personality Garry Meier.

Thanks to all the authors (and Garry Meier!) for contributing their time and books.


New Words

The Oxford Dictionary is adding the following words: “twerk,” “derp,” “selfie,” and “phablet"

I didn't know what twerking was until Miley Cyrus let me know the other day. I know what a selfie is, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out "phablet", but I did have to look up "derp" (speech regarded as meaningless or stupid, or to comment on a foolish or stupid action.)

Fox News Executive Firing Story Gets Even Juicier

Brian Lewis, the executive mysteriously fired by Fox News about a month ago has retained an attorney. That attorney just released a statement to Gawker, which is probably sending chills up and down the spine of Fox News president Roger Ailes right now.

Here's the statement:

I have just been retained and am still plotting our course of action. But two things are very clear to me. First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to Newscorp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and Newscorp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.

Oh boy! This is going to get good.

Today's Best Tweets

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

New York Daily News ‏@NYDailyNews 10m
This homeless man who held up a bank may be a genius.

Guardian news ‏@guardiannews 20m
Iran considers lawsuit against US over 1953 coup

The New York Times ‏@nytimes 6m
The most famous words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speech, delivered 50 years ago today, were improvised

Peter Gammons ‏@pgammo 5m
Rather than unlimited Sept. rosters that impede pennant race integrity Buck Showalter suggests teams designatie25 rosters before each series

Matt Yglesias ‏@mattyglesias 54m
How the gin and tonic built the British Empire: …

davidfrum ‏@davidfrum 56m
Chaos prevails in Libya, in case you were wondering how the last war in Greater Middle East ended up …

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 1h
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones separate

Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 1h
Still going strong at 70, Lou Piniella reflects on his wild ride managing the Cubs.

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 1h
The guy who hit the longest HR of the year -- this was judged to be 476 feet -- chokes up on the bat. ‏@BillMoyersHQ 15m
Are we a plutocracy ruled by self-centered jerks? Two new studies say so. -@Joshuahol

18 Everyday Products You've Been Using Incorrectly

I'm probably not a good gauge of these things, because I'm barely a functional member of society, but I do in fact, use every one of these products incorrectly. Who knew?

Courtesy of Buzzfeed.

The Future Looks Bright

I must admit, I get excited when I read about the prospects in the Cubs system.

This year they have four players in the Arizona Fall League, the showcase league for top prospects.

There have been years in the past where they have none.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Lorraine

This is one of the most heartwarming stories I've ever seen. Really beautiful.

Kevin Spacey on Evolving Media

He makes some very good points...


I'll admit that I had no idea what twerking was until yesterday.

Out of the blue last night at the dinner table I asked my wife if she knew what it was, and one of my sons nearly spit his milk all over the table.

Apparently he knew.

The New York Times Drops the F-Bomb

I kid you not. Details here at the Wrap.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Anthony Todd ‏@FoodieAnthony 13m
Heat index of 100 today, people. Be safe and stay cool.

Jim Johnson ‏@JimJohnsonWLS 52m
It's so hot & muggy out there, my dog was chasing a cat and they were both walking

Bernie Tafoya ‏@ChicagoFile 1h
To check out the list of #Chicago area #schools closing early because of the heat, go to . @WBBMNewsradio

Brian Phillips ‏@EffThisGame 15m
@RealDLHughley OVERHEARD IN COURT: "that's what you get for expecting a college degree from Donald Trump. Dumbasses."

davidfrum ‏@davidfrum 44m
Also always worth remembering that Alger Hiss's treason did the United States much less harm than Robert E. Lee's.

Richard Engel ‏@RichardEngel 1h
UN says postponing inspections 24 hrs to evaluate security preps, after attack on convoy yesterday. #syria

Jim Wiser ‏@JimWiser 1h
Editorial: Ford gets a lesson in Chicago muscle,0,3467774.story …

Matt Spiegel ‏@MattSpiegel670 57s
Few things in sports are more physically unnatural and demanding than pitching. I hate that we don't get to see Matt Harvey for a while.

Mike Baker ‏@MikeBaker45s 2m
Happy #Birthday Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) is 61

msnbc ‏@msnbc 25m
93 years ago, women got the right to vote. Great old cartoons on the horrors that society expected would follow:

Father Knows Nothing

In honor of school being back in session, this week's Father Knows Nothing is an open letter to Alice Cooper.

You can read it here.

The Real Reason Behind The Fox Executive's Firing

Another shoe has dropped in the story of the Fox News executive (Roger Ailes' right hand man) who was mysteriously fired last month. I've been following this story closely because the official accounts of what happened did not compute. I have no insider knowledge of any kind, but I can smell BS a mile away.

As someone who has worked closely with these high-ego thin-skinned maniacs, this Gawker report rings true to me.

It certainly is more plausible than the official nonsense that has been coming out over the past week or so.

Michael La Crosse

Michael La Crosse is a Chicago radio vet--former program director of WLS-FM before Jan Jeffries took over. He had been in Washington (state), but yesterday got a big promotion. From Radio Online News...

Clear Channel/Los Angeles appoints Michael La Crosse as Program Director for AC KOST-FM and Rhythmic Oldies KHHT-FM (Hot 92.3), effective September 23. Most recently, he served as Operations Manager for the company's co-owned cluster in Spokane. "I'm humbled to join the amazing teams at KOST 103.5 and HOT 92.3," added La Crosse. "These stations are among the very best in their respective formats and it is an honor to be a part of them. A huge thank you to Andrew Jeffries, Clay Hunnicutt and Greg Ashlock for the opportunity to join Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Los Angeles."

Good for Michael. I met him a few years ago. He seems like a nice guy.

Monday, August 26, 2013

45 Years Ago Today...

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

August 26, 1968…The Beatles released "Hey Jude" b/w "Revolution" in North America, the first single on their own Apple Records label. It was released in the UK four days later.

I was one of those people who bought the 45. Still have it. Still love it.

Documentary Claims Five New Salinger Books Are On The Way

Gawker has the story. If it's true, this is huge news on the literary front...

A documentary and book, both set for release next month, claim that five unpublished books written by J.D. Salinger will be released, including stories that continue the arc of the Glass family and his most famous creation, Holden Caulfield. Salinger died in 2010 after living the majority of his life in famous near-seclusion, never releasing another published work for over forty years. The new documentary "Salinger," claims that he left instructions to his trust to publish five more of his books, beginning as soon as 2015.

Of course there have been reports for many decades that these books exist, but Salinger always denied it. Needless to say, I'll be watching this story closely.

NFL Pressured ESPN

Last week the New York Times merely implied that NFL pressure led ESPN to drop their association with a Frontline special about concussions. Today they are saying it explicitly...

On Thursday, ESPN, which has spent heavily in recent years to build its investigative reporting team, abruptly ended its affiliation with “Frontline,” a public affairs television series that was weeks from showing a jointly produced two-part investigative project about the N.F.L.’s contentious handling of head injuries. The divorce came a week after the N.F.L. voiced its displeasure with the documentary at a lunch between league and ESPN executives, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Scott Simon ‏@nprscottsimon 2m
Every year, our daughters' principal has to tell me not to cry on playground as our daughters go to class. I try. But...

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 15m
NY Attorney General sues Trump, ‘Trump University’ for $40 million:

Robert Feder ‏@RobertFeder 17m
Nick Digilio taps his WGN mentor, the legendary Roy Leonard, to review movies on his show:

Paul Sullivan ‏@PWSullivan 25m
Slugger Kris Bryant showing why he could be on the Cubs' fast track.

Bob Malkowski ‏@RobertMalkowski 40m
Trivia question this morning: During the drought of 1988 who was the US President. 1st caller guessed Richard Nixon

Lisa and Ray US99.5 ‏@LisaandRay995 44m
OMG! What in the world was Miley Cyrus doing on stage last night @ the VMA's? WATCH HERE

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 1h
Readers react to Miley Cyrus grinding on Robin Thicke for their VMA performance.

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic 1h
There goes Billy Ray Cyrus' "Father of the Year" Award.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 1h
Screen grab of Miley's twerk machine. Ouch!

Neil Steinberg ‏@NeilSteinberg 1h
That spigot will turn off, completely Oct. 8 thanks to a well-intentioned but operationally disastrous helium law

Linda Ronstadt Has Parkinson's

This is sad news. From today's RAMP newsletter...

11-time Grammy winner Linda Ronstadt revealed that she is suffering from Parkinson's disease and is no longer able to sing. In an interview that will appear on this week, Ronstadt, now 67, said she "can't sing a note" because of the effects of the Parkinson's. She says she was officially diagnosed eight months ago, but she began to exhibit the symptoms as long as eight years ago... Ronstadt now walks with the aid of poles when she's on uneven ground, and has to use a wheelchair when she travels. "No one can sing with Parkinson's disease," Ronstadt said. "No matter how hard you try." Her forthcoming memoir, Simple Dreams, will be released on September 17 but it does not address her diagnosis, or the loss of her voice.

NSYNC Reunion

It was their first appearance together in ten years and it happened last night at the VMA Awards. I suppose these guys were a big deal for their generation, but I think this description on is a little over the top...

In what is sure to be the reunion heard 'round the world, 'N Sync appeared on stage at the 2013 Video Music Awards as part of Justin Timberlake's career-spanning performance in honor of his Michael Jackson Vanguard Award win. In the midst of a massive performance encompassing JT's entire canon, Joey Fatone, Lance Bass, Chris Kirkpatrick and JC Chasez rose from the floor in smoky silhouette, appearing alongside Timberlake to perform "Girlfriend" and "Bye Bye Bye." Taylor Swift looked faint. Lady Gaga undulated in her clamshell bra. The crowd, as a whole, erupted into applause. And, after performing snippets of the two jams, the quartet retreated back into the shadows.

See what I mean? The video is here. I take issue with calling these songs "jams", but to each his own.

Is Cumulus Buying Dial Global?

That's the headline in Tom Taylor's column today, and it could have huge implications for the radio business. Taylor explains...

There would be plenty of angles to a Cumulus-Dial Global combo – including the fact that Cumulus would be inheriting the programming supply/barter spot deal that DG has with CBS. That runs through March 31, 2017. (How would CBS feel about that?) Cumulus, meanwhile, would be looking at putting Dial Global together with its own legacy syndication operation, built on the former ABC Radio Networks and later Citadel. Dial Global has a major stake in syndicating everything from 24/7 music formats to NFL and NCAA football, and loads of talk radio, too.

Let me translate it for the average radio consumer: More syndicated programming (and less local programming) is coming your way.

UPDATE: This merger did not happen.