Friday, September 27, 2013

Sammy's New Look

Sammy Sosa is slowly but surely heading to Michael Jackson land. Now he's not only white, he has blue eyes. And Ricky Ricardo's haircut.

A New Way to Promote TV

CBS is now promoting television shows the day AFTER they air. Why would they do that? To promote "time shifted viewing".

The New York Times has more on this new phenomenon.

A Headline That Makes Me Happy

From the Hill: "FCC considering rule that could keep big media companies from getting bigger"

In this case they are talking about changing the way UHF stations are counted versus the way other stations are when calculating media ownership caps. The FCC is basically saying that they should be the same now that all stations are digital, which makes perfect sense to me.

Today's Best Tweets

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

The Associated Press ‏@AP 7m
Cuba says athletes can sign professional contracts in foreign leagues, reversing long ban: -RD

Man steals ambulance -- with patient still inside...

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 21m
Thank you for making WGN Morning News #1 from 6am to 10am in September. Suck it, Kelly Ripa.

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 41m
Brewers have been winning this week -- and sliding back in 2014 draft order. As of this morning: 7. COL 8. TOR 9. PHI 10. MILW 12. NYM

Mark A. Rayner ‏@markarayner 46m
11 Quotes From Authors On Censorship & Banned Books … #bannedbooks

Jimmy Novak ‏@JimmyNovakRadio 51m
Lindsay Lohan and Jimmy Fallon Say Twerking Is "So 2-0-1-3" in Hilarious Sketch—Watch! @1023xlc #radio

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 52m
The problem with PCs that Bill Gates is finally admitting to

Marcus Leshock ‏@marcusleshock 54m
The history of the guitar solo in one video. Amazing stuff... …

Michael Tomasky ‏@mtomasky 1h
New Column: I think finally Americans are figuring out who the arsonists in Washington are via @thedailybeast

NBC News ‏@NBCNews 1h
'Extremely likely': Top scientists blame humans more clearly than ever for global warming

Tribune To Cut Costs

But not too much...

...only $100 million by December 1st.

Zach Galifianakis interviews Bieber

Made me laugh...

Between Two Ferns from Justin Bieber

NL Champs!

We were the Champions, my friend...on this day in 1876

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Today's Best Tweets

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

MLB ‏@MLB 21s
Carlos Gomez homered off Paul Maholm, bat flipped, and the rest was just pure insanity: @RedBull #MustC

Slate ‏@Slate 2m
All hail the billionaire-funded, cheat-tastic America's Cup victors!

SportsCenter ‏@SportsCenter 1h
Yankees 2B and free agent-to-be Robinson Cano is seeking a 10-year contract worth $305 MILLION this offseason. (via @Buster_ESPN)

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 6m
Remember Melissa Joan Hart's Maxim cover? Yeah, she was totally high on ecstasy during that photo shoot ‏@radiodotcom 14m
The Kinks may reunite

Hub Arkush ‏@Hub_Arkush 15m
I've updated my #NFL power rankings. A shakeup in the top 10, including with the #Bears.

Kevin Robillard ‏@PoliticoKevin 23m
Until yesterday, it was illegal in Michigan to have a bumper sticker for a group you weren't a member of: …

phil_rosenthal ‏@phil_rosenthal 19m
Saw a woman writing parking tickets park in front of a hydrant. Which seemed wrong.

Shari VanderWerf ‏@shariv67 24m
Last night I saw a play about Stockholm Syndrome. At first I hated it, but by the third act I never wanted it to end.

POLITICO ‏@politico 25m
"I haven’t heard such vile, profane, obscene language,” King said about calls to his office from Cruz supporters:

Best "Best Man" Toast Ever

These two brothers were asked to deliver the best man toast at their brother's wedding, and they created this to be played at the wedding instead. It's fantastic. (More information about it at Gawker)

Being Heckled Via Twitter During Stand Up Act

Dan Nainan is a comedian. Josh Rogin is a reporter for the Daily Beast. During Nainan's set in Washington, Rogin was making snarky tweets about Nainan's act, critquing his jokes.

Apparently Rogin is on Nainan's twitter feed, because after his act, Nainan went up to Rogin and said: "Are you Josh Rogin?"

When Rogin nodded, Nainan punched him in the face.

It's a little more direct than the kind of heckler-put downs comedians normally use (Kevin Matthews used to say: "Hey, listen, I'm going asshole hunting in the morning, and I could use a decoy"), but it's certainly effective. On the other hand, Nainan was arrested, so he may not try this technique again.

300 Sandwiches in Exchange for an Engagement Ring

One of the "reporters" for the New York Post's Page 6 column has made a deal with her boyfriend. He said he would get her an engagement ring if she made him 300 sandwiches.

So, she's taking him up on it. Right now she's about 124 sandwiches short, but she still has her eye on the prize.

Many women are horrified by this story, but I think it sounds like a pretty fair deal. Even if every sandwich costs her $5 to make (which I doubt), and she gets another $3 for her labor (which is generous for three minutes of work), that's about a $2400 value.

I paid more than that for an engagement ring twenty five years ago. She's still going to come out ahead.

Call me a romantic.

Joke for a Thursday Morning

Thanks to "LM" for sending it...

Three ladies were having lunch. One was engaged, one was a mistress, and one was married.

While chatting about their relationships they decided it would be great fun if each of them greeted their man at the door that night wearing only a black bra, stiletto heels and a mask over their eyes. They would also lunch again the next day to compare notes.

The next day, two of the woman were still giddy from the doings of the night before.

The engaged woman's fiancee saw her and said "You are the woman of my dreams..I love you" and they made passionate love all night long.

The mistress' lover didn't say a word; just trembled, took her in his arms and they had wild sex all night.

The married woman's husband came home, saw her and asked....

"What's for dinner, Batman?"

Ball Stealer

Wow. Just wow.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Shutting Down the Comments Section

Popular Science just announced they are shutting down the comments section on their website.

I'm 100% behind this decision. I've been campaigning for all news-webites to do the same. The vitriol in the comments sections of even the most banal articles is beyond belief.

Everyone has the right to free speech, but they don't have the right to it on every website. Those are privately owned.

If you feel an incredible urge to comment, create your own website or blog. It's inexpensive, and in some cases, even free. But you'll have to be accountable for what you say, instead of just peeing anonymous poison on complete strangers.

5 Years Ago Today

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

September 25, 2008…In Tel Aviv, more than 45,000 people attended a concert by Paul McCartney, 43 years after the Beatles were banned from playing in Israel because of official fears that they could "corrupt the nation's youth." He sang his solo hits as well as Beatles favorites, but the highpoint of the evening came when McCartney dedicated his performance of "Give Peace A Chance" to his late fellow Beatle, John Lennon, and sang about the folly of war, a theme that clearly resonated with the Tel Aviv audience.

This video is an interesting behind-the-scenes look at the audio equipment for that show. It's a promotional/advertising piece, but it's interesting for an audio geek like me...

Today's Best Tweets

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

Slate ‏@Slate 14m
Ted Cruz still talking, still trying to fool you into thinking he can stop #Obamacare:

Ben Finfer ‏@BenFinfer 9m
Ted Cruz has officially proven he's a good enough bloviator to host sports radio.

Jay Bilas ‏@JayBilas 1h
Q: Which is longer, Sen. Ted Cruz's filibuster or Digger Phelps' story of beating UCLA in 1974? A: We don't know yet. Both are still going.

Police: Woman Eaten By Dozens Of Hybrid Wolf-Dogs...

Robert Feder ‏@RobertFeder 10m
Help wanted: New boss for @WGNTV:

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic 1m
A textbook on how to issue "criticism" positively: @KenLevine Did Shelley Long try to get Kelsey Grammer fired?:

stephen serio ‏@StephenJSerio 1h
Another Chicago CEO lets us peek in office. The hook: he has the largest collection of pre-Chicago Fire beer bottles!

New York Daily News ‏@NYDailyNews 1m
"Sexist" gorilla being kicked out of Dallas Zoo.

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 1m
Bono showed off his impression of Bill Clinton yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative:

HuffPost Chicago ‏@HuffPostChicago 1m
Cubs score a team-record 50th home loss

SNL is back

A few funny promos for this week's season debut...

Former Tribune Exec Gets 2 Years in Prison

Stephanie Pater was convicted of stealing more than $260,000 from the Tribune company. The judge gave her 2 years in prison yesterday.

Full details in the Chicago Tribune.

Dalai Lama Quote

This is the main reason I've chosen not to be successful... :)

Dhani Harrison

Rolling Stone has posted Dhani Harrison covering his father George's song "For You Blue"

He sounds exactly like his old man. Nice work, kid.

Dan Burns, Inside the Writer's Brain

Eckhartz Press author Dan Burns has his own website, and has been contributing blog entries.

I particularly enjoyed this one, called "A Thousand Different Faces".

Here's an excerpt...

"Unless a writer writes solely for himself, for his own personal enjoyment, the goal of the writer is to get at least one other person to read something he wrote. If that one person, the reader, was to use her hard-earned money to purchase something he wrote, even better. If that single reader was to go even further and do something crazy, like actually read what he wrote, then hallelujah! And if the stars were perfectly aligned and it was “in the cards” and if that single reader made the effort to share a comment about the writing, then as a writer, he would have hit the jackpot, would have experienced the Grand Slam of Writing."

If you'd like to get inside the writer's brain, Dan's blog post is a nice start.

If you'd like to read what all the fuss is about, Dan's novel "Recalled to Life" is available right here on the Eckhartz Press website.


Nicknames on Jerseys?

According to this report, the NBA is considering allowing a few players to have their nicknames on the back of their jerseys instead of their last names, like "King James" instead of just James, or "D-Wade" instead of simply Wade.

And you thought these guys were narcissistic before...

The Most Litigious Radio Personality in the World

Remember Todd Schnitt? He's the Tampa radio personality who sued Bubba the Love Sponge for making deragatory comments about him. The jury ruled against him in three hours.

So what is he doing now? He's suing his attorney. The details are here at the local Tampa television station's website.

Here's my favorite part of the article: "Schnitt paid Campbell's firm $1 million for legal services, but he owes another million and is refusing the pay."

The only winners in lawsuits are the attorneys. After this lawsuit he's going to owe another attorney money too.

Is Radio As Good As it Used to Be?

Most people say no. From Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter today...

Researcher Mark Kassof’s online questioning of 989 adults 18-64 turns up these conclusions – when asked about the statement that “Radio isn’t as good as it used to be,” 19% agreed strongly and another 34% agreed slightly. 28% disagreed slightly with the statement, and 13% disagreed strongly...Kassof says “from a demographic perspective, 18-34s are the most negative.” 61% agree about radio not being as good now, compared to 53% of all adults. Mark says “what’s interesting is that the oldest of the 18-34s were only teens” when the 1996 Telecom Act came along, “the law that enabled ‘mega-groups’ that many blame for the decline of radio.” On balance, men are more negative about radio than women, and 18-34 men are the most negative cell of all. Where does radio do well? With 45-54 men and women.

I'm still in that final demographic, but even I admit it isn't as good as it used to be.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jeff Garlin on the Cubs

I agree with every word he says here...

Today's Best Tweets

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

CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago 2m
Obama: ‘I haven’t had a cigarette in probably six years. That’s because I’m scared of my wife.’

Mark A. Rayner ‏@markarayner 8m
Love this Julia Fierro quote about the responsibilities of the writer. #books #amwriting

John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 22m
Cubs Top 50 Prospects: 11-20 | Cubs Den

Slate ‏@Slate 1m
AIG CEO Says Bonus Outrage Is "Just as Bad and Just as Wrong" as Jim Crow Lynching:

John McCain ‏@SenJohnMcCain 3m
Must-read Wash Post: "Unserious Washington - As lawmakers delay reckoning with nation's finances, we all pay price" …

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 5m
In honor of F. Scott Fitzgerald's birthday, here's what "The Great Gatsby" can teach you about life

Bill Wyman ‏@hitsville 12m
I've just been informed that the new Sting album has a song called “The Night The Pugilist Learned How To Dance.”

The Daily Caller ‏@DailyCaller 14m
Harry Reid: 'We're not going to bow to #teaparty anarchists.'

Josh Liss ‏@JoshLissSports 24m
Going for broke. Last October Nate Burleson broke his leg in a #Lions loss to the #Bears, 13-7. He's out this Sunday with a broken arm.

USA TODAY Life ‏@usatodaylife 30m
Elton John: "I worry about Justin Bieber & Miley Cyrus. Her performance ...the tongue thing freaked me." Interview:

The Twitter IPO

Twitter is going public soon. According to the Street, they have decided to use the New York Stock Exchange.

Twitter is hoping it goes better than Facebook's IPO last year.

Banned Book Week

The National Library Association is celebrating Banned Book Week, trying to highlight the disturbing trend of books being banned in this country. As an author, it would be a badge of honor to have the most banned book, so congratulations to Dav Pilkey, the writer of 2012's most banned book.

Captain Underpants!

My kids love those books.

Is LinkedIn Hacking Address Books?

That's the charge several LinkedIn members are making in a lawsuit filed this week.

The Wrap has the details. If it's true, it's slightly disturbing to say the least.

Radio Hall of Fame

Just got my invite to the Radio Hall of Fame dinner (November 9). Congrats to my old bosses Steve Dahl & Garry Meier, who are being inducted this year. S&G were one of the best radio teams in history; groundbreaking, controversial, and wildly creative. I feel very lucky to have witnessed it from the producer's booth for a few years.

I didn't get an invite because I was part of the show. There were many more people that were a bigger part of the show than I was (like Bruce Wolf, Leslie Keiling, Carrie Cochran, Maggie Brock, Laura Witek, Buzz Kilman, Roman Sawczak, Dan Falato). I got it because I write about the media. But I'm looking forward to attending.

Dick Biondi

WLS great Dick Biondi was interviewed by NPR (Scott Simon of Weekend Edition) over the weekend. Great stuff.

You can listen to the interview here. The transcript of the interview is there too, if you'd rather read it.

I worked with Dick at WMJK for many years. You'll never find a more energetic person than Dick, and I've never seen anyone who can work a crowd like that man.

The playoffs

Turn about is fair play. Last night the Pirates clinched a playoff spot by beating the Cubs. On this day in 1984, the Cubs clinched a playoff spot by beating the Pirates.

Both Harry and Jack Brickhouse were in the clubhouse during the celebration.

Watch them in action at Cubs 365.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happiness is a Warm Gun

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this little tidbit from 45 years ago today...

September 23, 1968…At EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London, the Beatles recorded "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," originally called "Happiness Is A Warm Gun In Your Hand," the title inspired by the cover of a gun magazine that producer George Martin showed John Lennon. Jim Morrison of the Doors visited the Beatles in the studio and watched them record.

Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame

Shame on me for not even knowing that the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame existed. (It has been around for more than 20 years) I only found out because of a Robert Feder tweet announcing this year's inductees. The list is here, by the way, and includes Cubs co-owner Laura Ricketts and Kukla, Fran & Ollie's Burr Tillstrom.

I knew that Tillstrom was from Chicago, but had no idea he was gay. It's not even mentioned in his wikipedia page, not that it should be. In fact, I'm hoping it's not mentioned because it isn't really relevant to his art, but I suspect that the wiki-author just didn't know. Tillstrom died in 1985, and was popular long before "coming out" was considered socially acceptable.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 1m
#Cubs: Ryne Sandberg is an Interim Manager No More and Other Bullets

daveweigel ‏@daveweigel 4m
My 26-year old brother is signing up for an Obamacare exchange. Do I give him garlic and a stake to ward off Creepy Uncle Sam?

Houston Astros set record low as just 915 people watch game...

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 8m
Big Deal >>> Egypt Bans Muslim Brotherhood, Orders Its Assets Confiscated

Josh Liss ‏@JoshLissSports 11m
#Bears Henry Melton is being "evaluated this morning back at Halas Hall" for potentially serious knee injury, Trestman tells @WBBMNewsradio

Chuck Todd ‏@chucktodd 16s
Remember, this fight over funding the govt is about a 2 1/2 month continuation of funding. So we may end up seeing ANOTHER showdown in Dec

@JesseFFerguson: Politico - "Poll: Most oppose defunding effort" …

kippermcgee ‏@kippermcgee 2m
Morning Blend: "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now." ~Chinese Proverb

Chicago Tribune ‏@chicagotribune 50s
Bears head coach Marc Trestman: We were "at our best when our best was needed"

John McCain ‏@SenJohnMcCain 2m
Must-read @MedvedSHOW @WSJ today: "Countdown to GOP Self-Destruction" …

Steve Cochran

Robert Feder has a great interview today with the new morning man at WGN, Steve Cochran.

When I interviewed Steve during his last tour of duty at WGN, he was very unhappy working for the knuckleheads who eventually ran that station into the ground. (You can read it here) It's good to see he's happy again. He sounds like he belongs on WGN.

The Emmys

I'm guessing the Emmy Awards didn't have a huge audience in Chicago last night (because it was up against the Bears), so here's a recap of the winners in USA Today.

Notables are Modern Family for best comedy and Breaking Bad for best drama. Also, "Behind the Candalabra" won a ton of them, including it's star Michael Douglas. The biggest upset was Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom) beating Bryan Cranston for best actor.

But the biggest winner of the night, of course, were the Bears.