Friday, November 22, 2013

Father Knows Nothing: Panic Attack

I had one of those days yesterday that took a few years off my life.

My middle son Johnny had a doctor's appointment after school. I had made arrangements for my youngest son Sean to go to his friend's house, but I had forgotten to mention it to my oldest son Tommy.

So, when Johnny got home from school, I said we couldn't go until I told Tommy what was up. (He and Johnny both go to the same school, but Johnny won't walk home with him because he considers Tommy too slow).

We waited.

And we waited.

And pretty soon it was time for the appointment, so we had no choice but to leave. I left Tommy a note on the dining room table.

But as we drove to the doctor's office, I had that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Tommy may be slow, but he's almost never late, and he always calls to tell us if he is. I called his cellphone from the doctor's office, and it went right to voicemail. I called home to see if he was there yet. No one answered.

Each time I called, I got more and more nervous.

By the time we got home from the doctor's office it was nearly 5:00, and Tommy still wasn't home.

I drove over to the school and looked around for him, hoping that maybe he was studying in the library or the school commons, but he wasn't there either. The offices, classrooms, and study areas were closed. There was no-one there but the basketball team and the drama club.

That's when I started to panic. I called Bridget and told her what was up, and she began to panic too.

We couldn't call Tommy's friends to ask if they knew where to find him, because his friends are older and don't go to school with him anymore. We couldn't call the school because nobody was there. So, I did what any normal parent would do.

I drove up and down every street between home and school looking for a body on the side of the road. When I didn't see anything in the dark, I began filing the "missing persons" report in my mind, picturing myself trying to convince a police officer that the long-haired kid in the picture is not on drugs, nor is he irresponsible in the slightest. ("Sure, dad," I could hear the cop reply, "that's what all parents think.")

I called Bridget again and asked her to e-mail the principal while I went home to check on his brothers. Sean had since returned from his friend's house.

"Is Tommy here?" I asked.


"Do you know where he is?"

"Nope. Do you?"

"No," I admitted. "I don't."

"So technically, you don't know if he's alive or dead," Sean added helpfully.

Thanks kid.

I immediately walked right back out of the house to do another search of the school. This time, I ran into the drama coach. He had just dismissed his students from rehearsal. He could see I was nervous.

"Can I help you?" he asked.

"My son didn't come home from school," I said.

He tried his best to hide his "they're teenagers--that's what teenagers do" expression, but he pulled out his computer to help me anyway.

"What's his name?" he asked.

"Tommy Kaempfer," I replied.

When he saw Tommy's picture in his computer, a look of recognition crossed his face. "Oh Tommy! Yeah, I know him." Then he looked at me, and I could see the concern on his face immediately. "You're right to worry. Tommy isn't like that at all."

At that moment, I was truly on the cusp of losing it.

The teacher clicked onto Tommy's attendance page and saw that Tommy had indeed attended every class. "That's weird," he said. "He was here all day. Wait a minute--it says that the honors Spanish class is going on a field trip. Does that sound familiar?"

Not really. It didn't at all.

"Thanks," I said, to calm down the teacher. "I'm sure that's where he is."

It wasn't until I put the key in the ignition that it hit me. Tommy had asked me to sign a permission slip the night before. He had gotten me at a moment when I was working, and I was clearly only partially paying attention to him. For the life of me, I couldn't recall the conversation at all. Did he mention a field trip? He might have.

You know, there's a reason why I've called this column "Father Knows Nothing" all these years. These kids are turning out well in spite of me, not because of me.

On the other hand, I will say this. There's nothing like thinking your son is gone to make you appreciate him. I almost crushed him with a hug when he walked in the door, home from his field trip at 7pm.

"You OK Dad?" he asked.

"Nope," I said. "But you are, and that's all that matters."

Free Excerpt from "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"": November 22, 1963

Like most Baby Boomers, John Records Landecker has vivid memories of the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated, 50 years ago today. Here is how he described that day in his book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"...

NOVEMBER 22, 1963

I remember exactly where I was on November 22, 1963. This is a milestone in the memory of all Baby Boomers. There are only a few select moments in life that you can remember with such vivid clarity, and I can tell you every detail about where I was. I was at University High School in Hope Chipman’s geometry class.

Just to give you an idea of what Miss Chipman was like, I need to set the stage. Rock and roll was starting to become an important part of our lives, and it was more than just music — it was an attitude. It was a fashion. It was a way to dress; and the girls were wearing things like mini-skirts, and go-go boots. If a female student was up at the blackboard to do a geometry problem, and Miss Chipman felt that the hemline was a tad too high, she was not above quietly reaching up with her hand and tugging the hemline down in front of the entire class. I’m sure everyone in that era had a Miss Chipman. She was a spinster, if you will.

We also had a lot of student teachers because we were on the campus of the University of Michigan — they were like teacher-interns — and on this particular day, our student teacher saw what was happening on the television in the library. She came running into the classroom in tears, and breathlessly announced to the whole class: “President Kennedy is dead!”

The classroom was totally silent for a moment as we processed the news. After a long pause, Miss Chipman turned to us and said: “I think he would have wanted us to finish the class.”

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name", a finalist for the Chicago Writer's Association 2013 Book of the Year, is available here at Eckhartz Press. The CD companion piece, "Records Truly Is My Middle Name (The Soundtrack)" can be pre-ordered here. It's a perfect stocking stuffer present for the JRL fan in your family.

Dan Dierdorf Retiring

Dan Dierdorf is hanging it up. From Radio Online...

Former St. Louis Cardinals offensive tackle and veteran radio and TV NFL football analyst Dan Dierdorf has announced his retirement, effective at the end of the 2013 NFL season. Dierdorf began his broadcasting career at CBS Radio's Talk KMOX-AM before becoming an investor in crosstown CH Holdings Sports/Talk KTRS-AM/St. Louis in 1998. The former "Monday Night Football" announcer and Football Hall-of-Famer also handled mornings on KTRS. Currently in his second stint as a NFL analyst for CBS-TV, Dierdorf was honored with the Pro Football Hall Of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2008.

Clearly, whoever replaces him will have to start every sentence with the word clearly, or there will be an immediate clearly shortage. Clearly I should be able to get past that verbal tick and appreciate his pretty good football analysis, but clearly I hear only the word clearly when he speaks. But in fairness, he says it clearly.

Chicago's TV Report on Kennedy Assassination

Even in 1963, the local TV news examined the local Chicago angle. Frank Reynolds and Hugh Hill report...

Best Wishes To Eric Ferguson

The star of the Eric and Kathy show is undergoing spinal surgery today. Robert Feder has the details.

Obviously, everyone is wishing him well, including me. I've gotten to know Eric a little over the years, and get along with him very well. He's had a rough go of it health-wise over the past year or two, so I hope this surgery is as minor as he thinks it will be.

The morning schedule does have a way of taking a toll on your health. You can't really understand how damaging it can be (especially if you work as hard as you need to work to be successful in that timeslot) until you live it for a while. He's been living it now for twenty years, which is really tough. I was on three different regular medications after only ten years. (Not kidding)

He says he'll be ready to go after Thanksgiving.

(If you missed the piece I did about the Eric & Kathy show a few months ago in the Illinois Entertainer, you can read it here.)

Deer Hunting Season

A few tributes to deer hunting season. First Tom Lehrer

Then Da Yoopers

Millennials and Pandora

From today's Tom Taylor column, regarding Millennials and Pandora...

Reality check from the researcher - For Millennials, “Radio is no longer the center of the audio universe.” It faces “numerous challenges” with listeners in Kassof's latest online study of 303 respondents aged 13-34. Remember two days ago, when Kassof released data showing that 37% of Millennials say they “love FM radio” and another 45% “like it”? Here’s how Pandora matches up – 39% of Millennials “love Pandora.” Another 26% like it. Only 5% dislike it and 1% hate it. Kassof says this age group “feels just as positively, on average, about Pandora as FM. Whether you see this as good news or bad news depends on your perspective.” For a radio guy like Kassof, “It hopefully makes you and me sit up and realize that Pandora is a serious challenger.”

This whole line of resarch misses the forest for the trees, if you ask me. I still think radio needs to think differently to get Millennials. They live in a multi-media world, and radio needs to be more than just audio. It needs to have a visual element, a mobile element, and be immersed in social media and the internet. That's radio's opportunity to continually provide content, content, content. You need to be a go-to place, and not just in the car. Engage. Don't use your website as a throwaway. Don't use your facebook page to announce where your street van will be showing up. Have someone providing content all the time, and not just information about your format.

It won't translate into ratings or money immediately, which is why it doesn't happen in the shortsighted moneygrab world of broadcasting, but it will pay off by making you an important part of their lives. Some stations are doing it well. Most are not. Even Pandora doesn't really do it well. That's just my opinion as the father of a few Millennials. We used to call them "P1s" when I was in radio. Right now you've got a whole generation of P2s.

David Blaine Freaks Out Harrison Ford

I'm not a fan of "magic" but this trick is pretty cool...


Thanks to "MC" for sharing this...

Not Real, But Not A Bad Idea

It's a headline in the Onion (so it's not real), but I still think this isn't a bad idea: Siblings Gather Around PowerPoint To Hash Out Off-Limits Topics For Thanksgiving

Here's my favorite part of the article: “As you can see here, we’re unsure whether or not cousin Jessica is actually college-bound, so we’re going to avoid that subject and stick to the key talking points listed in this table,” said Alyssa Conroy, 26, during the siblings’ 48-slide presentation, which reportedly featured pie charts breaking down the state and national voting histories of extended family members, as well as Venn diagrams illustrating what each relative knows about their father’s upcoming surgery.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name (The Soundtrack)", A Charity Fundraiser for The Chicago Lighthouse

Eckhartz Press is thrilled to announce the release of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name (The Soundtrack)", which is going to be a fundraiser for The Chicago Lighthouse. The CD features some of the most memorable moments of John Records Landecker's radio career--and is a companion piece to his acclaimed book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", a finalist for the Chicago Writer's Association 2013 Book of the Year.

John is donating 100% of the profits from this CD to the Chicago Lighthouse, a charity near and dear to his heart. The Chicago Lighthouse is dedicated to helping visually impaired and blind people. John's own father Werner was blind, and John has been a big supporter of the Chicago Lighthouse for many years. (To find out more about The Chicago Lighthouse, click here).

The CD is going to press as we speak and will be shipping out the first week of December. Order your copy today!

Here is the final cover art...


So what is on the CD?

Here is the final track list...

1. John Travolta at the Woodfield Mall, 4:57
John & John in front of thousands of screaming fans. WLS, 1976

2. Mel Brooks & Carl Reiner, 12:41
The 2000 year old man and his straight man appear on WJMK in 2000

3. George Harrison, 14:04
The former Beatle appears on WLS in 1976

4. George Carlin, 3:46
The timing was right. George Carlin on WJMK in 2001, a few days before 9/11.

5. Tom Hanks, 4:27
John unloads years of pent-up questions to Tom Hanks on WJMK in 2002

6. Tina Turner, :35
John and the Acid Queen talk about sex, WLUP, 1983

7. Valerie Harper surprises Mary Tyler Moore, 1:26
Valerie Harper in Chicago pretends to be someone else to the unknowing MTM on via satellite from NY
WJMK, 1996

8. Grumpy Harry Caray,:59
Harry was on the show for one reason and one reason only—to tell his Elvis story—on WJMK 1994.

9. John Landecker’s Parents Explain His Middle Name, 1:27
John’s parents answer the question about his middle name once and for all, WLS in 1970s

10. Martha Stewart Unplugged, 3:14
John surprises Martha Stewart by serenading her with a song on WJMK in 1995.

11. Jay Leno & the Original YDNA/Landecker & the Legends, 3:03
Jay Leno defends the uncanny coincidence of doing the Dancing Itos and a YMCA parody months after John did both. WJMK/1995

12. Viva Viagra—Landecker & the Legends, 2:27
Sent to the Viagra people and used in a commercial…ten years later, WJMK 1998

13. King of Farts—Landecker & the Legends, 3:27
John’s classy masterpiece that was banned from the WJMK airwaves by management in 1996

Some truly incredible moments.

Over the next few weeks we'll also be posting a few of the memorable bits, songs, and interviews that didn't make the final CD. (It wasn't easy cutting it down to one CD!)

Dirty Harry Speaks the Truth

Another one of my ridiculous passions...(Hot dog condiments, not Dirty Harry)

Layoffs at the Tribune

Layoffs were announced at the Tribune yesterday, and that's never a good thing, but I will note this one comment in the article, and unlike most corporate speak, I think they really mean it...

"Under the publishing realignment, which will go into effect Jan. 1, the company plans to 'invest more concertedly' in digital growth."

My next column for the Illinois Entertainer will be about one division of that digital group, a rare positive story about the newspaper business. It comes out on December 1st.

Ernie Honored by The President

From this morning's Tribune...

Banks, 82, a bald and bespectacled Hall of Famer still called "Mr. Cub" more than 40 years after retiring, was saluted by Obama for his rise from a $7-a-day player in the Negro Leagues to the first African-American to suit up for Chicago's North Side ballclub.

The president extolled Banks' 512 home runs and exhortation, "Let's play two." He said as a White Sox fan, he respected Banks' "eternal faith that someday the Cubs would go all the way."

"And that's serious belief," the president said.

Banks, speaking after the ceremony, said he was proud of having played for one team in one city under one mayor (Richard J. Daley), for one owner (P.K. Wrigley) and in one home park (Wrigley Field) under sunlight — what he called "God's light."

As The Rupert Turns

In a truly unlikely turn of events, Rupert Murdoch's divorce was finalized in court yesterday with very little drama.

They even sealed the details of the settlement.

That's no way to end a soap opera like this. What happened to his sense of show biz?

The "It's A Wonderful Life" Sequel

You may have heard that a sequel to "It's A Wonderful Life" is being planned, in which George's grandson gets a visit from an angel to show him that the world would have been a better place if he had never been born. (Not joking about that).

Well, it turns out the potential producers of that film hadn't checked with the copyright holders of the original, my good buddies over at CBS (actually Paramount, but it's owned by CBS). The AP has the story.

The Future Looks Bright

Two of the top ten prospects in the Arizona Fall League, according to these rankings by expert baseball scouts, belong to the Cubs. I can't help but get exicted when I read stuff like this...

2. Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs (Mesa): If this were a list based solely on top prospects' performances in the AFL, Bryant would be No. 1. The No. 2 pick from the 2013 Draft won the AFL MVP Award, and he has legitimate power that should put him in the bigs soon, though he has to prove to some he can stay at third base.

10. Albert Almora, OF, Cubs (Mesa): At age 19, Almora was the second-youngest player in the AFL, but he certainly didn't play like it. The center fielder more than held his own, hitting for average and playing solid defense all while continuing to show how plus-rated makeup can maximize one's tools.

And here's a bonus, another one made the top twenty...

13. Jorge Soler, OF, Cubs (Mesa): The third Cubs position player on this Top 20, Soler has top-of-the-scale raw power that rivals that of any AFL player. "He hits the ball to Yellowstone, he has a fabulous body and he's a poster for what you want the body to be," one scout said, "though the day-to-day focus isn't there."

Let's remember that their top prospect Javier Baez wasn't even playing this fall. Add him to the list, and these two players the Cubs just added to the 40 man roster because they are so coveted by other teams, and there's reason to be excited.

Maybe we can start selling some of those "Losing is Soooo Last Century" shirts again (like the one the nice young lady above is wearing).

Truce in the Chicago vs. New York Pizza Wars

Last night Jon Stewart took a few more shots at Chicago pizza, but in the end, he called a truce by inviting Marc Malnati of Lou Malnati's pizza on the show. He also tasted a piece of Malnati's and had to admit..."it's pretty tasty".

You can see the video here.

I have a feeling he was inundated with ticked off calls, e-mails and tweets, because Stewart looked a little surprised by the vehemence of Chicago's response (Including my response here, which I stand by. Note: he even used a variation of my dog joke on last night's show. Great minds.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Joe Walsh

One of the nicest guys in rock and roll is 66 years old today. Happy birthday Joe Walsh.

Today's Best Tweets

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

Lynn Sweet ‏@lynnsweet 10m
WH East Room unusually jammed w press for medal event w Oprah, Clinton, Ernie banks, Steinem, Loretta Lynn

NPR News ‏@nprnews 9m
Talk About An Error! We Put 'Mr. Cub' On The White Sox!

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper 48s
That @AlbertBrooks has yet to be awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom is, dare I say, an outrage!

Slate ‏@Slate 11m
The November 22, 1963 "Welcome, JFK!" Austin banquet that never happened--PHOTOS:

Mary Schmich ‏@MarySchmich 15m
The hoo-ha over those French warnings for visitors to Chicago? A lot like Chicago's own advice. Today's column.,0,3090407.column …

The Daily Show ‏@TheDailyShow 17m
Extended Interview: @BillCosby describes what cursing used to be. His new special premieres this Sat, Nov 23 at 8/7c.

Joseph Carlson ‏@joscarlson 21m
RT @WSJ: "All of the effects of alcohol are sort of amplified with age." Why hangovers get worse as you get older:

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 27m
Brazilian woman who auctioned off her virginity for $780,000 set to auction it off again

Cut4 ‏@Cut4 1h
Here are 14 of the year's best customized jerseys:

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 48m
Find out how Bob Dylan's brilliant "Like a Rolling Stone" video was made:

Kevin Matthews

I knew when Jimmy de Castro and Larry Wert started working at WGN, this was just a matter of time.

Kevin Matthews is coming aboard the G. (Robert Feder has the details, as always)

I just saw Kevin a few months ago, and he was in good spirits. I've always said he has a one-of-a-kind mind. Not sure what's in there exactly, and I don't think anyone else ever will either, but it's definitely unique. Over the years he has asked me to become his producer a few times and I've always said no--not because I didn't respect his talent. I do. He's gifted. Only because I knew I could never think like him, and that's one of the things a producer has to learn to do in order to anticipate problems before they occur.

I'm rooting for Kev. He and I started on the Loop the exact same day, and I've always felt a kinship with him.

Rob Ford/Chris Farley Mashup

NSFW, but funny...

Classic Cigarette Ad

Thanks to "ND" for pointing out this one. Obviously shocking in retrospect...

Interactive "Like A Rolling Stone"

I was flipping through channels last night and saw a story about this interactive lip synching "Like a Rolling Stone".

It's really well done. You can find it here.

A New Bravo Reality Series Starring Chicagoans

It's called "100 Days of Summer" and it debuts in January (strike one--who wants to watch summer in the winter?). It features six young "successful and driven" Chicagoans (strike two--people like that are usually reallly unpleasant). From the release: "In desperate need of relief from Chicago’s long-lasting winters, these go-getters only have a scant 100 days to accomplish the lofty personal and professional goals they set for themselves." (strike three--that's the way people from outside of Chicago look at this city. We actually manage to live and survive in Chicago the other 265 days too.)

Not watching it.

If it sounds good to you, however, there's a preview in the Red Eye.

Rich Man Buys House Next to Ex-Wife, Erects Giant Middle Finger Outside

Gawker has the story and the picture.

The headline really says it all.

Casey's Kids

The Casey Kasem story is getting sadder and sadder. His current wife is being sued by his kids because she won't let them see their ailing dad. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

Jean Kasem had made a rather restrictive offer to Casey's kids in exchange for them dropping their lawsuit -- 1) She offered each child separate one-hour visits every third Sunday with a security guard "in the general vicinity." They would also have to give 72-hours notice prior to each visit. 2) The kids could also visit during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas week, Easter Week and Casey's birthday. 3) In the event that Casey is hospitalized, the kids will all be notified -- however, it doesn't make clear that they would be allowed to visit him in the hospital. Sources told TMZ that all three Kasem offspring have rejected Jean's offer.

Radio's Future

Another piece of self-delusion today from Inside Radio...

Debunking the myth that Millennials don’t care for broadcast radio, a new survey finds a vast majority give FM high marks. As a top draw for music discovery, FM is something nearly every Millennials has some affection for. The survey, by Mark Kassof & Co., shows more than a third of Americans aged 13-34 “love” FM radio and another 45% “like” it.

That first sentence is highly misleading. The third sentence is the one that leaps out at me. Only 37% love radio. Those numbers are way down. Even if 45% like it, it's not a priority in their lives. As long as radio keeps patting itself on the back with studies like this instead of addressing the problem, it will slowly die. I hope this study was commisioned just so radio could show it to their advertisers, because if they really believe nothing's wrong, look out.

I have kids in that age bracket who grew up around radio, and even they don't really listen unless we have it on. None of their friends listen either. They may not mind it, and they may even enjoy it when they hear it, which is the way I read this survey, but radio is clearly not their medium.

If I were to take a realistic cup is half-full look at this study, we still have a chance to convert them as long they don't actively hate radio (about 4% or so feel that way). I'd feel better about radio's chances, however, if I saw them doing something to try.

Cubs 365

Here Come Da Judge. The first baseball comissioner was born on this day in 1866.

He was a life-long Cubs fan.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shampoo Purchasing

Thanks "GS" for this...

Germany vs. England "Friendly"

Germany is playing a "friendly" (exhibition) game against England today. One thing is for sure when these two teams meet.

It ain't gonna be friendly.

P.S. Don't call me between 2-4pm today.

Today's Best Tweets

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

RainnWilson ‏@rainnwilson3m
I do some of my best farting on airplanes.

Emerson College is renaming its journalism school after Ron Burgundy. It's kind of a big deal. (Photo: Paramount/AP)

The White House OSTP ‏@whitehouseostp2h
Unreal aurora over #Iceland via @NASA_GoddardPix @apod

dandeibert ‏@dandeibert7m
It's all tied up in the "George Zimmerman Arrested / Alec Baldwin Gay Slurs caught on tape" contest. First one to 10 wins

OptaJoe ‏@OptaJoe 20m
3 - England have lost three of their previous four clashes with Germany at Wembley, scoring just twice. Trouble

Mark Edwards ‏@markedwards 1m
Over 50 and out of work: Program seeks to help long-term unemployed

Slate ‏@Slate 3m
Incontrovertible evidence that the 1990s stock bubble is back: #LessThanJake

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller 8m
Justin Bieber launched a new app devoted exclusively to selfies. 20 years ago not a single noun in that sentence would have made sense.

davidfrum ‏@davidfrum 15m
The Gettysburg address in Eisenhowerese remains a good joke today …

Michael Ian Black ‏@michaelianblack 18m
Hamburglar must have some income for housing, mask, etc. Why doesn't he just use a little of it to buy inexpensive McDonald's hamburgers?

Monty Python To Reunite

I never thought I would see this day. Monty Python is reuniting after 30 years to do another television show together.

The show will be on the BBC, and will mark their first project together since "The Meaning of Life", which of course produced this inspired piece of brilliance...

The Pothole Store

My co-publisher David Stern is branching out, and extending our JOBC/Eckhartz empire. He has started something called "The Pothole Store", which I think is brilliant. Check it out and see what I

You can get a Chicago pothole named after a loved one, or buy one of Dave's stylish new Pothole products, including an actual quarter bag of pot(hole). There are several different varieties: Skokie Tokie, High-land Park, Wabash Hash, Stoney Island, LSD, and Evanstoned.

It's all in good fun, and it's starting to make a stir on the internet.

The Beatles Being Honored by The Grammy's

The 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing on Ed Sullivan is coming up on February 9th, and the Grammys are not going to ignore one of the biggest cultural events in our lifetimes. From the RAMP newsletter...

As we approach the 50th anniversary of that most momentous day, The Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS are teaming up to present The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute To The Beatles. The two-hour show will tape on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, the day after the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, and will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2014 from 8-10pm ET/PT -- exactly 50 years to the day, date, and time of the original event. "The Beatles are one of music's most iconic groups, who won their first two Grammys, including one for Best New Artist, in 1964 -- the same year they took America by storm," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. "As the Grammy Awards are Music's Biggest Night, it's only fitting that we recognize this milestone moment in music history and pay tribute to this larger than life group and their enduring music and legacy." An all-star list of performers and presenters will be announced shortly.

Needless to say, I will be watching.

How Popular Is Social Media Now?

Facebook reaches more people than all television networks. And now, social media is even more popular online than porn. OK, porn. Your work here (on the internet) is done. Time to find the next new trend, and trailblaze for America once again.

Ernie Gets Presidential Medal of Freedom

This is not easy for a White Sox fan to do, but President Obama is giving Ernie Banks the Presidential Medal of Freedom tomorrow.

To get the Presidential Medal of Freedom you have to be more than just a great baseball player. You have to be an ambassador of good will, and a cultural icon. Take a look at the list of previous baseball players who have been honored: Hank Aaron (2002), Roberto Clemente (2003) Joe DiMaggio (1977), Stan Musial (2011), Buck O'Neil (2006), Frank Robinson (2005), Jackie Robinson (1984) and Ted Williams (1991).

That's a pretty special list.

Ernie is my childhood hero, so this is a special day for me too.

Cubs 365

The most famous player in Chicago baseball history was born on this day. No, it's not who you think.

It's the guy mentioned in the lyrics of one of the most famous songs written about Chicago.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Good Opening Sketch on SNL

Book Launch Party Photos

Over the weekend we threw a big party at Black Finn in Mt. Prospect to celebrate the launch of Chuck Quinzio’s book “Life Behind The Camera”. Chuck’s supporters came out in force to celebrate with him, and we sold quite a few copies of his book.

Thanks to everyone who came out! It was a who’s who of Chicago media…

CBS Chicago's Derrick Blakley and former NBC Cameraman James Strickland

Fox-32's Dane Placko

NBC-Chicago's Phil Rogers

WCPT's Dick Kay

ABC-Chicago's Paul Meinke

The proud author and his wife

"Life Behind the Camera" is available right here at Eckhartz Press.


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

November 18, 1968…At the Troubadour in Los Angeles, Randy Meisner, Jim Messina, Richie Furay, George Grantham and Rusty Young debuted under the name Pogo, in honor of Walt Kelly's famous comic strip character. When Kelly later filed suit because of the name, the group changed to the similar-sounding Poco.

Meisner later joined the Eagles, Jim Messina paired up with Kenny Loggins, and Richie Furay started up Souther, Hillman, Furay band.

They were part of that California scene. In retrospect it sounds like lite-rock, but it wasn't considered that at the time.

Murdoch's Son Sells Stock

Is it a bad sign when the son of the CEO, who is himself the deputy CEO, sells 455,000 shares of his company's stock?

Just wondering. James Murdoch sold nearly twenty percent of his stock on Friday.

Today's Best Tweets

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

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 3m
Cheney Sisters Fight on Facebook #cheatsheet

WGN Radio 720 ‏@WGNRadio 6m
Photo taken by WGN's Kim Gordon in Washington, Ill.

Victor Gensini ‏@gensiniwx 12h
Dating back to 1986, there have been 194 November #tornado warnings in #IL. Of the 194, 101 (52%) were issued today! @JimCantore @NWSChicago

FOX 32 News ‏@fox32news 37m
Mayor: At least 250 homes destroyed in Washington

David Haugh ‏@DavidHaugh 10h
On a muddy field in stormy conditions, Trestman and McCown help Bears regain traction in NFC North race. Column

Letters of Note ‏@LettersOfNote 43m
Today in 1974, an American football fan sent a complaint to his favourite team & provoked a magnificent response:

Blowtorch Press ‏@BlowtorchPress 42m
Not that old fashioned radio isn't relevant. It has its place, but too many radio people are in full denial that their medium is antiquated.

Chicago Tribune ‏@chicagotribune 53m
Several of our social media accounts have been compromised. We're working to restore order. Thanks for your patience

The Dish ‏@dishfeed 1h
“Germany Has Turned Into A Giant Brothel”

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman 1m
Wish me luck. Christmas pictures with two pugs and a two-year old this morning; Possible heavy drinking by noon.

Another TV F-Bomb

Last week it was a reporter on a Detroit television station.

This past weekend it was an anchor on CNN.

I was a broadcaster for more than 20 years and never did it once. I was, however, on the air with someone who did. That person is now my co-publisher at Eckhartz Press.

MSNBC Suspends Alec Baldwin

Using slurs will get you in trouble every time. After hearing what Alec Baldwin called a photographer, MSNBC decided to suspend him for two weeks.

I've seen his show. They should just make that a permanent move. His language isn't the only thing that's excruciatingly bad.

Toronto's Mayor

The Mayor of Toronto has been in the news a lot lately, thanks to the video of him smoking crack (which he claims he didn't remember because he was in drunken blackout), and the video of him threatening to kill a guy and rip his heart out. Oh, and the press conference where he was talking about his wife's nether regions.

The city council stripped him of his responsibilities and power.

But now he's getting a reality show, and he says he wants to run for prime minister.

Are we sure he's not actually an American?

22 years

Bridget and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary over the weekend. The traditional gift for 22 years is supposed to be copper. ( We didn't really have a reason to call one, so we went out to dinner instead.

Da Bears

My buddy Tom Serritella and his son are featured in this piece from the incredibly weird and wacky Bears game yesterday...

Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

Cubs Future & Past

The future looks bright. Cubs prospect Kris Bryant was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League (a league that features the top prospects from all teams).

And Cubs 365 today features one of the more interesting players in Cubs history, Les Mann.