Friday, January 17, 2014

What City Should You Live In?

Buzzfeed has a test if you're interested. I took it and it said I should be living in Barcelona.

Here is the writeup they gave me after the test: Barcelona You are a little bit of everything: half party, half pensive. You’re just as happy out clubbing as you are spending a long dinner with friends. You’re known to have a unique taste in everything, and you’re proud of it.

Doesn't sound like me at all, but I must admit I guessed at a few questions (I know NOTHING about Beyonce). On the other hand, I did go to Barcelona once, and I did love it.

The Pothole Store

More pub for Dave's Pothole Store.

Today the Humor Columnist gives the store his official seal of approval.

Hey Bulldog

45 years ago today, the Beatles released their "Yellow Submarine" album. This is the song that immediately jumped out at me...

Today's Best Tweets--January 17

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

CBS News ‏@CBSNews 5m
The last Japanese Imperial soldier to surrender - a full 29 years after the end of WWII - dies at the age of 91

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 36s
Happy birthday, Betty White! The national treasure turns 92 today

Margaret Eby ‏@margareteby 9m
Yes, we should still teach novels to high school students:

Chicago Red Stars ‏@chicagoredstars 2m
With the 3rd pick in the first round of the #NWSLdraft, we are very excited to select Julie Johnston of Santa Clara University.

Sarah Spain ‏@SarahSpain 6m
How anyone STILL smokes/ever smoked cigs is beyond me. RT @ghein83: Smoking is even worse than you thought

Matt Spiegel ‏@MattSpiegel670 23m
MLB Replay! Challenge flags for the first 6 innings only. Up to the umps for the last 3. Central office. It ain't perfect, but FINALLY.

Len Kasper ‏@LenKasper 15m
Best part about replay selfishly is...content for us. Adds interesting strategy to an already intellectually-stimulating game. Should be fun

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 21m
"Beyond our wildest teenage dreams." U2 react to their Oscar nomination:

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 30m
In Focus: Nonprofit Fights Poverty With Poverty

ColonelTribune ‏@ColonelTribune 32m
Illinois ranked 45th in emergency care, study shows. That's a big drop from just a few years ago

"Life Behind The Camera" To School LA

We got this letter from a professor at LA City College yesterday...

I would like to add your book, "Life Behind the Camera" to the required reading list with the A.P. Stylebook for Journalism 217 and Journalism 218, Publication Laboratory and Practical Editing in the Media Arts department at Los Angeles City College. Students could learn so much from your experience.

I am so happy to see this book! You should consider visiting some of the conferences and speaking or doing workshop presentations at some of the national events for student journalists. I think the scholastic audience is big for your book. More than 2,000 student journalists attend the ACP conferences. It was in New Orleans last October. This is where the universities and two year colleges gather to see which have won the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize for scholastic journalism for the year.

I am sure students will buy the E Book if we tell them to, but I just want them to be able to hold the book up in the classroom and tell them, if you really want to know what it feels like to chase a story and cover news in the big city and beyond, get this book now!

We have been hearing similar stories from journalism profs and students around the country. We think she's right. Contact your school today. "Life Behind the Camera" is available at Eckhartz Press.

Wine & Sex Parties

A winery in the Canary Islands is starting what they hope will be the next trend: Wine & Sex parties.

In this country we spell the "whine" that goes along with sex a little differently.

Media Spotlight--January 17

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Chicago Radio's Cash Register
Robert Feder published the money totals from all Chicago radio stations yesterday. The numbers range from WBBM's $41,969,000 to WNUA-HD2's $601,000. It looks like the biggest increase from last year went to WTMX (up over $3 million) and the biggest decline was felt by WLIT (down almost $5 million).

~Mancow's Syndication Deal
According to Tom Taylor at NOW, Mancow's syndication deal is up and is not being renewed. He is talking to another syndicator, but nothing is ready to be announced yet.

The Pundits

~Bill O'Reilly's Tip of the Day: Abandon Radio
The former nationally syndicated radio host ripped music radio and promoted Pandora on his television show last night. He also took a gratuitous shot at "Hang On Sloopy," which is typical of O'Reilly. After all, Sloopy lives in a very bad part of town. Be nice, Bill. Hang on, Sloopy.

~Ronan Farrow's New Show
Politico reports it will air during the daytime hours and will be called (wait for it)..."The Ronan Show".


~Comedians have psychotic personality traits, study finds
Anyone who knows comedians knows this is absolutely true. Not all of 'em, but many of 'em.

~Jezebel Offering $10,000 for untouched Vogue pictures of Lena Dunham
There's a weird strain of mean-girl hatred of Lena Dunham that I just don't understand, and I think this is a pretty good example of it. If you don't like her show, don't watch it.

~Duck Dynasty Ratings Down Nearly 30% for Season Opener
I'm a little surprised by this. The way the conservative media rallied to defend the anti-gay and anti-black ocmments, I figured the ratings would actually go up.

~American Idol ratings lowest since 2002
I've been following the reviews (which are pretty positive), but it looks like that hasn't translated into viewers. Of course, it's still a huge hit (more than twice as many viewers as Duck Dynasty), but everything is relative.

Identify Your Dialect

The New York Times has a 25-question quiz. I just took it and it nailed my dialect pretty closely. (It said I either come from Rockford or Aurora, Illinois)

You can take it here, if you're interested.

I call it the "action zone"...

...if you know what I mean. (Thanks "SL" for sending this)

Just One Bad Century--January 17

On today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Popeye, LaCock, A cup of coffee from the 1880s, and people will come, Ray.

You can read it here.

Sad Day for Sitcom Fans

I'm going to admit something that I don't like to admit. I spent a huuuuuuuuuuge chunk of my childhood parked right in front of the television set watching classic sitcoms like "Gilligan's Island" and "The Partridge Family". I think I've seen every single episode of both shows. I know that doesn't reflect well on my character, but I am who I am.

I got very bummed out last night when I saw these two stories...

The professor from Gilligan's Island, Russell Johnson, has passed away.
I always thought he got a raw deal in the original theme song..."With Gilligan, the skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, and the rest are here on Gilligan's Isle." "Rest" in peace, Professor.


Dave Madden, Reuben Kincaid on the Partridge Family, also passed away.
I remember Danny Bonaduce telling me that Reuben got Danny his first cigarettes (or was it pot? I can't remember anymore). I didn't want to hear the story. I had an idea of what those people were like and I didn't want it ruined.

I feel like a little part of childhood is gone now too.

Sad to hear the news.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Devil Baby Prank

It made me laugh. Does that make me a bad person?

Today's Best Tweets--January 16

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

Harry Teinowitz ‏@HeyTweetHarry 18m
Anybody notice the two states who legalized marijuana are favored to meet in the Super Bowl? Which means Illinois needs to do it to. BEARS!!

Hub Arkush ‏@Hub_Arkush 8m
My column on the Vikings hiring Mike Zimmer, and what it means for the Bears:

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 2m
Our expert panel named the 100 greatest Bruce Springsteen songs of all time: did your pick make the cut?

John Arguello ‏@CubsDen 11m
A few thoughts on WGN from @mrubio52 #cubs …

Christopher Hayes ‏@chrislhayes 17m
The new Chrome feature where it shows a speaker icon on the tab playing music is one of the greatest inventions in Americans history.

Paul McCartney ‏@PaulMcCartney 19m
Paul's nominated for Best Solo Artist @NME Awards. Details: … Vote:

Cork & Kerry ‏@CorkandKerry 30m
Two month countdown .@SSIrishParade

Chicago Cubs ‏@Cubs 12m
Big news! @BillyJoel returns to perform at Wrigley Field July 18, 2014. Tickets go on sale to the public via @LiveNationIL Jan. 25.

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 15m
#Cubs: FanGraphs Offers the Top 15 Chicago Cubs Prospects for 2014 …

MancowMuller ‏@MancowMuller 16m
Scott Baio says he'd be willing to do a "Happy Days" reunion. But only under any conditions, for any amount of $, at any time, ever!

The Oscar Nominees

They were announced this morning, and here are the categories everyone cares about...


American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club





The Wolf of Wall Street

12 Years a Slave


Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Matthew McConaughy, Dallas Buyers Club

Chiwetel Ojiofor, 12 Years a Slave


Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County


Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Bradley Cooper, American Hustle

Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club


Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

Julia Roberts, August: Osage County

June Squibb, Nebraska


Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Alexander Payne, Nebraska

David O. Russell, American Hustle

Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Media Spotlight--January 16

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, show business, and the publishing business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago Media

~Cyber Super CFL
One of my all-time favorite radio stations (WCFL) is back. At least on the internet. Dave Hoekstra of the Sun-Times wrote about it this week. It's the brainchild of J.R. Russ, a guy from New Buffalo, Michigan.

Broadcast News

~MSNBC Chief Apologizes for All the Needed Apologies
This is pretty funny on so many levels. MSNBC really is just like Fox News these days, except for one thing. They still apologize.

~Larry King named new dean of the Friar's Roast
That may not sound like an obvious choice to you, but Larry is actually quite funny in real life. I've met him a few times.

~Shep Smith tears into net neutrality opponent
Not something you'd expect to see on Fox News. He called his guest a corporate shill and asked him who pays him to express opinions that clearly nobody believes about the internet (unless you're getting paid by the companies who will benefit). Bravo Shep.

The Pundits

~HBO signs Bill Maher for another season
I appreciate his fearlessness, even if he does come across as completely unlikable. Now HBO will have both him and John Oliver on the schedule, which is another show I eagerly anticipate. By the way, I still characterize both Maher and Oliver as pundits as opposed to "showbiz" because of the political nature of their comedy.

The Publishing Biz

~James Frey gets multi-book, multi-media deal
Remember the author who lied about his book "A Million Little Pieces"? He claimed it was a true story, and it wasn't. He was disgraced...ish. Harper Collins just signed him to huge deal.

People Who Don't Drink, More Likely To Die Young

Business Insider wrote an article that many people will be sharing. The headline reads: A New Study Suggests That People Who Don't Drink Alcohol Are More Likely To Die Young

Even though we all know it's a bunch of hooey, let's pretend it's true for a day.

Bartender? Another round please.

We Can Dance

This is really fun to watch. I watched it twice, because I missed some of it the first time. All the most memorable dance scenes from movies set to the Men Without Hats song "Safety Dance". Dig it...

Bill Murray on Gilda Radner

A touching tribute from Bill Murray about the last night he ever saw Gilda Radner. I can totally picture this.

You can read it here.

This is a great video of Gilda on stage, but definitely NSFW...

20 Signs You Went To Catholic School

I know so many people who went to Catholic school, I thought I'd share. I'm a public school kid myself, but my oldest son attended Catholic School briefly.

20 Signs You Went To Catholic School

My favorite is #11. I've seen it...

11. When at any non-catholic church or the train station, your right knee automatically buckles anytime you enter a pew, and you have to stop yourself from kneeling.

Mike Tyson's New Gig

Sent to me by "MZ"...

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 16

Today's JOBC Cubs Alamanac--Dizzy, a baseball card from 1934, A Cardinal that loves the Cubs, a hard luck scrapper, and a rare old baseball video.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cutting Room Floor

The Eckhartz Press blog today features a piece about Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding (it's the twentieth annivesary of that crazy story). I posted the two songs that John Landecker and I wrote when the story was still on the front pages, "Breaking Knees" and "Broken Laces", and a photo of the "iceskater leg pinada" that we let fans club while we performed the songs.

Check it out here.

What the World Needs Now

I post this every year on Martin Luther King's birthday...

Today's Best Tweets--January 15

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

Ari Berman ‏@AriBerman 3m
Martin Luther King Jr. would have been 85 today

Slate ‏@Slate 16m
Tonya Harding thought skating would make her rich. Not a chance:

Yahoo News ‏@YahooNews 58m
Roswell, N.M., teacher John Masterson hailed as hero for persuading student to drop gun in shooting.

Slate ‏@Slate 8m
Here's what happens to your credit card after a hacker steals it from Target or elsewhere:

Paul M. Banks ‏@PaulMBanks 12m
Evaluating the remains of the Illini NCAA Tournament profile: The Illinois Fighting Illini tournament chances ...

Mr. X ‏@GlomarResponder 18m
On the internet, no one knows you're a Muppet.
@Rschooley @jaketapper

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 18m
#Cubs: Unsurprise: Cubs Unsurprised by Clark Backlash, Unsurprisingly Bothered by Nastiness

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 25m
Man shoots self in chin while taking off pants:

Emily Atkin ‏@emorwee 13 Jan
Our hotel in West Virginia is stocked with clean, bottled water ... from the coal industry #WVWaterCrisis

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 38m
[American Voices] “Yeah, I put my dog in my will, but it was mostly as a ‘f you’ to my kids.”

Another School Shooting

We had the radio on this morning as the boys were getting ready for school and heard about yet another school shooting. An eighth grader shot two classmates. The story wasn't even the lead story in the newscast. It's so commonplace now, it barely rates a mention.

To save everyone a lot of time and effort, let me go through the motions of the debate.

Sane person: We have too many guns in this country.
NRA person: If every kid had a gun, this never would have happened.

Now we just wait for another school shooting, so we can "debate" it again.

Just One Bad Century--January 15

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac: The Shooter, Slim, a baseball card from 2002, MLK, the 50th save, and William Brennan was a Cub?

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--January 15

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, and show business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

The Moguls

~Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss
Clear Channel's new CEO Bob Pittman is often hailed by Wall Street as an innovator, but his first order sure sounds exactly like the previous regime (the anti-innovators). Tom Taylor explains in his NOW newsletter today:
CEO Bob Pittman no doubt wants to look as strong as possible to his bosses at Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners – and thus the order to re-do the budgets that were just approved, and find yet another 5% in cost savings. It’s surprising and painful. It’s also beyond challenging, since years of cutting expenses have led to starved-supermodel-like budgets. Backroom costs have already been slashed through regional consolidation and networking, news is probably sourced from an outside market, and sports costs (some of them high) are fixed and hard to change on short notice.

~Bob Pittman's Compensation Package
When you read the details, his order to cut more money out of each budget is even more disgusting. The more that is cut, the more he will personally make.

~The Phone Hacking Trial
In today's episode of As The Rupert Turns, the prosecution presents evidence of Rebekkah Brooks' husband trying to sneak her laptop away to hide the hacking evidence. There's more at the link. There's always more.


~FCC Loses Net Neutrality Case
I usually don't root for the FCC, but I was with them on this one. They were fighting to keep the internet open, free, and equal. After this ruling, providers can start charging more for faster service. The little guys who don't (or can't) pay, will no longer be equal to the big boys. The Wall Street Journal examines all the implications at the link above, but that's the bottom line as far as I'm concerned.

The Pundits

~Howard Kurtz in Hot Water
According to the report by Gawker linked above, the former Washington Post, Daily Beast, and CNN media critic (and current Fox News employee) Howard Kurtz was not completely truthful when he got in trouble last year about his financial arrangement with The Daily Download. Gawker has the paperwork to back up their claims.

Broadcast News

~Meredith Viera Concerned About Security in Sochi
Viera's concerns are detailed in today's Hollywood Reporter. This is the third or fourth member of the NBC broadcasting crew to publicly express concerns about this, which is pretty unusual.

~Cleveland TV-Station Sued For Being A Sexually Hostile Work Environment
The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the story, and it sounds pretty bad. The suit was brought by a saleman named Kevin Flanigan. From the article:
According to the lawsuit, Pando hired Flanigan in 2007, telling him she was "taking a risk" because men didn't normally perform as well as women. Flanigan said that despite being among the top performers in the department, he was pressured to engage in inappropriate sexual contact with other employees and clients and the use of drugs at corporate events involving clients. According to the lawsuit, the drug use and sexual favors were common and encouraged to "foster new business relationships."

~An amazing basketball story out of Minnesota
Reported at the link above by a Philadelphia morning television news program.


CBS Has 15 of Top 20 Rated Shows
The AP has the details. CBS television is absolutely crushing their competition these days.

The Grammy Awards
Looks like I'll be watching the Grammy Awards for the first time in years. From today's RAMP Newsletter:
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are among the latest big names that have been announced to perform on the 56th Annual Grammy Awards®. Before you get too carried away and drag out your moth-eaten Beatle wig, we were told that the boys would be performing separately. Also inked to take the Staples Center stage are current Grammy nominees John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban. Former (and forever) Beatles McCartney and Starr will be on hand as The Beatles receive the 2014 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award. Other special performances include nominee Sara Bareilles with 2014 MusiCares® Person of the Year Carole King.

The Radio Biz

Why is Radio Listening Declining?
Whenever I read the radio trades, I get irked by their head-in-the-sand approach to declining audiences. They pat themselves on the back and say everything is fine. Of course it's not. Radio is in danger of becoming extinct, and there are some pretty obvious reasons for that. Chicago's own Kurt Hanson (a radio researcher and internet radio pioneer) has some very good points that I think get closer than anything else I've read to explaining the audience erosion. (One of them is addressed in "The Moguls" section above)

Does Conan Have An Illegitimate Son?

That's what this guy in this video claims...

Conan's response is the following tweet:

Conan O'Brien@ConanOBrien
A kid in New Jersey is falsely claiming to be my illegitimate son. For the record, I have three children: Neve, Beckett, and @RonanFarrow.

The Mowgli Experiment

The University of Chicago is working on a really fascinating experiment involving rats. It's called "The Mowgli Experiment" and it tests rodent empathy. The results have been pretty amazing, if you ask me. Read all about it here.

What I take away from this is that empathy is evironmental, rather than genetic. Rats are more likely to feel empathy for and help out distressed fellow rats if they are socially familiar with them--even if they are a different breed of rats. Think about what that potentially says. The researcher says it herself in the final paragraph of the article...

“It does suggest that a diverse social environment does wonders for expanding helping behaviors toward others who are not similar to yourself.”

Anyone who has kids knows this to be true. The younger generations have grown up in a more diverse world than we grew up in, and are more accepting of others. They just are. It's not a sign of the apocalypse, or the "feminization of America" (as Brit Hume called it on Fox the other night). It's a good thing. A very good thing.

Bruce Springsteens

I have my doubts about how he'll handle the interviews when he gets the Tonight Show, but if there are enough moments like this, look out. Jimmy Fallon does have a whole bunch of talent. Here he is with the Boss--giving it to Chris Christie...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chuck Berry

This little tidbit from 50 years ago today, via Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

January 14, 1964…At the Chess Recording Studio in Chicago, Chuck Berry recorded seven songs, including his compositions "Nadine (Is It You?)" and "You Never Can Tell."

Who could forget this scene in Pulp Fiction...

Today's Best Tweets--January 14

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

Slate ‏@Slate 1m
Where does the phrase "screw the pooch" come from?

Katie Woodson ‏@katie_Woodson 10m
An 80 year old man will not be charged after shooting icicles off his house. @cbschicago reports.

Drew Walker ‏@radiodrew 5m
We know celebs are full of themselves sometimes but Gwyneth requires THIS? What's your one life perk, if anything?

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 6m
Remember yesterday before @ClarktheCub ruined the American way of life? Good times.

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 14m
BCB's Danny Rockett sings "The Ballad of Billy the Cub", about the unauthorized mascot. #cubs #mlb

jon greenberg ‏@jon_greenberg 1h
@sahadevsharma If the Cubs were good, at all, this would be a blip. But the overall Poochiness just made it a viral disaster.

Wayne Drehs ‏@espnWD 35m
Curious how many of the folks destroying the new Cubs mascot have tried to sit through a game at Wrigley with a 5-year-old.

Beachwood Reporter ‏@BeachwoodReport 55m
oh lord RT @ClarktheCub: Still figryuing out how 2 tyype with these big pawz. Will gett lessons from @Cubs. Come back soon!!

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 24m
"That’s something you have to let me know as soon as possible so I can compare myself to you favorably."

jimmy fallon ‏@jimmyfallon 25m
Tonight: The one & only Bruce @Springsteen and the E Street Band. #BRUUUUUUUUUUUCE #LateNight #LNJF

More Pothole Store Pub

Tomorrow morning I'll be accompanying The Pothole Store's David Stern to the WLS radio studios. He'll be on the John Kass and Lauren Cohn show at 10:35.

Tune if you're near a radio. Dave is a funny guy.

Media Spotlight--January 14

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, and show business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago media

~Walter Jacobsen joins WGN Radio
Starting next month he'll be on with Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano. Robert Feder has all the details at the link above.

~What is the future of the Cubs radio & television deals?
ChicagoNow blogger Anno Catuli examines the ever increasing likelihood that WGN and the Cubs will soon be parting.

The Moguls

~Roger Ailes had Gawker editor tailed
Roger Ailes is sounding more and more like a cartoon villain. Here's a bit from the article linked above...
Cook told Capital that during a private converstion with a former Fox News executive last summer, Cook was asked if he takes his kids, then aged 2 and 4 (he's since added another to the family), to Prospect Park for picnic lunches. Cook replied that yes, he does in fact take his kids to Prospect Park during lunchtime on the weekends. But how would said Fox News insider have knowledge of this, Cook wanted to know? Cook said that his source, whose name he did not want to appear in this article, divulged that Ailes had commissioned someone (or some people) to tail Cook, and that they had reported back to Ailes on his whereabouts.

~Bob Pittman's new deal at Clear Channel
According to Inside Radio: A little more than two years after being named CEO, Pittman, 60, has now extended his contract keeping him in place through January 2019.

~John Hogan's parachute deal from Clear Channel
Radio Ink has the details. Keep in mind, these figures are strictly bonuses for going away...
Some of these numbers will seem mind boggling to the average radio employee. Clear Channel will pay the former CEO $900,000 for his performance in 2012, $77,250 for performance during 2013, and a prorated annual bonus for the days he was employed during 2014, the vesting of 93,076 restricted shares of Class A Common Stock granted to Hogan in 2012 will be accelerated and CCMH will repurchase 83,938 of those shares. But wait, there's more. Much more. Healthcare, a secretary, plus money for rent and legal fees.

Broadcast News

~Katie Couric starts on Yahoo!
Her first interview was with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. That's a big "get", but I still don't quite understand how this Yahoo! thing is going to work. After reading the Politico article, it sounds like they don't quite know either. For the time being, I'm still classifying Katie under broadcast news.


~Golden Globes score big in the ratings
According to this Reuters piece, the Golden Globes had their best ratings in ten years.

You're Kidding, Right?

The Cubs unveiled their new mascot last night. The brain trust has finally figured out our biggest problem. We haven't been cute and cuddly enough. Problem solved.

Meet Clark...

By the way, James Finn Garner did a list of Clark's ten best pickup lines. Pretty funny stuff. My favorite is this one: “Hey, babe, if you Tinker with my Evers, you might have a Chance.”

The Pothole Store on WGN Morning News

Dave was in rare form this morning. Thanks so much to the WGN gang for having him on the show to talk about (The Pothole Store, of course, is part of the Just One Bad Century/Eckhartz Press media empire)

Watch the video here.

Here are some behind the scenes shots...

WGN Morning News

I won't be blogging until later today because I'm accompanying my friend David Stern to WGN-TV this morning. He'll be discussing his new "Pothole Store" venture.

His segment is scheduled to air between 9:00 and 9:30 AM.

Just One Bad Century--January 14

In today's JOBC Cubs Almanac: A celebrity Cubs fan, a baseball card from 1906, a man called Brakeman, and Bogie talks baseball.

Check it out here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Q & A with "Life Behind The Camera" Author Chuck Quinzio

Chuck Quinzio's "Life Behind the Camera" came out at the end of 2013, and has generated quite a bit of buzz within the Chicago media community. WGN radio's Bob Sirott, Bill Zwecker from the Sun Times, WCPT's Dick Kay, and WGN-TV's Nancy Loo have all chimed in with their support and praise. (It's available right here at Eckhartz Press). I recently got a chance to catch up with the author and ask him a few questions about the book and the reaction it's been getting.

What made you decide to write this book?

Chuck: I decided to write the book because I felt my job had taken me to places most people never get to see. I have been fortunate enough to meet presidents, celebrities, and others who live a much more extravagant life than mine. On the flip side, I've also seen how people can struggle, and how bad society can be. I've seen people die in the streets. To answer your question, I think this is a different look at the news game, a behind the scenes look at a business filled with characters, told from a cameraman's perspective. I don't think anyone has told it from that point of view before, and I figured "Why not me?"

Once you started writing, did you find it hard to remember all this, or did you keep pretty good records over the years?

Chuck: When I first started as a cameraman, a friend told me to buy a calendar book every year to keep track of the hours, so I did. But I also wrote down anything interesting that came along on any given day. I went back over them when I was writing this book, and they proved to be invaluable.

You've opted not to use real names. I think part of the fun of the book is trying to figure out who is who. Have you heard from any of the people in the book, and how are they reacting to it?

Chuck: A couple of close friends in the book recognized themselves right away. They just laughed because they had forgotten about certain details. What amazed me the most was that I purposely tried very hard to conceal the identity of a certain person I really didn't care for, but most people who also worked in that time period still picked that person out right away. It seemed a lot of people had the same perception I did.

The compelling stories for me personally aren't so much the ones about the media people (although those are good too), it's the stories about the stories you've covered. You're really telling the history of Chicago over the past thirty years. How has that front row seat affected your perception of your city and it's people?

Chuck: There is no other city I'd rather work in than Chicago. When it comes to covering news, there is no better place to be. It's a hard-working city filled with hard-working people. Plus, with the way politicians operate around here, there will always be news operations covering these guys and the way they do business. The names may have changed over the years, but the way they operate hasn't really changed at all.

There are least a half dozen stories in here that are about near-death experiences on the job. You have had guns pointed at you, nearly crashed in a helicopter and a small plane, and walked into the roughest, toughest neighborhoods with little or no protection. Out of all of those stories, which one scared you the most?

Chuck: I have to say the helicopter and plane stories were the scariest for me. There is a very helpless feeling when your helicopter or plane is swinging side to side, or dropping from the air like a stone, and you see the ground getting closer and closer. It's totally out of your control, and that's scary. Not to take anything away from being stuck in a bad neighborhood, but eventually with experience you can get a quick feel when things aren't right, and you just get out. Took me awhile to learn that one.

I personally learned a lot about the news business and how it works (and how it once worked). For people interested in getting into the business, how do you think your book will help them?

Chuck: In school, you're in a controlled environment. You have very little experience with the real world. This book talks about real news stories and all that goes with covering those stories. It tells the upside and the downside. There are stories that make you feel good about being in the business and some not so much. If it's the direction you choose for your career then hopefully this book will give you a little insight into what this crazy business is all about.

How has your family responded to this book? I take it even they didn't know some of these stories until they read it. What have they said to you about it?

Chuck: My family is very supportive of the book. Everyone who has read it has enjoyed it very much. I've never really been one to come home and discuss the job too much, so some of the stories were kind of eye opening for certain people. My cousin read it and simply said, "Loved the book, glad you're still alive."



From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac, this tidbit from 35 years ago today...

January 13, 1979…The Y.M.C.A. filed a lawsuit against the Village People over their song, "Y.M.C.A.," alleging copyright infringement. The suit eventually was dropped.

I've written at least four different parodies of this song, including one for Second City (about Henny Youngman), and two for Landecker & the Legends (including "YDNA"), and when I write a parody I nearly always end up hating the original because I have to listen to it so many times while I'm writing the new lyrics. This song also has to be one of the most overplayed songs in the world--it's still played at every sporting event in America.

But you know what? I still like "YMCA". There's just something irresistably cheesy about it, even without the costumes. I also noticed after watching this video that they didn't do the famous "YMCA" letters while they were dancing. That must have been created spontaneously afterwards by their fans...

The A-Rod Case

That was a pretty damning report about A-Rod on 60 Minutes last night. It was much worse than I thought it would be. Whenever not-so-subtle death threats are involved, it's serious.

Today's Best Tweets--January 13

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

Robert Loerzel ‏@robertloerzel 14m
Looks like Chicago is going to be about 60 degrees warmer today than it was a week ago.

Choose Chicago ‏@ChooseChicago 2m
29th Annual Cubs Convention is this wknd! Your chance to engage w/ special #Cubs guests: @SheratonChicago

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 32m
ICYMI, Wrigley film to be featured at #Cubs Convention via @cubs. Tickets still available

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 4m
E! apologizes to Michael J. Fox for insensitive "fun fact"

Rich Samuels ‏@rsamuels 11m
Booze news: Beam to be sold in $16 billion deal @CrainsChicago

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 18m
Seahawks ban Californians from buying NFC Championship tickets:

ESPN ‏@espn 24m
Tom Brady & Peyton Manning will meet in the postseason for the 4th time. No words are necessary, just a steely gaze.

Gawker ‏@Gawker 27m
Man with no ass crack gives man with two penises a run for his Reddit Karma

Chicago Bears 360 ‏@ChicagoBears360 28m
Chicago Bears keep defensive coordinator Mel Tucker, fire two assistants - Rockford Register Star (blog)

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 31m
[American Voices] “Finally, the wealthy and entitled have a voice in Washington!”

The Pothole Store

I drove around Chicago this weekend and couldn't believe how many potholes I encountered. It's an axle-wrecking nightmare out there.

My buddy Dave has a funny answer to that: The Pothole Store (Dave will be on WGN-TV between 9 and 9:30 tomorrow discussing the website and it's products)

So Naturally I Started a Publishing Company

Sent to me by "JE". Thanks so much...

Just One Bad Century--January 13

A pitcher who had literally never batted before, a baseball card from the 90s, cheesy Milo Hamilton, and Mike Tyson was a Cub?

Check it all out at today's JOBC Cubs Almanac.

Media Spotlight--January 13

Every weekday in 2014, I'll be keeping an eye on what's happening in the media. My focus will be on some of my favorite subjects...the moguls, the pundits, the broadcast news biz, and show business. (Read "$everance" if you want a crystallization of my positions on those subjects.) And, of course, I'll also keep tabs on Chicago's media.

Chicago media

~Tom Marker demoted by WXRT
Robert Feder has the news about WXRT's Tom Marker. It's a pretty surprising story. Over the holidays when this subject came up, everyone I talked to was shocked at this news. After all, WXRT changes their lineup every other decade or so.

~Alex Quigley promoted at WGN Radio
The RAMP Newsletter reports the news this morning thusly: A laurel... and hearty handshake to our pal Alex Quigley to celebrate his promotion from APD to the lofty-sounding post of Operations Manager for Tribune Talk WGN/Chicago. In a stirring memo to the troops, WGN VP of Programming & Content Todd Manley explained the reasoning behind Quigley's sweet upgrade as "recognition of Alex's role in our expanding future." Describing Quigley's expanded role, Manley said, "He'll be mentoring producers and searching for new talent that builds our farm system, coordinating special programming, scheduling, digging deep on ratings analysis, and dreaming big dreams."

~Jimmy de Castro attempts to buy an FM station for WGN
Crains reports on the two big hurdles he faces. #1: He can't buy until the Chicago Tribune is sold (or the F.C.C. changes it rules--see below). #2: Nobody is interested in selling an FM station in Chicago right now.

The F.C.C.

~Three former F.C.C. chairmen to testify before Congress on Wednesday
They are there to testify about the potential rewriting of media ownership rules. Two of the three tried to change those rules (especially Michael Powell), and the third one actually did (Reed Hundt). I'd like to hear what he thinks of the wreckage he has caused. He must know it was a terrible, terrible idea. Right?

The Moguls

~Jeff Zucker Fires Back at Roger Ailes
Last week Roger Ailes implied that CNN had thrown in towel when it comes to covering news. Of course, coming from Ailes that was a pretty funny statement, even if it was essentially true. Can't say I completely disagree with Zucker when he fired back by saying this about the upcoming Roger Ailes book: “it confirms what we’ve known all along, which is the Republican Party is being run out of News Corp. headquarters, masquerading as a cable channel.” Again, just because the quote comes from someone who shouldn't be throwing stones, doesn't mean it's inaccurate.

~John Hogan is leaving Clear Channel
Inside Radio reports: After running radio’s largest company for more than a decade, John Hogan has left his position as chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. The company’s radio division will now report directly to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman, who has signed a new five year deal with the company, and to CFO Rich Bressler.

The Pundits

~Meghan McCain gets a talk show
The outspoken daughter of Sen. John McCain is getting her own show. It will be on Pivot, a network I have never heard of.

~I guess he really ISNT Woody's son
The New York Post (I know, I know) reports that Ronan Farrow tweeted this during the Golden Globes last night: "Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age 7 before or after Annie Hall?"


~The Golden Globes
I didn't watch it last night, but the LA Times has all the details about who won what. (Above link). The New York Times reviews the performances of the hosts and presenters.

~The White House Defends Jimmy Kimmel
In response to a petition signed by 100,000+ upset viewers (about a bad joke about Chinese people), the White House has responded. According to AP: The White House noted that ABC and Kimmel have apologized, and that the network has removed the segment from future broadcasts and its online platforms. The White House also noted that the Constitution protects free speech, even when it's offensive.

Chris Schultz

Four different people sent me this; two Democrats and two Republicans. I guess it's safe to post...

Robert Downey Jr. & Sting

The actor hops on stage with Sting and sings "Driven To Tears"

It's really good. You can see it here.

The All-Time Cubs Team By Position & Maddux Memories

CBS Sports is doing this for all the teams, but you have to admit the Cubs all-time is incredibly impressive. Eleven Hall of Famers.

Check ou the list here.

Here's a bonus piece. The Tribune's Paul Sullivan remembers his favorite Greg Maddux moments as a Cub. It's a great article to get a feel for who Greg Maddux really is.