Friday, January 24, 2014

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name" Free Excerpt, The Beatles on Ed Sullivan

Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr are appearing at the Grammy's this weekend as they do a Beatles tribute to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. You'll be hearing and seeing the Beatles all over the place in the next few weeks.

In the Eckhartz Press book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", John Landecker also tells several stories about the Beatles. He interviewed George Harrison and tells that story in the book. His interview with George, as a matter of fact, is featured on "Records Truly Is My Middle Name, The Soundtrack", if you'd like to hear it. It's a good one.

But John also writes about his memories of that iconic cultural milestone of the night the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. In some ways, John's take is typical of many Baby Boomers. In one way, it's very different...and very Landecker.

Mr. Berg, my choir director and the music teacher at University High, totally pooh-poohed the Beatles. He insisted that anybody could write a Beatles or rock and roll song. Mr. Berg’s reaction was the stereotypical parental reaction to the music we loved. Everybody’s parents felt the same way.

I remember stickers appearing on lampposts. Four heads of hair with no faces and the expression “The Beatles are Coming!” They were already on the radio, but this hype from Capitol Records made us even more excited. The Beatles were the quintessential rock band. They were a group, but they also had separate identities as individuals, and each of those individuals had a distinct personality. Paul was the teen idol, the cute one. George was the introspective quiet one. Ringo was sort of the silly one. And John was the deep thinking rebel.

So, it was a huge deal when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. I watched, and everybody else watched. But honestly, what I remember the most about their appearing on that show wasn’t that first night — it was their second appearance on the show, the show from Miami a few days later. And what I remember isn’t what the Beatles or Ed Sullivan did. What I remember most was the guest right before the Beatles — Mitzi Gaynor. She was a pop singer, the kind of singer that existed before rock and roll, a female crooner, if you will. It was really hot that night — this was Miami — and she was wearing a low cut dress that showed a little bit of cleavage, and I could see her sweating. Oh yeah, I tell ya, I remember seeing that sweat.

The Beatles were great, don’t get me wrong. I’ve played them on the air many, many times and still love their music, and I’ve never played or owned a single Mitzi Gaynor record in my entire life. But oh boy, I sure do remember Mitzi Gaynor on that Ed Sullivan show.

Warren Zevon

Today would have been Warren Zevon's 67th birthday. Miss the guy...

Today's Best Tweets--January 24

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

Randy Richardson ‏@LostintheIvy 44s
"I think all Cubs fans are in dire need of a lobotomy." - one-sentence excerpt from LOST IN THE IVY, coming spring 2014 from Eckhartz Press.

Robert Loerzel ‏@robertloerzel 4m
…And Bob and Ray were in it! RT @BlackBalloonPub
Kurt #Vonnegut Made a TV Show! —

Gawker ‏@Gawker 7m
Here are two teenagers making out with a giraffe

Tom Teuber ‏@tteuber 9m
Enjoy every sandwich. It's the birthday of Warren Zevon. via @youtube

Paul Konrad ‏@PaulKonrad 1h
Wind Chill readings Monday Night/Tuesday Morning could reach -40. Air temp -15

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner 17m
I'm so sick of Mike Huckabee and his potty mouth. #TheOtherLWord #cacadoody

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic 21m
"Frankenstein... with... Karloff-- gooood."
"Frankenstein... without... Karloff-- baaad."

CollegeHumor ‏@CollegeHumor 25m
Animals Chasing Laser Pointers Compilation They'll never get the point.

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 26m
Get to know Colin Jost, the man who will replace Seth Meyers on SNL's Weekend Update.

Mark Edwards ‏@markedwards 35m
The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze, and Maybe Infuriate, You : The New Yorker

Just One Bad Century--January 24

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--a pitcher from the 80s, a baseball card from the 30s, Bunk, Jack Brickhouse tells an Ernie story, and more.

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--January 24

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

~Larry Lujack Tribute by Art Vuolo
Art Vuolo is radio's best friend--the man who goes around the country videotaping radio people in action. This is his tribute video to Larry featuring some of Larry's friends, admirers, and of course vintage video of Larry in action on the radio...

~New Program Director for WGCI
Kenard Karter is his name, and Radio Online has the details: "Urban WGCI-FM/Chicago appoints Kenard Karter as Program Director, effective March 3. Karter returns to Chicago after four years of with Clear Channel co-owned Rhythmic CHR KMEL-FM/San Francisco, where he most recently served as the Assistant PD and middays. He's a Chicago native that began his radio career in his hometown ten years ago. Kenard has held a variety of positions in Chicago including air personality and promotions assistant at WGCI and Music Director at both WGCI and CHR WKSC-FM (103.5 KISS FM)."

Broadcast News

~CNN Lays Off More Than 40 Journalists
I've been saying they need to do more than rearrange the deck chairs, but of course, this is a step in exactly the wrong direction. When news gatherers are laid off, it's bad news for everyone. You don't think about this in your daily life, but the number of people gathering the news has actually declined over the last decade despite the explosion in news coverage. It's just more people (like me) giving you news that someone else has gathered. In this case, The Financial Times is reporting that "CNN has laid off more than 40 senior journalists in its newsgathering operation -- including a pregnant producer who was two weeks away from giving birth to twins."

~Elizabeth Vargas Back From Rehab
She was on Good Morning America this morning, and admitted on the air that she is an alooholic. Good for her. I went to high school with her in Germany, and I'm always rooting for Elizabeth.

The Pundits

~Matt Yglesias to join Ezra Klein's new venture
Yglesias is an important voice on the center-left, and it looks like he'll be leaving his post at Slate Magazine to join Ezra Klein. The Huffington Post has the info.

~Bill O'Reilly to interview the president
It will be part of the Super Bowl pre-game coverage, and yes I'm listing this story here under pundits and not broadcast news, because O'Reilly is not a newscaster. Although, I do suspect this interview will make news.


~The Grammy's
I guess I'm not the only one who will be tuning in this weekend to the Grammy's. Billboard says that ads are selling for a million dollars.

~More Bieber-Arrest Info
The Miami Herald has all the gruesome details, but to me one thing stands out. Bieber's father was involved in this incident too--he was helping. That's not the part that bothers me. The part that bothers me is that his father is 38 years old. 38! I'm almost old enough to be Bieber's grandfather.

Cubs Future & Past released their Top 100 MLB Prospects List last night, and the Cubs have 7 in the top 100, 5 in the Top 50, and 2 in the Top Ten.

The list is here.

Also, Greg Maddux won't be going into the Hall of Fame as a Brave, after all. He said he just couldn't pick them over the Cubs. He goes in with no logo at all.

That story is here.

Ever Seen Them Together at the Same Time?

From Deadspin...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Way You Do The Things You Do

Fifty years ago today, the Temptations released their first hit record...

Media Spotlight--January 23

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 Beatles Stories
Robert Feder's column from 1984, and my Chicago Radio Spotlight Beatles stories from Ron Riley, Clark Weber, and Ron Britain are at the link.

The Pundits

~Sally Kohn Joins CNN
She had been under contract to Fox News, but is now in the CNN stable. To read more about her, click on the link.

~Ann Coulter Tries To Explain Pot
I'm not a huge fan of legalizing pot, although I certainly concede the points in favor. Ann Coulter uses a pool boy she ran into once as an example of all potheads, and within one sentence says "almost none of my friends are potheads" and then says "I'm around potheads all the time, most of my friends are potheads." How does she keep getting booked on television shows?

Broadcast News

~CNN Ratings Continue To Fall
They are rearranging deck chairs, but it appears that nothing is working. They just had their lowest rated week in 20 months.


~The Grammy Awards
The lineup is getting even better. I'm definitely tuning in this year. The RAMP Newsletter lists some of the acts, including: "a killer finale that features nominees Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age and Dave Grohl, joined by Lindsey Buckingham. They will join an already monster performance line-up that includes Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Legend, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Lorde and Katy Perry. Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles will perform with 2014 MusiCares® Person of the Year Carole King, and Metallica will perform with Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China, Lang Lang."

~Cosby Coming Back to NBC
Bill Cosby is not only coming back to NBC, he's going to be doing another family sitcom. (He's also working on bringing back "Fat Albert"--no joke). Deadline Hollywood has the story.

The Radio Biz

~Howard Stern's Birthday Bash
Sirius is going to open it up to non-subscribers. From Radio Online: "Howard Stern's Birthday Bash" will be broadcast live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York on the evening of January 31, 2014. The broadcast starts at 4pm ET with a two-hour pre-show featuring red carpet interviews and more. The main event starts at 6pm ET and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, with guests including Louis C.K., David Letterman and Sarah Silverman, with musical performances by Jon Bon Jovi, John Fogerty, Steven Tyler and others.

Bill Murray

Bill Murray appeared at Reddit and did an "Ask Me Anything" segment with readers.

Gawker has the highlights, and there are many.

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac: An announcer lost too soon, a baseball card from the 60s, John Hancock, a cup of coffee from the 60s, Shark, and football video of a Cubs pitcher.

Check it out here.

Today's Best Tweets--January 23

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

Gladstone ‏@WGladstone 1h
Gotta wonder what role Yoko Ono played in this Captain and Tennille break up.

Tom Kludt ‏@TomKludt 47m
.@gabrielsherman talks to me about the sadness he feels for Fox News chief Roger Ailes

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek 10m
Yankees ↑ The team signs Japanese ace Mashiro Tananka for $155 million. Or the price of seven beers at Yankee Stadium #ConventionalWisdom

Bryan Hoch ‏@BryanHoch 30m
Masahiro Tanaka explains why he chose the Yankees: "They gave me the highest evaluation and are a world-famous team."

Byron York ‏@ByronYork 12m
Maybe you didn't take the Hoboken mayor's allegations seriously. The FBI did:

Lee Sandlin ‏@leesandlin 1h
The temp in Lincoln Square, according to Weather Underground, is minus zero. Somehow that seems colder.

Marcus Leshock ‏@marcusleshock 23m
RT @HistoryInPics: The filming of Batman, 1966.

Lou Brutus ‏@LouBrutus 29m
What's the difference between a porcupine and a Lamborghini? The porcupine has its little pricks on the outside. #JustinBieber

phil_rosenthal ‏@phil_rosenthal 31m
Send me too many "alerts" on my phone and I will shut you out. Also: Not every traffic jam is news, @ABC7Chicago app.

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 37m
#Cubs @krisbryant_23 will interact with fans tonite when Top 100 prospects announced via @mlb

Bieber Arrested

Busted for Drag Racing and DUI. The USA Today has the news.

We get it, Justin. You're not the cute little kid, anymore. Image successfully changed. How much street cred do you need before you stop acting like an idiot?

Chicago Radio & The Beatles

The 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America will be celebrated everywhere over the next few weeks (as it should be), and in his column today, Robert Feder has dipped into his archives to feature his great article that celebrated the 20th anniversary in 1984. You can read it here. Among the people he interviewed: former WLS radio personalities Ron Riley & Clark Weber.

I loved that piece. You know me, I can't get enough of this Beatles stuff.

It also made me realize that I have a few Beatles stories from those guys in my archives too. Here are few excerpts from the Chicago Radio Spotlight files...

First...Clark Weber...

Rick: I have to ask you this right out of the box because I love this story so much. Could you tell the story about the day you introduced the Beatles on stage at Comiskey Park?

Clark: Capitol Records threw a luncheon that afternoon for WLS and the Beatles at the Saddle & Cycle Club on Lake Shore Drive. A good friend of mine, Jim Feeley, was dating a model named Winkie, and I invited them to come along. Well, Winkie showed up in a two-piece tennis outfit, and she looked incredible. I sat her next to George Harrison and his eyes almost popped out of his head. She made nice with him for a little while and George really thought she was going to be staying with him all day. When Winkie got up to leave a few minutes later to go to a modeling audition, George was wounded. “You’re not going anywhere,” he said. Winkie replied: “Oh yeah? Well watch me.” Later that night Feeley called me and asked if she could come to the concert, and I said—‘You’re really pushing it’, but I did get her in. So, flash forward twenty years later. A photographer from the Sun-Times called me up to say he had a photograph he wanted me to see. It was the Beatles on stage at Comiskey Park. I’m standing to the side of the stage and so is Winkie, and George Harrison is on stage looking right at Winkie, giving her the dirtiest look imaginable. Winkie later married a pro football player, moved down to Texas and had five kids, but George never got near her.

Rick: What was it like on stage that night?

Clark: As soon as Bernie Allen and I walked onto the stage, the crowd went crazy because they knew what was coming. There were 38,000 screaming teenage girls and the sound was indescribable. I told Bernie to hold his hand out with his fingers spread. We could feel the vibrations in our fingers. I don’t think anyone in that ballpark heard a single second of the show. I was standing right next to the stage and I didn’t hear it.

Next...Ron Riley...

Rick: You were there for a pretty exciting time in music history; the dawning of the British Invasion. You even got the chance to interview the Beatles.

Ron: That’s true. Art Roberts and I were more tuned into the younger demos at night, and we climbed onto every bandwagon that came along. The people that ran the station had the insight to leave us alone and let us do what we thought was right. We developed our own character within the format, but we were pretty free. If we saw a trend, we could jump on it, and they would back us. The Beatles came on the scene, and the station got the record company to back us, and we got to be the station at their concert at Comiskey Park. They took a silver dollar survey and drew long hair on us, and I became “Ringo Ron.”

Rick: What were the Beatles like?

Ron: They were young kids, and they weren’t real sophisticated yet. They were way over the top. Everything was a big joke to them. They were very distracted. Art Roberts and I did a phone interview with them. They were on the set of A Hard Days Night at the time. They just passed the phone around to each other. “Would you like to speak to John?” Then Paul, etc. We recorded it in the afternoon, and played it back on our respective shows.

And finally, here's a bonus Beatles story, courtesy of former WCFL jock Ron Britain...

Ron: I did a few shows with the Beatles, and hung out with them a few times. I introduced them on stage. After the show, I was looking for something of theirs to sell—remember they were selling everything they touched in those days—even the sheets they slept on, so I went on stage and thanked the audience for coming out...and I saw that Ringo had left his drumsticks on the stage. I put them in my pocket and gave them away on the air the next night.

Another time I was with the Beatles at a press conference and they were getting all the same stupid questions, and I could tell they were completely bored, so I took out a sketch pad, and drew a picture for John. Somebody took a picture of us laughing...and then Paul took a look to see what John was laughing about, and someone snapped another picture. Then there was a picture with George, and then finally Ringo. That was the pecking order of those guys; John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and there were pictures of me with all four of them. I was happy about that because I was never the kind of guy who could ask for my picture to be taken with celebrities, because it just didn't feel right. So, I don't have pictures of myself with very many of these great rock stars, but I do have those pictures with the Beatles.

Hanging out with them was a strange experience. When you were with them, it was like being in prison. They had a whole floor in the hotel, and security was everywhere. One time I talked to Ringo for about three hours about pirate radio in England, which we both thought was very cool. I also told him that I called everybody "Tulu," and asked if he would say "Hi Tulu Baby" on tape for me. He wouldn't do it because he said it was "too commercial." So I asked John, and he said "Sure." Well after John agreed, they all did, and they went in their usual pecking order; John, Paul, George, and then Ringo agreed too.

If Women Watched Cooking Show The Way Men Watched Sports

Very clever. Thanks to "DI" for this...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cubs Jerseys

Many thanks to big-time Cub supporter "RP" for pointing out this article.

It features all the throwback jerseys the Cubs will be wearing this year. There are quite a few.

My personal favorite is the one from 1929.

One Direction (without autotune)

Obviously fake, but hilarious.

Media Spotlight--January 22

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

~Christmas Music Helps 93.9 My FM Again
From Inside Radio:
The 11.6 share that Clear Channel’s rebranded “93.9 My FM” WLIT-FM Chicago posted in 2013 is 1.6 shares better than the 10 share it knocked out in 2012.
~WGN Radio's Dave Eanet Wears Leggings
Steve Cochran tweeted the picture this morning. It's at the link above.

~New Afternoon Host At 100.3 FM, Jane Monzures
Where have you heard that name before? From today's RAMP Newsletter:
She most recently worked for crosstown WIQI (i101), she's a former correspondent for the entertainment magazine show, Metro Mix, and is currently the host of Living Healthy Chicago on WGN-TV Sundays at 11:30am.
~Steve Downes to host four hour Beatles special
His nationally syndicated "The Classics" show will focus on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles coming to America. It will air in two parts, the first one the weekend of Feb 1-2, the second the weekend of Feb 8-9. The show airs locally here at the Drive (97.1 FM)

The Moguls

~The Hollywood Reporter Reviews Roger Ailes bio
The subhead kind of gives away their thesis: "The Fox News chief remains elusive after this juicy but thin biography."

~Another Media Billionaire
Add Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to the list of media billionaires. Her stock has been valued in that 10-digit zone. From the article:
The 44-year-old is one of the youngest female billionaires in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
~Dow Jones CEO Resigns
Sounds like he was gently nudged out the door by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Can't wait to hear how much he'll get for just going away. I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I'll join and then leave any business in America for a measly million.


~CBS to Mark 50th Beatles Anniversary With Live Event
From TV Newser:
CBS News correspondent and anchor Anthony Mason will host the first event Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. That’s 50 years to the day of the historic telecast and in the legendary theater where it happened.
~Neil Diamond Signs With Capitol Records
This is a huge deal, and the RAMP Newsletter explains why:
This landmark deal unites Diamond's complete Columbia, Uni/MCA and Bang catalogues of recorded music for the first time, encompassing his entire body of work, from his earliest recordings through the present day

Paul & Ringo Will Perform Together To Mark Anniversary

From Access Hollywood...

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are reuniting for what is sure to be a memorable performance. However, despite rumors, it will not be at this weekend’s Grammys. The former Beatles bandmates will perform together at “The Night That Changed America: A Grammys Salute to The Beatles” on Monday, January 27, Ringo revealed to Access Hollywood on Monday night. The special will air on CBS on February 9 — 50 years to the date of The Beatles’ historic performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

Tanaka Picks The Yankees

Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the New York Yankees have outbid the Cubs (and the Dodgers, Diamondbacks and White Sox)


Bleacher Nation analyzes the announced deal.

Today's Best Tweets--January 22

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

Lin Brehmer ‏@LinBrehmer 26s
50% of American sports fans believe in divine intervention for their team. Percentage of Cub fans who believe? 0%

Michael Ian Black ‏@michaelianblack 2m
Stupid birds are out there again at the bird feeder. So dependent. It's like, "Get a job."

Entertainment Weekly ‏@EW 5m
Sundance: Todd Field looks back at the 'Battered Bastards of Baseball' …

Gawker ‏@Gawker 11m
The guy who sent Obama a ricin-poison letter and tried to frame an Elvis impersonator? He also fondles little girls.

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 14m
RT @HistoryInPics: On 9/3/67, Sweden changed from driving on the left to driving on the right. This is what happened

Woman beaten to death after accidentally walking in front of camera while group posed for photo...

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 35m
If the indictment is anywhere close to accurate, McDonnell is going to spend some serious time in prison …

VANITY FAIR ‏@VanityFair 1h
Kanye West: Madonna is “greatest visual musical artist” of all time

Ron Smith ‏@oldiesmusic 37m
Just as life improved for the early cave man when he discovered fire, someday Indiana will discover salt.

Steven Haynes ‏@TwystedVampire 56m
I just heard from Jim Duquette that Fujikawa is friends with #Tanaka and has been talking up Chicago's Japanese community for the #Cubs

Irish Girls

Love 'em. Married one...

Captain & Tenille Divorce?

Say it isn't so! The National Enquirer is reporting it, so it could be completely false, but it's out there.

I thought that Love Would Keep Them Together!

Just One Bad Century--January 22

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac: A cub from the 50s, a great mustache, a cup of coffee with a stuntman, and more.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You're Sixteen

This was the #1 song in the country on this day in 1974. It Ringo's remake of an old hit by Johnny Burnette (which was actually written by the Sherman brothers who wrote a bunch of Disney musicals). I bought the 45, but this is a little yucky to watch now. I'm not digging the visual of a 30-something Ringo hitting on a teenager.

Media Spotlight--January 21

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

~Scott Dirks, Radio Dude & Bluesman
He's been a DJ and production guru for years (WLUP & WLS), but Scott Dirks has also been a blues musician for more than twenty years. If you're looking for something to do tonight, this is what Scott posted on Facebook: Last minute gig announcement - I'll be playing harmonica with Delmark recording artist Willie Buck tonight at Legends in Chicago. Hope to see some hardy blues lovers in the house tonight!

~Chicago Bears May Be Forced to Appear In Hard Knocks
If you've ever watched the HBO show about football training camps, you understand why Bears brass wants nothing to do with this. According to the linked piece above, the NFL may force them to participate.

Broadcast News

~CNN To Do A Show About Chicago: "Chicagoland"
It's going to be an unscripted reality show airing in prime time, and it's got some big hitters associated with it:
"Chicagoland" follows the inner workings of Chicago's government, including substantial access to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, which was brokered by former Obama adviser David Axelrod. Robert Redford is on board as an executive producer of the program, along with Laura Michalchyshyn.

The Pundits

~Ezra Klein's New Venture
Slate's David Weigel castigates the Washington Post for letting Klein go. He also reveals the details of Klein's new venture.

Show Biz

~NBC Hoping To Keep Jay Leno
They want him to stay aboard and maybe host some specials. I suspect, they are also hedging their bets and hoping to keep him so he doesn't start up a new late night show to compete against Jimmy Fallon. If you were Leno, and you've already been pushed out twice (while you were #1), would you take that deal from NBC?

~A German Porn Voice Over Session
This is just funny to me. You never picture the poor voice actor sitting in a studio trying to recreate/augment all the sounds. NSFW, but there's only a half-second of blurred nudity at the link.

Ah, Winter

Coming home from WGN radio last night I was driving 25 mph on a completely empty Kennedy Expressway. There were no lanes, it was almost impossible to see, and I was the only car on the road. Very very creepy. About to head out to shovel now. Thanks to "BD" and "KK" for these two...

One BILLION dollars

Warren Buffett is going to give out a billion dollars to anyone who can perfectly fill out their NCAA bracket this year. (Details here). Of course, it's virtually impossible to do that, but now we've all got to try, right?

A Different View of "Comments" Sections

Anyone who reads this blog knows my feelings about the "comments" section of most on-line sites. They are a dark, ugly place, where very bad people say very bad things to personally harm complete strangers. Of the raw written sewage collectors, YouTube has always had the reputation of being the worst. My son Tommy has been posting YouTube videos for years (he creates games and funny videos), and the comments beneath those videos (some created by a kid as young as 13) have taken my breath away on occasion.

Well, this is the first thing I've ever read with an alternative point of view, so I thought I would post it. It never hurts to hear both sides.

Today's Best Tweets--January 21

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

HuffPost Chicago ‏@HuffPostChicago 1m
Bears' CB @peanuttillman named finalist for the NFL's Walter Payton 'Man of the Year' award

Los Angeles Times ‏@latimes 12m
ICYMI: 85 richest people on Earth have as much wealth -- $1.7 trillion -- as bottom half of population, report says

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow 31m
The Bachelor needs to find a way to keep the interesting people on longer. If you have crazy eyes you get roses automatically. For 9 weeks

BarryKardon ‏@barrykardon Protected Tweets 1h
Best five words of the year (so far): "Who was talking about you?"

Richard Sherman ‏@RSherman_25 Jan 19
There was a lot of talk before the game.... Now I'm the bad guy lol.... Well if u judge my character on the field ....So many glass houses

Chicago Bears 360 ‏@ChicagoBears360 1h
Rookie Kyle Long earns Pro Bowl nod - ESPN (blog)

Zach Zaidman ‏@ZachZaidman 2h
Seven years ago today, #Bears advanced to Super Bowl XLI, beating the Saints 39-14 in the NFC Championship Game.

Joe Walsh ‏@JoeWalsh 3h
Nice family photo at the @LynchFoundation Peace & Love awards honoring @ringostarrmusic last night!

jerrytaft ‏@jerrytaft 3h
Nothing above freezing...

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 3h
the day i get bored with arenas, ballparks and stadiums...i hope i roll over and die

A Little Tired This Morning

I accompanied Dave to WGN Radio last night (this morning) through a blizzard and horrible driving conditions so he could talk about potholes, and I could take a few pictures. Dave was funny, as always...(Listen to it here)

Mystery Rock Found On Mars

I'm surprised this isn't a bigger story, but in case you missed it, the Mars Rover has uncovered a mystery rock that is unlike anything we have ever seen. Here's an excerpt from the Independent...

Astronomers noticed the new rock had "appeared" without any explanation on an outcrop which had been empty just days earlier. The rover has been stuck photographing the same region of Mars for more than a month due to bad weather, with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California monitoring the images it sends.

Cue the spooky music.

Just One Bad Century--January 21

An announcer from the 30s, a closer from the 90s, the Polish Prince, the wrong brother, and a brawl from 1979 (video).

Check it out here.

Fat Bottomed Girls/Come Together Mashup

Not bad...

Color Photos of Pre-Revolution Russia

This is really amazing. Color photos taken from 1909 to 1915 using an experimental technique.

It makes it seem so much more real than the black and white photos. I had a similar reaction the first time I saw color photos and video of the Nazis in Germany. In black and white it looked like it happened a thousand years ago. In color, it came to life, and for me, made it a thousand times more terrifying.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Feel-Good Oscar Nomination Story

The Pothole Store Media Tour Continues

Pothole store founder Dave Stern will be be appearing on WGN Radio tonight with Pete McMurray, just after midnight. Tune in if you're awake. I'm going along to take some pictures.

Media Spotlight--January 20

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

~Bob Sirott uncovers a gem from 1983
Robert Feder posted videos that Bob Sirott discovered in his home, a three-part television series about morning radio in 1983. Totally cool and fascinating if you're a radio geek like me. It's a fun trip down memory lane.

~The Sun Times Considers Another Move
First they had the big building along the Chicago River (now the site of Trump Tower), and then they moved into a nearby (smaller) building, where they now reside. Chicago Real Estate Daily reports that they may be moving again by the end of the year into an even smaller building. Have you seen the paper lately? It looks like a free neighborhood handout. They'll be moving to my basement before long.

~101 gets it's old call letters back
From today's Tom Taylor column:
Chicago’s normal order of things is restored, with the WKQX call letters reinstalled on 101.1 as part of the Cumulus reclamation project. Cumulus has begun a long-term LMA (as long as four years?) with Merlin Media and it’s already dropped the hot AC format it inherited to put alt-rock back on 101.1. Meanwhile, 101.1’s former call letters of WIQI are swapped to the silent downstate Watseka, Illinois FM at 95.9 that’s owned by Randy Michaels’ Radioactive LLC (January 6 NOW).

The Moguls

~Rupert, the Stage Show
In the West End of London, a satirical play making fun of Rupert, his wife, and their relationship to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair will soon be hitting the stage. It's an updated version of the smash hit from Australia. It takes a lot of work and effort to be hated in so many different countries.

~A New Record Golden Parachute
Another guy being paid huge bucks ($60 million) just to go away. This time it's Yahoo's Enrique de Castro. From the article...
Experts in executive compensation say the larger nine-figure exit packages given to some executives are typically for those who retire, voluntarily leave a company or leave upon the purchase of their company. "As a pure severance package due to performance-related termination, de Castro's exit package is definitely at the top end of the severance we have seen," said Gary Hewitt, the managing director and head of research at GMI Ratings, an expert in corporate governance issues.

Broadcast News

~Chris Christie Calls MSNBC Coverage "A Gleeful Assault"
He's right, of course. Every sniff of news about this scandal has been reported on MSNBC with a smile, a wink, and full-throated faux outrage. This, of course, is exactly how Fox News reports anything bad about Democrats. For years I've tried to explain to my conservative friends the difference between Fox News and the mainstream media. Yes, there is a slight liberal bias in the mainstream media. The type of people drawn to journalism are generally more likely to be liberal. However, they report the news with as much objectivity as they can muster. They are actually trained to do it, and they take it seriously. If they report in a biased fashion, there are editors above them who help smack it down. Are there times when bias slips through? Yes. Does it happen a lot? No. Fox News has never even tried to be objective, and never will. Fox News is openly rooting for Republicans, and openly trying to destroy Democrats. At least I can now point out what it looks like when liberals actually do the same thing. It's called MSNBC. That is the only fair comparison, period.

~More Changes at CNN
TV Newser has the latest info. Basically Ashley Banfield is being moved up an hour, Suzanne Malveux's show is being dropped, and a new show hosted John Berman and Michaela Pereira will take the place of her show. It sounds like more deck-chair rearranging to me.


~Film will soon be dead
Paramount Pictures, one of the biggest movie studios, released their latest hit "The Wolf of Wall Street" entirely in digital form--no film. Other studios will probably follow. The LA Times has the story at the link. This shows you how stupid I am. I thought they were already doing this.

~Ellen is America's Favorite Television Personality
That's based on a poll of viewers. I'd say that's about right. She does come off as very likable. I only met her once. This is my story.

The Radio Biz

~Radio's Answer to Spotify? Less Variety
This piece in the Wall Street Journal examines how radio has responded to things like Spotify and Pandora. It's not the way I would have responded (Less variety!), but there are researchers quoted who try to explain the reasoning. There is always data to back up decisions like this. It may not seem like it, and it may not make sense, but someone somewhere has data.

Meet The Beatles is 50

They were already big stars in England (and most of Europe) when "Meet the Beatles" was released in America on this day, fifty years ago. I was too young to be a part of the cultural phenomenon of their first landing in America (I was born in 1963), but I did buy "Meet the Beatles", which is the American version of their first two British albums, when they were still together as a band. It still sounded fresh and exciting when I bought it, and it's still great today.

This song, for instance, still rocks...

Today's Best Tweets--January 20

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

Justin Verlander ‏@JustinVerlander 12h
So Russell is a class act! Sherman on the other hand.... If he played baseball would get a high and tight fastball.

A twitter battle between Chet Coppock and Janet Dahl.

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 11h
Seattle db richard sherman may be a psycho-babbling idiot, but he's also inch for inch, pound for pound the best...

jntplnt ‏@jntplnt 2h
@ChetCoppock:Sherman told us so in NFL cringeworthy style. Carroll Culture.Degrades the sport and team.Undoes the good works of many players

Chet Coppock ‏@ChetCoppock 17m
@jntplnt Sweetheart, get real. The #NFl is on overload with guys who have outlaw mentality.

jntplnt ‏@jntplnt 1m
@ChetCoppock I love it when you talk purty to me. Hate outlaws. Remember when FCC said Super Bowl=family programming? Ha!

Robert Loerzel ‏@robertloerzel 5m
RT @calumet412: Public drinking fountain outside the Women's Temple at LaSalle and Monroe, 1905, Chicago.

Newsweek ‏@Newsweek 7m
How John Lennon Buried His Mother in Song:

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 12m
#Cubs: Convention Info Dump: The Future of Cubs Broadcasting Rights …

David Gregory ‏@davidgregory 14m
WATCH: Martin Luther King Jr. on MTP - Aug. 25, 1963 - just 3 days before his March on Washington #MLK #MTPRemembers

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 16m
The Beatles' 'Meet the Beatles!' was released 50 years ago today. See why it is one of the best albums of all time:

Just One Bad Century--January 20

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac: The Penguin, An eclipse on the day the Cubs were purchased, a cup of coffee from the Cubs first season at Wrigley, and Ron Cey sings.

Check it out here.

Seattle Seahawks

At the risk of sounding a thousand years old, I must say that I was absolutely disgusted by the behavior of the Seahawks yesterday during the NFC Championship game. I went into the game thinking I would be rooting for them because I'm not a big fan of Jim Harbaugh's crybaby routine on the sideline, and the 49ers were in the Super Bowl last year. Time for another team to get a chance. But Richard Sherman of the Seahawks is probably the worst sportsman I've ever seen in my life.

This is what I wrote on Facebook after the game: That cornerback for Seattle may be a good player, but he's a piece of human garbage. He just won the game, but he still ran across the field to pat the butt and taunt the receiver in his face, then gave him the choking sign with his hands. That's about as low-class a move as I've ever seen in football.

I hadn't even seen his ridiculous post-game interview at that time, which was also classless and ridiculous.

About fifty people immediately agreed with me (some in stronger terms than I used), but the ones who didn't agree all said vaguely the same thing. It was just exhuberance. Or, he's always been like this, what's the big deal? Or.. Shame on you, Rick, for not knowing what a bad seed he is. And, some pointed out that the 49ers were taunting him before the game.

The exhuberance excuse is ridiculous. I dismiss that out of hand. As for not knowing what a douche he is, I plead guilty. I didn't realize the 49ers were pre-taunting either, but it still doesn't excuse his behavior. He literally ran all the way across the field to taunt them...AFTER the Seahawks had won. The win should be enough. It's the ultimate answer to a pre-taunt. If you're so small that you still need to run all the way across the field to do what he did, I stand by my critism.

I'm rooting for the Broncos in the Super Bowl all the way.