Friday, January 31, 2014

Green White

One of my on-going writing projects is writing the history of Green White Soccer Club, a club co-founded by my father in 1956. Every month I write about one year in Green White history. This month, it's 1984.

You can read it here.

What Will They Think of Next?

"DS" sent in this picture....

I'm not a big fan of this company. Their agents are a bit cocky, but I understand it's 99% effective protection, and inch by inch they'll eventually cover all of your needs.

Today's Best Tweets--January 31

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

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 1m
Watch Harry Connick, Jr. spaz through the robot dance on #AmericanIdol:

Prospect High School ‏@KnightsofPHS 2m
Woohoo! @KnightsofPHS again ranked top 10 in IL by @USNewsEducation. Top 5 if you remove selective enrollment schools.

Historical Pics ‏@HistoricalPics 9m
Eiffel Tower under construction in July 1888.

Steven Berger ‏@TheStevenBerger 8m
"There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food." - Ron Swanson @parksandrecnbc

WPGU 107.1 ‏@WPGU1071 18m
Weird Fact of the Day: A slugs sex organ actually turns blue and glows while they mate... That's hot.. #WFD

WGN Radio 720 ‏@WGNRadio 20m
January is 3rd snowiest month ever in Chicago, and six more inches may be on the way for Saturday. #winter

BuzzFeed ‏@BuzzFeed 1h
.@thesimpsons predicted the Super Bowl back in 2005

Paul Plaine ‏@ballparkprints 3h
Home Run Derby S01E02 Mickey Mantle vs Ernie Banks: via @youtube
Great #baseball show

Mark Edwards ‏@markedwards 23m
Happy 83rd birthday to Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks!@Cubs#LetsPlayTwo One of his most recent inter...

The Associated Press ‏@AP 2m
Teacher's aide who was briefly placed on leave over her second career as a lingerie model says she's a role model:

Beatles 50th

This is a great article complete with photos and video from someone who was there 50 years ago when the Beatles landed in New York. Highly recommended to my fellow Beatles geeks.

You can read it here.

One Man's View of Justin Bieber

I laughed out loud. This is definitely NSFW, but it's funny. Thanks for pointing this out to me, "DD"...

Media Spotlight--January 31

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

~Leslie Harris to WCKG
Most recently she's been rockin' at the River in Naperville. WCKG announced yesterday that she will be WCKG's director of community programming. That station (1530 AM) is attempting to focus on hyper-serving the suburbs. I previously interviewed Leslie back in 2011.

~Jim Ramsey Health Update
Robert Feder tracked down WGN Channel 9 weatherman Jim Ramsey to find out why he hasn't been on the air these past few weeks during a terrible stretch of Chicago weather. He had a very strong flu, and will be back this weekend. Details at the link.

Broadcast News

~CNN to Relaunch "Inside Politics"
Another day, another CNN ever-so-slightly-rearranges-the-deckchairs story.

The Pundits

~The Republican Party Boycotts MSNBC
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is behind this boycott, presumably because he's outraged (Outraged!) about a tweet that mocked conservatives (The tweet was: "Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/biracial family.") In my book "$everance" I tried to point out to conservatives that Fox News isn't the conservative answer to the mainstream media by creating something to show them what the liberal version of Fox would actually look like. It was satire in 2007, but it exists for real now; MSNBC. Now you've got something to balance...and boycott. At least the outrage (Outrage!) is semi-plausible now, even though things are said on Fox News every day that are just as offensive about liberals.
--By the way, MSNBC fired the tweeter, which is something Fox would never do in similar circumstances.

The Radio Biz

~Bob Uecker cuts back on his 2014 schedule
Give the man a break, he's 80 years old. He'll be doing fewer roadtrips this year with the Brewers. When I'm in the car in the summer I can pick up the Brewers broadcasts occasionally. It's always entertaining to listen to Uecker.

~Pandora Stock Surges
Tom Taylor has the info in his NOW Newsletter: " A Goldman Sachs report pushes Pandora stock up 11% yesterday, to a new all-time high of $36.53. The stock went public in June 2011 at $16 a share and soon wilted below $10. Yesterday Goldman analyst Heath Terry suggested that as Pandora gets a handle on content costs and sells more of its short ads, the stock could double over the next couple of years. The one-day stock-price gain was $3.61. Yesterday's action was likely helped by favorable ad-revenues reported by Facebook, which lifted the market in general."

~The Lone Ranger (radio anniversary)
I worked with John Landecker for ten years and he constantly talked about his love of "The Lone Ranger". He grew up near Detroit (where the Lone Ranger began on the radio), and he and his grandfather bonded while listening to it. The full story of the radio origins of that great series is at the link (Indian Country)


~The Tonight Show Move Causes Layoffs
164 positions were eliminated in the move from Jay Leno's Los Angeles to Jimmy Fallon's New York. The article linked here is in the Los Angeles Business Journal. I'm sure there will be a similar number of jobs created in New York. Look for that news in the New York Business Journal.

Social Media

~Facebook doesn't consider itself a media company
It's a conent company, according to Facebook executives. Granted, it's your content and my content, but it is content. Not to quibble or nitpick, but it's called social media, Facebook, not social content.

Just One Bad Century--January 31

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Ernie Banks is 83 today and we've got lots of info about Mr. Cub, including a video of him taking on (and beating) Gil Hodges in Home Run Derby.

You can check it out here.

Joel Daly's Book

Thanks so much to Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media for the nice piece yesterday about our next book "The Daly News".

You can read it here.

I'm not quite sure how he managed to find out so much about the book, but I thank him for doing it, and publicizing it. Joel Daly's life has truly been amazing and the stories Larz teases in that article are worth a measly $15.95. Don't you think?

The book is available for pre-order now at Eckhartz Press.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Next Generation

My son Sean is MCing his elementary school talent show tonight and asked for my advice about "dealing with talent". I don't think he'll be running into any Divas at this age (he's in 5th grade), so I told him not to worry. If he's still at this ten years from now, I've got a story or two to tell him.

Here's a sneak peak: "Take my teacher...please (rimshot) I take my teacher everywhere...but she keeps finding her way back (rimshot). The food in the cafeteria is fit for a king. "Here King"...(rimshot). OK, our next act is lip synching a Jonas Brothers song. Let's have a big round of applause for..."

Not Tested

Thanks to "MM" for this. I think this really nails it...

Jimmy Fallon Hands Over The Gig to Seth Meyers

Today's Best Tweets--January 30

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

CollegeHumor ‏@CollegeHumor 4m
16 Hilariously Honest Company Slogans Hot Pockets

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow 7m
“@JesseThorn: Incidentally: saw the Alan Partridge movie last night and it's f**king hilarious. Do go see it.” Where they stole his baby?

Gawker ‏@Gawker 11m
My coworker's mustache makes him look like Hitler. Is that OK?

Brian Stelter ‏@brianstelter 12m
Seeking public apology from MSNBC prez, RNC chair @Reince says he's banned all staff from appearing on the channel:

Dana Gould ‏@DanaJGould 18m
For all you dudes itching for a threeway, the twins from The Shining have grown up.

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 24m
Kevin Jonas is inviting you to his house for Super Bowl weekend -- but it will cost you $20,000 a night:

Eddie Volkman ‏@EddieVolkman 26m
A lot of people don't know this, but you can quietly like or dislike Obama. ‏@BillMoyersHQ 30m
Obama has issued fewer executive orders per year than Reagan, both Bushes & Clinton: @monkeycageblog #morningreads

MLB ‏@MLB 41m
With the free agents still available, you could put together a solid ballclub, writes @philgrogers:

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 44m
Al-Qaeda Operative Can’t Believe How Expensive Super Bowl Tickets Are

Singing Farewell to Jay Leno

The Dancing Ito mention irked me, but this was nice...

Which Muppet Are You?

I'll admit it. I took the quiz at Buzzfeed.

I'm Bobo the Bear, a muppet I've never heard of. Here's the description: "You’re kind-hearted, funny, and always have the best intentions, even though you’re a bit of a klutz in the love department."

And like Bobo the Bear, completely unknown.

Media Spotlight--January 30

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

~Tom Kent's Open Letter To the Radio Business
Tom Kent was a disc jockey at WLS in the 80s, and was inspired by the death of his old colleague Larry Lujack to write this open letter. The gist of it is that radio's biggest problem is that they don't care about the audience, and they haven't for years.

~Tom Langmyer
The former WGN Radio General Manager is making his move in Milwaukee. From Radio Ink:
Tom Langmyer is now the VP/GM of Journal's Milwaukee cluster which includes WTMJ-AM and WLWK-FM. The announcement was made today by Journal Executive Vice President, Radio, Steve Wexler, who was recently named to his current role and is stepping away from his day-to-day general manager role to focus on Journal's 35-station radio division. Langmyer will continue to support Journal's spoken-word stations as vice president of News/Talk programming.

~Andy Masur
For the past seven years Chicago-native and former WGN Radio broadcaster Andy Masur has been the radio voice of the San Diego Padres. According to this piece in U-T San Diego, that's no longer the case. They hired someone who is more of a social media expert to take his place. (I interviewed Andy years ago when he first started in San Diego. You can read that here).

Media Criticism

~Media Reporting's Blind Spot
There are some very good points in this Buzzfeed piece, some of which I'm as guilty of as anyone who reports on the media. It's about the tech side of the business, which this writer points out is the only side of the business that has any relevance at all.

~David Carr of the New York Times examines the same subject
But his focus is more on the financial realities of the so-called "media tech bubble". So far, it hasn't been a very successful journey, even though there are a few encouraging signs.

The Moguls

~Hacking Trial Update
More news from the hacking trial of Rupert Murdoch's News of the World executives. This is pretty damning...
A former reporter at the News of the World told a London court that he lied in previous cases as part of an “enormous conspiracy” to cover up phone hacking at the News Corp. (NWSA) tabloid. The reporter, Dan Evans, said he invented terms such as “sticky keys” at meetings with News Corp. lawyers to explain how he had heard celebrities’ voice-mail messages. Evans is under cross-examination after two days of testimony in the case over wrongdoing at News Corp. tabloids...“I did lie, yes,” Evans said during questioning by Coulson’s lawyer, Timothy Langdale. “I was part of the conspiracy. I’m ashamed to say that I did.”

~The Patch Lays Off Hundreds of Journalists
Why is this in the moguls section? This is the quote from the New York Post: "The move is a black eye for AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, who had co-founded the site as a side venture when he was still a Google executive." I don't know anything about Armstrong's politics, but the glee I'm seeing in the likes of the New York Post, the Fox Business website, and Breitbart gives me a hint.

Broadcast News

~The Average Viewer of Fox New is 68 years old
The very oldest Baby Boomers were born in 1946, which means they will be turning 68 this year. Fox News viewers are the generation older than the Baby Boomers. Frank Rich analyzes the implications of that in this New Yorker piece.

~ESPN Blocks Producer From Joining Today Show
From the article: A network source told THE DAILY, "He has a contract with ESPN, and ESPN is going to require him to fulfill it." You know me. I'm always on the side of the producer.

~Larry King Analyzes CNN
This about sums it up: “CNN’s got problems,” he said. “I don’t know what they’re going to do.”


~Billy Joel's Net Worth
This article lists his net worth at $160 million. If there's anyone who has truly earned that kind of money, it's Billy Joel. He has sold more than a hundred million records and sold out concerts around the world since the mid-70s. Some of that money has come from me. I'm taking the whole famiily (all five of us) to see him at Wrigley Field in July.

Snow Forecast for this Week

I wish this was a joke, but I'm afraid it's not. This is what we can expect between now and next Wednesday at midnight according to WGN Television...(click on the photo to enlarge)

Just One Bad Century--January 30

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Davey Johnson, Doc, FDR, Andy Frain, a cup of coffee from 1908 and more.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Halftime Shows

Rolling Stone has the videos for every halftime show of that big game that can't be named. This is #1 on the list. I think I agree. (Although I still think the Who is ranked too low. I thought they were very good, despite the bad reviews).

Today's Best Tweets--January 29

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

Pete Schroeder ‏@peteschroeder 28m
Dow down 648 points since Justin Bieber arrested for DUI and drag racing.

David Kaplan ‏@thekapman 17m
Shared an article. Kaplan: Key points of the Cubs' Wrigley Field Rooftop contract:

Kevin Pang ‏@pang 22m
Someone tweeted last night the Atlanta Journal-Constitution should've gone with winter traffic snarls headline: "Waiting for GA D.O.T."

ThinkProgress ‏@thinkprogress 20m
As Obama spoke about the need for gun reform last night, there was another school shooting

NRA News ‏@NRANews 18m
Obama vows to pursue gun control ‘with or without Congress’ - … #NRA (via @dailycaller)

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 1m
America before the Beatles landed: Sex, sex, liberation, and sex

The AV Club ‏@TheAVClub 2m
10 Taxi episodes that find heart and humor in a dead-end job ‏@radiodotcom 4m
Bob Dylan will perform during the Super ads for Chrysler and Chobani

Marcus Leshock ‏@marcusleshock 10m
Conan O'Brien with another "local newscasters reading the same script" montage....

The Daily Show ‏@TheDailyShow 18m
.@iamsambee explores the devastating economic effects of raising the minimum wage to the poverty level.

Media Spotlight--January 29

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

~Joel Daly
The former Channel 7 anchor's book is now available on Eckhartz Press (my publishing company). There are tons of great stories about Chicago media in the book, not to mention stories about the news events of the past 50 years. Click here to pre-order or just read more about the book. Emily Barr, the former boss of Channel 7 said this about Joel's memoir:
"Joel Daly's warmth, humor, and intelligence shine in this fascinating memoir. He was an eyewitness to over 50 years of news and history, covering it all with compassion, perspective and absolute dedication to his craft. What an honor to have worked with one of broadcasting's true giants."

~Mary Dixon
I'm interviewing the WXRT Morning News Anchor later this morning. She will be the focus of my March column in the Illinois Entertainer. WLS Radio's Greg Brown will be featured in February. I believe it will be posted on Saturday.

~Darren Davis
Just a few years ago Darren Davis was in charge of Chicago's Clear Channel stations. He has moved up the ladder very quickly. This was the news yesterday, reported by the RAMP Newsletter...
Clear Channel Media and Entertainment has created a new unified Networks group, designed "to take full advantage of Clear Channel's power, reach and scale to deliver more compelling content opportunities to its partners, affiliates, advertisers and consumers, as well as providing a unique platform to its content partners and talent." Darren Davis will lead this effort as President, Clear Channel Networks Group. In his newly expanded role, Davis will oversee the company's key Network divisions, including: Premiere Networks, Total Traffic and Weather Network, 24/7 News Network and The iHeartRadio Network.

~Elroy Smith
The former boss of WGCI and V-103 is changing jobs too. Since 2007, he's been programming a station in Philadelpia. He resigned yesterday. No word yet on where he will wind up next.

~Roe & Roeper Sports Hour Dropped
Robert Feder has the details about the move, which seemed inevitable the day after it began.

The Moguls

~Twitter Founder Raises $25 Million For Media Start Up
He's trying to create something between Twitter and Blogger. Recode has the details above.

Broadcast News

~Congressman Threatens To Throw TV Reporter Off Balcony
It's all captured on videotape at the link above if you'd like to watch it. The New York Times has more information.

~Weather Channel Reporter Knees College Kid in the Groin
Jim Cantore was trying to keep the kid out of his live shot. Watch it below...

~Jake Tapper to Interview The President
This will be the first interview after last night's State of the Union. It will air on Friday, two days before Bill O'Reilly's big interview. CNN can use the bump. Their numbers are down 39% since this time last year.


~The Emmy's Moved To A Monday Night
It's aired on Sunday nights forever, but this year it's moving to Monday. The link above goes to if you want more details.

~Oprah Cancels Her Own Birthday Party
The guest list was getting a little too unwieldy, so she just cancelled it. Sounds like a bit of a hissy fit to me.

Animal Video from BBC

I thought it was funny...

50 Greatest Cubs

ESPN Chicago did a list of the 50 Greatest Cubs. You can check it out here.

I personally think they should have switched Santo (who they rate #2) with Billy Williams (who they rate #5). Still fun to look at the old pics.

Just One Bad Century--January 29

Today's JOBC Almanac--Big Ed, 96, a baseball card from 1909, a cup of coffee from the 1950s, and a song about 1908.

Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

"The Daly News" By Joel Daly Available for Pre-Order Now!

Eckhartz Press is proud to announce our latest book, "The Daly News", written by legendary Chicago newsman Joel Daly.

Joel Daly was more than just a news reporter and news anchor. He was also a lawyer, a pilot, an actor, and a country music star. He recounts his experiences in all of those realms in the pages of "The Daly News".

You can read about...

*His appearance as a young man on the Ed Sullivan Show.

*His one-on-one interview with Martin Luther King, Jr.

*His day with the Beatles.

*His coverage of the famous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

*His days atop the ratings with the famed news team of Fahey Flynn, John Coleman, and Bill Frink.

*His sold-out concerts with Joel Daly and the Sundowners.

*His homemade airplane.

*His return to law school in his 50s.

Some of these moments are highlighted in this video, voiced by former Channel 7 colleague Linda Yu...

Those stories and many others from a truly amazing life can be found in "The Daly News".

"The Daly News" is available for pre-order now at Eckhartz Press. It ships on February 10th.

Trying to Make Sense of Cubs/Rooftop Owners Dispute

Bleacher Nation takes a closer look at the language in the contract between the Cubs and the rooftop owners, and tries to ascertain who is likely to prevail. A good read, although the legal-ese does make my head hurt.

Today's Best Tweets--January 28

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

RedEye Chicago ‏@redeyechicago 10m
Let's all agree to skip that boiling water thing today, K?

Eric Alper ‏@ThatEricAlper 20m
The 20 Best Pete Seeger Quotes:

Beachwood Reporter ‏@BeachwoodReport 29m
Remembering Pete Seeger in #Chicago: … From Studs Terkel's apartment to the Bismarck Hotel to the Old Town School.

Arianna Huffington ‏@ariannahuff 13h
My friend @BillMaher will be taking over @HuffingtonPost to live-tweet the State of the Union tmrw around 9p ET #SOTU

msnbc ‏@msnbc 26m
New study shows nearly 10,000 American children are injured or killed by guns every year:

Jayson Stark ‏@jaysonst 29m
All-Unemployed pitching staff: Rotation - Santana/Ubaldo/Maholm/Saunders/Arroyo Bullpen - Rodney/Bailey/Guerrier/M Gonzalez/KRod/Hanrahan

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 31m
Protective caps for pitchers have been approved, writes Willie Weinbaum. …

Erin Andrews ‏@ErinAndrews 45m
Kicking off the @NYNJSuperBowl last night @FOXSports

Dan Mihalopoulos ‏@dmihalopoulos Dec 18
Snow removal has cost city almost $5 million already and it's not even winter yet, via @_johnbyrne,0,1663352.story?track=rss …

Matt Yglesias ‏@mattyglesias 53m
The moral of the Tom Perkins story—let’s stop taking rich people so seriously:

Media Spotlight--January 28

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.

The Moguls

Phone Hacking Trial Update
Executives for Rupert Murdoch's "News of the World" are still on trial in England, and that trial produced this notable development yesterday (from the Guardian):
Evans said that at the News of the World he was given cash to buy pay-as-you-go phones that were nicknamed "burners". These, he explained, were phones used for "illicit activities" and would be destroyed or "burned" after two to three months. Asked how often he hacked between his start date on the paper in January 2005 and the arrest of the paper's then royal editor, Clive Goodman, for hacking-related offences in August 2006, Evans replied: "Probably most days, there might have been the odd lull."

The Pundits

~The Daily Show Begs Sean Hannity to stay in NYC
Sean Hannity had a little hissy fit because of the Governor's comments there, and is threatening to leave New York. The Daily Show took the opportunity to beg him to reconsider...

Broadcast News

~How is this for a tease?
The New York Daily News gossip page, casually flops this out there today: "A secret, steamy relationship between one of NBC’s best-known on-air personalities and a network executive has been put on ice because the duo fear their naughty behavior will be exposed by eavesdropping Russian agents at the Olympics. Confidenti@l has learned exclusively that the exec, who admits to a 20-year-long, on-and-off-again shagfest turned sexting bonanza, is frustrated the fun will be on hiatus as long as one of them — we won’t say who — is covering the Games."


~More Deregulation?
I think everyone knows where I stand on this, so imagine my dismay upon reading Radio Ink this morning:
"Speaking before the Hudson Institute in Washington, new FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly gave a speech that was music to the ears of large-market broadcasters. On media ownership, O'Rielly criticized the FCC for failing to determine whether 1996 mandates from the Telecommunications Act still apply. He then said something, those in favor of deregulation often discuss, how different the media landscape looks today."
I'm starting to believe that FCC Commissioners are being forced to bash their heads on the pavement before they are allowed to take office. Thinking that the 1996 Deregulation didn't go far enough? Wow, just wow. Cue the millions of e-mails...again.

~Confessions of old FCC field engineer
Radio World features the memories and confessions of John Reiser, a retired field inspector. I love some of these stories, including this one...A “bribe” of sorts that was offered when word got out that Reiser and another field engineer were inspecting stations in a large Midwestern market. The suspected owner of one of the stations sent a couple of “lady companions” to the hotel where Reiser and another inspector were staying. Of course, attempted bribery of federal officials is a big no-no, be it money or services offered.


~Preview of Beatles Tribute Show
Based on this review by, the Beatles tribute show on February 9th will be worth watching. Of course, I was going to watch anyway...but this sounds like a good show to me.

Irish Blessing

Thanks to "SF" for this. I feel like I can post this as the father of three half-Irish children...

RIP Pete Seeger

He passed away at the age of 94 yesterday. His career spanned nearly 70 years, and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Here he is on the Johnny Cash Show in the 1960s...

This is what Arlo Guthrie posted on his facebook page...

Pete Seeger:

I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep - Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That's the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere.

I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I'd grown up that way - loving the Seegers - Pete & Toshi and all their family.

I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I'd been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn't think of anything that didn't sound trite or plain stupid. "They'll say something appropriate in the news," we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night.

"Arlo" he said, sounding just like the man I've known all of my life, "I guess I'll see ya later." I've always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. "Pete," I said. "I guess we will."

I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away.

"Well, of course he passed away!" I'm telling everyone this morning. "But that doesn't mean he's gone."

Spring Training

I booked my flight yesterday. I will be reporting for Just One Bad Century from the Cubs spring training facility in Mesa the first week of March. Looking forward to seeing the new digs down there.

JOBC Cubs Almanac--January 28

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--The man the Cubs picked just ahead of Carlton Fisk, a World Series hero, and a World Series team filled with Chicago connections.

You can check it out here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Free Exceprt From "Life Behind The Camera"

Chuck Quinzio's book "Life Behind The Camera" features some really compelling stories about covering the news on the streets of Chicago, but it also has a few selected memories from Chuck's childhood. Quinzio has a colorful way of telling those stories, including this one about the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. In honor of the 50th anniversary of that iconic event, we're publishing this excerpt from Chapter One of Chuck's book...

President Kennedy had just been assassinated when the Beatles invaded America with their music and sense of fashion. I was one of God’s soldiers. The Beatles or anyone like them were considered devils on earth to the nuns in my Catholic School, yet The Ed Sullivan Show brought them into our living rooms on a Sunday night. After I witnessed their first American performance on our black and white Philco television set, I was blown away.

Evidently, the nuns watched the same thing that night in their nun lair because the next afternoon the class was ordered by our Christian overseers never to watch the Beatles again. They sent letters to all of our parents and ordered them to ban The Ed Sullivan Show from our homes. The most exciting thing I’d seen since I was old enough to realize I was condemned to this small town was being taken away!

According to the nuns, rock and roll music brought the evils of drugs and sex into the world. As I look back at it now, I find it ironic that a group of forty and fifty-year-old women preached so strongly against two things they never experienced. But then one Friday, a miracle happened. The principal, the oldest and nastiest nun of all of them, got on the school’s public address system and announced that she was sending home a letter to our parents asking them to watch The Ed Sullivan Show with us on the upcoming Sunday night. According to her, the Beatles were making a return per- formance, and Sister wanted our parents to be proactive and explain first-hand how negative these young men from England were.

My classmates and I were elated. We cheered in our little Catholic hearts and minds, until she pissed on our parade with a final scary closing announcement. “God’s judgment is swift and final on those who sin or follow those who sin,” she said.

Sunday night came, and my family and I huddled around the television as we were instructed to do. My parents looked nervous and unsure. Ed Sullivan opened the show, and you could have heard a pin drop in my house. But the head nun had gotten the wrong information. The musical guests were from England, but they weren’t the Beatles.

Before we knew it, Ed introduced the Rolling Stones, and my living room quickly went from apprehension to sheer fear as Mick Jagger lunged to- ward the camera and sang an up-tempo version of “Let’s Spend The Night Together.” The Stones were thugs, and they were singing about banging chicks on national television. I kept one eye focused on my parents, while the other watched Jagger’s spastic movements. He was shaking his hips and strutting around the stage. The women were going wild in the audience.

I remember one shot of Ed Sullivan wringing his hands and smiling off-stage. I glanced at my mother who was sitting in a dimly lit corner. She was obviously being consumed by fear. When the Stones ended their song, it was like a tornado had blown through my house. The television was shut off and not a word was spoken.

That’s the night I realized there was an entire world out there. A world had been dropped right into my lap by television, showing me the awesome potential of the medium.

I also came to another conclusion. If the nuns were insinuating that listening to rock music would send me straight to hell, then those nuns could take their beliefs and kiss my grade school ass.

chuck kindergarten
Photo: the young impressionable Mr. Quinzio

Today's Best Tweets--January 27

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

David Cameron ‏@DCameronFG 14m
Cubs fans wanting some hope should check out Javier Baez’s ZIPS projection and #1 comp. …

Jimmy Greenfield ‏@jcgreenx 38s
7 #Cubs make @ProfessorParks Top 101 list. Baez at No. 4. …

Chicago Chill -45°...

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 13m
Eight #Grammys moments you couldn't see on TV, starring Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney and more:

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 13m
Tallulah Bankhead: actress, lesbian, feminist, wit, and one of the flapper era's most dangerous women

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 16m
What happens when the Grammy cameras aren't rolling? See all the snaps from backstage and the front row!

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 4m
These New Yorkers traveled 12 hours to bring clean water to West Virginia

Justin Miller ‏@justinjm1 12m
Jude Law: I Was Phone-Hacked on U.S. Soil

Deadspin ‏@Deadspin 5m
Poll: Americans really, really love football, baseball a distant second. And basketball just beats out hockey:

MLBcathedrals ‏@MLBcathedrals 16m
Nice color shot of Comiskey Park and its massive scoreboard at night. May 17, 1967. #WhiteSox

Don't Come to the Game, Dad

I had to miss Sean's soccer game last night because of a work-related event. He's been playing for six years now, and I've missed exactly three games (one when I was in Italy, another when I was in Croatia, and last night). In those three games, he has scored six goals (including two last night).

He told me that if I wasn't his coach, he'd ask me to miss more. Can't say I blame him.

What is Your Sexy Pet Name?

This was sent to me by "SG", who I presume looked up my name below, because the subject line of the e-mail said "Kitty Nipples". Nice.

1967 Snow Day

This is what the city looked like on this day in 1967. I wasn't even four years old, but I remember it well.

Here's the Channel 32 report from that day...

Buzzfeed Highlights U of I

And not in a good way.

This is a NSFW piece on Buzzfeed about the Twitter reaction of U of I students to discovering that they wouldn't be getting a snow day today.

Just so you know, kids, there were zero snow days in my four-plus years there, and believe me, we had plenty of snow and freezing cold temperatures. Suck it up.

Media Spotlight--January 27

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 & Jerry G. Bishop
It was great to see the Grammy's honor both Larry Lujack and Jerry G. Bishop, two Chicago radio icons who passed away this year, in their "In Memorium" section. The Grammy's honors the music industry, but they realize that without radio's influence--particularly in the 1960s and 1970s (Lujack's & Bishop's heyday)--many of those artists never would have achieved the popularity they did. I mentioned this on Facebook last night, and Lujack's former producer Mick Kahler responded: "I was thrilled to see my former boss and longtime friend noted on the Grammy's. What would Lar's response be? "Where's the money in that?"

The Music Biz

~Paul & Ringo Perform Togther After All
Ringo was on the drums when Paul played a song off his "New" album. From today's RAMP Newsletter: "Despite the Grammy press department's recent insistence that Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr would not be performing together, imagine our surprise and sheer delight to find out that their planned duet was in fact, a "secret." We were so shocked and excited we hit "pause" and took a bunch of pictures of our TV. It was a busy night indeed for Sir Paul, as his Live Kisses won Grammys for Best Music Film and Best Surround Sound Album. Proving his talent spans multiple generations, McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear also won the Grammy for Best Rock Song for "Cut Me Some Slack." In a related story, the Deluxe Edition of Paul McCartney & Wings' 1976 live album Wings Over America won the Grammy for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package."

~Daft Punk & Stevie Wonder
To me, this was the best moment of the show last night. Rolling Stone has more details about that awesome performance.

Broadcast News

~Elizabeth Vargas
The New York Daily News has the story about Elizabeth Vargas' Good Morning America appearance, complete with video. Any time I read about someone having the courage to seek treatment for addiction, I applaud. When your family has been touched by it (and who comes from a family that hasn't been?), you know what a big deal it is to stop before it's too late.

~Greta Blasts Bieber Coverage
Fox News host Greta Van Sustern correctly points out that: "By doing segments about how appalling celebrity coverage is, an anchor gets the ratings of the celebrity coverage – and gets to flash the video of the celebrity - but thinks he or she doesn’t get his hands dirty. Here is a fact: if you as an anchor thinks the Justin Bieber story is not news – than don’t cover it. Do something else. Don’t be so phony as to pull the stunt about how appalled you are at the coverage – that’s just not true."

The Moguls

~Sony To Make Film Based on Facebook COO's Book
The latest billionaire, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, is on a roll. Her book "Lean In" is being made into a film. It's a self-help book, but the co-writer of the book (probably, let's face it, the only writer of the book) is working on converting it into a narrative form.

~Rupert Ups Stake in YES Network
Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox now owns 80% of the network that shows the New York Yankees. Bloomberg has the details.


~Jay Leno says no more Late Night
Jay Leno was on 60 Minutes last night, and they asked him if he would return to late night after his time at NBC is up (in a few weeks). He said he wouldn't. The AP summarizes the appearance at the link.

The Radio Biz

~Sean Hannity/Michael Savage Feud
This piece in Politico today highlights the personal feud between Hannity & Savage: “My competitor doesn’t have the capacity to go beyond the Democrat-Republican talking points,” Savage told POLITICO. “That’s all he’s ever done. That’s all he can do. He has no education. I’m just going to lay it on the line, I’m not going to mince words.” That's among the nicest things they say about each other in the piece. For what it's worth, I agree with Savage's opinion of Hannity. And I agree with Hannity's opinion of Savage.

~Howard Stern May Not Have Sway He Once Had
From today's Inside Radio: "Howard Stern may be Sirius XM Radio’s biggest subscriber draw, but if he leaves it won’t lead to the mass exodus some investors fear. Macquarie Equities Research quizzed Sirius XM customers and discovered just 5% say they would drop their subscription if Stern bolted. And 95% said they wouldn’t fork over extra cash each month to cover the costs of a new Stern contract."

Just One Bad Century--January 27

Today's JOBC Almanac--A secret liniment, Ryno's rookie season, Jumbo, a tragic cup of coffee, an Army discovery, and more.

Check it out here.