Friday, February 14, 2014


Robert Feder has a big scoop today. WGN has gained control of an FM frequency and will be airing a full line up beginning on Monday.

I guess it's only appropriate that the former Loop guys (Jimmy deCastro and Larry Wert) have found a loophole. They aren't legally allowed to own an FM until they sell the newspaper, but Robert Feder explains in his column how they managed to finesse that.

Chicagolandradio & Media has some more info on the new WGN. It will be "sports based" according to site moderator Larz.

Father Knows Nothing Flashback: Valentine's Day

This coming Christmas season Eckhartz Press will be releasing my book about family life called "Father Knows Nothing". Most of it will be about raising kids, but there will also be a few pieces about love and marriage.

This is a Father Knows Nothing column I wrote in 2006, my first full-time year at home, and Bridget's first full-time year at work. It's about Valentine's Day...

I’ve been told that everybody in America knows the ground rules of Valentine’s Day. Even though it’s supposedly a holiday for lovers, the responsibility for a gift is strictly a one-way proposition. The man is expected to get the woman a gift, and the woman is expected to receive that gift.

I never bought that concept and I thought my wife didn't either. She and I agreed not to get each other anything for Valentine's Day shortly after we were married, and I fully intended on keeping my end of the bargain. Inevitably, however, a well-intentioned high maintenance woman in my office (it wasn't always the same woman, but it was always the same message), would convince me I was a moron for not getting a gift.

A typical exchange would go something like this:

"What did you get your wife for Valentine's Day?"

“She said she didn’t want a gift,” I would say.

“Trust me,” High Maintenance Woman would reply, “She's only saying that because she doesn’t want to sound greedy.”


“Listen to me,” she would say, “If you don’t bring home a Valentine’s gift, you’re a dead man.”

Even though I was pretty sure I understood my wife better than High Maintenance Woman did, I started doubting myself. After all, I’m just a man. I can’t be expected to understand something as complex as a woman—-even the woman with whom I’ve chosen to spend the rest of my life. Who understands a woman better than another woman? She might be right.

Inevitably I would stop at the store and pick something up for my wife, and every year when I handed her the gift she was mad at me.

“I thought we agreed not to buy each other anything?” she would say.

“Did you really mean that?” I would ask.

“Of course I did. I said it, didn't I?”

I felt like such a fool. Why didn’t I trust my instincts? The next day when I told High-Maintenance Woman about my wife’s reaction, she explained that my wife was obligated to be mad at me to save face.

“That makes no sense,” I would say.

“Did she give you the traditional gift?” High Maintenance Woman asked coyly.

“She didn't get me anything."

"Not even the (wink) traditional gift?"

"There’s a traditional gift for a man?” I asked.

She winked again.

Oooooh. I get it. I’m slow, but I’m not that slow.

“Those are the ground rules?” I asked.

High Maintenance Woman nodded. “Everybody knows that.”

I never told my wife about these conversations, because I never knew what to believe. On the surface my wife is such a sensible and practical woman. It’s one of the main reasons I married her. I didn't want to believe that she had been living by these imaginary rules for all these years without telling me.

What if she is really a totally different person beneath the surface, waiting ten or fifteen years to show me her real self? What if she has just been pretending to communicate with me by using the traditional method (words) while actually integrating a devious subtext? My whole world could be built on a series of false assumptions.

That's the sort of thing I didn't want to know. Ignorance is bliss.

On the other hand, this is the year I'll find out if it's true or not. Now I’m the one at home, taking care of the kids, cooking the dinner, and (sort of) cleaning the house. If High Maintenance Woman was right (and my wife would know if she was or not), then I’m the one that should get the gift this year.

I already did my part. Yesterday I made a big point of reminding my wife not to get me anything. We’ll see if she brings me something or not.

If she does, I’m willing to give her the traditional gift in return.

Although, I’m still not 100% sure I know what that is.

Today's Best Tweets--February 14

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

Bruce Bartlett ‏@BruceBartlett 42m
Note to Tom Perkins--how about if we give poor people only three-fifths of a vote? Would that work for you?

US Dept of Interior ‏@Interior 14m
The cutest Valentine's Day video you'll watch today. Be sure to stick around until the end!

Huffington Post ‏@HuffingtonPost 16m
These bad celebrity kisses might make you feel thankful you're single today #ValentinesDay

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 45m
People keep asking me to be their Valentine. Sorry, but I've already got a date with Vaseline and Kleenex.

Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 11m
Source: #Braves’ six-year deal with Teheran worth $32.4M.

Kara Kennedy ‏@KaraKennedy 32m
Jim Fregosi dies at 71; first star player in Angels history via @latimes,0,5504983.story …

The Onion ‏@TheOnion 39m
From The Archives: Son, 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue Consummate Relationship

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 40m
Matt Lauer joined @mullyhanley this morning, explaining why Bob Costas couldn't have gone on w/ primetime coverage: ‏@TIME 42m
NFL cheerleaders file suit demanding minimum wage and overtime

Neil deGrasse Tyson ‏@neiltyson 50m
Even More Smart People Who I follow: #FF Biologist @RichardDawkins, Hacker @KevinMitnick, Skeptic @MichaelShermer

Torches & Pitchforks

I haven't really commented on the recent influx of rich people telling poor people to quit their whining and belly aching and be happy they don't live in China, but you can probably guess my thoughts on the subject. This comment, however, needs to have a spotlight shined on it. The words came out of the mouth of billionaire investor Tom Perkins:
"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes. But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes."
You already buy the policians and it's not enough for you? Shut your yap and go count your money. Or better yet, I've got a financial tip for you. Invest in torch and pitchfork manufacturers. I have a feeling they may soon make a mint thanks to the likes of you.

It's an almost cartoonish evil, isn't it? I picture him watching "Its A Wonderful Life" and rooting for Mr. Potter.

Just One Bad Century--February 14

We're getting very close to the re-launch of the site. I'm excited. It's looking good. We've been working hard on it for the past two months.

Today's JOBC Cubs Alamanac--A great mustache, a cup of coffee that is both half-empty and half-full, and the guy who replaced Lou Brock in the outfield.

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--February 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, 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

~Brian Roberts is Now King of the World
The Street takes a closer look at the Comcast CEO who just bought Time Warner Cable. I've been saying the FCC can't approve this, but according to this piece, it looks like they will:
"The merger with Time Warner is likely to be approved in large part because of the growth of satellite-TV providers DirecTV (DTV) and Dish Network (DISH) which prompted the Federal Communications Commission to eliminate a 30% national cap on cable-TV subscribers."
Someone should really write a book about what can happen when only a few men control the media of a country. Oh wait! Someone did. One more thing about this merger. Roberts is the one who has been leading the charge to create a tier-system on the internet. Your rates will go up. That's a guarantee. Way up. And the internet as you know it (where everyone gets the same treatment) will be dead.

Broadcast News

~NBC is Trying To Kill Matt Lauer
Not really, but this schedule he is keeping now that Bob Costas is out with the eye infection would kill me. The New York Times examines his long, demanding schedule.


~Jimmy Fallon Takes Over the Tonight Show on Monday
The headline of this USA Today article is: "Jimmy Fallon Is Thinking Big". The quote in the article says something different, however. "The show I'm doing now is the Tonight Show," he says in an interview in his comfortable office after taping his 968th Late Night. "We're not changing anything; the show will grow as I grow. We're just going to keep the best bits." That's the right approach. Don't try to reinvent yourself. Do what got you there.

~Why wasn't Julian at the Beatles Special?
He explained it this way to Rock Cellar magazine: "To me, the last thing I wanted to do was stand in the audience with everybody else, clapping my hands, and being filmed in front of millions while watching a Beatles karaoke session."

~SI Swimsuit Issue Cover Revealed
The girls found out live on camera. Oh my God!

The Radio Biz

~Don Imus' Daughter Writes a Book
I love the way Imus' daughter Elizabeth writes about her dad on the back cover of her book. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

~Valentine's Day on the Radio
From Inside Radio: The ways radio stations are observing Valentine’s Day today are as varied as the audiences that tune in. Giving away a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates may work for a soft AC but won’t cut it on an active rocker. Case in point: Cox Media Group KISS-FM, San Antonio (99.5) is giving away a free divorce

Randy Richardson's "The Birds & The Bees" for Valentine's Day

Randy Richardson is an Eckhartz Press author. He wrote the critically aclaimed "Cheeseland" for us in 2012, and his next book "Lost in the Ivy" is coming out at the end of March.

He has also written a really nice little piece for Hypertext called "The Birds & the Bees". It's a perfect story for Valentine's Day. You can read it here.

What State Do You Actually Belong In?

I don't know why I get sucked into some of these quizzes, but I did it again. This one is on Buzzfeed.

What state do I belong in according to the quiz?


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Joel Daly & Oprah

When we say Joel Daly has seen and done it all, we're not kidding. For a short time in 1984, he was teamed up on the 4:00 News in Chicago (ABC 7) with one of the station's up and coming stars. Can't recall her name...

The Daly News is Joel's memoir, and it's available right here at Eckhartz Press.

Today's Best Tweets--February 13

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

Carrie Muskat ‏@CarrieMuskat 11s
Jason Hammel in #Cubs camp today and asked to throw on the side. Team has yet to announce signing

Brett Taylor ‏@BleacherNation 1m
#Cubs: Cubs Bust Out the New Digs in Arizona with a Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony …

Joan Walsh ‏@joanwalsh 5m
Rand Paul's NSA suit is a sloppy Tea Party cut-and-paste job -- just like Paul’s whole career.

Bill Savage ‏@RogersParkMan 8m
Chicago is NOT "Hog Butcher to the World" anymore, but Sandburg's poem still matters. Next month @NewberryLibrary;

davidfrum ‏@davidfrum 8m
That quote about no 2nd act in American lives was the wrongest thing ever …

Al Franken ‏@alfranken 11m
Great to start the day with a men's @USAHockey win in Sochi! Congrats to @dbackes42, @PKessel81, @OSH74, @DerekStepan21....

Ray Long ‏@RayLong 16m
Ron Dorfman: RIP Journalist, media critic,0,2802045.story … #twill

Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 26m
A terrible thing happened to this Roberto Clemente mural.,0,5077144.story …

Susan Krashinsky ‏@susinsky 35m
Beer wars rage on: Molson ad faces off with Labatt over national loyalty around the Olympics …

Rob Hart ‏@RobHart1980 29m
MIDWEST SNOWSTORM: B-Roll of sliding cars in the middle of the newscast. EAST COAST SNOWSTORM: Lead national broadcast w/local closings.

Just One Bad Century--February 13

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--A movie about Ken Hubbs on the 50th anniversary of his death, plus Gilly, Donnie, Matt, and Bill Bradley was a Cub?

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--February 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, 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

~Bill Applegate Retiring
He hasn't been in Chicago for years, but the former Channel 2 and 7 boss had some success when he was here. Robert Feder has the details at the link above. If you ask me (and I know you didn't), some of his contributions to the business are the very things I now cannot stand about local news. From Feder's column...
He sent millionaire anchorman Walter Jacobson, disguised in beard and tatters, out on the street as a homeless man. He “suggested” that his female anchors ditch their tailored suits in favor of tight-fitting silk blouses. He ran nightly lottery drawings during the news, punctuated with flashing lights and pulsating music. And above all, he emphasized stories about crime, sex and celebrities ad infinitum.

The Moguls

~The Comcast/Time Warner Cable
I can't imagine that this is going to be approved. Watch Comcast CEO Brian Roberts talk right out of his ass during this CNBC interview (CNBC is also owned by Comcast). He calls it "pro-consumer" (Hah!) and "pro-competitive" (bigger Hah!). Even the interviewer, who you have to remember is talking to his own boss on the air, can't let the "pro-competitive" line go without asking for an example. Look for another few million e-mails to flood the FCC inboxes. Consumers have caught on that monopolies are nearly always a bad thing...and in the media they are a REALLY bad thing.

~As the Rupert Turns
Rupert's Tony-Blair-Lusting Wife gets the 5th Avenue Apartment in the divorce. He completed the paperwork yesterday. Details at the Real Deal. I also found this little tidbit about Rupert funny. He took Buzzfeed's "Which Billionaire Are You?" quiz. Turns out, he's Rupert. Don't know why I found that so humorous, but I did.

The Pundits

~Could Joe Scarborough Really Run For President?
He was on Hugh Hewitt's show yesterday and wouldn't rule it out. Sounds like he's seriously considering it. If he's smart, and I know he is, he won't announce until the very last second. As soon as he announces, he loses his gig. You can't be on the air every day while you're running for office. It's an unfair advantage, and will not be allowed by the FCC.

Broadcast News

~Dallas Sportscaster Reacts to News About Gay Football Player
It probably says more about me and my own biases than it does about him, but I fully expected deep red Texas to react differently to the news of the first openly gay football player. Bravo to Dale Hansen. I agree with just about everything he says here...

~ABC Reporter Dan Harris Admits To Drug Use
He wasn't busted, and he was never publicly shamed, but he did once have an on-air panic attack during Good Morning America that made him examine his use of cocaine and ecstasy. He didn't need to tell this story, but I always think it's helpful for those in the same situation to see they aren't alone.

~Soledad O'Brien Teams Up With Google
First Katie went to Yahoo! and now Soledad is going to Google. I must admit I'm not quite sure how all of this is going to work. In my defense, it sounds like they're not quite sure either.

The Radio Biz

~Scott Shannon Didn't Really Retire
According to this piece in the New York Daily News, it sounds like he will be reemerging on the radio elsewhere soon.

Great Advice For Parents

Great advice about what to say to your kids before and after their sporting events. You only need six words: "I love to watch you play". That's it.

Read the whole article here, but as a parent of three boys who has said many things he shouldn't have said in situations like this, I couldn't agree more. It's really hard to hold back, but it's the right thing to do. Let the coach advise the kids about their mistakes.

Of course, when you're the coach, it's a little trickier.

RIP Sid Caesar

He passed away yesterday at the age of 91. This clip is from "Your Show of Shows". He didn't speak a word of German...and even Germans find this funny.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"The Balding Handbook" Pays Tribute to Abraham Lincoln

It's a Lincoln's birthday tradition.

A poem written by an 11-year-old David Stern and recorded by that same kid...after he grew up and lost his hair.

Grab a hanky, and check it out here.

Today's Best Tweets--February 12

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

WXRT Chicago ‏@93XRT 1m
As Valentine’s Day Approaches, Do We Still Need Mixtapes?

ESPN ‏@espn 21m
“I’m going to be one of the top four that’s ever played this game, for sure.”
- LeBron James

It's Abraham Lincoln's birthday! How well do you know Honest Abe? Test your knowledge of the nation's 16th president:

Phil Rogers ‏@philgrogers 10m
Nice to see the bright-eyed Roland Hemond at @Dbacks camp this morning. Roland is entering his 64th year in baseball. Amazing resource.

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 12m
What do you think of this? Bears hire martial arts coach to work with players on hand technique:

Slate ‏@Slate 18m
Today is the day Atlanta could lose half its trees:

RainnWilson ‏@rainnwilson 23m
I think the last 8 minutes of the last ep of True Detective should win the Oscar for Best Picture. Chicago ‏@DNAinfoCHI 31m
Looking to woo an adventurous eater? Local restos put pig heads, hearts on the menu this V-Day

McNeil and Spiegel ‏@MacAndSpiegs 40m
Team USA, Canada hockey select starting goalies for openers:

Gawker ‏@Gawker 29m
ICYMI: What it's like to sit in a room with a sobbing Shia LaBeouf, for art

Media Spotlight--February 12

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

~Always Clear the Porn from your Browser Before Going on TV
A B-roll closeup of a smart phone showed that the user had an app for Porn Hub. This happened on WGN television, but the Gizmodo article doesn't name any names. That's for the best, don't you think?

~Dave Robbins
The former WJMK, WBBM, and WUSN general manager is now in Orlando and just changed a station's format/branding down there. The RAMP Newsletter article about the change says Robbins has promised no staff changes. The media spotlight column (by me right now) predicts that the RAMP Newsletter is wrong about that. When Robbins arrived in Chicago as GM of WJMK he said the same thing. Guess what happened? First the morning show (including me) was fired, and then about a year later, everyone else was fired too. Here's my favorite Dave Robbins story...A few weeks after I was fired, I stopped by the station to pick up my mail, and ran into Robbins. He said to me: "I envy you. You have all that free time on your hands now to spend with your little ones."

Broadcast News

~Tom Brokaw Has Cancer
He released a statement yesterday: “With the exceptional support of my family, medical team and friends, I am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to come. I remain the luckiest guy I know. I am very grateful for the interest in my condition but I also hope everyone understands I wish to keep this a private matter.”

~Did NBC's Hype Put Too Much Pressure on Shaun White?
The New Yorker explores the subject. I think it did. I was feeling pressure just watching him.

~Carl Bernstein Joins CNN
Looks like he'll be filling James Carville's "Outspoken Liberal" position.


~Meeting the French President
The guest list for the White House state dinner was a Hollywood who's who. Among the invitees; Bradley Cooper, J.J. Abrams, Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Mindy Kaling, and more.

~Advertisers Hoping Jimmy Fallon Open To Live Ads
It's not like it's never been done. Both Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon did them.

The Radio Biz

~Radio Has a Talent Problem
Fred Jacobs writes a blog about the radio business, and today it's about the lack of talent in the pipeline to replace the good talent that is either retiring, being fired, or dying. He suggests a "Radio Idol" type show to get new talent (something I actually pitched to CBS about five years ago). He's absolutely right, of course, and points out an even bigger problem facing the business. Nobody in the radio industry seems to care.

~Sean Hannity's House is For Sale
The radio/television host had a hissy fit last week about comments made by NY Governor Cuomo, and said he would move out of the state. To which the entire state whispered "oh no...please don't go." The Washington Times has more on the story, including details about his house. It's listed at $3.6 million.

Great Commercial

This is really well done. I know it's a booze ad, but it's inspiring...

Just One Bad Century--February 12

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Sweetbread, Monk, a champ, a politically incorrect nickname, a former Cub television star, and more.

Check it out here.

Trick Shot Titus

I love it. If I were recruiting for U of I, I'd be there now. By the time this kid is college age, we might be good again.

10 Things I Said My Children Would Never Do

If you're a parent, you've seen the look in a stranger's eyes when your kids are not perfect, and you remember that you used to judge parents the same way...before you became one. My kids and I have been guilty of all ten things on this list. Nicely written by the Scary Mommy blog.

By the way, now that I'm a parent of older children, when I see younger parents I have to resist the temptation to give them advice. The advice is always the same: We've all been there, don't worry about we think.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jimmy Fallon Says Goodbye to Late Night

With a special performance of "The Weight" with The Muppets...

Get the feeling that the new Tonight Show is going to be very different from the old one?

True Detective

The most disturbing (and interesting) show on TV right now is HBO's "True Detective". The final scene in this past weekend's episode was an incredible 6-minute continuous shot.

An explanation of how it was filmed is here at Zap2it

RIP Shirley Temple

It's hard to overstate Shirley's importance to the spirits of a nation suffering through the Depression. She passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

Father of the Year

Totally forgot about my son Sean's band practice this morning. (Sigh)

Just adding to my Father of the Year credentials.

Today's Best Tweets--February 11

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

Al Yellon ‏@bleedcubbieblue 5m
#Cubs Plaza Could Host Up To 25 Events A Year #mlb

Talking Points Memo ‏@TPM 5m
Obamacare advocates are turning to The Onion to get the truth out about the law: ‏@TIME 6m
Bob Costas now has an infection in both eyes and he's taking time off from the Olympics

Wayne Drehs ‏@espnWD 22m
For those back home who are concerned about my well-being here in Russia, don't be. I haven't come anywhere close to Bob Costas.

Team USA is in 4th place with 2 gold medals, 1 silver and 3 bronzes. Have you been cheering them on? #DailyChat

Burt Constable ‏@BurtConstable 15m
Nothing like 48-year-old graffiti and a dinner with Ringo to cap The Beatles celebration: …

Choose Chicago ‏@ChooseChicago 28m
The 10 Hottest Restaurants in #Chicago Right Now via @ChicagoMag #ChooseChicago

Dan Gurewitch ‏@DanGurewitch 2h
I'd like to propose "dench" as a word for pot and "judi" to describe it, i.e.: "Dude, that was some seriously judi dench."

New York Daily News ‏@NYDailyNews 3m
ICYMI: Olga Graf, Russian speed skater, unzips but forgets she’s nude after bronze medal win. -@NYDNSports

Matthew Eckstein ‏@mattheweckstein 53m
If I had a time machine, the first person I'd go back and kill would be Hitler. The second person would be the guy that wrote "Tainted Love"

Grand Valley State

Len O'Kelly is a former co-worker of mine at WJMK, and he's now working at Grand Valley State in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This past weekend he invited two of the colleges more famous alums, Kevin Matthews and John Records Landecker, to come up for a symposium. This is a picture from the college's television station studio.

JOBC Cubs Almanac--February 11

Funny comment from my e-mail in-box this morning: "Actually, I like the Cubs' chances of getting to the World Series this year. It feels like Hell has frozen over."

On today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Singing Cubs, Red, Hoot, A Sip of Coffee, and more.

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--February 11

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

~Christopher Michael
I worked with Chris when he was at WJJD and I was at WJMK. I also interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight a few years ago when he was at WGN. This morning he tells a great old radio story to Tom Taylor's NOW Newsletter...
Christopher Michael, now the morning news anchor at Chicago's WMBI-FM and a reporter at Rivet Radio (the former HearHere), remembers a moment of terror on his first job - "At WKAK Kankakee/99.9, 'The Triple 9 spot in the Tri-K City,' we were automated much of the time, but we did do some occasional live shows. One night, when I closed the studio door to do a newscast, I heard an odd 'click' in the door. I didn't think much of it until I went to leave the room, to tighten up the reels so they'd play in the automation. I couldn't get the door open. And the hinges, I discovered, were on the outside. The only way to get to the automation was to prop the back door open, run around the entire building, put tension back in the large reels, then run back around to the studio. Very time consuming. Not to mention, it was winter. I did what any other self-respecting teenager would do - I called my grandfather. He was great. He came to the station, screwdrivers in hand, entered through the back door, took apart the lock mechanism and voila! Problem solved. The station fixed it the next day, and the automation didn't skip a beat. I loved that guy, my grandfather."

~Rover Update
Remember former WCKG morning man Rover? He is on trial in Cleveland, and the Cleveland papers have an update. His lawyer has just asked the judge to dismiss the charges because he claims the police destroyed the evidence.

~WLS Has To Pay $44,000 FCC Fine
From Radio Ink this morning...
This fine is for violating the FCC rule on identifying a sponsorship. Back in 2009 the station ran ads from Workers Independent News without disclosing that the ads were sponsored by the organization. The ad discussed federal economic stimulus money. The Commission rule is in place so listeners are never confused whether the ad is actually programming

Broadcast News

~Why You Can NEVER Just Phone It In
KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin gets Samuel L. Jackson confused with Lawrence Fishburne, and Sam doesn't respond kindly to it. Pretty darn funny, but Exhibit A for you young reporters out there. Never just phone it in. This is really inexcusable. (Especially in LA)

~Smerconish Moves to CNN
The former Republican is now also a former MSNBC analyst. This is a good hire by CNN. He's articulate and fair.


~Fred Armisen to Lead Seth Meyers Late Night Band
Not many people realize he's also a musician. Great move by Seth. I'm guessing the writers will be thrilled to have Fred on board. It's so much easier writing for people who can actually pull off comedy. The Hollywood Reporter has the details.

~Jimmy Kimmel Snags SI Cover Girl from Letterman
The past six years the cover girl has been revealed on Letterman's show. This year, it will be Jimmy Kimmel's show. Deadline Hollywood has the details.

The Radio Biz

~Misinterpreted Radio Poll
All of the radio trades today are quoting a poll that asked people if they get upset when a radio station they like changes formats. According to the poll (conducted by Mark Kassof), 86% do get upset. Radio people are saying this proves that people still care about radio. Let's get serious here. If you don't get upset at all when your favorite station changes formats, you don't have a favorite radio station. 14% don't care. That's a big number.

Social Media

~How Pervasive is Social Media Today?
According to this piece in the AP, "an offbeat survey finding: 40 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 24 use social media in the bathroom."

~Upworthy's Traffic Plummets
Facebook made them a monster, but then Facebook changed their algorithms, and just like that, traffic took a dive.

The Publishing Biz

~Impatience Has Its Rewards
The publishing industry is catering to binge readers. From today's New York Times...
While the television industry has begun catering to impatient audiences by releasing entire series at once, the book business is upending its traditional timetable by encouraging a kind of binge reading, releasing new works by a single author at an accelerated pace.

~LinkedIn Creeping Into Publishing
They are now also content brokers. Adweek has the story.


These are the only kind of goals I scored when I played. I should have maximized my celebration time like this yahoo...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Beatles By The Numbers

The New York Times video department has done a nice job with this one, to the tune of "Twist & Shout". Facts and figures about the Beatles, including some I didn't know.

Here's one more number from the LA Times. The number Michael Jackson's estate claims the Beatles catalog is worth? Zero.

Think that has anything to do with the IRS? You would be correct.

Today's Best Tweets--February 10

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

RainnWilson ‏@rainnwilson 35s
When did Matt Lauer become Stanley Tucci? ‏@radiodotcom 4m
Bruce @Springsteen announces 2014 U.S. tour

David Plotz ‏@davidplotz 6m
Where the quackish idea that you're supposed to drink 8 cups of water/day comes from.

evale72 ‏@evale72 26m
Gov Walker claims he voted for Reagan...but he was too young to have voted

Slate ‏@Slate 7m
#ICYMI: "That "distressed baby" who Tim Armstrong blamed for AOL benefit cuts? She's my daughter."

Ben Kuchera ‏@BenKuchera 15h
The mother going public to slam AOL for using her child to justify cutting benefits is a f**king hero. Full stop. …

MLBcathedrals ‏@MLBcathedrals 10m
Screenshot from the 1991 movie, Only the Lonely. Comiskey Park in its last year of existence. #WhiteSox

Super 70s Sports ‏@Super70sSports 10h
Super 100th B-Day sky point to @Indians, Browns & @WhiteSox owner Bill Veeck. Here he enjoys a brew w/ Harry Caray:

TomLoxas ‏@TomLoxas 13m
Did #Cubs biz side raise expectations for front office?

NY Daily News Gossip ‏@NYDNgossip 23m
Woody Allen says son Ronan Farrow ‘looks a lot like’ Frank Sinatra

Just One Bad Century--February 10

Today's JOBC Cubs Almanac--Handsome Ransom, Lefty, The Guy They Got For Maddux, and Tom Dreesen at the Pump Room.

Check it out here.

Media Spotlight--February 10

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

~The River's GM is let go
Scott Kozak was the general manager of The River (in Naperville) for the past 2 1/2 years, but The River (and the rest of the company) was sold, and he is out of a job. From the RAMP Newsletter this morning...
RAMP spoke with Kosak, who told us, "I'm proud to have been at the helm of The River during a 2 1/2-year period of revenue growth while overseeing the complete rebuilding of the station into a modern, digital facility. Brian Foster, who will succeed me at WERV, is a friend of mine who I know has the talent and knowledge to take it further down The River as a Digity property."

~Tribune Newspaper Spin-off Likely At Mid-Year
Once the newspapers are spun off into their own company, which this article from Crain's says could happen by mid-year, the broadcasting operations will be free to purchase new properties in certain markets without running afoul of the FCC's cross-ownership rules. The article says that News Corp is one of the potential suitors of the newspaper business.

~Rick Vaughn
The former program director of Kiss-FM in Chicago has a new gig. According to Tom Taylor's NOW newsletter...
Rick Vaughn starts next week as the newest PD in Philadelphia, taking on Beasley’s rhythmic “Wired 96.5” WRDW. Rick most recently programmed in Atlanta at Clear Channel’s CHR “Power 96.1” WWPW and alt-rocker “Radio 105.7” WRDA. He previously programmed in Chicago (“Kiss” WKSC), Hartford (WKSS) and San Diego (KHTS-FM) – and from 2006 to 2008, he was based in Philadelphia, just down City Line Avenue from “Wired,” doing Clear Channel CHR “Q102” WIOQ.

The Moguls

~Amazon Prime Was Too Good to Be True
The whole "free two-day shipping" thing is a goner. As it should be. There's no such thing as free shipping. From the article...
Even if Amazon does raise Prime’s price to cover those increased costs, it may still lose money. Shipping losses are growing by a rate of nearly one-quarter year-over-year, and Amazon is spending almost twice as much on shipping as it charges, writes Colin W. Gillis, director of research at BGC Financial. The proposed Prime price hike won’t cover that deficit, Gillis predicts. “While raising Prime pricing and pitching ‘drone delivery‘ solutions make good headlines, shipping losses remain a burden on profits.”
Bezos is trying to crush the competition and make insanely low-cost shipping standard for all businesses, but if you play that game, you will lose money, and he will get your business.

~Where's Rupert?
For the longest time he was a compulsive tweeter, but he's gone into media silence. What's the reason for that? Showbiz 411 speculates.

~Media CEOs are Confident of the Future
From the article at "A large majority—93 percent—of the CEOs of media and entertainment companies surveyed by PwC are somewhat or very confident about how their companies will fare in the global economy over the next three years." And, if they're wrong, they'll walk away with millions anyway.

~Mark Zuckerberg is the Biggest Giver of 2013
He gave $970 million. The AP has the story.

Broadcast News

~The Story Behind ESPN Scoring the Story of the First Openly Gay NFL Player
This is the story behind the story of Michael Sam, the Mizzou player who will be drafted by the NFL in the upcoming draft. He has come out of the closet, and ESPN got the story first (along with the New York Times)

~NBC Edits Out Anti-Discrimination Speech from Opening Ceremony
This one is a headscratcher. I have no idea why they edited it out based on several factors, not the least of which is its newsworthiness.

~HLN Goes For the Social Media Generation
It's worth a shot. Headline News is going for a younger audience because the other cable news networks own the older audience.

The Publishing Business

~Sony Shutters E-Book Store
They were among the first e-readers, but have now been officially crushed by amazon. I'm not surprised based on the sales figures I've been seeing on my company's e-books. 90% of the e-book sales are coming from amazon.

Original Reviews of the Beatles on Ed Sullivan

These are great. You have to read what the grown ups thought that night the Beatles appeared on Ed Sullivan. Here's one example, from William F. Buckley Jr...

The Beatles are not merely awful; I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are god awful. They are so unbelievably horribly, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music, even as the imposter popes went down in history as "anti-popes."

Jay Leno

I never really thought about this before, but Kip Addotta's blog post about Jay Leno points out something interesting. Jay Leno was not a friend to the young comic. Johnny Carson made the careers of countless comics. Jay didn't break a single one.

My favorite Kip Addotta moment...

Post It Notes

This is a brilliant use of the Post It Note
. A bored guy on a train, draws pictures, and...well click on the link. You have to see it.

Beatles Comic

Thanks "SG" for sending this...

The Grammy's Tribute to the Beatles

My family watched the whole show last night, and it was tremendous. Incredible tribute performances (all of them were good--even Katy Perry), and then Paul & Ringo performing together again. So glad I taped it.

You can see the video highlights here