Friday, March 14, 2014

The Pothole World Tour Continues

Dave was on the air with Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft this morning, and killed it as usual.

I thought it was funny that Bruce didn't even know Dave's name when the interview started (good prep, Bruce), but he obviously enjoyed Dave's ridiculous array of products.

The entire interview was captured on videotape...

Go to the Pothole Store to get some of the products Dave discussed on the radio.

Eckhartz Press Goes All-In For St. Patrick's Day

Joel Daly St. Patricks day 1968

This weekend is the St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Chicago, and there will be a familiar face on Channel 7 contributing to the broadcast. Eckhartz Press author (and longtime Channel 7 anchorman) Joel Daly will be on hand...for the 46th year in a row. The picture above is from his first Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade in 1968 (with his daughter). He's either marched in the parade or broadcast it every single year since. Don't miss it!

His memoir "The Daly News" is available here at Eckhartz Press.


His fellow Eckhartz Press writer John Records Landecker has also appeared in his share of St. Patrick's Day parades in Chicago. The photo above is John and his friend (and WLS colleague at the time) Bob Sirott on the WLS float in the 1970s. John not only has marched in the downtown parade, he has made multiple appearances at the South Side Irish parade. Below is a photograph from 1997. John was on the WJMK float at the time, along with the co-writer of his Eckhartz Press book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name", Rick Kaempfer (me).

"Records Truly Is My Middle Name", of course, is also available here at Eckhartz Press.

st patty's 1

The Irish connection on this float is my wife Bridget (holding the baby in the picture) and my half-Irish baby son Tommy (who is now 18). I'm a big fan of the South Side Irish parade. I've made the trek down there several times even when I wasn't marching in it. It may have been serendipity, but I didn't even realize that my friend Brendan Sullivan was South Side Irish himself at the time. We've since co-written the Eckhartz Press book "The Living Wills". One of the main characters of that collaborative novel lives in the Beverly neighborhood, and the high school in that area, Marist High School, actually uses "The Living Wills" as part of their curriculum.

As you might have guessed, "The Living Wills" is also available here.

A few years ago I asked Brendan to write about his experiences growing up South Side Irish. I'm re-posting it here to wrap up our St. Patrick's Day coverage...


Contemplations on Growing Up “Southside Irish”
By Brendan Sullivan

When your name is Brendan Patrick Sullivan, a certain level of Irish American wisdom and experience may be assumed. As an adult, I have been asked all sorts of things that you of other ancestry may not have: Do you support the IRA? Have you read “Angela’s Ashes”? Is the Guinness in a can as good as on tap? What are you doing for St. Patrick’s Day? Would you guest-write my blog with your thoughts on being Irish? I don’t think I look particularly Irish, I don’t have a brogue and I don’t belong to any Irish or Irish American organizations. So all I can assume is that my name conjures up these questions.

Such was not the case when I was a child. I grew up on the Southwest side of Chicago, in the 1960s. I was named after my father, and was the oldest of six children. And I never realized how “Irish” I was because everyone in our neighborhood, it seemed, was just as “Irish.” We lived down the street from the Flynns and the O’Connors and the Walshes and the McDonoughs. And everyone had about six kids. No one ever spotted me as being particularly Irish because everyone was. So no one ever said “Gosh, that’s a really Irish name.” What other kind of name was there?

And of course we all went to the Catholic school and church. Oh sure, there were a few outsiders, whom we referred to as the Publics. And we weren’t sure what the Publics did. They had little churches with various names that sounded alike. We had huge Gothic churches that were packed to the rafters every Sunday. The Publics went to a different school and didn’t wear uniforms to school. They had spring break and winter break. We had Easter break and Christmas vacation. And I never really got to know any of them that well. They were all going to roast in hell, anyway.

So my world was all Irish. And all Catholic. In fact, you didn’t live in a neighborhood, you lived in a parish (St. Cajetan, Christ the King, St. John Fisher, St. Barnabas, St. Christina, etc.) And yeah, there were a lot of pubs. I went to a Catholic all-boys high school where they would suspend you if you were caught drinking. But the school gave you a personalized porcelain beer stein when you graduated, and our senior prom favor was an etched brandy snifter. Hmmm?

There is something very insulating, and very provincial about the Southwest side. So that when I moved to the North side after college, I may as well have gone over to the Dark side. How could I? Lord knows there’s nothing north of 35th street. And I now live in a neighborhood with Applebaums and Espositos and Jacksons and Lis and Pashas and the gay couple down the street too.

But I return every year with my wife and four very Irish kids to sit with their multitudinous cousins and watch the parade, using my sister’s house two blocks off the route as our home base. And we eat corned beef sandwiches and wear green and you stand on the parade route with hundreds of thousands of others with equally Irish surnames, watching the endless stream of marching bands and firemen and policemen and veterans and clans and politicians and community groups and Knights of Columbus and there’s a feeling that you are a member of a very large green cult.

Oh, I’m still Southside Irish. I still believe that the White Sox are far superior to that team down the street. My parents and all of my brothers and sisters all live on the south side, or in the southwest suburbs. And there’s an Irish flag flying in front of our house this week. But it’s the only one on the block.

Media Spotlight--March 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 Pundits

~Jon Stewart Smacks Down Fox Host Trying to "School" Him
This is so good, I'm posting both videos. It's something that has bothered me for years--Fox News' hatred of poor people (while crying about class warfare against rich people). Stewart is great in pointing this out, but his video archive staff is really tremendous. There's nothing quite as damning as video evidence.

~More Names Emerge As Candidates to Replace Piers
Last week we heard Jake Tapper and Bill Weir. This week (according to Deadline Hollywood) add the names Don Lemon and Michael Smerconish.

The Moguls

~As the Rupert Turns
According to revelations in the trial, one of the leakers to the News of the World was Princess Diana herself. She supposedly turned over her royal phone book to the tabloid. "Just Ask Her," the lawyers appear to be saying. Oh wait a minute, we can't. She's been dead since 1997. Well, then I guess we just gotta trust 'em.

Broadcast News

~Richard Engel Detained by Russians in Crimea
This guy is fearless. He was detained a few years ago in Syria too. Glad to see he talked his way out of custody.

The Radio Biz

~What Nationalization Will Mean To American Radio
Spot on analysis from Edison Research's Larry Rosin. Yes, it's been said before (by me...for the last ten years), but this is being said by someone the industry actually respects. Will they listen? My guess is no. Here's the most important part of his analysis...
"My guess is that the Cumulus and Clear Channel vision for radio’s future is fully nationalized stations whose only remaining local elements are traffic reports (because they can sell these) and weather (natch). The model is not NBC – where at least one gets local news injected through the day to create local branding – like my local “News 4 New York.” The model is, of course, MTV – a national channel with no local elements that, they hope, exerts enough coast-to-coast influence to assemble the hoped-for ‘leverage’ and ‘scalability.’ And maybe this model will work. But if it doesn’t, then everyone will be agreeing with my use of the word ‘disaster.’ Because if it fails, the re-establishment of ‘local’ on all these stations – and hiring all the local people back – seems inconceivable."

Happy Pie Day (3.14)

35 Songs That Don't Mean What You Think

I knew many of these song meanings, but not all.

For instance, didn't know "Eight Miles High" was NOT a drug song. Didn't know that "Freak Out" was originally called something else that starts with "F" and that it was about getting turned away from Studio 54 in New York. And finally...had no idea that "Total Eclipse of the Heart" was a vampire love song.

Just One Bad Century--March 14

Today's Cubs birthdays feature a guy named Shorty, a World Series hero (for another team), and the throw-in for the Bruce Sutter trade.

The A/V Club features an interview with birthday boy Shorty. He talks about his time playing for Leo Durocher, among other things.

I finally got around to chronicling my trip to Arizona. You can read it here. It's called "Father Knows Nothing: Middle Aged Road Trip"

In today's Cubs news, the throwback 1920s road uniform the Cubs will wear this year gets good reviews, the Wrigleyville community meeting with the Cubs was held (without incident), Javy Baez may be tearing it up, but he won't be making the opening day roster, and it appears that Mike Olt could become this year's opening day starter at third base.

Thursday, March 13, 2014


This made me laugh...

Father Knows Nothing: Middle Aged Road Trip to Arizona

The official purpose of the trip was Cubs website "Just One Bad Century" just relaunched and has new products to sell, and we wanted to capture the excited Cubs market heading down to the new Cubs ballpark in Mesa. We passed out hundreds of postcards, took a few key promotional photos (like these on the right, and below), drove traffic to the website, and sold a few shirts.

But the trip was also an excuse for five old (and increasingly fat) guys to spend some time together in warmer weather. How did that go? Well...

*We stayed in a dump
I took these pictures below at the hotel. Doesn't that look inviting? Well, there's a reason I took the picture of the pool at night. It had stuff floating in it, which you can't see at night, and the water was murky. Oh, and it wasn't even open. Those palm trees are next door to the hotel, but I had to take a picture looking up so you didn't see the dumpsters. I didn't take a picture in front of the hotel because a streetcar/tram runs right by it 24 hours a day (and is LOUD), and it's located across the street from a Planned Parenthood clinic that attracts abortion protestors about ten hours a day. Would you like a giant dead fetus poster with your free continental breakfast? Dave's review on Travel Zoo: "If you're over 23 and have a job, don't stay in this dump."

*JOBC's Lawyer is actually a five year old
Scott is not only our former college roommate, he is Just One Bad Century's attorney (he's the one in the photo with Fergie Jenkins above). He's also a five-year-old. The rest of us were on constant alert for pranks. One morning at Jack-in-the-Box while Dave pretended to say a prayer for the incredibly unhealthy breakfast he was about to consume, Scott stole his coffee and orange juice and hid them under the table. When Dave noticed they were gone, he assumed he had been stiffed by the cashier and went up to complain. Hilarity ensued. Scott also poked us with long sticks on our hike in the desert (to make us think giant lizards had jumped on us), ordered Dave a wheelchair at the airport, and plotted to leave Dave at Cubs Park in Mesa as an experiment to see if he could make it back to the hotel.

*Dave is passive-aggressive
Using his finely-honed passive aggressive skills, Dave fought back against star athletes by making them sign autographs with a Minnie Mouse pen. Fergie Jenkins was not pleased. Cubs prospect C.J. Edwards, on the other hand, thought it was cool. He even came back to find Dave later to use it to sign autographs for some of the kids that were on hand. (Photo left)

*Rick saved everyone from death in the desert
We thought it would be fun to take a little hike along a desert trail in a town called Black Canyon City. Dane and Scott took the lead, and they assumed it was a circular path that would lead us back to the parking lot. After a pretty lengthy walk (I figured it was about ten miles, but Dane says it was more like one or two), I suggested that we turn back just in case it wasn't circular. (Dave said he was only waiting for me to crack because he was sick of being the complainer.) Dane and Scott reluctantly agreed to appease the complainers. When we got back to the beginning of the path we discovered two things. #1--it was a circular path. #2--it was 79.1 miles long. You're welcome. (It was beautiful though, some photos are below)

*It's a small world after all
We spent the majority of our time at the Cubs camp, but we did spend one day at the White Sox complex. The Sox were playing the Seattle Mariners. I'm going to estimate there were 500 fans in the whole ballpark. It was a ghost town. While I was standing in line at the bratwurst stand, I thought I recognized the person in front of me. I tapped his shoulder and he turned around. Sure was my first cousin Robert, who also lives in Chicago. I haven't seen him in months. Of all the places in the world to run into him.

*Irony is dish best served cold
Sometimes when you emerge from an incredibly lengthy Midwestern winter, and you begin to wear t-shirts and shorts, you discover that you might have packed on a pound or two since you last donned your summer clothes. All five of us made this unwelcome discovery. Dave, in particular, was quite upset that he has become "a fat piece of sh**". However, he also may be the only person on record to report this news in the same sentence he made meal plans. "God, am I fat piece of...hey, who is up for prime rib?"

*A 30 year pizza mystery was solved
30 years ago when we were in college, the five of us were attending a party and suddenly pizzas started arriving from every pizza joint in Champaign-Urbana. There must have been fifteen pizzas (all with pepperoni and mushrooms), and we didn't order any of them. For years we've speculated about the identity of the trickster who sent those pizzas to the party. All of our (now ex) girlfriends (none of whom were invited) were suspects, as was any attendee who had mysteriously left the living room during the party. Two of the main suspects (Dave and Brent) were in Arizona with us. Finally...thirty years of those suspects produced the receipt, proving his guilt. The pizza prankster was David Stern. I KNEW IT!

Overall, it was a fun trip that we hope to repeat again in the future.

Just wait until next year.

As a Cubs fan, that's a phrase that rolls off the tongue.

Today's Best Tweets--March 13

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

Dan Pompei ‏@danpompei 2m
RT @ChicagoBears LM: #Bears have agreed to terms with former Lions DE Willie Young on 3-year contract.... Their best move of FA so far IMO

Bears Insider ‏@bears_insider 18m
Our story on the Bears' newest defensive end, former Lions DE Willie Young:

Adam Hoge ‏@AdamHoge 14m
#Bears sign WR Domenik Hixon to a 1-year deal.

Illinois Basketball ‏@IlliniHoops 11m
Here we go!!! Go #Illini! Beat the #Hoosiers! #B1GTourney

Slate ‏@Slate 11m
The mystery of Flight MH370 somehow just got even bigger, weirder: ‏@BillMoyersHQ 2m
Expert on Canada’s health care tangles with senator whose expertise appears largely Fox News-based #morningreads

Oscar Mayer ‏@oscarmayer 21h
The tantalizing scent of bacon…now available from the comfort of your phone.

Funny Or Die ‏@funnyordie 14m
Will Ferrell & Robert Redford like to video chat with each other & debate about bodies of water:

Paul McCartney ‏@PaulMcCartney 16m
Paul will be getting #OutThere in Lima, Peru on 25th April. Full details + pre-sale info at

Time Out Chicago ‏@TimeOutChicago 19m
Put on all the green clothing you own and head downtown for the St. Patrick's Day parade this Saturday.

Media Spotlight--March 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

~Are Cubs Games Moving to WBBM?
The Chicago Tribune's Ed Sherman speculates what will happen after this current Cubs radio contract runs out.


~Hal Douglas passes away
Hal was one of the all-time great movie trailer narrators. You've undoubtedly heard his work. He passed away at the age of 89. He's the voice in this trailer...

The Moguls

~Senate Judiciary Panel Sets Hearing Date for Comcast Merger
These are always fascinating, because you learn who is bought and paid for by the six or seven people in the world in favor of this merger.

~As the Rupert Turns
I haven't checked in on the phone hacking trial in awhile. Today we hear Rebekkah Brooks deny that she is testifying from a memorized prepared script.

~Warren Buffet Buys A TV Station in Miami
Don't look now, but one of the richest men in the world has slowly but surely been buying up media properties.

Broadcast News

~NBC News President Meets with David Gregory
They are meeting today to discuss ways to fix the now third-place "Meet the Press".

The Pundits

~Neil Steinberg Takes Down Bill O'Reilly
O'Reilly was shocked (Shocked!) that the president would appear on a comedy show, and said Abe Lincoln would never do that. Neil Steinberg gives lots of examples proving exactly the opposite.


~Indecency Complaints at a Ten-Year Low
From Inside Radio today...
"As broadcasters mark the 10-year anniversary of the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” that set off a decade of scrutiny, the FCC reports the number of indecency complaints fell to their lowest level in more than a decade in 2013. An Inside Radio analysis shows the number of complaints filed against radio and TV stations fell by one-third last year to 1,470."

How many have you read?

The BBC claimed that the average person has read only 6 of the titles on this list of 100 classic books. That sounds a little low to me.

I'll admit I've only read 28, but 6?

How many have you read?

One for the Writers

Thanks to "PL" for sending this. I can relate.

Throwback Thursday

March 1996 with John Landecker in a brownie outfit helping the Girl Scouts sell cookies at Union Station in Chicago. With Joleen Bodo Padgett, Mark Pietrzak, Edith Prado-Peredo and yours truly.

Just One Bad Century---March 13

Today's Cubs birthdays includes one of the great names in baseball history...Chippy Gaw. Maybe not a great player, but certainly a great name.

The A/V Club celebrates the 100th anniversary of Butch O'Hare's birth...the man they named the airport after...and a man with Chicago connections. His dad was Al Capone's lawyer.

In today's Cubs news, the future was sent back to minor league camp (Almora, Bryant, Alcantara & Soler), the Cubs ask for their first replay challenge...and lose it, Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune speculates about whether or not WBBM-AM may be the next radio home of the Cubs, Edwin Jackson addressed "Fastball-gate" (the controversy swirling around his last start where he threw only fastballs...a game I attended in AZ), and finally the Cubs set a spring training attendance record yesterday...and lost 13-0.


It's going to be another long year, folks. Time to get the shirt that says it all...

Cubs Final with White Circle JPG

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mensch ärgere dich nicht

My favorite board game when I was a child was called "Mensch ärgere dich nicht". It's a German board game that means basically "Hey man, don't get annoyed". The reason for the game's title is that players knock each other out (kind of like "Sorry").

My mom brought that game to America with her when she immigrated here in 1957 (it was among her very few possessions) and it was a treasured toy for us when we were kids. (I was born only six years after she arrived in this country)

Well, I saw this story the other day about my favorite game. It just turned 100 years old. Happy birthday Mensch ärgere dich nicht!

Today's Best Tweets--March 12

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

Jeff Greenfield ‏@greenfield64 12h
Re: O'Reilly's "Lincoln wouldn't have done it"? He told so many jokes--some off-color--that press critics assailed his lack of dignity.

Marc Duvoisin ‏@MarcDuvoisin 14h
Stem cell breakthrough seemed too good to be true. Now, a study author goes public with doubts. @LATkarenkaplan

Alex Walsh ‏@ajwalsh08 15m
@TomLoxas We're all lamenting that the FO "ruined" Castro. Well, if he can't hit for power, his upside is limited. Had to know.

Dana Gould ‏@DanaJGould 18m
You can't teach an old dog CPR.

Hub Arkush ‏@Hub_Arkush 22m
ICYMI, my take on the Bears big moves on the first day of free agency.

Groovyhoovy ‏@Groovyhoovy 25m
Snow total 79.1 inches. The 3rd snowiest. At this point, screw the Bronze medal. I want the Gold!

Gawker ‏@Gawker 48s
McConaughey explains where he got his famous "Alright, alright, alright" catchphrase.

Miriam Krule ‏@miriamkrule 6m
Mark Twain took book recommendations VERY seriously: …

Tony Lossano ‏@LOSSANO 7m
When news breaks, Twitter is there first! RT @NBCNews Building collapses in NYC after report of explosion

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 10m
From "Killer Queen" to (duh) "Bohemian Rhapsody," your picks for the 10 best Queen songs of all time:

The Beatles (Only Vocals)

This is incredible. The Beatles singing the medley on Abbey Road with all the instruments stripped out. Try to sing better than this. Sheesh.

Media Spotlight--March 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

~Joel Daly returns to Channel 7
I was there with him yesterday and filed this report for Eckhartz Press. It has video, photos, and commentary.

~Rick Vaughn Out in Philly
This surprising news about the former program director of Kiss-FM in Chicago comes from the RAMP Newsletter...
After less than a month of occupying the PD chair at Beasley Rhythmic WRDW (Wired 96.5)/Philadelphia, Rick Vaughn and station management have mutually parted company. In a brief statement, Vaughn told RAMP, "I want to thank Beasley for this opportunity and I look forward to my next programming challenge." Needless to say, no replacement has been named yet

The Moguls

~The Vultures Are Circling Disney's Bob Iger
He'll be stepping down in two years, but the Disney CEO can already see the vultures circling, angling, preparing to swoop down and take over for him. Among the candidates listed in this New York Post (I know, I know) piece, is Facebook's Sherly Sandberg.

~As the Rupert Turns
The stageplay about the most famous media mogul in America debuts in Washington tonight. The Australian press previews the show.

~How over-the-top is the Time Warner/Comcast merger?
Rival media executives (all of whom have argued for less regulation of media companies) are even saying it's a bit ridiculous. It's that ridiculous.

The Pundits

~The Fallout from Obama's Two Ferns Interview
Heads exploded at Fox News after President Obama appeared in a comedy bit on Funny or Die, but it did exactly what he hoped it would do. The link is to an article at the Washington Post which analyzes the traffic it directed to the Obamacare exchanges. That's why he did it. It was a success.

The Journalists

We can make fun of the puffed-up pundits that appear on cable television, but in the real world of journalism, professionals are risking their lives to let us know what is really happening in the world. We lost a few of those heroes this week.

~Men's Journal reporter Matthew Power dies in Uganda
He was covering the story of a man who was walking the length of the Nile.

~Swedish Radio Correspondent Nils Horner Killed in Afghanistan
The British journalist was killed in an execution-style attack in Kabul's diplomatic district.

Just One Bad Century--March 12

Today's Cubs birthdays include a former all-star who cost the Cubs dearly, a man named Prunes, and a Mexican no-hitter.

It's also my son Johnny's birthday, and this is one of my favorite Wrigley Field moments with him.

The A/V club today features a walk-off homer in the 1964 All Star Game.

And in today's Cubs news, it sounds like Nate Schierholtz is on the trading block, Javy Baez will be seeing some time at 2B & 3B soon, Junior Lake will get a chance to be the leadoff man (he batted in that spot yesterday), Old Style beer may not be gone from Wrigley Field after all, and Justin Ruggiano is on fire (he's hitting over .500 in spring training).

The Birth of Johnny Kaempfer

The date was March 12, 1998.

Exactly 16 years ago.

The news media had it's own idea of the biggest story of the day...

The Chicago Sun Times front page: “Cicero deal halts Rally by Klan”
The Chicago Tribune front page: “Clinton plans to join Ulster peace talks”
The Daily Herald front page: “Clinton refuses to say whether he will testify to grand jury”
The New York Times front page: “The World of Paula Jones”

But the biggest story was happening in Mt. Prospect, and only one reporter was on hand to break the story....Me. I called into the John Landecker show that morning to report the news flash. The cast of characters included John Landecker, sidekick Catherine Johns, and newsman Richard Cantu.

The following is a transcript of that important phone call.

John: Oldies 104.3, John Records Landecker, it’s 8:27, and joining us on the phone from the maternity ward is the producer of the program, Rick the German Boy Kaempfer. Good morning, Rick.

Rick: Good morning.

John: Rick, tell us what’s going on.

Rick: Well as long as we’re plugging our kids (John had just plugged his daughter’s play), I’ve got a new one to plug.

John: Aaaawwwwright!

Rick: Last night around eleven thirty Bridget’s water broke and we didn’t even have time to make it to the hospital downtown, so we went to the one out here.

Catherine: Oh, is that right?

Rick: And we have a new baby boy!

(Cheering and clapping in the studio)

Richard: Whoo Hooo! Congratulations. Two knucklehead boys!

Rick: And it’s a big one too.

Catherine: How big?

Rick: 8 pounds, 6 ounces.

Catherine: That is pretty big. How’s Bridget doing?

Rick: She’s doing real well. I’m at home now. I came home to check on Tommy...

John: Wait a doggone minute! You went home to check on your other child before you called the show? Where are your priorities?

Rick: Sorry, forgive me. I’m hopelessly out of whack.

John: OK, 8 pounds. How long was it?

Rick: 21 inches...if you know what I’m saying.

Catherine: We know what you’re saying.

John: No, how long was the baby?

Rick: Oh, the baby?

Richard: Once more into the gutter.

John: So what time was this kid born?

Rick: Two o’clock in the morning. They kicked me out of the hospital at 4:00, because Bridget has to share a room, and I came home and got a little sleep, and Tommy just woke me up, so I’m calling you right away.

John: So you’ve called all your family I hope.

Rick: Bridget called them.

John: But she had the baby.

Rick: Yeah, she had the baby in about two hours. It wasn’t that bad, although that’s easy for me to say. She was fine, what a trooper.

Catherine: And she wanted to chat, right?

Rick: Exactly.

Catherine: Now I want to know something. Does this child have a name?

Rick: Oh yes he does. His name is John Richard Kaempfer.

John: Wow.

Richard: You honor us, Sir.

John: Was he named after anyone?

Rick: Well, my favorite Beatle is John.

John: John Lennon.

Rick: And of course, my favorite DJ....

John: Really?

Rick: Yup. John Brandmeier.

(Everyone laughs)

John: OK, you got me.

(Call waiting clicks)

Rick: And actually John is also a name in Bridget’s family. Her grandfather was named John. And so is her brother.

(Call waiting clicks again)

John: I see you got baby waiting there.

Rick: Yeah, I think I may be popular today.

John: Well, we’ll let you go. Congratulations on the big news! So you’ll be back to work tomorrow, right?

Rick: Uh...well...

Catherine: John!

John: Just kidding, just kidding.

Rick: See you later.

John: There he goes. Proud papa.


John: Oh wait! Darnit! I forgot to ask him if he taped it.

Richard: Are you kidding? Of course he did.

John: Because if there was ever a disc jockey who knows how to exploit a child, it’s....

2 year old Tommy Kaempfer singing the jingle: John Records Landecker, Oldies 104.3.

Of course, I did tape it, by the way. It aired the next day. Friday the 13th. By the time Johnny was three he was doing movie reviews and jokes on the radio. He also accompanied the show to the Dominican Republic for a live broadcast.

Here's what the 16-year-old lad looks like today...

Joel Daly on Windy City Live (Photos, Video & Commentary)

I spent the day yesterday with broadcasting legend Joel Daly as he returned to the scene of the crime...Channel 7, WLS-TV. Joel was an anchorman at the station for 38 years (1967-2005), and was a trailblazer in the business. Along with fellow legends Fahey Flynn, John Coleman, and Bill Frink, he ruled the 10pm ratings for a very long time.

He returned to Channel 7 to promote his Eckhartz Press book "The Daly News" on Windy City Live yesterday, and it was obvious that it was a homecoming for him. Everyone knew him there from the security guards to the soundmen to the producers to the cameramen. And they all seemed to genuinely care for him.

Joel was sitting in the dressing room before the show with the other guests, and they were all pretty impressed by him. WGCI's Tony Sculfield told Joel that he never missed his newscasts when he was a kid. "It wasn't news until we heard it from Daly and Flynn."

Joel also chatted with Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte.

"You went to Tulane, didn't you?" Joel asked.

"Yeah, I did," Forte answered.

"My daughter went there too," Joel said. "I think she graduated in 1985."

"That's the year I was born," Forte replied.

"Wow am I old," Joel laughed. Forte got a kick out of talking to Joel. Joel complimented Matt's snappy sense of style and good looks.

The hosts of the show (Ryan and Val) were very reverential toward Joel as well. Ryan described the television station as "The House that Daly Built".

After each person left the room, Joel would tell me their life stories. He seemingly remembered everyone and everything.

When it was time to go on the air, Joel lit up, and told some very funny stories. The crowd seemed to really love him. Cameras were snapping away throughout his segment. Here is the video...

After it was over, the producers asked if we would mind staying to tape another segment for the midnight show. "We just need to do the weather and say goodbye, and then we'll bring you back."

Joel waved for me to follow him. We walked back into the dressing room, and through the makeup room, and exited a side door. "The studio's over here," he said, pointing toward the door. The sign on the door said "Quiet. On the air," but Joel didn't stop. He walked right in.

"Tracy Butler is doing the weather," he whispered to me. "She's right on the other side of this partition."

When we got on the other side, we saw and heard her talking to Ryan and Val about how much she loved Joel, and how wonderful it was to see him. Joel took the opportunity to walk right into the live shot, surprising everyone. "I'm still available!" he said. Everyone loved it.

We taped the segment for the midnight showing of "Windy City Live", and then took a picture with the audience. Several people stopped Joel on the way out to get their own personal photographs, and shake hands with the legend.

Once again, Joel snuck out a back door toward the elevators and told me to follow. This time he took me up to the WLS-TV newsroom, where he introduced me to all of his old friends. It was obvious that everyone was happy to see him.

It was a wonderful day with one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

(PHOTOS: The Windy City Live set, Joel coming out of makeup, Joel & Matt Forte, Joel & Tracy Butler, the teaser live shot, on the set & on the air, Joel with the hosts and audience of Windy City Live)

The Pothole Store on the Radio

The Pothole Store part of our media empire was featured yesterday on WGN Radio's Steve Cochran show. David Stern was hilarious as always. You can listen to the interview here.

And while you're at it, don't forget to visit The Pothole Store

For those of you following his world tour, Dave will be on with Bruce Wolf and Dan Profft (WLS 890 AM) on Friday morning (around 8:30am)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Media Spotlight--March 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

~Joel Daly on Windy City Live
Joel is appearing on Channel 7, his television home for 38 years, on Windy City Live today (11am--Noon). It's his first time back on the air there since he retired nine years ago, and he'll be talking about his book "The Daly News". (Full Disclosure: My publishing company Eckhartz Press published this book, and I will be there with Joel taking pictures and chronicling the event.)

The Moguls

~As the Rupert Turns
Today's the day that Rupert is inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Details at the Sydney Morning Herald.

~Ted Turner is Recuperating Well
He's still in Argentina, but the former media tycoon appears to be recovering well (according to Reuters) from his South American appendicitis attack.

Broadcast News

~Sharyl Attkinson Resigns from CBS News
Politico has the story. She's claiming she's quitting because of liberal bias, which is nonsense, but she also says that the network is overly concerned about their corporate sponsors, which is true (and if you think about it--pretty much incompatable with the whole idea of the place being run by corporate-hating liberals). Here's the gist of the story...
Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air. At the same time, Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting.
Let's keep something in mind, here. This isn't happening in a vacuum. CBS was just burned on the fake Benghazi story that was pushed by an agenda-driven reporter. Agenda-driven is a GIGANTIC red flag. Of course, she'll be the next Bernie Goldberg, and will make a fortune "proving" liberal bias to a crowd that so badly wants to believe it.

~Jamie Gangel Leaves NBC News
She was there for 31 years and interviewed six presidents. “After 31 years as an award-winning journalist at NBC News and the Today Show, Jamie decided to retire. We are grateful for her many contributions and we wish her the very best,” an NBC News spokesperson tells TVNewser (at the link)

The Pundits

~President Obama on the Zach Galifianakis show
Highly recommended. It's really the president. It's really Zach. It's really funny.

The Music Biz

~Amazon is now trying to crush the music business
It's hard to know who to root for here...the giant that will soon rule the world, or the business that has screwed some of your favorite stars for decades. Billboard has the details if you're interested in their "negotiations".

Just One Bad Century--March 11

Today's Cubs Birthdays include one of the throw-ins in the Lou Brock trade (that's right...we gave them even more than Lou).

The A/V Club shows the effects of an earthquake the Cubs experienced in 1933. W.C. Fields was in the middle of filming a movie scene when it hit...

In the latest Cubs news, Barry Bonds returns to the Giants but Sammy still isn't welcome with the Cubs, and a Wrigleyville pub crawl will now include history of the Cubs and the bars surrounding Wrigley.

Monday, March 10, 2014

James Brown

This little tidbit from 35 years ago today can be found at Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

March 10, 1979…At the invitation of his good friend Porter Wagoner, R&B legend James Brown appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville's Ryman Auditorium performing traditional renditions of "Tennessee Waltz" and "Your Cheatin' Heart," as well as his 1960s hit "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag." Reaction among longtime Opry members was split. Some, like Jean Shepard, disapproved of Brown's set, while Barbra Mandrell applauded the unusual guest appearance.

I couldn't find a video of that performance, but after watching this one, I picture most Grand Ole Opry fans having a heart attack...

Today's Best Tweets--March 10

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

670 The Score ‏@670TheScore 1m
Joakim Noah talks hatred of Heat, writes @CodyWesterlund:

Jurko ‏@Jurko64 22m
Hard work and effort prevails over unused talent every time. #Bulls > #Heat

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 2m
The finale of "True Detective" was the perfect conclusion to a series that has come close to perfection

Rolling Stone ‏@RollingStone 19m
#TrueDetective's season finale proves that it was always about the journey. Our recap:

Entertainment Weekly ‏@EW 20m
Recovered from last night's #TrueDetective? Read our review:

Sasha Hemon ‏@SashaHemon 26m
True Detective and its lame finale show that in US TV any attempt at intelligence is likely to be taken to be genius. The bar is ever low.

Allison Prang ‏@AllisonPrang 8m
RT @TPM_dk: Gallup survey: 3 million to 4 million fewer people uninsured since Obamacare kicked in Jan 1 …

Jeff Dickerson ‏@ESPNChiBears 9m
Four teams interested in QB Josh McCown

Marcus Leshock ‏@marcusleshock 23m
RT @maggiehendricks: Martellus Bennett pitching his brother to come to Chicago by saying they could be the black Duck Dynasty. CONVINCING.

Jonathan Landman ‏@jonathanlandman 23m
Yo boomers, looking for something to worry about? Pensions. (Even if you have one) QuickTake.

Rashard Mendenhall

The former Illini and NFL running back Rashard Mendenhall has retired at age become a writer. I kid you not.

His first piece is for Huffington Post, explaining his reasoning.

And people think I'm crazy for retiring from radio to become a writer (I hear it all the time). This is my decision times a thousand.

Media Spotlight--March 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

~Jimmy de Castro Interview
Mike Thomas of the Sun Times interviewed Jimmy deCastro in yesterday's paper. You can read the link above.

The Moguls

~Ted Turner Rushed to the Hospital
This first paragraph in the Reuters column has all the pertinent information:
Philanthropist and former media tycoon Ted Turner was rushed to hospital on Friday in Argentina's Patagonia region before flying to Buenos Aires for appendicitis surgery, local media said. After being seen by doctors at the San Carlos clinic in the lakeside city of Bariloche, near an area where Turner owns property, the 75-year-old founder of cable TV network CNN was flown to the Argentine capital for treatment.

~Buzzfeed's Founder Proclaims: "Media History Is Repeating Itself"
He published a memo that he sent to his staff, positing that the way old media began is now happening again with new media, and that places like Buzzfeed will one day be considered as much a part of the mainstream as Time Magazine was in it's heyday.

The Pundits

~Who Will Replace Piers Morgan?
This Politico article mentions some of the pundits who will be given a shot, including former Chicago broadcaster Bill Weir, and Jake Tapper.

~The Kudlow Report is Cancelled
Larry Kudlow's CNBC show is being dropped, but he will remain the network's "senior contributor". It's a demotion, plain and simple.

~A New "Streaming Network"?
According to this piece in the New York Post (I know, I know), Sarah Palin is being approached to be one of the proposed "streaming" network's hosts.

~Nate Silver's 538 Returns March 17
Mashable has the details at the link. Sounds to me like an instantly "must bookmark" site. It will cover about 30% sports, but also economics, science, politics, and lifestyle.

Social Media

~Chicks Dig Social Media
From Entrepeneur Magazine:
A greater percentage of adult U.S. women use Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter than their male counterparts. The one social network that boasts more men is the professional-networking site LinkedIn.

The Daly News is Now Available as an E-book

Joel Daly's book "The Daly News" has been getting good press since it was released by Eckhartz Press in February. Media critic Robert Feder, WGN TV Morning News, and WGN Radio are among the outlets who have praised and publicized the book. This week Joel will be appearing on Windy City Live on the television station Joel anchored the news for nearly 40 years (Channel 7 in Chicago). We'll be on hand to take photographs and report on the behind the scenes excitement.

But the big news is that Joel's book is now available at amazon as a Kindle e-book! Amazon posted it on their site over the weekend, and it's already starting to sell. Thanks to all of you who have written and asked us about this, and thanks for your patience.

Simply click here and the e-book can be yours in seconds.

The trade paperback version is still available here at Eckhartz Press.


Just One Bad Century--March 10

Today's Cubs birthdays include a man who ended his big league career during a no-hitter.

The A/V Club features Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins discussing that famous 1969 Cubs team.

This Week in 1908 was posted this morning, as well. The very first Cubs uniform featuring a bear logo debuts this week in spring training in Mississippi.

In case you missed it, This Week in 1945 was posted over the weekend. Tito takes over Yugoslavia, Anne Frank dies in a concentration camp, and the Cubs lose another player to the military.

Also, I spent the last five days in Arizona, and posted a few pictures from the new CUbs Park in Mesa. Check them out here and here.