Friday, April 11, 2014

50 Years Ago Today

The Beatles had 14 songs in the top 100. Incredible. They were...

1. "Can't Buy Me Love"

2. "Twist and Shout"

4. "She Loves You"

7. "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

9. "Please Please Me"

14. "Do You Want to Know a Secret?"

38. "I Saw Her Standing There"

48. "You Can't Do That"

50. "All My Loving"

52. "From Me to You"

61. "Thank You Girl"

74. "There's a Place"

78. "Roll Over Beethoven"

81. "Love Me Do"

Didn't realize that this one made it that high. It's one of my favs...

Media Spotlight--April 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.

The Moguls

~Rupert Interview
He often tweets and spouts (and testifies), but he doesn't often sit down for an interview. Fortune Magazine talked to Rupert about his ex-wife, his pick for 2016, and more. The link I'm providing here goes to Time Magazine's summary, but a link to the article itself is contained there too.

~Moonves Buys Mansion on Billionaire's Beach
That's in Malibu, by the way. Naturally he bought it from another billionaire--Paul Allen.

Broadcast News

~CNN Is Dropping Talk Show in the 9ET/CT Slot
Documentaries will air in that timeslot instead. I can see the logic in this. Even during the last ten years or so of Larry King's reign, the talk show didn't do well in that timeslot.


~Variety's Take on Stephen Colbert Hiring
They sound a little skeptical about Colbert at Variety. I'm not at all. I've been watching him since he worked in Chicago. Don't underestimate the guy's talent. He is defintely not a one-trick pony. Also, they quote his ratings in this piece and compare them to Fallon, Kimmel, and Letterman. Um, you'd think this was obvious, but let me point it out in case it isn't. He's on Comedy Central!

~Is Craig Ferguson on the Way Out Too?
Sounds like it when you read the comments from Les Moonves. He flat out says "12:30 is up in the air". If I'm Craig Ferguson and I'm reading that, I'm quietly packing my bags.

Today's Best Tweets--April 11

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

Lou Brutus ‏@LouBrutus 3m
I never met a Friday I didn't like. #HappyFriday #TGIF

Alex Quigley ‏@alexquigley 6m
Today is the weather day that we dreamed about all winter long. We finally made it.

Lou Manfredini ‏@loumanfredini 3m
Yes spring is here. Our tulips are starting to sprout! Woot woot!! What are your signs that spring is here?

New York Post ‏@nypost 34m
Barack saves Michelle from an embarrassing Marilyn Monroe moment

People magazine ‏@peoplemag 30m
Hillary Clinton dodges shoe thrown at her during speech in Las Vegas - watch the video:

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 41m
NJ Man Accidentally Shot Himself At An NRA Event …

Esquire Magazine ‏@Esquiremag 1h
Meet the man who will be James Brown:

Jim O'Donnell ‏@jodonnell17 52m
Jim Nantz is sooooo Bushian; dandy pick to sit next to at Osmonds concert.

Wayne Slater ‏@WayneSlater 59m
GeoWBush at LBJ Library: "Former presidents compare their libraries the way other men compare their … well ... Wonder how LBJ would've?"

Naomi Klein ‏@NaomiAKlein 6m
Really impressive letter from 100 Harvard faculty members on the moral imperative of fossil fuel divestment

Sounds Painful

Thanks "JJ" for sending this...

Just One Bad Century--April 11

Another tough loss yesterday afternoon for the Cubs (5-4 to the Pirates...after leading 4-0). It's getting harder to be Mr. Bright Side (my New Year's Resolution). How about this: They haven't been swept yet this year. The Cubs go back at it tonight against the Cardinals.

Today in Wrigley Field history goes back to 1967 and 1969. Our Hall of Fame pitcher beats his old team in one game, and in the other, a brand new franchise (that has since relocated) makes it's first ever appearance in Chicago.

Today's Historical Event is the U.S. sending troups to Vietnam for the first time. Where were the Cubs?

Four former Cubs are celebrating a birthday today. One of them had his very last career at-bat in the World Series. Another is the only big leaguer in history born in Singapore. Do you realize that when this year is over, I will have featured every single player who ever wore a Cubs uniform? I usually think about that on days like today when I feature such obscure players.

The A/V Club features Sam "Toothpick" Jones, who became the first African American Cub to win a game on this day in 1955.

And, just for kicks, I checked out the Count Up Clock on the home page at Just One Bad Century. It tracks (down to the second) how long it has been since the Cubs last won the World Series. In case you were wondering, as of 7:13 this morning, we're at 38530 days 7 hours 14 minutes and 58 seconds.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kurt Cobain

Today is the 20th anniversary of Cobain's funeral. Over 5000 fans attended. The surviving members were on Jimmy Fallon last night. They'll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.

It inspired me to look up this video. I remember watching this and discussing it with my Loop colleagues. I remember Dave Benson, our music director at the time, saying "This is not going to end well for Kurt Cobain."

Today's Best Tweets--April 10

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

Guess what's trending on Twitter?

CBS Television ‏@CBS 24m
Stephen Colbert announced as the next host of #LateShow ! More details here:

jimmy fallon ‏@jimmyfallon 13m
I'd like to welcome the great @StephenAtHome to network late night and also congratulate him on his new name: Jimmy Colbert.

Jake Tapper ‏@jaketapper 4m
Who inspired Stephen #Colbert to be a comedian? Our web exclusive from last yr #tbt #TheLead

gwen ifill ‏@gwenifill 51m
So I guess this means #CancelColbert worked? After a fashion?

Patton Oswalt ‏@pattonoswalt 3m
Hey, could someone ask Suey Park to start a #CancelOswalt campaign? I'd love to host the Oscars next year.

Slate ‏@Slate 2m
We want to congratulate Stephen Colbert, who's been a friend to Slate. Here he is 'as himself' on our Gabfest in 2013

Paula Faris ‏@paulafaris 5m
Stephen Colbert's publicist tells @ABCNews "I won't be doing the new show in character, so we'll all get to find out how much of him was me"

Pete Dominick ‏@PeteDominick 49m
CBS just announced its Colbert. I wrote a piece last week for @thedailybeast as to why he'll be great

Josh Marshall ‏@joshtpm 20m
If yer curious what Colbert's like out of character, here's some rare video we took several years ago …

Judd Apatow ‏@JuddApatow 24m
Congrats @StephenAtHome ! The world rejoices!

Media Spotlight--April 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

~US-99 Hires New Afternoon Talent
Her name is Shila Nathan and she comes here from Scranton. From Radio Online:
"I have had my eye on Shila for a few years and I'm very excited to have her join the air staff at US99.5," said Jeff Kapugi, CBS RADIO Vice President, Country Programming and Program Director, WUSN. "She's a very dynamic personality that brings a fresh approach to afternoon drive in Chicago, Shila joins a talented team featuring Lisa and Ray in mornings, recently promoted midday host Drew Walker and 'Jax' at night."

~Former CBS Marketing Director Writes Book About Cancer
His name is Ken Churilla and he has a compelling story to tell. The link will take you to Chicagoland Radio & Media for more information.

~A Radio Story From Way Back
From Tom Taylor's NOW Column today, this story from over 50 years ago:
Syndicated host Stan Major says "Back in 1959-1960 when I was rocking away every afternoon on Chicago's WJJD, I was quite popular. Well, it was way before WLS and our only competition was WIND, with a signal that might get to La Grange, but we were heard all the way to Boston. Some creep in the thief business decided he would pose as me and approach the teen cashiers at local businesses and pull the fast-change scam. It appeared to work. He said he was 'Stan Major' and 'on the radio,' and the cashiers got a bit flustered. He gave them a $5 bill, then claimed it had been a $20. He pulled this off for awhile without getting caught. Someone at a store called me and told me what was going on. I never heard anything from any police department, but I do know that one store he hit was in Mt. Prospect, the suburb where our home was. It all faded away when I left Chicago, and I’ve never mentioned it until now."

The Moguls

~Comcast CEO to Congress: "Comcast represents the American dream"
And, we wll know the American dream is to crush your competition and create a monopoly so you can charge as much as you want without having to answer to your customers needs and wants. Who wouldn't want to live that dream?

~As The Rupert Turns
Turns out the story that broke this whole phone-hacking scandal in Britain in the first place (the hacking of the missing kid's phone--which was denied vehemently by all involved at the time), was absolutely true this whole time. It has now been confirmed under oath in a courtroom.


~Colbert gets the Late Show Gig!
It's official now. It's being announced this morning. Should be an awesome show. Very excited.

~Why is Jimmy Fallon Killing It in the Ratings?
His interviewing is a work in progress (at best), but then he'll do something (easily sharable) like this. Dude's got talent...

What Are You Giving Up For Lent?

I asked a buddy of mine this question (via e-mail), and he sent me this. Made me laugh.

Tipping Table

This is helpful for tipping in America. If you're like me, and you're never quite sure, it may help you too.

Imagine The Band

Cool mashup of "Imagine" instrumental sped up and "Band on the Run" vocals slowed down...

Which Biblical Character are You?

I took the quiz.

This is not good. I turned out to be Eve.

The description: "You have a big heart and are very protective of the ones you love. You will go out of your way to care and provide for your friends and family and expect little in return."

Throw Back Thursday

Throw back Thursday.

My sister and I in 1967 or so.

Not sure why they called me the German boy.

Just One Bad Century--April 10

Big Cubs win last night. Jason Hammel is 2-0. Anthony Rizzo got four hits. It's nice to win even when your pitchers give up five homers (including two in the ninth that made me a little nervous).

On JOBC toay, we've got a new batch of Historical Events for this week. Today's entry is about Paul McCartney announcing the breakup of the Beatles. Where were the Cubs?

Today in Wrigley history bookends Billy Williams Cubs years...1959/1974. It was also a momentous day in 1992. Find out why.

Today's Cubs birthdays include a Cub who became a TV star, a local Mt. Prospect boy, and someone they called Tacky Tom. The A/V Club has video from our famous Cub's television series.

In today's Cubs news, it appears the team is seriously talking about moving out of Wrigley. For the time being, I'm choosing to consider that posturing, and/or frustration talking. Junior Lake is frustrated that he's only playing against lefties. And, there's one more name in the minor league system you should be excited about: Dan Vogelbach.

Cubs are back in action today against the Pirates. It's a 1:20 game. Travis Wood will be on the mound for the Cubs.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Media Spotlight--April 9

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 Latest on the Cubs Broadcast Plans
Lewis Lazarre of Chicago Business Journal says that WBBM-AM has the inside track.

~Steve Harvey's in the NAB Hall of Fame
Tom Taylor's column has a few highlights from his speech yesterday...
Steve Harvey obviously knew the NAB honor was a big deal, but he’s a professional funny guy, and here are a couple of lines from his appearance that ran over-time (though nobody complained). First, he acknowledged the winners of the Crystal Awards, saying those stations are “giving to the community, helping Habitat for Humanity, feeding hungry people…it’s radio the way it should be done.” Then he jokes about the Radio Luncheon food – “That is the biggest piece of free meat I’ve ever seen...I’m scared of my steak.” The onetime Apollo Theater entertainer shares a story from his first radio gig in Chicago, hired by Marv Dyson, recalling that he’d heard a news story about Heineken pulling its ads off a show in London because there were too many black people on it. He urged his listeners to drop their Heinekens “on the [freeway], and they did. I thought it was cool.” But the account executive at the station was “having a brain aneurism” and told Steve “how it was affecting his family. I told him I didn’t give a damn.”

~Chet Coppock
Polishing up my latest Illinois Entertainer column. Due date is tomorrow. Release date is May 1. What does Chet talk about? Let's just say that he isn't holding back.

The Moguls

~Opposing the Merger
Groups opposed to the Time Warner/Comcast merger are doing something that Time Warner and Comcast must support. They are merging. Details at Media Bistro.

Broadcast News

~Fox News Coverage of Climate Change is Now More Scientifically Accurate!
They used to contain inaccurate or misleading statements in 93% of their reports. They are now only inaccurate 72% of the time! Congratulations. (Note: These figures come from a scientific organization, so they obviously can't be trusted. We all know about that giant worldwide scientists-conspiracy)


~Julia Louis Dreyfuss nude on cover of Rolling Stone
Can you spot the problem in this photo? It took me a minute to see it too. The writing on her back is the U.S. Constitution, but it also has John Hancock's signature. The problem with that is John Hancock didn't sign the constitution--he only signed the Declaration of Independence. (Don't worry...I also noticed she's nude. I'm an old curmudgeon. Not a dead one.)

~FX Networks Plan For the Simpsons
T-Dog Media summarizes the details that are behind the paywall of Broadcasting & Cable for those of us (I'm raising my hand) too cheap to subscribe.

Today's Best Tweets--April 9

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

Emily Bazelon ‏@emilybazelon 13m
The passionate case for bringing up kids w/ lots of risk & adventure …

Michael Tomasky ‏@mtomasky 1h
New Column: Repubs don't want women to have equal pay. They've proven it many times. Believe them. via @thedailybeast

Patrick Mooney ‏@CSNMooney 35m
Theo's plan won't bank on Cubs selling minority ownership shares:

David Frum ‏@davidfrum 34m
In honor of Appomattox anniversary, here’s link to classic James Thurber essay, “If Grant Had Been Drinking …” …

steve rosenbloom ‏@steverosenbloom 37m
No stars? Check. Still winning? Check. Blackhawks tweak their checklist. The RosenBlog:

#AMillionWays ‏@AMillionWays 8h
Anyone dressed like Spider-Man in the Old West would've been dragged through town and fed to pigs. #AMillionWays

Steve Grzanich ‏@SteveGrzanich 1h
Temps remain near or above 60 all week in #Chicago

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 2m
Prince George got through his first public engagement and only made one little girl cry

James Finn Garner ‏@jamesfinngarner 6m
RT @Bardball: Hank Aaron gets the "Sgt. Pepper" treament: … #braves

Matthew Hasselbeck ‏@Hasselbeck 18m
Every time I get tested for steroids reminds me of the elderly lady at the airport that TSA pulls out of line for a pat down.

A Great Commentary About Race

By a comedian...who else?

The Alma Mater Statue Returns to Champaign

I didn't know it has been gone for two years for refurbishment. I also, admittedly, wouldn't have cared.

But if you do care, my fellow Illinois Alums, there is a live webcam to watch them put her back in place this morning (between 9 & 10am).

Wayne Messmer

20 years ago today Wayne Messmer was shot by a couple of teenagers...

New Definition of Heartless

I know a guy who had his pay docked for attending his own father's funeral (OK, it was me), but this story about a celebrity chef in New York is even worse.

He was fired while caring for his dying wife, who died the day after he was fired.

11 Little Known Facts About Lefthanders

This piece is in the Huffington Post. I found it interesting as the father of a lefty, and a grandson of one (not to mention son-in-law, and brother-in-law of lefties).

Fact #8 perfectly explains my son Johnny. (Photo from about ten years ago)

Just One Bad Century--April 9

Another tough loss last night against Pittsburgh, but once again, there was a silver lining (I'm beginning to feel like Jack Brickhouse saying that all the time). Last night we saw the re-emergence of Starlin Castro, who hit two homers and drove in four runs.

At JOBC, there's lots of new content today. The latest This Week in Wrigley History has been posted. Today's entry takes you back to opening day 1963, and also 1989.

Today's historical event is the Chicago 8 Trial. Where were the Cubs?

Today's Cubs Birthdays features 8 Cubs, including one of their best pitchers of all-time (with a great nickname) and the pitcher they actually believed would replace Greg Maddux. It's also Hef's birthday, and the A/V Club has a look at his years in Chicago, when several prominent Cubs were known to visit his mansion and club. (Leo? Is that you? How old are you?)

As for the latest Cubs news, it looks like the new radio home for the Cubs could be WBBM-AM.

Also, I love this interview with die-hard Cubs fan Pete Wentz. He's the lead singer of the Mountain Goats, a popular alternative band, who did this song ("Cubs in Five") about two decades ago.

Watch it here...

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

My Kind Of Town

From Bob Dearborn's The Olde Disc Jockey's Almanac...

April 8, 1964…At United Recorders in Hollywood, Frank Sinatra recorded "My Kind Of Town."

Media Spotlight--April 8

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

~Roy Leonard Remembers Mickey Rooney
He remembers him the same way I do...a scary interview.

~WGCI & WVAZ Make Some Nighttime Changes
From the RAMP Newsletter...
Clear Channel Chicago just announced some significant evening personality alterations on both Urban WGCI and Urban AC WVAZ (V103) -- longtime WGCI Whispers In The Dark host Chris Michaels (top) will cross the hall to do nights on sister WVAZ, while DJ Moon Dawg has been upgraded from weekends to nights on WGCI, effective immediately. V103's Quiet Storm with Chris Michaels will now air Sunday-Thursday from 10pm-2am, followed by the syndicated Keith Sweat Hotel.

~This American Life Considers Self-Distribution
Not technically a Chicago story, but we do claim them, don't we? The New York Times has the details.

~Tony Fitzpatrick Is Leaving Chicago
According to this piece in Chicago magazine, the artist and former radio host is moving to New Orleans next winter.

The Pundits

~Al Sharpton was an FBI Informant?
According to today's New York Daily News (who got it from Smoking Gun), he tape-recorded conversations that helped bring down the Genovese family. Who knew?

~Barbara Walters Leaving on May 16
Good for the 84-year-old Walters. You'll be seeing a lot of her that week. ABC is planning an all-out farewell. Details at the link.

~Ezra Klein's New Venture Goes Live
The other co-founders are Matt Yglesias and Melissa Bell. I like the concept of trying to "explain the news". It used to be called journalism.

The Radio Biz Rips Cumulus
The firebombing right-wing website has turned its guns on Cumulus broadcasting, blaming them for destroying talk radio in this country. Even if I agree with the general conclusion, I don't agree with this reasoning for why it is happening...
"Conservatives say the Dickeys exacerbated Cumulus’ woes when they decided to add Mike Huckabee to the Cumulus lineup in an effort to soften the conservative message by bringing, as Huckabee put it, “more conversation, less confrontation.”
Yes, that's it. Too nice. That's the reason talk radio is dying. Not because of the actual good points made in the article up until that point. Read the article. It's actually good up until that moment.

15 Things You Didn't Know About "Major League"

The movie was 25 years old yesterday. Yahoo Sports has some good behind-the-scenes stuff about the movie at the link.

To me, the only thing I remember from that movie is Bob Uecker. I thought the rest of the movie wasn't that great--certainly not compared to "Bull Durham" (which came out the year before) or "Field of Dreams" (which came out a few weeks later).

Penn & Teller Take on the No-Vaccinations Crowd

Nicely done...

Peaches Geldof Dies At 25

Bob Geldof's daughter died yesterday at the age of 25. This is a shocker. A lot of us who follow the music world remember her birth, because that was at the peak of Geldof's international fame, and her mother Paula Yates was also famous. (And to be honest, we made fun of the fact that they named her Peaches).

Mom died of a heroin overdose at age 41. Now the daughter is gone too (cause of death still unknown).

The Huffington Post has more on the story.

Today's Best Tweets--April 8

Here are some tweets that caught my eye today... ‏@TIME 9m
Anonymous launches new cyberattack against Israel

Byron York ‏@ByronYork 26m
On Fox, Bush gave impression of someone who'd like to be president but has been out of the game for a while…

Joe Trippi ‏@JoeTrippi 14m
As a Democrat who saw Jeb Bush at College Station he would be tough opponent. GOP reaction is interesting

MLB ‏@MLB 36m
40 years ago today, @HenryLouisAaron passed Babe Ruth on the all-time home run list: #Icon

sabr ‏@sabr 15m
40 years ago today, @HenryLouisAaron hit one of the most iconic HRs in baseball history. Read his #SABR bio here: …

The Verge ‏@verge 26m
Twitter is about to look a lot more like Facebook

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 29m
The man at the center of Chris Christie's "Bridgegate" scandal is cooperating with prosecutors

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast 39m
Don't hate Rob Lowe because he's beautiful

NPR Politics ‏@nprpolitics 40m
This story raises the question, is there such a thing as a private indiscretion for members of congress?

Richard Lewis ‏@TheRichardLewis 53m
Two sober lunatics.

Just One Bad Century--April 8

The Cubs are back in action today. They'll be taking on the Pirates at Wrigley Field tonight at 7:00pm. Edwin Jackson vs. Charlie Morton. I don't need to tell you this about an April night game, but I will anyway. Dress warm. Game time temperature is expected to be 42 degrees.

Speaking of 42, Today's Cubs birthdays include the evil villain of the movie "42", plus the actual goat from the 2003 playoffs (not the Billy goat, and not Steve Bartman)

This Week in 1908 was posted yesterday. This week we take a look at the many newspapers in Chicago in 1908, plus we learn about a new rule in baseball called the "tidy ball" rule. The Cubs season hasn't started yet.

Today in Wrigley history is the very memorable story of Willie Smith's walk-off opening day homer in 1969. The A/V club features video of him hitting it.

Today's hisorical event is the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994. Where were the Cubs?

And the Cubs website has a nice article today about the history of the Wrigley Field Marquee.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Is this really spring?

A boy (Sean) and his dog (Ivy) catching some rays on our deck yesterday. We were outside all weekend for the first time in six months.

Joel Daly at the Beverly Arts Center (Photos & Commentary)

Joel was at his best yesterday on stage at the Beverly Arts Center. Penny Golden asked all the right questions, and Joel had the audience in the palm of his hand. The highlight of the afternoon was probably the moment he read one of his old commentaries from the book...about the first day of school for his daughter. He teared up in the middle of it, and so did every single person in the auditorium (even this emotionless German-American reporter).

"Sorry," he said, after regaining his composure, "It's the Irish thing. We have bladders of tears behind our eyes."

He stayed for quite a while after the interview, answering audience questions, signing autographs, and chatting with everyone...





Today's Best Tweets--April 7

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

The AV Club ‏@TheAVClub 7m
Bob Saget on his first dirty joke and first time meeting Rodney Dangerfield

The New York Times ‏@nytimes 9m
Well: Circumcision Benefits Outweigh Risks, Study Reports

ABC News ‏@ABC 11m
Temptation of meat-on-a-stick proves to be too much for a 1-ton, man-eating croc:

Taegan Goddard ‏@politicalwire 16m
New poll shows that those who didn't know where Ukraine is located on a map were more likely to support intervention …

Crain's Chicago ‏@CrainsChicago 23m
Calling it "the most American of American cities," #Chicago pitches itself to global tourists: @ChooseChicago

David Plotz ‏@davidplotz 26m
What happens when you install a Japanese wonder toilet in your house. Whatever you're imagining, it's better.

Pee-wee Herman ‏@peeweeherman 33m
International Beaver Day! … …

WGNMorningNews ‏@WGNMorningNews 15s
Adorable 3-Year Old Dancing blows away Chinese reality show judges (and @WGNRobin) WATCH:

Dana Milbank ‏@Milbank 2m
Duuuuuuude! The Congressional marijuana press conference has been delayed an hour, so I'm chilling.

natasha korecki ‏@natashakorecki 6m
Neighborhood schools in Chicago outscore Charter Schools. So why the Charter push? (WATCH) via @dmihalopoulos #twill

Unsung Hero

It's an insurance company ad...but it's very well done...and has a wonderful message.

RIP Mickey Rooney

Mickey Rooney was 93 years old, and was well known for nearly his entire life.

We had him on every show I ever produced. The last few times I crossed my fingers when the microphones went on, because Mickey was a non-stop monologue, and every interview had the potential of going south.

He'll be remembered most for this movie I watched a dozen times or so when I was a kid (because it was one of my dad's favorites)...

8 Beers You Should Stop Drinking Immediately

According to the website World Truth. There are eight beers that contain GMO Corn Syrup, GMO Corn, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Fish Bladder, Propylene Glycol, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), GMO Sugars, Caramel Coloring, Insect-Based Dyes, or other related ingredients.

Only one of the eight is a beer I ever drink, but I'm sure my wife isn't going to happy see this list: Newcastle Brown Ale, Budweiser, Corona, Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra, Guinness, Coors Light, and PBR.

Guinness, the only one I ever drink from this list, has fish bladder and high fructose corn syrup. That's a bummer. I enjoy it's milky goodness in the winter. Maybe I'll have to go back to the old standby.

You'll notice what's not on the list: Every German beer. Thank you very much Reinheitsgebot Law of 1615.

RIP John Pinette

I met him a few times during my radio career. He was a gifted comedian, and a heck of a nice guy in person. At one point I was part of a writing team that worked on a TV pilot script for him. (It never went anywhere)

Sad to hear about his passing at the way too young of 50. Pinette was overweight for many years, although he had slimmed down considerably in the past five or six years. I thought he was getting healthier, and was very surprised by this news.

Media Spotlight--April 7

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

~WIND's Joe Walsh Adds New York Market
The insufferably abrasive Congressman goes to a market that better appreciates the insufferably abrasive. Robert Feder has the details at the link above. I sure hope he doesn't leave us fulltime. It would be a shame to lose the local treasure. (I kid. Please go.)

The Moguls

~Senate to have hearing on Comcast Merger
Happy to hear it. Senator Franken, who knows the media business well, is leading the charge.


~AP Photographer and Reporter Killed in Afghanistan
Terrible story that illustrates the danger journalists face in war zones. Both of the victims were women; Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon. Neidringhaus was a Pulitzer Prize winner.


~Stephen Colbert is CBS' first choice to succeed Letterman
Great choice. According to this piece linked here, Colbert is into the idea, and the timing could be right:
Colbert's contract to host The Colbert Report on Comedy Central runs through the end of 2014, which would free him up in time to move over to CBS when Letterman ends his 33-year run in late-night TV.

~"Captain America" Sets April Box Office Record
April is normally not a big month for movies, but the nearly $100 million that "Captain America" pulled in is very impressive.

~Fox Considers Wife-Swapping Reality Show
Just when you thought reality television couldn't go any lower. Deadline Hollywood has the story.

The Radio Biz

~Passion For Your Team Does Matter in Radio Ratings
From Tom Taylor's NOW Column:
The Chicago Cubs lost 30 more games than they won last year, while the Pittsburgh Pirates won 26 more games than they lost and galvanized their western Pennsylvania fan base. Guess how their respective radio flagships did on Monday, Opening Day, when the Cubs visited PNC Park? Nielsen Audio says the age 12+ AQH cume for Cubs flagship WGN (720) was 133,700. But Pirates flagship “93.7 the Fan” KDKA-FM, beginning its third season with the team, drew a cume of 190,100. Remember that Chicago has a far larger population. Looking at share, the Pittsburgh station’s AQH share was 26.9%, versus 6.6% for the Cubs and their 1pm game on WGN. Nielsen says a flash study of that contest and three other Opening Day games shows that passion “may be the most important factor in determining the ratings for an opening day forecast – even more so than what time the first pitch was thrown, what the weather was like, how the team performed.”

~An Article Sure To Be Forwarded By Everyone in Radio
It's called: The Remarkable Resilience of Old-Fashioned Radio in the U.S. According to the results of this study, 90% of Americans still listen to it. (Warning, before you click on the link, you should know that you'll be greeted by a huge picture of Rush Limbaugh.)

Just One Bad Century--April 7

The Cubs lost 2 out of 3 to the Phillies this weekend, but all everyone is talking about is this video: Billy the Cub punching a guy in the face who takes the head off his uniform. Oh, Billy, will you never learn that you live in the age of phone cameras?

JOBC has a whole slew of stuff for your pleasure today.

Today in Wrigley History goes back 20 years to Michael Jordan's only appearance at Wrigley (there's a photo), and features 1977, 1987, and 1988. The A/V Club also has a great interview--Harry Caray interviewing Michael Jordan on the field before the game.

Today's Historical Event is John Wayne winning his only Academy Award for "True Grit". Where were the Cubs?

This Week in 1945 was posted over the weekend and features a video of the Allied air invasion of Germany, a recap of the Cubs only spring training road trip (to Louisville), and much more.

Today's Cubs Birthdays include two pitchers who threw no-hitters. One did so after leaving the Cubs, and the other did so before coming to the Cubs.