Friday, November 07, 2014

Tribune Lets Jim Wiser Go

Bad call, Tribune.

Robert Feder has the details.

Wiser will be picked up by someone, and probably very soon. He's one of the very best producers in the biz.

RIP Stan Hyde

Sad news in our family this week. My father-in-law Stan Hyde passed away. Wake is on Sunday, and the funeral is on Monday.

The obituary is in the Sun Times this morning.

I'm working on the eulogy. This is going to be a tough one.

Al Roker's Early Days

Roker is going to try to break a Guinness record next week, doing a 34-hour weather forecast. No joke. Details are here at TV Newser.

Enjoyed this video of Al explaining his big break. It had something to do with his predecessor's misuse of the word "Front". Very entertaining.

ESPN Radio Wars

From this morning's Radio Ink...

Radio wars, for the most part, seem to be a thing of yesteryear. When they were in vogue, typically it pitted one competing radio station against another. On Wednesday, the radio war was between two hosts working for the same company. Bill Simmons seems to be a magnet for controversy lately. Yesterday he was called out by ESPN morning show co-host Mike Golic. Then, it was on. On the Colin Cowherd Show, Simmons said Lebron James was not as formidable as he was in Miami. Golic, on the Mike & Mike Show, said, “I think it’s one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve heard four games into a season in my life in any sport." Then, typical of how confrontations play out nowadays, the fight moved to Tweets and Simmons went on his second Twitter rant in just a few months. The first Tweet from Simmons: "What Mike and Mike did today was absolute garbage. I would say I lost respect for that show, but I never had it." Then another, "For an ESPN Radio show to pull an interview out of context from another ESPN Radio show, then play the moral authority card, is disgusting." And another, "Have the balls to call me to discuss it on the show. Don't pull it out of context just because you need fodder for a segment. Pathetic.

There's more at the link. I've always liked Golic, so my inclination is to side with him.

AC/DC drummer arrested

Some pretty serious charges too: Threatening to Kill, and possesion of drugs.

Rolling Stone has the story.

Read the statement from the band. They aren't exactly rallying to support him.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Martin Short Recalls His SNL Days

I love this excerpt from Martin Short's book. Salon titles it: "My Saturday Night Live Hell"

Highly recommended for any SNL or Martin Short fan.

Father Knows Nothing

These two boys conducted the single funniest conversation I ever heard. It took place when they were putting on their snow boots to go outside and play. All I can tell you about the subject matter is that they were discussing what kind of snow was appropriate to eat. I transcribed it at the time, and I'm so happy I did. You'll be able to read it in Chapter 2 of my upcoming book Father Knows Nothing.

It's available for pre-order now!

Classic Commercials from the 50s & 60s

Got a kick out of these...

Music Preference by State

Pandora did a breakdown of listener music habits by state or region, and there are some interesting findings.

Billboard Magazine has the details.

My favorite one is Oregon. They apparently prefer comedy.

Here Comes the PTC

Remember the Parents Television Council? With the Republicans back in power, the PTC is back to complaining about "outrageous" television programming. Details are here.

It's true that the F.C.C. has been pretty lax about pursuing indecency complaints against the networks, but 99 out of 100 Americans are fine with it. We understand that there really isn't much of a difference between network television and cable anymore, at least not to viewers. What's the difference between channel 3 or channel 400? Why should channel 3 be censored when channel 400 can say or do whatever they want? The days of people having only three networks and nothing else are long gone. In fact, all the studies show that kids don't even watch television anymore. They watch YouTube, and Netflix, and video games.

And if they do still watch TV, every television, and every remote, and every cable delivery service has parental controls built in. You can block the shows you don't want your kids to watch. And if you're an actual parent doing some actual parenting, you can tell your children what they can't watch, and you can enforce it a parent. OR...and here's an even more radical can turn it off. Every television comes with a fancy new device called an off-switch.

This is why I get upset when I hear complaints about a "nanny state" because a seat belt law is passed, or I hear about "freedom" being in danger because you have to get health insurance. The very same people who complain the loudest about that, want to control and censor what you can see or hear...because they believe everything needs to be reduced to something an eight year old can watch without supervision.

Why? Because they are apparently completely unable to parent. And they have the gall to use the word "parent" in their name.

The Continuing Saga of Casey Kasem

The poor man has been dead since June and still isn't buried (and his body is in Norway for some reason), and now there's a fight over the insurance money. Here's the way the RAMP Newsletter explains the situation...

The seemingly endless showdown between Casey's three children from his first marriage vs. his second wife, Jean is now headed for court. And yes, it's about $2 million in life insurance money. TMZ recently reported that MetLife actually filed the lawsuit, telling the judge the company is confused as to which party should get the insurance payout. Both Jean Kasem and Casey's adult children Kerri, Michael and Julie have laid claim to the money; however, MetLife doesn't want to make the wrong decision and then have to pay out twice, so the insurance giant wants a judge to decide who gets the money. Casey's kids hired a lawyer, who fired off a letter to MetLife reiterating their earlier allegation that Jean essentially killed Casey by neglecting his care during his later days (including spiriting him out of a Santa Monica care facility and driving him up to Washington State), resulting in fatal bedsores and dehydration which lead to his death on June 15 at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor, WA. It is the contention of Casey's kids that a person who causes someone else's death can't inherit that person's money. Here's hoping that all of this heartache can be resolved soon, and maybe someday, Casey can finally rest in peace.

Tribune Publishing

When the Tribune broke off it's newspapers into a seperate company a few months ago (Tribune Publishing), experts speculated that the new company would have a rough go of it. Yesterday they released their first earnings report since the split.

Tribune Publishing operated at roughly break even, recording a tiny net loss (less than a tenth of a percent) on revenues of $404 million. Advertising revenues were down 9.5 percent compared to the same quarter in 2013 when the company was a division of Tribune. National advertising was a particular culprit, down 17.1 percent for the quarter and 12 percent year to date.

It's actually not a terrible first report, considering. On the other hand, I'd look for some layoffs based on the following statement from their CEO...“We have much work to do to get operating margins in line with our peers."

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Father Knows Nothing

Today's Father Knows Nothing tease: Chapter 1 is called "This wasn't in the job description." Discover how this angelic sleeping 3-year-old boy used a dime to cost me $1200, managed to get captured by his overalls and some neighbors down the street (2 seperate incidents), and had a pre-school graduation ceremony that his teachers are almost certainly still talking about nearly ten years later thanks to a very bad, bad, pre-school dad.

Father Knows Nothing can be pre-ordered today!

The book ships right after Thanksgiving.

Non-Political Story

Went looking for a non-political story today, and finally found this:

Donkey stuck in manhole in Switzerland.

Not a cartoon Democratic donkey. An actual donkey.

David Letterman on Last Night's Election

Pretty good joke...

“This is what happens when we have the midterm elections. The Republicans, of course, have turned against Obama, and the Democrats have also turned against Obama. That’s a lonely, lonely gig being president, ladies and gentlemen. Take a look at this: gas under $3 a gallon – under $3 a gallon. Unemployment under 6%, whoever thought? Stock market breaking records every day. No wonder the guy is so unpopular.”

My Favorite Moment of Election Coverage

I performed my civic doody yesterday (homophone intended), and I also watched my share of the election coverage.

I didn't see this live because I was watching another channel, but this moment on MSNBC was the best moment of last night's election coverage.

It involves Tom Brokaw, a phone alarm, and a pretty good recovery. TV Newser has the video at the link above.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Father Knows Nothing Bonus Audio

The introduction to Father Knows Nothing (available for pre-order now–right here), features a few highlights from my radio days. My kids were part of the John Records Landecker show on WJMK from the moment they were born. Their births were recorded and played on the air, and I phoned into the show from the delivery room to provide live reports.

The two oldest boys were also regularly featured beginning at the age of 2 or so. A few highlights that didn’t make the book are posted today at the Eckhartz Press blog.

Election Day

Very excited about this election. Not because I like any of the candidates, but because the end of this election will finally mean an end to the constant advertising bombardment that has ruined every ballgame for me since around July. I swear I can't take it for one more day.

I love this guy!

The Cubs introduced their new manager Joe Maddon at a press conference yesterday at the Cubby Bear.

After answering all the questions, Maddon bought all the reporters there a shot and a beer.

My kind of people.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Bruce Wolf

My latest Illinois Entertainer media column has been posted. This month I interviewed WLS Radio's Bruce Wolf

You can read it here.

Some Love for Father Knows Nothing

Thanks so much to Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media for writing this nice piece about Father Knows Nothing: Former Chicago Radio Producer Rick Kaempfer Releasing Humorous Book About Parenting.

I wasn't expecting that at all. I hadn't even spoken with him. What a pleasant surprise!

When you gotta go, you gotta go

Countdown to Father Knows Nothing

My book "Father Knows Nothing" went on pre-sale over the weekend. ( It features humorous stories about my parenting experience, but there are also a handful of tales about my own childhood, including the stories behind these two pictures. The first one involves Hansel & Gretel, and the second one takes place in the mountains near Salzburg, Austria. The co-star in these stories is my sister Cindy Kaempfer.

Real Life Imitates the Movies

Remember the movie "Disclosure" starring Demi Moore and Michael Douglas? It was about a female executive who sexually harrassed a male employee. It allegedly has happened in real radio, no less. From Tom Taylor's NOW column this morning...

Fired male staffer sues Cox for alleged sexual harassment by his female supervisor. Michael D. Koerner says Cox Media Group “was fully aware of this woman’s misconduct as regards to over-sexualizing the workplace, and took no action to stop it.” Lawsuits like this depend on specific incidents to document a “hostile working environment,” and here are some of Koerner’s examples – That at the Houston Rodeo in 2011, “Mr. Koerner observed [GSM Jaymie Kosina] straddling a male client in the Cox suite and grabbing the man’s buttocks.” Later that evening, Koerner claims that Kosina “suddenly hugged him and tried to kiss him on the mouth.” He says he reminded her that he’s married and that his wife was in treatment for breast cancer. There was at least one other incident of an attempted kiss, during a corporate training meeting in Atlanta. The suit claims that things got strange “almost as soon as he began his employment.” That Kosina ”constantly discussed her breasts and would massage them.” One time, she allegedly flashed him on the way to a client’s grand opening, and Koerner says he told a co-worker about it, who supposedly reported it to corporate. Koerner says that shortly after that episode, Kosina and market manager Mark Krieschen began to question his sales results and “commitment to the team.” Then there was an alleged “retaliatory termination.”

Chris Rock on SNL

As usual, Chris Rock killed...