Friday, February 13, 2015

Leslie's Cat

I'm deathly allergic, but my book is not.

Wait What?


Name Something A Doctor May Pull Out of a Person

Not my first answer, but I think I like this gal...

Paris Sues Fox News

Not Paris Hilton. The city of Paris.

The city council voted to proceed with the lawsuit yesterday.

They are suing because of the erroneous report on Fox News about "no go zones" in Paris.

RIP David Carr

There were only about ten media writers still writing for newspapers in America.

After last night, there are only nine. David Carr wrote for the New York Times and he was one of the very best. I never met him, and only communicated with him via e-mail once (he sent me a nice e-mail about $everance), but I was very bummed when I heard the news last night.

This tribute to him by fellow writer Dave Weigel is incredibly well written and poignant.

American Pie

After 44 years, Don McLean is finally going to reveal what the lyrics of American Pie mean.

2 things about that.

1. Nobody cares anymore.
2. Bob Dearborn figured it out 43 years ago.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

RIch King in Munster

Yesterday afternoon Rick King traveled to The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster Indiana to talk before the 8th Annual Share the Love luncheon. After telling the sold out ballroom about the journey contained in the pages of his new book "Back in the Game"--the depression caused by the death of his first wife Maggie, and the heartwarming story of how he met and fell in love with his second wife April--Rich shared some photos from the book as well.

When a picture of Tom Skilling flashed on the screen, he mentioned to the crowd that Skilling is among the most friendly and convivial people on the planet, and said: "You really should talk to him sometime if you get the chance." No sooner had he said that, when a woman came up to the dais holding her cellphone in her hand. She gave it to Rich and said: "Someone wants to talk to you."

It was Tom Skilling.

That news was met with a roar of approval from the crowd.

After the event we found out that the woman had simply been on a tour of the television station with some students, and Skilling had given them his phone number at the station, saying "if you ever need any help or an answer to a question don't hestitate to call." She picked a perfect time to do so.










Dylan Gardner

Dylan Gardner is the hottest new thing. He's also the son of Landecker & the Legends guitarist (and former member of the Kind) Mark Gardner. This youngster used to perform with us during our Landecker & The Legends days, and so did his brother Mark Paul (That's Mark Paul on the drums in this video.) Super proud of these two kids...

Brian Williams

After reading this article about the whole Brian Williams saga, I no longer have ambivalent views.

NBC got it right. Brian Williams had to go.

This is how Brian's replacement, Lester Holt, reported the news. (VIDEO)

Sad News

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Shufflin' Off to Munster

I'll be in Indiana today, if you're in the neighborhood. Details below...

Vince Vaughn's Penthouse Condo

The asking price for the penthouse in the Palmolive Building (the old Playboy building) has been dropped by a million dollars. He's now only looking for $13.9 million.

Just $13.6 million more and I can afford it.

Jon Stewart Announces Departure

A couple of quick thoughts about this. #1: I'm very bummed. I've literally watched every show since the 2000 election. #2: How excited do you think David Axelrod was to be on this particular show? The news came out in the late afternoon/early evening hours, ensuring a huge audience for last night's show, and Axelrod was the guest...right before the announcement.

His publisher must have been giddy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dan McNeil & Pete McMurray

Wow. I can't say I saw this one coming: Dan McNeil and Pete McMurray have been hired to do the morning show at the Drive.

I know both of these guys, and I'm having a hard time visualizing how that pairing will work (their personalities couldn't be more different). Also, the Drive has always been a radio station that has prided itself on being a more music station. That's been their mission since Day One. This seems like a pretty dramatic departure for them.

On the other hand, Dan is known as a sports guy, but he also really knows rock and roll. He knows it as well as most music jocks. And Pete may have done some rock and roll disc jockey work, but he's also very knowledgable about sports. They should be pretty compatible topic-wise.

At the very least it's something brand new. I'll definitely be checking it out.

Truffle Hunt Video

One of the great things about our new novel "Truffle Hunt" is that it makes your mouth water. Author Brent Petersen really makes the food in the book come to life on the page--there are even a few truffle recipes at the end of the book.

He's now doing a video series of those recipes to promote the book. The first one is Truffled Macaroni and Cheese...

Truffle Hunt ships next week! Make sure to pre-order your copy today.

The Onion Skewers Parenting Experts

This is pretty funny...and it's exactly the reason why I wrote Father Knows Nothing as a how-not-to-book. (NSFW)

Dana Carvey's New Bit

This is pretty good.

John Lennon & Paul McCartney discussing Kanye.

It's all part of the SNL 40th anniversary celebration.

Jereme Richmond

DNAinfo has a great piece about former Illini basketball player Jereme Richmond.

It's his first interview since being released from prison, and it includes an audio element.

A New Oldies Station in Chicago

This is interesting. From this morning's Radio Online...

Weigel Broadcasting Co., the creators of MeTV Memorable Entertainment Television, announce their latest broadcast venture with the debut of 87.7 MeTV FM on WRME-LP/Chicago. The new station will bring a distinctive "Me Music" sound featuring a deep playlist of Classic Pop from the 1960s through 1980s with artists such as Carly Simon, James Taylor, The Eagles, Elton John, The Carpenters, Motown superstars, America, Neil Diamond and more. 87.7 MeTV FM will be MeTV's companion for audio format.

"87.7 MeTV FM will differ from the current 'Classic Hits' format by playing a much broader range of music skewing on the pop/softer side including singer/songwriters, album tracks and hits deemed Oldies by some programmers but considered gold by our target audience," according Neal Sabin, the architect of the MeTV FM format. "This is "Me Music"- memorable, easy music for everyone."

The station will be broadcasting on WRME-LP (new call letters effective 2-23), a Venture Technologies television station that can be heard at 87.7 on the FM radio dial.
This is the same frequency that until recently had been airing the sports-talk station "The Game."

More Info about Brandwidth

Chicagoland Radio & Media has an article up this morning about our upcoming book by Kipper McGee called "Brandwidth". Here's an excerpt from the article. Click on the link above to read the whole thing...

Former WLS-AM boss Kipper McGee will be releasing a new book about broadcasting and the importance of 21st century branding next month. McGee's book, "Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis" is scheduled to be released at the end of next month, and is currently accepting pre-orders now.

Kipper McGee is best remembered locally as the man who kept WLS-AM near the top of the ratings for many years. From 2005 through the end of 2008, McGee was the Director of News & Programming for WLS-AM, first under ABC Radio/Disney ownership and then Citadel Communications ownership. Among the many things he is remembered for in his years at the station was creating the "WLS Rewind" days on two consecutive Memorial Day weekends, where instead of talk radio, past DJs from the WLS Musicradio heyday came back to play 1960s and 1970s music for two days.

In his new book, "Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis," McGee offers branding ideas to help a company avoid the pitfalls that many major broadcasters have created for themselves in recent years. As the book's publisher explains, the new book "explores why the top broadcast players are facing financial Armageddon and what unencumbered brands (whether broadcast groups, stations, talent or any business) can learn from their mistakes."

Along with McGee's words, "Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis" features illustrations by artist/blogger/speaker/consultant Jessica Hagy.

"Brandwidth: How Big Broadcasting Missed the Mediamorphosis" is being published by the Chicago-based firm Eckhartz Press, Press, the local boutique publisher that also recently released autobiographies of famed Chicago DJ John Records Landecker, Chicago TV news cameraman Chuck Quinzio, beloved Chicago TV news anchorman Joel Daly, and Chicago TV sports anchor/reporter Rich King, among others.

Those interested in purchasing McGee's new book can now place a pre-order at this link HERE. The pre-ordered books will ship on March 31st.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Mark Grote

The newest radio voice of the Chicago Cubs is Mark Grote.

He will take Judd Sirott's place on Cubs broadcasts this year as the Cubs transition to WBBM News Radio.

Wednesday in Munster, Indiana

The Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly has the details on Rich King's appearance this Wednesday in Munster, Indiana. Dave & I will be there too.

WGN veteran sports anchor Rich King is the guest speaker for the 8th annual Share the Love event, Wed, Feb. 11 at the Center for Visual & Performing Arts in Munster. Sponsored by the Friends of the Cancer Resource Centre in conjunction with the auxiliaries of Community Hospital, St. Catherine Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center; the luncheon program centers on the changes that have taken place in King’s life since he spoke at the very first Share the Love event.

Net proceeds from the luncheon will benefit the Cancer Resource Centre in Munster. The Resource Centre is a program of the Community Cancer Research Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of cancer care in northwest Indiana and the south Chicago suburbs.


James Shields Reportedly Signs with the Padres

According to reports, he signed for four years and between $72-78 million.

The Cubs were supposedly his second choice.

While it would have been nice to have him, I'm fine with him not signing with the Cubs. He leads all of baseball in innings pitched over the last four years. That's one category that is fantastic for the teams that had him in the past, and really bad for teams that have him in the future.

The Eastland Disaster

This summer will mark the 100th anniversary of the horrible Eastland Disaster in Chicago. A boat overturned in the Chicago River and 844 people died. There have been some graphic pictures of that day avaiable for many years (all of the newspapers were literally just around the corner), but someone just found a film of it.

The Chicago Sun Times has the details.

As the Kasem Turns

The Casey Kasem soap opera is still on-going. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Casey Kasem’s widow Jean is ordered to pay $350,000-plus in legal fees. The City News Service says Casey’s daughter Kerri and her attorneys are among the petitioners who want Jean to pay outstanding legal bills. Also travels expenses that Kerri incurred when she traveled from L.A. to Washington state, essentially chasing her dad as he was transported at the behest of Jean. Kerri had gained temporary guardianship over Casey at the very end of his list. But that authority ended when he died last June 15. Jean first had Casey’s body taken out of the country to Canada, and now he’s buried in Norway. City New Service says the estate and Casey’s trust are believed to be worth about $80 million – with half of that in the form of the Holmby Hills house where Jean currently lives. Also still seeking payment – private investigators hired by Kerri Kasem to prove the theory that Casey suffered elder abuse at the hands of Jean, his second wife.

Brian Williams Steps Aside

I haven't commented on the Brian Williams saga because I've been processing how I feel about it. Did he do something wrong? Yes. And yet, I feel a tremendous amount of sympathy for him. If his career ends this way everything he has done in his life is washed away. That doesn't seem to be a fair penalty for this crime.

TV Newser posted the e-mail he sent to the staff...
"In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions. As Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, I have decided to take myself off of my daily broadcast for the next several days, and Lester Holt has kindly agreed to sit in for me to allow us to adequately deal with this issue. Upon my return, I will continue my career-long effort to be worthy of the trust of those who place their trust in us."

I hope he can come back. His reputation will remain tarnished, but at least he'll have a chance at redemption.


Former Chicago radio programmer Kipper McGee joins the list of Eckhartz Press authors. His book comes out in a few months. Details are here.

Zombie Attack Hideout

Thanks to "RS" for this one...

The Grammys

Some of the winners included songs and groups I don't know well...Best Pop Duo/Group Performance was "Say Something" by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera and The Best Alternative Music Album was St. Vincent's self-titled LP, and the Best Rock Song was "Ain't It Fun" by Paramore.

But, some of the other winners included familiar names from the past...

*Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Cheek To Cheek by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.

*Best Comedy Album Mandatory Fun by Weird Al Yankovich

*Best Country Song "I'm Not Gonna Miss You," by Glen Campbell

*Best Metal Performance "The Last In Line" by Tenacious D (really?)

*Best Spoken Word Album "Diary Of a Mad Diva" by Joan Rivers.

As for the show itself, this is probably my favorite moment...

Here's the video to the Paramore song...(40 million views on YouTube)

Cubs Usher Bruce Bohrer's SW Florida Book Tour

Eckhartz Press author Bruce Bohrer (“Best Seat in the House: Diary of a Wrigley Field Usher”) has taken his book on the road this winter. He already made one appearance, and there are two more on the schedule in the coming week.

If you’re in the neighborhood, swing by and say hello.

First one at “Doc’s Beach House”, 27908 Hickory Blvd. in Bonita Springs, Florida Sunday, Feb. 15 from 2-4pm

Second one at “Henning’s Chicago Kitchen”, 6060 Collier Blvd, Naples, Florida, Thursday, Feb. 19 from 5:30-7pm