Friday, May 29, 2015

Going to the Cubs Game

It's been a crazy few weeks in the office. Taking the day off and going to the shrine today.

Gonna wear shades.

Go Cubs.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Green White Tryouts

I've been on the Green White Youth board of directors for a few years now, and this is our busy season. We had a fantastic turnout for the first two nights of Green White Travel Tryouts at Metro Majewski Park! It's not too late to join this historic soccer club. One more night of tryouts tonight for all age groups!

Walk-ups welcome, or pre-register here

U8, U9, U10 Girls--5pm-6:15
U8, U9, U10 Boys--5pm-6:15
U11, U12 Girls--6:15pm--7:30
U11, U12 Boys--6:15pm--7:30
U13, U14 Girls--7:30pm-8:45
U13, U14 Boys--7:30pm--8:45

Bono v Bono Impersonator On Stage with U2

I think you can see the guy wetting his pants...

Bulls Fire Tom Thibodeux

A great regular season coach.

A not-so-great playoffs coach.

Details are here.

Printer's Row Lit Fest

What is it like spending an afternoon hanging out with all four Beatles? I don't know because I've never done it, but Joel Daly has! You can hear him tell that story on June 6th just after 4pm on the center stage at the Printer's Row Lit Fest. I will be there too, along with John Landecker, and Rich King. Come out and join us!

Eckhartz Press in Rhode Island

Rory vs. Tiger

Chelsea Dagger Chicago Style

Summer Style TIps for Overweight Middle-Aged Men Men

Judging by the pictures they've chosen to use in this article, that's most of us, sadly. Even those that fit in the "hey I'm over 50--sue me if I'm a tiny bit doughy" category.

The Telegraph has tips to minimize the "ew" factor this summer. I disagree with the first two (Get in the gym three times a week? How do you think I turned out this way? And tanning? I no longer tan, I lobster.) I also disagree with the last one, the "no baseball caps" rule. Sorry pal, until there's an easier way to put sunscreen on my bald spot, the baseball cap stays.

Biggest Spending Sports Franchises

A list of the biggest spending clubs in all of sports was released yesterday. 8 of the top 10 are soccer clubs, with Paris Saint Germain surprisingly coming in first place overall. The only two non-soccer teams in the top ten are the Dodgers (5th) and the Yankees (9th).

The Chicago Bulls are in 29th. The White Sox are in 56th. The Cubs are in 68th. The Blackhawks are 76th. The Chicago Bears are in 144th.

Maybe people should start being a little nicer to Jerry Reinsdorf. He has the top two payrolls in town.

Could Rush Limbaugh Retire?

That's the speculation in this morning's Tom Taylor column...

It’s not as crazy as it sounds – Presumably Premiere won’t offer the same kind of $400 million eight-year deal it did in 2008, just before the economy rattled and rolled. Limbaugh recently turned 64, and he might not want an eight-year deal, anyhow. One talk-radio pro says “I’m betting that when the big renewals come up, Howard Stern will renew with SiriusXM, because it’s the easiest thing to do. But Rush may just decide to retire.”

If that happens, look for the sun to be a little brighter, the air to be a little cleaner, little birdies to be a little chirpier, and Americans to hold hands from coast to coast singing "Oh Happy Day" by the Edwin Hawkins singers. A great song, by the way.

RIP Dennis Sheehan

U2 has lost a family member. From the RAMP Newsletter...

Just hours after U2's finished the first show of their five-night "Innocence + Experience" stand at L.A.'s Forum, we received the tragic news that Dennis Sheehan, the band's tour manager for the past 33 years, died early Wednesday morning of an apparent heart attack. The news was originally broken by TMZ, which reports paramedics were summoned to Sheehan's room at the Sunset Marquis Hotel around 5:30am yesterday, responding to a call for a reported cardiac arrest. Sheehan was pronounced dead at the scene. The news was later confirmed by Live Nation's Arthur Fogel, Chairman of Global Music & President of Global Touring, who said, "With profound sadness we confirm that Dennis Sheehan, U2's longstanding tour manager and dear friend to us all, has passed away overnight. Our heartfelt sympathy is with his wonderful family." U2 has posted a tribute to Sheehan on its website. In a statement, Bono said, "We've lost a family member, we're still taking it in. He wasn't just a legend in the music business; he was a legend in our band. He is irreplaceable."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Portillo's, the next chapter

The boys and I love to go to Portillo's, but when we heard that Dick Portillo was selling it, we got worried.

This article about the new owners makes me feel a little bit better.

Everyone talks about how good the beef sandwiches are, or how incredible the chocolate cake tastes, but for me the crown jewel of the Portillo's menu has to be the french fries.



14 FIFA (the world's soccer governing body) and media officials were arrested or indicted this morning in Switzerland on charges of corruption and/or bribery. And yet, FIFA still held a press conference to announce they are going ahead with the World Cups in question (inexplicably given to Russian and Qatar) even if bribery or corruption was involved.

I love soccer, but boy do I hate FIFA.

More info on today's news is here.

The whole world is working together on this case. Here's the US Attorney General, specifically calling out the president of CONCACAF.

Dick Broadcasting

This news arrived in my e-mail box yesterday...

Dick Broadcasting has become the first broadcaster in a PPM market to make the move from Nielsen to Eastlan. Under the terms of a new multi-year agreement, Eastlan Ratings will field its initial audience measurement study in the Greensboro/High Point/Winston-Salem market in Summer 2015.

If you think I'm only reporting this Dick Broadcasting news because I find the name Dick Broadcasting funny, that's hurtful. I'm a professional, not an adolescent. Dick Broadcasting is write about without getting titters from the less mature of my readers. I'm not so stiff or rigid that I don't understand why some people laugh, but not every small Dick Broadcasting or gigantic Dick Broadcasting story needs to be a punchline. It's not the size of the Dick Broadcasting story, it's what you do with it.

Was BB King Poisoned?

It sounds crazy, and it probably is, but that's the charge being made by BB's daughters. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...
Two of B.B. King's daughters are accusing two of their late father's closest aides of poisoning him. Not kidding. That's the word from Business Insider, which reports King's daughters Karen Williams and Patty King allege in documents that King's business manager, LaVerne Toney, and his personal assistant, Myron Johnson, raided his wealth and hastened his death by poisoning him. King died on May 14 at the age of 89 while receiving hospice care at his Las Vegas home. Both Williams and King have been very outspoken about the treatment their father received during his final days.
Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg did confirm that an autopsy was performed Sunday on King's embalmed body, and test results will take up to eight weeks to process. However, Fudenberg said Monday that there was no evidence "that these allegations of foul play will be substantiated." Las Vegas police Lt. Ray Steiber confirmed that homicide detectives are investigating.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Meet Landecker, Daly, King and Kaempfer

Mark your calendars for the Printer's Row Litfest. On June 6th at 4pm, I'll be moderating a discussion with Eckhartz Press authors (and media stars) John Landecker​, Joel Daly​, and Rich King​ at the center stage of the Litfest. Be ready for a very entertaining and lively discussion with lots of great stories about Chicago broadcasting history from the guys who made that history.

They're calling the event: "Media Memoirs: John Records Landecker, Joel Daly, and Rich King in conversation with Rick Kaempfer"- See more at: All of our books will also be for sale there, and we'll happily autograph them for you.

No Charges for Casey Kasem's Widow

I've been following the really bizarre story of Casey Kasem's death and burial. The twists and turns were enough to give me whiplash, and ended with the truly strange decision to bury him in Norway (almost six months after his death). Kasem's daughter was very vocal about accusing her father's widow of elder abuse, and I must say, that didn't sound like an outrageous claim after the weird way she handled things after Casey died.

Well, the Los Angeles D.A. apparently disagreed. From this morning's RADIO INK...

Elder abuse charges will not be filed against Jean Kasem, famed DJ Casey Kasem's widow. Casey Kasem's three children from his previous marriage were urging Los Angeles officials to have their stepmother prosecuted. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office found there was not enough evidence against Jean Kasem and that "this case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury."

Casey Kasem's daughter and syndicated radio host Kerri Kasem issued a statement which read: "My family is very sad to learn the Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has decided not to file charges against Jean Kasem. We did everything we could to save my Dad at the end of his life, including getting an emergency court order for conservatorship. But we were too late. My father's second wife Jean had done everything she could to keep our father from us while not providing the quality care that he -- and every other senior in our society -- deserves."

This story isn't over. The kids are now pushing for the D.A. in Washington (state) to file charges against Casey's widow. Washington was one of the places she took the ailing Kasem to keep him away from his kids.

Media CEOs

I just don't understand why this is the case, but 6 of the top ten highest paid CEOs come from media companies.

Ask anyone who works in a media company how great things are going there. Oh well, at least their bosses are making more money per year than most employees make in a lifetime.

A reunion 41 years in the making

There's a story in Father Knows Nothing about my childhood trip to Austria. When I was 10 or 11, my parents put my sister Cindy and I on an airplane and sent us to a farm in Austria to spend the summer there. It was a pretty traumatic experience for me--but it made for a good story. The part of the story I didn't tell was that after we spent the month in Austria, two of the Austrian girls (about the same age as us) spent a month with us in Chicago.

Well this past Friday I was surprised to receive an e-mail from one of those Austrian girls. She was going to be in Chicago with her husband, and wanted to meet. I don't know why I was really nervous about this meeting (probably because my German has gotten a little rusty), but we scheduled the meeting at my mother's house--the same house she stayed in 41 years ago.

It turned out to be a lovely afternoon visit. This is a photo below. My sister and I are on the outside, and Ulli and her husband Richard are in the middle. I gave her a copy of Father Knows Nothing, which contains that story. I feel a little guilty that I laid it on a little thick in that story. Please note that some (but not much) dramatic license was taken in the writing of it. :)

Here's Cindy and I in Austria in the summer of 1974...


Spent the weekend out at the soccer fields. My son Sean's team had a soccer tournament in Schaumburg. They played four games and won all four of them, including a dramatic 1-0 win in the championship game.

So proud of all the boys. We've come a long way. (There's a story about the bad-news-bears quality of this team a few years ago in my book "Father Knows Nothing")