Friday, September 04, 2015

Abbey Road Outtakes

We all know this iconic photograph of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road, but have you ever seen the outtakes?

You can see them here.

The End of America's Love Affair with Cars?

Great long piece in the Washington Post about the "car culture" in America, and how it has slowly disolved over time. According to this article, saying "car guy" now is the same thing as saying "old guy".

I had friends in high school who were reeeeeeally into it. I never was. Part of it was that I was thrilled to have something (anything) to get me from point A to point B, even my 1971 Duster. Even my 1976 Cutlass Supreme Station Wagon. Even my 1982 Buici (the two prongs of the "K" came off the last letter, so I pretended it was Italian). And when I was able to actually afford something a little more reliable--its reliability was really the only thing I cared about.

Don't get me wrong--I always thought it would be cool to have a 1965 Ford Mustang. I thought that was the coolest car ever. But I know a mechanic who told me he got rich fixing those things...because they broke down all the time.

Rick Perry

Here's a sentence I never thought I'd write: "I feel sorry for Rick Perry"

Yesterday he was asked if Trump was right about something, and Perry responded: "Even a broke clock is right once a day."

At least he didn't say "Whoops" after that one.

David Kaplan Leaves WGN

From this morning's NOW column...

David Kaplan spent 20 years doing sports for Tribune’s WGN Chicago (720), but recently found there was less work there. As the Chicago Tribune says, “His duties and the station’s direction shifted this year, with the loss of Cubs games and the demise of The Game, WGN’s ill-fated one-year foray into FM sports talk radio” on a leased Channel 6 TV station. Kaplan’s “leaving to join rival WMVP 1000,” says the Tribune. Kaplan will host the noon-2pm “Kap and Co.” on Disney-owned/ESPN-run WMVP starting September 16.

I've previously interviewed Kaplan (in 2011) for Chicago Radio Spotlight. You can read that here.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Trump vs. Kareem

Donald Trump responded to a critical editorial by Kareem Abdul Jabaar in his usual way. Kareem posted Trump's response, a handwritten note that basically says everyone hates Kareem.

I'm beginning to admire the simplicity of Trump's responses. It's a mixture of high school mean girl (you're ugly and nobody likes you), school yard mean boy (you're a puss), and prep school spoiled brat (I can buy and sell you and my daddy will ruin your daddy).

Has anyone ever really come up with a good way to combat that? You can punch the mean boy, but the prep school spoiled brat will sue you. You can personally insult the mean girl, but she is better at personal insults and will destroy you. You can ostracize the spoiled brat, but then he'll throw a party with the Rolling Stones, and your friends will say "You know I'm on your side...but he does have the Rolling Stones at his house."

No one has ever run for office completely abandoning the rules of adulthood before. It could work.

1940s Chicago

It was the 3rd of September

The memorable first line of Papa was a Rollin Stone...

WGN Cuts Bob & Marianne

Sounds like strictly a financial move. From Tom Taylor's NOW Column...

Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano will host their last noon-3pm shift on Tribune’s talk WGN tomorrow. No mystery about why. VP/Content and Programming Todd Manley tells the Chicago Tribune “Right now, we need to invest in one less show…it’s just a matter of resources.” WGN will cover the schedule by spreading out existing talent, in the lineup that was revamped by GM Jimmy de Castro starting in 2013. Husband-and-wife Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano have both done radio and TV in the Windy City, and Bob says “It’s been fun to be able to do whatever we wanted” on WGN. New lineup starting Monday is Steve Cochran, 5am-10am. Bill Leff & Wendy Snyder, 10am-noon. The Wintrust Business lunch with Steve Bertrand. Then Bill and Wendy, back for 1-3pm. Roe Conn, 3-7pm. The Download with Justin Kaufmann, 7-11pm. Patti Vasquez, 11pm-2am. And Nick Digilio, 2-5am. What’s next for Bob and Marianne? Bob says “After Friday, we’ll be going out to dinner, I guess.”

It was clearly not a contentious parting of the ways or they wouldn't have allowed these last two shows.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Team Caleb

My cousin's 2-year-old boy Caleb has recently been diagnosed with a rare cancer, and we're doing whatever we can to help. He's a tough little kid who is responding well to treatment so far. Hang in there, little guy!

This is the link to Team Caleb's GoFundMe campaign. He will be receiving treatment for this his entire life, and as you might have guessed, the medical bills will be immense. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Army University

I don't often brag about my friends, but one of my best friends from high school was just named the Provost of the newly formed Army University. He's a general now...Brigadier General John Kem.

I haven't seen him in nearly 20 years, but we've managed to stay in touch.

Way to go, (General) John!

I can relate

Booking Wars

NBC is not standing idly by while Stephen Colbert grabs all the stories and headlines next week. They have booked a big name guest to compete with Stephen. He used to work for NBC. You may have heard his name once or twice recently.

It's Trump.

Is Ryno Coming Back to the Cubs?

Caveat on this report from the Sun Times. It was reported by Sneed.

She's wrong ALL THE TIME.

Floor plans of your favorite TV shows

I'm not an architect or a real estate guy, but I still got a kick out of these artist renderings of the floor plans from a bunch of classic television shows. I thought you might enjoy them too.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2015

Looks like none of our Chicago-based people made the final cut this year. Larz at Chicagolandradio and Media has the list of the inductees and the backstory...

Active Local/Regional (10 years or more):
- Big Boy (Kurt Alexander), Los Angeles

Longstanding Local/Regional (20 years or more):
- Ronn Owens, San Francisco

Networks/Syndication (10 years or more):
- Dave Ramsey, Nashville

Longstanding Network/Syndication (20 years or more):
- Bob Kevoian & Tom Griswold ("The Bob & Tom Show"), Indianapolis

Music Format On-Air Personality:
- Elvis Duran, New York

Spoken Word On-Air Personality:
- Clark Howard, Atlanta

The Colbert Guest List, Week 2

They just released some of the names of the guests scheduled for the second week of shows. This is an eclectic guest list to say the least...

Bernie Sanders will appear on the show on Sept. 18, which happens to be just two days after the CNN Republican Primary Debate on Sept. 16. The Democratic candidate is joined by other guests Lupita Nyong’o and “An American in Paris” choreographer Christopher Wheeldon and lead dancers Robert Fairchild and Leanne Cope.

Emily Blunt and Justice Stephen Breyer kick off Colbert’s second week of shows for the Sept. 14 episode, with a musical performance by the Dead Weather. Jake Gyllenhaal is the only guest for the Sept. 15 show with a musical performance by Run the Jewels with TV on the Radio.

The next night, Colbert will talk to Kevin Spacey, Carol Burnett, comedians Abbi Jacobson and Illana Glazer, and Willie Nelson, who is also the musical performer that night. Naomi Watts and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon wrap up Thursday for Colbert.

Obama the Survivalist?

This is hard to believe, but it's true. President Obama will be getting survival tips from Bear Grylls. From the press release...

Obama will meet with Grylls while visiting Alaska to observe the effects of climate change on the area. The two will then “come together” in the Alaskan wilderness, the network and production company said.

I happen to like this president, but I really don't picture him as the outdoorsy type. Should be interesting.

John Records Landecker

My Illinois Entertainer media column this month is a tribute to the radio career of John Records Landecker. Other radio pros share their opinions about one of the all-time greats.

You can read it here.

The other side of the story

This organization against guns opened a gun store in NYC to make a point. What's your take on it?

Posted by New Yorkers on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Lost Lennon Song

I've never heard this one...

Monday, August 31, 2015

30 Facts

Thirty facts that sound made up, but are true...

1. Mammoths were alive when the Great Pyramid was being built.

2. Betty White is older than sliced bread.

3. From the time it was discovered to the time it was stripped of its status as a planet, Pluto hadn't made a full trip around the Sun.

4. The lighter was invented before the match.

5. Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born in the same year.

6. France last used a guillotine to execute someone after Star Wars premiered.

7. Harvard University was founded before Calculus existed.

8. If you have 23 people in a room, there is a 50% chance that 2 of them have the same birthday.

9. It’s never said that Humpty Dumpty was an egg in the nursery rhyme.

10. The water in Lake Superior could cover all of North and South America in a foot of water.

11. North Korea and Finland both border the same country; Russia.

12. When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the 3rd kidney in your pelvis.

13. Oxford University is older than the Aztec Empire.

14. National animal of Scotland is a Unicorn.

15. The Ottoman Empire still existed the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

16. The lighter the roast of coffee, the more caffeine it has.

17. A speck of dust is halfway in size between a subatomic particle and the Earth.

18. If the timeline of earth was compressed into one year, humans wouldn't show up until December 31 at 11:58 p.m.

19. If you were able to dig a hole to the center of the earth, and drop something down it, it would take 42 minutes for the object to get there.

20. We went to the moon before we thought to put wheels on suitcases.

21. A human could swim through the arteries of a blue whale.

22. If you could fold a piece of paper in half 42 times, the combined thickness would reach the moon.

23. On both Saturn and Jupiter, it rains diamonds.

24. Saudi Arabia imports camels from Australia.

25. You can line up all 8 planets in our solar system directly next to each other and it would fit in the space between Earth and the Moon.

26. The youngest known mother was 5 years old.

27. The Earth is smoother than a billiard ball, if both were of the same size.

28. Nintendo was founded in 1889.

29. If you take all the molecules in a teaspoon of water and lined them up end to end in a single file line, they would stretch ~30 billion miles.

30. In Australia, there was a war called the emu war. The emus won.

Approaching 10 Million Views

This was created after Sandy Hook in 2012. Still nothing at all done about this problem. Literally nothing.

Annie Get Your Gun

One of my favorite bands from the late 70s and early 80s was Squeeze. Their singer Glen Tilbrook is celebrating his 58th birthday today. This was their last big single before they broke up...

Around the Publishing World (August 31)

We stay on top of happenings/trends in the publishing world to help out busy writers who are spending their time doing what they should be doing: writing.


1. Another Amazon worker's story
Amazon claimed that they didn't know of any amazon employees who had been treated the way that New York Times article portrayed. This former employee begs to differ.

2. On the other hand, we can't quit you...
We want to stay mad at amazon, we really do, but then we read something like this. Amazon is about to go into home delivery of alcohol.

3. Self Publishing is Good for the Industry
We’ve always been firmly on the side of self-publishing. Wired has a great article on some of the many reasons why it’s good for the industry.

4. October 8th is Book-a-palooza
If you haven’t removed the Christmas lights from your home, don’t bother. October 8th marks the official start of the season for the publishing industry. More than 500 books will be released on that day.

5. Fifty Shades of Legal Problems
The BBC reports that the publisher of Fifty Shades of Grey has to set aside $10 million in an ongoing dispute with a business partner. In case you don't want to do the math, that’s $200,000 per shade.

6. From Avon to Self-Publishing Queen
Newsweek has a great piece on how a former Avon Lady became the queen of self-publishing. It’s apparently easier than selling soap.

Vin Scully Says He'll be Back One More Year

Ken Sumka

The former WXRT jock and WBBM traffic reporter moved up to Wisconsin a few years ago when his wife was transferred there. He hooked on to a radio station in Milwaukee and has been moving right up the ladder. His latest promotion, via the RAMP newsletter...

On the heels of Jordan Lee's recent promotion to PD of RadioMilwaukee non-comm WYMS (88Nine RadioMilwaukee), the station moves a few more programming puzzle pieces into place -- afternoon personality Ken Sumka is awarded Lee's former APD stripes and weekender Justin Barney is upped to MD. Sumka will oversee 88Nine's Studio Milwaukee sessions, the weekly 414 Music segment and the station's annual Milwaukee Music Awards. In addition to his weekend shifts, Barney will continue to write and produce the weekly feature, 5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening To.

I interviewed Ken for Chicago Radio Spotlight many moons ago, during his Chicago radio days. You can read that interview here.

No-No Pajama Man