Friday, September 18, 2015

Bill Cosby

If you missed A&E's special about Bill Cosby and all the accusations, the Washington Post has a good piece today about the special, and offers behind the scenes explanations of aesthetic choices made by the producers.

Jimmy Carter

When I grow up, I want to be just like Jimmy Carter. Riddled with inoperable cancer at 90, he still goes to the baseball game with his best girl, and when the kiss cam finds him--he smooches the woman he's loved for 70 years.

He may or may not have been a great president, but he has certainly proven in his post-presidency that he is a good man.

FCC Changes Contest Rules

You know this annoying 30 second disclaimers that explain radio contest rules in excruciating detail? Good news. The FCC is now (finally) going to allow those rules to be put on-line. From today's RAMP newsletter...

Those forward-thinking folks at the FCC have taken those old fashioned sepia-tone radio contest rules and colorized them for the digital age, a move that now allows broadcasters to post contest rules online as a terrific alternative to the way it's been done for nearly 40 years -- boring people to death by broadcasting them over the air. In making the big announcement, someone at the FCC said, "Adopted in 1976, the Contest Rule requires broadcasters to disclose important contest information fully and accurately, and to conduct contests substantially as announced. Today's rule change preserves these requirements, but modernizes how broadcast stations can meet their disclosure obligation by announcing their contest terms over the air or by posting that information on an Internet website. The Order also adopts related implementing rules, including the requirement that broadcasters periodically announce over the air the website address where their contest rules can be found."

Hang on... there's more -- the statement goes on to explain, "The FCC began this rulemaking in response to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the way Americans obtain information since the Contest Rule was adopted almost four decades ago. The rule changes give broadcast stations more flexibility in the way they comply with the Contest Rule, and give consumers a more convenient way to obtain contest information normally aired through television and radio advertisements."

RIP Milo Hamilton

He passed away yesterday at the age of 88. Here's his write up in Every Cub Ever at Just One Bad Century...

~Milo Hamilton 1927 (Cubs announcer 1955-1957, 1980-1982)
Milo is a Hall of Fame baseball announcer. As a young broadcaster he worked for the Cubs alongside Vince Lloyd, but was moved out of the booth when Lou Boudreau became available. He went on to broadcast for many other teams including the White Sox, Braves and Pirates. (Milo, of course, is most famous for his call of Hank Aaron's 715th home run) He came back to the Cubs in 1980, and at first enjoyed it. He was promised Brickhouse's job when Jack retired, but when that time actually came, Harry Caray was brought in instead. Milo couldn't stand Harry Caray. In his autobiography, he explained why...
*After Harry left the White Sox to take over the Cubs job, he talked to Milo. Harry told him "Well, kid, if I were you, I'd leave town."
*Milo didn't like the way he broadcasted. "He rode the managers, he rode the players, it didn't matter. He treated everyone the same way. In short, he was a miserable human being."
*When Milo was hospitalized for leukemia in 1982, Harry responded on the air that he "Couldn't understand how a guy can take time off during the season. Unlike some other broadcasters I know, I've never missed a game
Milo took Harry's advice and left town. He landed in Houston and broadcast games there until his retirement in 2012. Milo passed away on September 17, 2015 at the age of 88.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Boys Are So Proud of Dad

Last night was back to school night at the high school. My son gave me his schedule scribbled on a post-it note and I went to all of his classrooms. The last class was labeled "Lit". I sat down expecting a discussion of literature, but found out it's actually a class about "media analysis".

When I got home I said to him: "Media Analysis? Why didn't you tell me you had a class about that?"

"Why would I?"

"Do you have any idea what I've been writing about for the past 15 years?"

He shook his head and said "No, what?"


I really am just the guy who puts the food on the table every night. Wait until he finds out the teacher asked me to speak to the class. He's going to be horrified.

George Costanza's Favorite Writer Gets Pink Slip

Yesterday I told you that the LA Times and other Tribune properties were making massive cuts to their editorial staff. Today it's the New York Daily News.

Would you believe they fired Mike Lupica?

George Costanza has to be heartbroken. This is one of my all-time favorite Seinfeld scenes...

Mr. Lippman: Who do you read?

George: I like Mike Lupica.

Mr. Lippman: Mike Lupica?

George: He’s a sports writer for the Daily News. I find him very insightful…

Mr. Lippman: No, no, no. I mean authors.

George: Lot of good ones…lot of good ones. Uh, I-I don’t even want to mention anyone because I’m afraid I’m going to leave somebody out.

Mr. Lippman: Name a couple.

George: W-Who do I like? I like, uh…Art…Vandelay.

Mr. Lippman: Art Vandelay?

George: He’s an obscure writer. Beatnik, from the village.

Mr. Lippman: What’s he written?

George: …Venetian Blinds.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Radio With Pictures

I've been hearing Frank Settapani for years. Now I can see him too...

You can watch CBS Radio News on a smartphone, tablet or computer. You can even watch it on a TV through a media receiver such as a Roku or Apple TV device. Unlike NBC's CNBC and MSNBC properties, until now CBS never developed a full-time cable TV-like news channel. But CBSN puts the news division back in the game, delivering content to multiple platforms and to audiences who are mobile, sitting at desks or in front of TVs.

Paper Cuts

I don't like the sound of this, but I'm not surprised. The LA Times is about to make HUGE cuts to editorial staff, and this article implies the rest of the Tribune empire will face the same. I know it was inevitable when they seperated the newspaper portion of the business from Tribune media, but as someone who actually enjoys getting reliable information, I'm not happy about it.

Matt Damon Backlash

In this latest season of Project Greenlight, which debuted last weekend on HBO, Matt Damon made a comment to one of the other judges (an African-American) about diversity. It did not go over well. I must admit, it made me a little uncomfortable when I saw it initially. It's not so much what he said--it was more the tone he used when he said it--and who he said it to.

The Washington Post has the whole story if you're interested.


Sean loved the AC/DC show. He was one of only a few kids in the place and kept getting high fives from the grown ups.

"Rock on little dude!"

At one point we were in line for refreshments and a new song started. He yanked me out of line with a frantic "Dad! It's Hells Bells!" The line cheered for him.

"Rock on little dude!"

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

What's Missing in This Picture?

No women. Not one. Not good.

I know who this is

Cryptic story in today's Tom Taylor NOW column. I didn't submit it--I never heard this story about the receptionist--but I knew immediately who it was about...

A NOW reader says “Please don’t use either the market or my name, but Monday’s ‘You Can’t Make This Up’ story about the so-called ‘Combustible Boss’ reminds me of a now-dead major-market GM. He was known to be a real bad guy. No one really wanted to work for him, but it came with the job territory. He was so ill-tempered that when you walked in the hallway near his corner office, you lowered your tone of voice so he wouldn't know you were there. One day I was in with him for a review, and with his door open to where his receptionist sat, he referred to her as a – well, a really disrespectful four-letter word for a woman, preceded by a seven-letter gerund. (That’s a noun made out of a verb, by adding ‘ing’ to the end, if you don’t remember your English grammar.) This GM didn’t care if she heard him, and it was disgusting. Eventually, he retired and moved to Florida. As fate would have it, soon afterward he suffered a heart attack and died. A memorial service was held for him back in the market where we all worked for him, and I was surprised that as many as two dozen people showed up. The joke was, they just wanted to make sure the SOB was really dead.”

I have my own story about him. He took me out to lunch at a fancy restaurant once to thank me for all I'd done for him (I produced a show on his radio station). He was in the midst of telling me what a pussycat he really was--"don't believe the stories you've heard, I can be a very nice and charming man, my door is always open"--when the food arrived. He took one bite, slammed down the fork and screamed at the waiter at the top of his lungs. "You brought me cold food! Take it back!" I thought the timing of the outburst was so funny, I couldn't help but laugh out loud. He did not laugh with me. I used that real life scene in my novel $everance. Reality can be funnier than fiction. I used one more quote from him in the book too. He used to say "I'll never stab you in the back...Because I like to stab people in the front." I wrote a parody song for him at his farewell party and I used that line and he LOVED it.

Maybe it's just time smoothing over the rough edges (like the time he grabbed me by the shirt and dragged me out of the studio during the show), but I actually have some fond memories of the guy. I think he even liked me.

More on the Taylor Swift Lawsuit

Yesterday I told you about the Denver disc jockey who is suing Taylor Swift for getting him fired because he allegedly grabbed her bottom during a VIP photo shoot. Today, new details emerged via Radio Ink...

Mueller appears to blame the entire incident on current KYGO program director Eddie Haskell. Mueller claims that Haskell told him, after getting his picture taken, that Taylor Swift gave him a big hug. "He described and demonstrated how he had put his arms around her, hands on bottom, and then explained that he and one of his friends in the industry think Ms. Swift must wear bicycle shorts under her outfits."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Trump v Trump

Rosh Hashanah

Got a chuckle out of this one. Thanks to "PH" for sending it...

Eric & Kathy

They held their annual radiothon last week and raised an absolutely astonishing total for Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital: $1,316,404

As someone who was involved in several radio-thons and fundraisers, I can tell you that is an incredible achievement. Eric and Kathy have some pretty special listeners.

Lawsuit about Taylor Swift's bottom

I've been in situations like this many times, and I do find it hard to believe the guy really tried to grab her, but I guess that is now something for the courts to decide. From today's Radio Online...

Former KYGO-FM/Denver air talent David Mueller (aka Jackson) has filed suit in U.S. District Court against Taylor Swift seeking lost wages for getting him fired after Swift allegedly claimed that he lifted her skirt and grabbed her bottom during a VIP meet and greet before her concert in June, 2013. Shortly after the alleged incident, Mueller and co-worker Shannon Melcher were removed from the concert grounds. Then, the lawsuit said, Swift's management team contacted station management and had him fired.

"The contention that Mr. Mueller lifted up Ms. Swift's skirt and grabbed her bottom, while standing with his girlfriend, in front of Ms. Swift's photographer and Ms. Swift's highly trained security personnel, during a company sponsored, VIP, backstage meet-and-greet, is nonsense, particularly given that Ms. Swift's skirt is in place and is not being lifted by Mr. Mueller's hand in the photograph," the lawsuit said.

Mueller maintains he never inappropriately touched Swift and that the photo that was described as "damning" by Swift's managers, is anything but.

In "the photograph, Ms. Swift is smiling and hugging Ms. Melcher. Although Mr. Mueller's hand is behind Ms. Swift and therefore not visible, it is clear that her skirt is in place and is not being lifted by Mr. Mueller's hand," said the lawsuit. "Similarly, Ms. Swift's hand is behind Mr. Mueller and therefore not visible."

Oktoberfest ist Hier!

I pulled out the lederhosen on Saturday night for Oktoberfest in Lincoln Square. Here I am with my sister Cindy. It's a little blurry because I think the photographer was a little blurry at the time. :)

RIP Gary Richrath

The lead guitarist from REO Speedwagon Gary Richrath has passed away at the age of 65. He was kicked out of the band many years ago while he was struggling with alcoholism, but they did reunite for one night in 2013. (The video of that appearance is at the link...and it's really hard to watch. He looked terrible--although he could still play).

I prefer to remember him this way, jamming on my favorite REO song...

Car Guys

Last week I posted a link to a Washington Post article about the demise of the 'Car Culture'. (The original post is here). The gist of the piece is that it's an "old guy" thing now. Marc Vernon is a regular reader who disagrees, and he sent me this response to that piece...

My thoughts on the Car Culture article from the Washington Post (which the Tribune picked up last week as well).

Coming from the perspective of a true car guy, one that has six collector cars and being over 50 with grey hair and all, I'm not exactly one of the 'old farts' they talk about and that I do see at shows and cruise nights, but I'm far from expiring any time soon, either.

The article touched on a lot of stuff not exactly related to 'car culture'. To me, the culture part is the love of the auto in all its forms, from styling and performance to heritage and lifestyle.

The demographics I see at car shows still run the gamut, from teenagers to octogenarians. Yes, there is some 'aging out' that is occurring in this hobby, but there are still a raft of younger enthusiasts coming up in the ranks. Case in point, I went to SuperCar Saturday last week in Bolingbrook and the average age of the hundreds if not thousands of people there was about 30-35 years old, with groups of high-schoolers running around like paparazzi taking photos of cars (with real cameras!) as they entered the show.

The younger set these days are into contemporary muscle cars like Mustangs, Camaros and Corvettes or exotics like Nissan GTRs, Lamborghinis and Porsches. Not exactly the chrome-laden, over-finned metal from the fifties, but the love of the automobile is still there. Afterall, all these cars still have four wheels, an engine, a steering wheel and seats.

Also, economically, it's not as easy to become a car guy at a young age, as the days of 'I bought my first hot rod for $50' are long gone but today's whippersnappers do what they can to enter the hobby as best they can.

So car culture is far from dead in the U.S.; it's just changing somewhat as everything does as time marches on and technology advances and tastes evolve. That's my one-minute take on the subject.

The Emmy's

On Saturday night they handed out Emmy Awards in 80 technical categories. HBO won 29 of them.

You can see the whole list here. This portion of the program will air on FXX next weekend, if you're interested.