Friday, October 23, 2015

Dancin' with Trump

RIP Cory Wells

Three Dog Night Mourns the Loss of Cory Wells

“It is with deep sadness and disbelief that I must report the passing of Cory Wells, my beloved band mate for over 45 years,” announced Danny Hutton of Three Dog Night. .“Cory was an incredible singer – a great performer, he could sing anything.”

Wells, one of the three lead singers of iconic American pop band Three Dog Night, died unexpectedly yesterday in Dunkirk, NY. Wells had been with Three Dog Night from the beginning and continued performing with the band up until September of this year when he developed a problem with severe back pain.

He was the lead singer on the Randy Newman song "Mama Told Me Not To Come"...

Dan Haren Retires

Pretty good big league career...

15 Jobs that are impossible to explain to your parents

Business Insider posted this list of 15 jobs mom has a hard time understanding. Among designer, investment banker, and...would you believe radio producer?

Now that I mention it, I did have a hard time explaining that job to my mom.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Midwestern Nice

I love this piece in Thrillist, which attempts to explain Midwestern nice. It does a great job of doing it, too, using the movie "Fargo" to illustrate various points.

I also wholeheartedly agree with the thesis: To be from here is, quite simply, to read a room better than f***ing anyone. And also, yes, to be nice.

My wife always marvels at my ability to read a room. I've never really considered my midwestern roots as a potential source of that, but it makes sense. I grew up around people who didn't say much, and didn't speak ill of others. There are a lot of people in the midwest like this, and a lot of people in the German community too. It's not like we didn't think bad things--we just didn't feel the need to say them out loud. To grow up around this, is to grow up in a world where reading between the lines is an essential life skill.

I'm lucky. It has served me well as a producer and writer.

Equal Time

I posted Larry David's impersonation of Bernie Sanders. Only fair to post Bernie's impression of Larry...

Cubs Probably Moving to the Score

Robert Feder addresses this in his column this morning. It makes sense for CBS to move them there. The Score is losing the White Sox (to WLS), so they now have the airtime available. On an all-sports station the Cubs can get the full coverage they deserve, which I really felt was lacking on big game days at WBBM. (Not the station's fault--it wasn't their format).

On the other hand, the Score lineup is very Sox-fan-heavy. I've always thought it didn't represent the actual market in that regard, but figured they were the White Sox station, so no harm, no foul. If they become the Cubs station, they're gonna have to swallow that a bit. I think they've been pretty good about softening the temple-throbbing black-hearted hate this year (Sox fans in general), so maybe it won't be an issue.

The Layoff Memo

ESPN is cutting hundreds of staffers in a company wide layoff. I actually thought this memo from the man doing the firing was pretty well written. I don't know him, so I don't know how he really feels or if he wrote it himself, but this memo at least exhibits some compassion and empathy. That's a rare commodity in the broadcasting business.

More Love for "Truffle Hunt"

We have a new book coming out soon, but every now and then it's fun to check back on amazon and good reads to see what people are saying about the other Eckhartz Press books.

This one was on amazon for "Truffle Hunt"...

This is such a good book and I enjoyed it immensely and the author, Brent Peterson sets forth an epic of a tale in scope to Edna Ferber’s “Giant” but instead of oil wells, barbeque, longhorn cattle and a dry West Texas prairie, he gives us tartufo (truffles), vino and a little corner of the world called Istria, Croatia where Italians, Croatians and Serbs live peacefully, except for a couple of invasions from Nazis, Italian Fascists and Communists. Enter Frank, a hard working writer of restaurant reviews from New York to do a story on the world’s biggest truffle, found in Istria. Frank is thinking a free trip to France or maybe Italy, but no, he’s headed for recently war torn Croatia. The epic part of the story has to do with generations of an Italian family, the Mattiolis who live in Istria and then there’s a pretty wicked Serbian who has escaped being caught for War Crimes and is hiding out in the area. Everything comes together as the latest incarnation of the Mattiolis family meet Frank when he rents a room in their farmhouse and they go hunting with a trusty dog for truffles. Fun story with an intricate plot and characters some of which are lovable, some not so much.

Thank You Cubs

Fourth NLCS loss by Cubs in my life (84,89,03,15), but this one feels different to me. It doesn't feel like the end of feels like the beginning. Congrats to the Cubs and thanks for this season.

The future looks bright for the young Cubs over the next few years.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Around the Publishing World (October 21)

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. The average length of a shared video
Most authors these days create videos to promote their books. This article will help you decide how long that video should be if your goal is to have it shared via social media. Hint: Less is more.

2. 11 Ways you may be spooking your readers on social media
Some great tips for authors using social media. We agree with all eleven. The writer of the piece, Frances Caballo, really knows what she's talking about.

3. Amazon fights back
You've probably heard about Amazon's response to the initial New York Times story about their horrible workplace environment. It's been all over the news the past few days. We think this is a very good analysis of what Amazon said and didn't say in their scathing response.

4. Six Trend-Savvy Book Publishing strategies
This story has been out there since April, but we just discovered it. We don't agree with everything in this article, but the portion about self pubishing does offer some good advice.

Chris Rock to Host Oscars Again

Entertainment Weekly has the details.

I thought he did a pretty good job last time he hosted, but I was surprised to see that was ten years ago. It's getting to the point where decades are whizzing by.

Probably not a good thing.

How Big Is This New Star Wars Going to Be?

During a really crappy Monday Night Football game (not even close--27-7), the ratings spike for the Star Wars trailer at halftime was enough to give the entire game huge ratings.

Details are here.

Mets Fan

There was a Mets fan in our row last night who was obnoxiously taunting the Cub fans around him all night. It was so over the top, even other Mets fans in the section were trying to get him to shut up. I thought someone was going to take a swing at him, so I calmly gave him some advice. I told him, "Cheer for your team, but don't be such a dick about it." To which he replied "Oh yeah? Well my team is good enough for me to be a dick. You'll never know what that feels like." Okey doke. I guess not.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jan Jeffries leaves Cumulus

I got to know Jan while I was working on Records Truly Is My Middle Name. He was super helpful to me at that time, and later hired John Landecker to host the evening slot at WLS-FM.

But he was part of the Dickey-administration, so it's not a huge surprise to see that he has left the company.

Details at Radio Insight.

Bill Murray on the Cubs

Wish I had never seen this

I still think the Billy Goat curse is nonsense, but...

Donald Trump is Right!

That's a headline I didn't think I'd ever write. In this case, he was being interviewed about the outcry that NBC is getting for asking him to host SNL. The Donald says he will never be dropped because the ratings are going to be huge.

Donald Trump is right.

Amazon Fights Back

Remember the story in the New York Times about what a workplace cesspool Amazon is?

Well, Amazon is fighting back. They hired the most expensive PR person on the planet (former White House spokesperson Jay Carney) and he wrote a scathing attack on the journalistic practices of the NY Times.

I read it. He basically says that one person in the story had an axe to grind, and wasn't vetted properly. Okey doke. He also alleges that some of the people who were attacked during performance reviews also were told a positive thing or two or even promoted. So what? The point is that even during a positive review, they were attacked by the reviewer. Who does that? An incredibly unpleasant employer, that's who.

What about the person who was ordered to fly the day after her miscarriage? Crickets. The rest of his scathing attack is incredibly vague. He mentions three examples that can be taken in two ways, and then says "There were others".

Oh yeah? I don't believe you. If there were, you would have said so.

If this is the best you've got (and it literally is), I still believe the original story.

Nice try though.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Tommy

As of today we no longer have three teenagers in the house. This little guy turns 20 years old today. Happy birthday Tommy!

Book Release Party

Bartlett's in Beverly Shores, Indiana

On November 1st from Noon-3pm author Pat Colander will be hosting a book release party for her great book "Hugh Hefner's Last Funeral and Other Tales of Love and Death in Chicago" at Bartlett's Gourmet Grill at 131 E Dunes Hwy, Beverly Shores, Indiana.

Bartlett's is a famous eatery in the NW Indiana area and they are really pulling out all the stops. They're calling it the Halloween Hangover Bash. Festivities begin at noon with spooky special brunch items: locally-sourced, DISMEMBERED and RECONSTRUCTED appetizers; BLOODY, BLOODY Marys; SUICIDE by chocolate; man-sized SLABs of meatloaf and other DEATH-defying delicacies. This is an ADDAMS FAMILY FRIENDLY party. ZOMBIES WELCOME.

And of course, Pat's great book will be there for sale, and Pat will be there to autograph copies of the book.

Come for the book and stay for the food, or come for the food and stay for the book. Both are well worth your while.

Bubba Toast

I've been reading about the Bubba the Love Sponge controversy, but really never delved into the details until this morning. I didn't care so much about Bubba because he isn't in this market (he's in Tampa), and because he's in trouble about one thing or another all the time. But this time seems a little worse once you get into the details. This is the kind of thing that could end a career. From today's RAMP Newsletter...

On Oct. 6, Bubba admitted he had tried to influence a local PPM holder into trying to boost his ratings, but the complaint illustrates the extreme measures Bubba reportedly took to have this panelist -- and maybe others -- try and deceptively accomplish this mission -- Bubba offered to pay the panelist $300 per month (plus a bonus) if his show's ratings improved, and also gave detailed instructions in how to manipulate the PPM technology in his favor. According to the complaint, Bubba even texted the panelist, "U have to PROMISE NOT TO SAY A WORD... This could ruin me. B." Bubba went as far as to purchase radios -- using his own Amazon account -- for the panelist, to "aid him in his manipulating of the PPM ratings," the complaint reads. Later, a panicked Clem texted the panelist, saying, "I need u more than ever. I had a guy who had just 1 of them (PPM device). And they took it from him Friday. Cause he wasn't smart about it... He got lazy. And he didn't switch it up. Now it's gone. So I need your 4 (meters) more than every buddy." Nielsen believes that other PPM panelists may have been part of Clem's "ratings distortion scheme," according to the complaint.

The Transistor Radio

Yesterday was the 61st birthday of the transistor radio.

CBS Sunday Morning did a nice retrospective explaining the importance of this little device, and how it helped make radio cool for youngsters.

I remember in the days before I got my first stereo, I would set up transistor radios in four corners of my room to give me the illusion "quadrophonic sound".

Eddie Murphy Returns to Stand Up

At least for one night.

Last night he received the Mark Twain award, and when he came up to accept it, he did something he hasn't done in more than twenty years. He did a little stand up.

The Washington Post was there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sing, Kyle, Sing!

Did you know that Kyle Schwarber was once part of the Purple Pizzazz?

The Democratic Debate

Via SNL...including a hilarious Larry David as Bernie Sanders...