Friday, January 08, 2016


This is great news. I loved the HBO series "Deadwood"...

Kurt Melcher

My cousin Kurt is becoming a media star promoting his eSports department...

The Newest Soccer Club Owner

Joining another celebrity (Drew Carey) in the professional soccer ranks.

Don't scoff. He did a great job (with the help of Mike Ditka) in the movie "Kicking and Screaming"

"Something" Isolated Organ/Orchestral Track

Listen to this and tell me that George Martin wasn't actually the fifth Beatle. His contributions are immense. It's one of the reasons why when I met him I babbled like a moron. I just couldn't put into words how much I appreciated him.

The King

He would have been 81 years old today...

We Have Overstuffed the Bird

This is a HUGE announcement by new TBS president Kevin Reilly. He announced yesterday that TBS is going to DECREASE the number of ads on their television network by 50%. His quote really nails it: "We have overstuffed the bird."

I know it seems counterintuitive to the rest of the television and radio executives out there, because fewer commercials seems like it would mean less revenue. But the American public simply doesn't have the stomach for commercials anymore, and it's about time the industry comes to grips with it. We can stream entire seasons of television series without having to watch a single commercial. (Or DVR shows and fast forward through commercials). We can listen to satellite or internet radio and not be bothered by commercials. We know what it's like now without commercials, and we don't want to go back to the old way of doing it. That's a big reason ratings are down so much for traditional radio and television.

And yet, as the ratings have gone down, executives have been trying to stuff even more commercials into broadcasts to make up for that lost revenue, which causes the ratings to go down further, and the revenue to decline even more. Something had to give. At some point, the new reality had to be confronted.

"It's going to take time for us to earn our stripes; it's not going to happen overnight," said Reilly, who added that the transition will take three years to complete. "We're sprinting, but it is a marathon. Three years from now, TBS and TNT will be radically different businesses than they are today.

"It's going to be a hairy couple of years in the business in general," said Reilly, but his goal is to keep TNT and TBS an essential part of the industry's evolution.

This was a long time coming and I hope it's not an outlier.

Adweek has the details.

Hillary To Appear on Tonight Show

The Tonight Show scored a "big get" (that's what the kids call it these days) when they booked Hillary Clinton for their January 14th show. That just happens to be the same night as the next Republican debate.

Variety has the details.

I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie

I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie is not a reading textbook, it is a guide to help readers transform their ways of thinking about text. In straightforward, accessible language, Lori Oster discusses the most common habits successful readers share, and walks readers through steps anyone can take to make those habits their own. What started as basic handouts for Oster’s students has evolved into a time-tested approach to helping high school and college students develop the reading skills they need to be successful both in the classroom, and out.

The paperback is available at Eckhartz Press, but the e-book is now also available at amazon.

Click here for the paperback.

Click here for the e-book.

Bruce Sutter

Here's our writeup at Just One Bad Century about today's birthday boy, Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter...

~Bruce Sutter 1953 (Cubs 1976-1980)
Bruce Sutter is a Hall of Famer, but of course, he’s not wearing a Cubs hat even though he had his best and most dominating seasons on the North Side of Chicago. He was a six-time All-Star including four times with the Cubs. He won the Cy Young Award in 1979 for a very mediocre Cubs team. He led the league in saves 5 times. And he won the World Series with the 1982 St. Louis Cardinals. Bruce Sutter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006; his 13th season on the ballot. (Photo: Topps 1977 Baseball Card)

Other Cubs celebrating birthdays today include a man named Twitch, another one hit by lightning, and a Cub who recently left the team. Check them out here.

Terri Hemmert to Have Cancer Surgery

She made the announcement yesterday. This is part of her statement on the WXRT website...
I went to my doctor with a symptom that needed to be checked out. After going through a bunch of tests I had some polyps removed in November. They were benign, and I went right from the hospital to my favorite Mexican restaurant. Things seemed fine. Until I found out I have cancer. I went in for my follow up appointment just a couple days before Thanksgiving. Thought it would be high fives for the surgery. The bad news was that they found cancer behind the polyps. The good news is it’s early…stage one. More good news is I have a great medical team who didn’t give up testing. Tomorrow will be my last show for awhile. I’ll be going in for surgery Monday, and will need at least a month to recuperate. I asked if they could just flip me over and do the back surgery while I was there, but that’s not possible. Doesn’t hurt to ask. Beginning this Sunday Breakfast With The Beatles will be one hour long, from 9 to 10 am. I didn’t want to leave you without at least an hour of the fabs. Back to 2 hours when I get back to work.
She's going to be out an estimated six weeks. Tons of prayers and support are headed in this Chicago broadcasting legend's direction.

She's Everywhere, She's Everywhere

Amy Landecker continues to make the media rounds.

The other night she appeared on Conan's show on TBS. Told a very funny story about her daughter's reaction to her nude scene. Yesterday she was also in the Tribune, telling a funny story about Don Cheadle.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

New Definition of Old

A guy that was just elected into the Hall of Fame was a rookie the first year I played fantasy baseball. The other guy who just got elected was on my fantasy roster before all three of my children were born. My oldest son is now 20.

Where did I put my walker?

No Love for Lovie

Wow that was quick. Tampa Bay has pulled the plug on Lovie Smith after only two seasons.

I'm surprised by this one. That team actually looked like they were on the upswing, but what do I know?

UPDATE: It appears this is a case of trying to keep the offensive coach, who was rumored to be leaving town for a head coaching position elsewhere. That's what this column surmises.

New Co-host at WLS-FM

A fresh face and new voice will be joining the airwaves at WLS. I think this town is ready for some new blood. From Radio Online...

Cumulus Media Chicago brings in veteran morning personality Kim Berk to join Brant Miller as co-host in mornings on Classic Hits WLS-FM, weekdays from 5:30-9am. Berk comes to Chicago from New York City, where she was co-host of the "Kim & Kane Show" on WWFS-FM from 2009 to 2015. She's also co-hosted the "Jim & Kim Morning Show" on WWFS. Prior to that, the morning duo of Jim & Kim was on-air for eight years at WKJY-FM/Long Island, NY.

Cumulus Chicago VP/Market Manager Peter Bowen said, "We are fortunate that phenomenal talent like Kim was available to join Brant and the morning team on WLS-FM. This is another piece of the puzzle that will bring WLS back to the top."
For the "no outsiders" of you out there, consider this. She grew up in Arlington Heights.

Rod Zimmerman Fired

This is shocking news. Zimmerman had led the CBS stations in Chicago for years. He was let go because they didn't extract enough money out of those seven radio stations. From All Access...
Shocker! CBS RADIO continues to make cuts, this time affecting CHICAGO SVP/Market Mgr. ROD ZIMMERMAN and VP/Dir./Sales MARK DAY. ROBERT FEDER reports the duo, "have been forced out in the wake of revenue declines at the seven-station group they headed, sources confirmed THURSDAY," adding COO SCOTT HERMAN, "disclosed the moves WEDNESDAY in a meeting with local department managers. He cited the disappointing financial performance of the CHICAGO group under ZIMMERMAN and DAY, according to several of those present." HERMAN "told the managers he would introduce ZIMMERMAN’s replacement at an all-staff meeting THURSDAY morning," adds FEDER.
I was not a Zimmerman fan, but the one thing I never questioned about him was his absolute dedication to sucking every last penny out of that place. When I worked at WJMK, we weren't even allowed to use the nice stationery without getting approval from the GM. (True story) Good luck to the next guy who has to suck even more out of it.

No Powerball Winner

The great thing about the lottery is the way your mind actually gives you 24 hours of hope, thinking what you would do with that money if you ever got it. That's worth a buck or two.

Just in case you're wondering, I was going to give it all to you. Doggone it.

Oh well, I'm sure next time you'll do the same for me.

The Making Of "I'm Not in Love"

Great song, awesome video...

Facebook in Real Life

Thanks to "KH" for this one...

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Peter Cetera Will Appear at Rock & Roll HOF Ceremony

He posted the following message on his website yesterday--an open letter to the guys in the band...

January 6, 2016

Hello Everyone! I’ve just sent this mail to everyone involved. Hopefully it will answer all the questions concerning my participation in the Hall of Fame induction..Thanks

Hello Robert, Danny, Lee, Walter, and James. I’m sending this to you and Danny since yours are the only email addresses I have. Please forward this to everyone.

First off, congratulations all around on this long overdue honor. While our fans believe we should have been inducted years ago, they find it harder to believe that we haven’t even been nominated in all that time. Oh well, we are now!
All the credit goes to those who voted for us in overwhelming numbers during the recent poll. They alone deserve our thanks for finally making this happen.

I know we all look forward to speaking that evening and I’m sure we all wish that Terry was there to join us. That can’t happen unfortunately, but I have one thing that can.

As a finale, we can walk onstage together one last time as a group, I’ll strap on the bass, and we can do 25or6to4 in the key of E. I believe it would make for one fantastic Hall of Fame moment and satisfy those who have always wanted some sort of reunion.

Along with your current members, I would also like us to invite past members Laudir de Oliveira, Donnie Dacus, Kenny Cetera, Chris Pinnick, and Bill Champlin to join us up there as well on the song. They’ve all contributed to the legacy of the group and I think this would be a fitting way to honor them.

In the end, this should go a long way towards healing old wounds and showing solidarity on that night. At least I hope so!

Blazing Saddles

Released 41 years ago today. Still one of my all-time favorite movies...

E with a period Lee

According to this item at Chicagoland Radio & Media, Frank E. Lee is coming back to WXRT. At least temporarily. Click on the link for more details. I'll be tuning in.

The Babypod

When Bridget was pregnant there was a study of some kind that said babies who listened to music before birth (especially Mozart as I recall) ended up more intelligent than non-music listeners. I couldn't find the study just now when I looked for it, but I swear it was something ridiculous like that. I remember distinctly one time Bridget and I put the headphones on her tummy when she was pregnant with Tommy and we looked at each other and thought: "This is ridiculous."

Didn't do it for the other two. Although now that I think of it, Tommy's test scores are way higher than his little brothers. Hmmm.

Anyway, I bring this up because of this new product I found today. It's called the Babypod, and it plays music for fetuses. But unlike my headphone experience, the Babypod has a more direct way of delivering the music. Can you guess how it works? Let's put it this way. It tries to get a little closer to the baby. Look at the picture and use your imagination.

Slate Magazine has the details.

Remember this game?

I'll just watch this instead of the playoffs this year. (Sigh) I remember watching it live on a black and white television in my girlfriend's apartment in Champaign-Urbana. She didn't quite appreciate the depth of this beat down, and how long we had waited for something like this against the Cowboys.

Hall of Fame Cubs

Later today a new Hall of Fame class will be announced, and it won't include a Cub. These guys are already in there...(You can read about all of them in my EVERY CUB EVER feature at Just One Bad Century.)