Thursday, August 04, 2016

Minutia Men, Episode 14

It hasn't been posted yet as I write this (at 9:00), but it will be there before the end of the day.

Click here to listen.

Dave and I discuss drunken graffiti, dead-people auto-tours, the president the Cubs helped elect, my brush with Mike Royko and much more.

I'm out of the office until Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

WLS Reunites Big John Howell & Ramblin Ray

This is pretty big news on the local radio front. Howell has been hosting the morning show at WLS for the past year or so. Ray has been co-hosting the morning show at US-99 for many years. But every time I talked to Ray, he always mentioned his old radio partner Big John. It's clear they have remained close friends even though their careers had taken different paths.

According to Robert Feder's column this morning, Ray is making a big leap. He's leaving US-99 and reuniting with his old co-host Big John. He's not only leaving the safety of his old station (after 26 years), he's jumping into a completely different format (talk-radio). That's a big, big change.

LATE UPDATE: It also means that big changes are afoot at US-99. Ray's co-host Lisa Dent is out. Robert Feder has the details.

New B-96 Night Jock

His name is Eric Tyler, and the RAMP newsletter tells us a little more about him...

Eric Tyler back in action again -- he's landed the coveted 7-midnight slot on CBS Radio Top 40 WBBM-FM (B96)/Chicago. Tyler succeeds Jason Cage, who has been co-hosting the Cage & Bex morning show on CBS Radio sister WZMP (96.5 AMP Radio)/Philadelphia since March. The new gig also marks a homecoming for Tyler, a native of Rockford, IL who spent the past nine years as APD/MD/afternoon personality at iHeartMedia's KBKS (106.1 Kiss FM)/Seattle until January of this year. His previous stops included WNKS/Charlotte, KHTT/Tulsa, OK and KHTO/Springfield, MO. "We are thrilled to welcome Eric and add another consummate radio professional to B96's on-air lineup," said Todd Cavanah, VP of Programming for CBS Radio Chicago. "The fact that he has an overwhelming, well-known passion for the market, CBS Radio Chicago and our radio station is an added bonus. We can't wait to get him started on B96." Tyler said, "I'm beyond excited to have the chance to become an integral part of the station I grew up listening to -- the legendary B96 in the great city of Chicago. Thanks to Todd, Erik Bradley and the entire crew for this incredible opportunity."

John Landecker & the Boogie Check

The one thing I realized during my years working with John Records Landecker was that he was revered by other disc jockeys. A day or a week didn't go by without a disc jockey from somewhere looking him up just to say thanks.

I'm sure it's still happening to him. Our book "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" continues to sell very well, and most of those purchasers are people who grew up listening to him.

People like Ken Foote. He recently wrote about the impact of John and his Boogie Check for CBS Dallas Fort Worth.

Lester Holt

When Lester Holt was co-anchoring the struggling third place Channel 2 news about twenty years ago, would you have believed that he would be the #1 news anchor in America?

It's true now for the past 36 sweep periods. Lester Holt's NBC Nightly News is #1.

German Soccer Camp

Gonna be a crazy week. We have three trainers here from Germany conducting a camp for our soccer club (Green White). Here they are with my crazy wife and I...

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Rush Re-Ups

I believe the beginning of the end of civil political discourse in this country happened when the Fairness Doctrine was discarded at the end of the 80s. It was no longer necessary to provide "equal time" for the other side when discussing issues, and full-throated "news you want to hear" replaced actual news.

The leader of this talk radio movement was El Rushbo, the true king of talk radio in this country. He has rode this wave to a huge fortune. He's not nearly as powerful as he once was, but he's still going strong on the radio airwaves. Yesterday he signed a deal to continue. From Radio Insight...

With his previous contract expiring at the end of July, Conservative Talker Rush Limbaugh has come to terms on a new contract to remain in syndication with iHeartMedia and their Premiere Radio Networks.

Little in the way of details were announced regarding the new deal other than it is a long-term multi-platform agreement to keep Limbaugh in place for his 12-3pm eastern syndicated program. He celebrated the start of his 29th year in syndication on Monday. No financial terms or length of the deal are known at this time.

You can kind of tell that it wasn't a huge deal like his last one because Rush would be trumpeting the dollar figures if it was.


Went to yet another Cubs game last night and took a soccer trainer who is here from Germany to train our soccer team. He loved it. It was weird though, having to explain the rules of baseball. What a strange, strange sport. The unlimited foul balls threw him for a loop. He also couldn't understand why the Cubs didn't get any points for the nice plays they made on defense.

While we there the news came across the wire that the Cubs had acquired yet another bullpen arm. They now have four new relievers...Aroldis Chapman, Mike Montgomery, Joe Nathan...and Joe Smith. Throw in Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, and Travis Wood (the only three relievers who were pitching well), and you've got yourself a nice little bullpen.

This team has been so much fun to watch this year. They appear to have all the pieces in place. Maybe Losing is So Last Century (like the t-shirt says on the young lady).

I think I'll be spending the rest of the week walking around the house and knocking on wood.

Kevin Matthews

WGN Radio's Dave Plier had Kevin Matthews on his show to discuss the good ol' days of Chicago radio, when Kevin was king.

Great trip down memory lane. You can listen to it here.

Jason Marck

My latest Illinois Entertainer column has been posted. This month I interviewed WBEZ producer/director Jason Marck.

You can read it here.

Monday, August 01, 2016


Take a look at this aerial view of the crowd, posted by ABC-7 today. Incredible...

Simpsons Campaign Commercial

I Want My MTV

Big anniversary for the music-television giant. I remember it's debut like it was yesterday. I was in college and it was THE biggest story ever when our dorm-cable system got MTV. From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

Perfectly timed to today's 35th anniversary of the launch of MTV (now how old do you feel?), the channel currently known as VH1 Classic is being rebranded today as MTV Classic, and will be pumping out of all those shows that helped built the brand formerly known and loved as "Music Television" into a viewing destination for all the cool kids in your neighborhood back in 1981. As Variety reports, "The new-old network will make its debut with MTV Hour One, a replay of the exact first hour of programming MTV aired, and then segue into a Total Request Live retrospective, followed by a best-of run of MTV Unplugged."

This was the first video they ever aired...

Jon Stewart's Return to Television

A few months ago it was announced that he would be coming to HBO. Over the weekend, details of that new project were finally released. From Variety...

Speaking at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour Saturday, HBO programming president Casey Bloys discussed the multiplatform project that Stewart is working on for the premium cable channel. “The idea is it will be an animated parody of a cable news network with an Onion-like portal,” Bloys said. The project will be structured to allow Stewart to release multiple pieces of short-form content — video and text — through HBO’s digital platforms, but will also include a linear-television element, likely in the form of a half-hour series.

As the Sumner Turns

Over the past few weeks Sumner Redstone has overhauled the board at Viacom, essentially freezing out the former CEO Philippe Dauman. As you might expect, Dauman hasn't taken kindly to this for many reasons, but the biggest reason is that he knows that Sumner Redstone is in no condition to make these moves himself. He's now alleging that Redstone is essentially a 90-something-year-old vegetable. Dauman has found a judge that agrees. That judge just ordered a medical exam.

Before you go thinking that Dauman is the good guy in this story, however, you should remember that Dauman had previously argued the opposite when he was in charge of being a medical spokesperson for Redstone. Don't believe me? Ask Sumner's "girlfriend" who filed a lawsuit. It's all in the public record.

There isn't a good guy in this story. Not Daumann. Not Redstone's daughter (who appears to be behind the recent moves). Not Redstone's "girlfriend" who was looking for cash. Not Redstone himself, who even if he is being played by his daughter, his girlfriend, or his former CEO, spent a lifetime playing others to aggrandize himself.

To me, this is what Karma looks like.

Republicans for Hillary

The list keeps growing and growing.

To be honest, considering the kinds of things Republicans have said about Hillary over the past 25 years, this is a shockingly long list.