Friday, October 07, 2016

Appearing on WLS

A programming note. Be sure to tune in to the Steve Dahl show this afternoon (Friday) at 4pm on WLS-AM 890. Bobby Skafish will be on with Steve to discuss his book "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters".

Steve and Bobby worked just down the hall from each other back in the day (when Steve & Garry were on the Loop AM and Bobby was on the Loop FM) doing the same time slot. My producer's booth was literally between them. Should be a fun interview. I'm tagging along to take photos. Haven't seen Steve in years. Looking forward to it.

The 25 Man Roster

Matt Szczur didn't make the final roster and he could have been a valuable bat off the bench, but Almora is a better defender...

The Night We Stole Christmas

Alternative rock WKQX has a very strong lineup for their Christmas concert this year. I love the headliner (Weezer). From this morning's RAMP newsletter...

Cumulus Alternative WKQX/Chicago is going all out to present a killer line-up for its annual The Nights We Stole Christmas show, which runs for three straight nights in December at The Aragon. Night One on Dec. 1 stars Weezer, Phantogram and Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness; Night Two on Dec. 2 features Cage The Elephant, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Weathers; and Night Three on Dec. 3 stars Fitz and the Tantrums, Grouplove and special guest Switchfoot. General on-sale is now underway.

Mocking Asians

The contemptible Jesse Waters (Bill O'Reilly's 'man on the street') contributed one of the most racist segments I've ever seen on Fox News. It contained every Asian stereotype you can imagine, and did it with the trademark humor (meaning "wouldn't know humor if it bit him on the tucchus") of Waters.

Last night the Daily Show responded. The tweet is unbleeped, so fair warning. NSFW.

Hannity & Kelly Make Up

The day before Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly were snapping and sniping at each other. I suspect someone pulled them in and made them hug.

Kelly posted a photo of the two of them smiling together, with the caption: "We're Irish. It's complicated."

Hannity posted this "What argument?" tweet...

Minutia Men, Episode 23

EP23 – Rick and Dave discuss a clown crime spree, take a Love Boat quiz, reveal the worst Halloween treat ever, plus the 1945 World Series and Rick’s brush with Gennifer Flowers.

Listen to it here.

Reviews for "We Have Company"

The reviews are starting to come in for Bobby Skafish's book, "We Have Company". Here's a sampling...

"Holy crap! Wendy Snyder brought home "We Have Company" by Bobby Skafish. I picked it up and started flipping through it and...I may be up all night reading! Amazing and down-to-earth stories about encounters with the hugest rock legends to ever walk the planet. They all came through Chicago and a radio sit-down with Skafish was mandatory. An amazing journal. Find it. Read it. #BabyDollPolkaClub"
--Jimmy Mac McInerny

"The warning by Bob Stroud is correct: “Make sure your schedule is clear when you begin to read this book because you won’t be able to put it down.”
--Mike Kessler

"Even better and more entertaining than I knew it could be! Loved the Pretenders chapter, but we all know that Ms. Hynde is the coolest woman on the planet."
--Donna Ward

Thursday, October 06, 2016


This is a great interview of Bruce Springsteen.

Done by Terry Gross of NPR fame. Highly recommended.

Amy Landecker

The Daily Beast has a great interview with Amy, filled with lots of praise. For instance...

We don’t mean to cause a rift in that fictional Transparent family, but for our money the most captivating performance on the phenomenally acted series belongs to Landecker, who plays oldest Pfefferman sister Sarah: a mother of two whose father’s coming out as transgender detonates explosives that had, for years, been popping up all over Sarah’s own life.

Make Me Smile

This eight year old is smiling all the way through this, which makes me smile. He's also unbelievably great at drumming...

The VP Debate

I was at a board meeting for a local charity, so I missed the VP debate on Tuesday night. Turns out, so did about fifty million other people who watched the presidential debate. From TV Newser...

Tuesday night’s debate drew 37.16 million total viewers across nine networks, per early Nielsen data. 13.77 million watched on cable (Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Business), while 23.32 million watched on the English language broadcast nets (ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and PBS). This is the lowest total for a VP debate since the 29 million who tuned into Cheney–Lieberman in 2000.

Nancy Reagan Would Vote for Hillary

That, according to Ron Reagan's son.

Not Ron Reagan, Jr. That statement from him (an avowed liberal) would not be news.

The statement came from Michael Reagan, Ron's son from his first marriage--a die-hard conservative. Michael had previously endorsed Trump, but de-endorsed him on Monday because of the ridiculous charge that Hillary is not faithful to her husband.

Hannity and Megyn Kelly Exchange Barbs

Sounds like all isn't honky dory in Fox News world. Megyn Kelly has been taking a few thinly veiled shots at Sean Hannity's puppy-dog like interviews of Donald Trump, and yesterday Hannity responded with a whiny little tweet.

The Washington Post has the story.

Please pass the popcorn.

Eric and Kathy parody

Robert Feder posted this Sherman and Tingle bit from about five years ago when they were on Q-101. Pretty funny (and pretty mean) parody of "Eric and Kathy". Now they're working for the same company, as the morning team on the Drive...

JOBC E-mail box

This just came in across the JOBC e-mail wire...

Good evening/early morning, Rick - Cliff from San Francisco - been 3 years I think since I asked you a question which you put on your blog as to why/how the Chicago Cubs and St Louis Cardinals became arch rivals compared to the Giants-Dodgers which started in New York and the animosity stayed when both teams went West to the same state. Anyway, congrats to Cubs (a few weeks late) and to my win-the-World-Series-every-even-numbered-year SF Giants who just made New York's Citi Field as quiet as a library in the 9th. Sorry if you Cubbies would have wanted the Mets for a revenge rematch from 2015. At the beginning of the season, everyone was talking about a Giants-Cubs showdown for the NL pennant - and it looked that way until after the All-Star Game - my SF never really got its mojo back - so, though it won't be a sweep by any side, I think my Giants will not have enough energy to beat your Cubs in the upcoming week (we only have ONE Madison Bumgarner!) - so, more congratulations to Chicago (but I'll be VERY happy if I'm wrong!!) - Just make sure you also "beat LA" - saw your video "My Cubs - I'm not betting against" - loved pausing the video to read the editorial cartoons - and you gave me a preview of a tune when HAMILTON comes to San Francisco next year - my mother came back to SF after visiting our "White-Sox" cousins in Naperville (mom's the only Cub fan - she was about 10 at her first baseball game at Wrigley during World War II), and she tells me that the SUN-TIMES leans to the Cubs in coverage, but I saw that your TRIBUNE had a great article on "108 things a Cub's fan should know" - loved reason 99: George Will says Cubs fans are 99.44% scar-tissue - that's all I wanted to say - good job on the website, this recent video, the Cubs having the fortitude to get to the post-season in consecutive years, and no hard feelings if MAYBE the Giants pull it out - :)

Sounds like it's time for another spin of this one...

From Fort Wayne to Chicago

There's a new afternoon jock in Chicago, and she's making the jump here from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The RAMP newsletter has the details...

Ms. Brooke Taylor is this week's leading candidate for Leap O' The Week™ honors, as she's been recruited from the APD/midday post at Adams Media Country WBTU (US93.3)/Ft. Wayne, IN and propelled upward into afternoon drive at iHeartMedia Country WEBG (Big 95.5)/Chicago, starting next Monday, October 17. Big 95.5 PD Steve Stewart commented, "Brooke Taylor will bring great energy to the team and will make an authentic connection to the audience. We're so excited to see the impact she will have on the Chicagoland community." Taylor had only been back in Ft. Wayne since July, returning to the market after a two-year stint doing nights for Radio Disney in Los Angeles. She had previously worked for US93.3 and sister WJFX (Hot 107.9) from 2012 until April of 2014, when she joined Radio Disney in Burbank. "Words can't express how excited I am to join the Big 95.5 team," said Taylor.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Charlie Sykes Leaving Radio

The long-time conservative morning host of the biggest station in Milwaukee, WTMJ, is stepping down. Sykes has gotten famous nationally in the past year as a leader of the Never Trump movement. From Tom Taylor's column...

Charlie Sykes has recently wondered whether conservative talk radio “went from being the counterweight to creating our own alternative reality.” From his late-morning perch at Milwaukee’s news/talk WTMJ/620, he’s been one of the leading gatekeepers at talk radio, and now Charlie and employer Scripps announce he’ll leave at year-end. He says the decision “was not driven by this year’s political season.” He’s near the age that his father died at (63) and he says “I want to write more, travel more, and pursue new opportunities.” (He’s spent 23 years at ’TMJ.) Scripps Radio VP/Steve Wexler has “enjoyed working with Charlie since the early ’90s, and have always respected his smart, authentic approach to his show.” In the long Republican nominating campaign, Sykes has been a critic of Donald Trump, and he predicted on a recent NPR Morning Edition show that “there’s going to be a reckoning in conservative talk radio...The illusion that conservative media was about ideas has been shattered.” WTMJ’s sliding noon-3pm personality Jeff Wagner into Charlie’s 8:30am-noon slot, while searching for a new early-afternoon host. Jeff spent 18 years at WTMJ and says he’s looking forward to getting a first bite of the day’s news.

Uh oh

Cover of Sports Illustrated...

Jimmy deCastro Leaving WGN

Another day, another radio exodus. This time it's the general manager of WGN, Jimmy deCastro.

Robert Feder has the details.

I must say, I'm not surprised at all by this news. Jimmy never needed this job--he was a multi-millionaire. It was just a matter of time before he got bored.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Johnny B's Contract Not Renewed

Jonathon Brandmeier announced via his website that after his contract runs out early next year, it will not be renewed, ending his run with Westwood One.

Read the details here.

Not a good day for Chicago radio.

Blowing up the joint?

Woah. This is truly shocking Chicago radio news via Radio Insight...

Hubbard Classic Rock "97.1 The Drive" WDRV Chicago/96.9 WWDV Zion is bringing in Brian Sherman and Steve Tingle for mornings starting Monday, October 21.

Sherman & Tingle previously co-hosted afternoons and then mornings at Emmis' "Q101" WKQX until the station's sale to Merlin Media and flip to "FM News" in 2011. Sherman joins WDRV from mornings at Matrix Broadcasting Classic Rock "103.9 The Fox" WFXF Dundee IL, while Tingle was most recently at Entercom Hot AC "Star 94.1" WSTR Atlanta.

Sherman & Tingle will replace "The Morning Drive" hosted by Pete McMurray, Scott Miller, and Kathy Voltmer. Dan McNeil co-hosted with McMurray from March 2015 through June 2016.

Larz at Chicagoland Radio & Media has more information. According to Larz, Miller is out completely, Kathy will continue but only as the public affairs director, and McMurray remains under contract in an undisclosed role.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far...

OCD Germans

This blog post by a Mexican living in Germany is pretty funny to me. I grew up around this, yet I was somehow not afflicted with the need to have my life be tidy and orderly in every way.

I'm a German freak, I suppose.

In more ways than one.

I'll be the MC for a German soccer banquet in a few weeks. It's the 60th anniversary of Green White Soccer Club--a club co-founded by my father. I asked a few of the old-timers what they wanted me to talk about as the MC, and they all said, "Keep it short. Nobody wants to hear you talk." Also..."No funny stuff."

Doesn't that sound like fun?

I'm thinking of explaining the club history through interpretive dance. I'm sure they'll love it.

Terry Jones

The Monty Python great was given an award last night in England for his lifetime of achievement. Sadly, Jones is now suffering from dementia, so he couldn't speak on stage. His son did it for him. Details are here.

It's hard to watch your heroes slowly fade away, but luckily for us he will live on forever on video and film. For instance this one. Terry plays the mom...

A Closer Look at Trump's Taxes

Courtesy of Seth Meyers...

Janis Joplin

46 years ago today, Janis died at the ridiculously young age of 27. She died in a motor lodge, in the wee hours of the morning after shooting heroin and buying a pack of Marlboros in the hotel lobby. Her body was found between the bed and the nightstand.

There's nothing glamorous about it. Don't do drugs, kids.

Earlier in the day she was working on the album Pearl. It was released after her death. This song was on that album. It was written by Kris Kristofferson...

100 Great Trump Political Cartoons

This one is my favorite, but there are so many more here.

Dick Enberg's Retirement

The Vin Scully retirement got a lot of pub, but another broadcasting great stepped down the other day too. Dick Enberg was one of the smoothest broadcasters of all-time.

I'll never forget that he was the man behind the microphone during the Bears Superbowl XX win.

He was also the play by play man for the San Diego Padres, and this was his final farewell.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Trump's Taxes

I know this will have no effect on his supporters, but wow, this revelation in his taxes from 1995 shows one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt.

He lost nearly a billion dollars on paper, but personally earned millions while stiffing the people who loaned money to him, the people who invested in him, the people who worked for him, and the United States government.

Or as Rudy Guliani called him on television yesterday: A genius.

The Illini

The Fighting Ilini are ranked 92nd in the latest college football poll. Didn't know they ranked anyone below the top 25. Kind of wish I never found that out.

Thanks Vin

Who Will Win the World Series?

Jason Stark of ESPN picks the Red Sox, which I think is a pretty solid pick. They look very strong.

He also surveyed the general managers in MLB and asked them who they thought would win it.

American League Favorite (or Most-Feared Team)
Red Sox 16
Rangers 7
Blue Jays 2

National League Favorite (or Most-Feared Team)
Cubs 13
Dodgers 10
Nationals 2

World Series Winner
Cubs 7
Red Sox 6
Dodgers 4
Rangers 4

There's a lot of history going against the Cubs. The team with the best record hasn't won it this decade. They will be facing a team with a dominant ace (in the first round it will be either Madison Bumgardner or Noah Syndegaard). The best of five series is unforgiving and the best team often doesn't win. Even if they win the first series, they'll probably face Clayton Kershaw, another dominant ace. They haven't won it in 108 years and have a ton of pressure on them.

But...they are the best team in baseball. They are the team to beat. They are healthy and rested. They are managed by someone who knows how to keep them relaxed.

For the first time in my life it isn't crazy to believe the Cubs will in it all.

I have tickets for NLCS Game 7, a game that may or not ever happen. And I'll be watching or listening to the rest of the games just like anyone else. No lucky shirts. No praying. I realize that nothing I say, write or do will have any impact on whether or not they win.

So...I'm just going to try and enjoy it for once

Can't wait for Friday night.


Steve & Johnnie

My latest Illinois Entertainer column was posted over the weekend. This month I interviewed former WGN Radio overnight stars Steve King and Johnnie Putman about their new Les Paul book.

You can read it here.

Bobby Skafish's Book Launch Party

Star-studded event Friday night at Toon's Bar & Grill in Chicago. Great time was had by one and all. Bobby Skafish set the all-time Eckhartz Press record--selling out all of our books! Congrats to Bobby. (Don't worry, there are plenty more books on the way!)

Bobby and Amy Jacobsen (WIND-AM)

Some of my favorite collaborators--Brendan Sullivan (The Living Wills), David Stern (Minutia Men), and Stan Lawrence (Ebony & Ivory)

Cara Carriveau and Bobby Skafish

Emily Skafish, Dane Placko (WFLD-TV), David Stern & Bobby Skafish

Greg Solk (former Loop/Drive executive), Bobby Skafish, Me, and Johnny Mars (WXRT)

Bobby signs a book for former WDRV Program Director Patty Martin

Mike Tomano (WIVR) and Bobby Skafish