Friday, March 31, 2017

Funny Parenting Tweets

Laughed out loud at all of these...

April Fools

The Way The Russians Hacked Election

I watched this testimony yesterday and I think this sums up perfectly how it was done successfully...

I honestly don't think Trump did this knowingly, but I could be wrong. He did definitely do it though. And he still does. The Russian scandal could be as simple as the president not knowing the difference between real and fake news.

To me the most telling testimony was when the international expert was asked how we can tell the difference. He sighed as if to say, duh, before saying "If it's in the New York Times or the Washington Post it's real news. If you allow yourself to believe the mainstream media is the same as fake news, you are doing the work of the Russians. Your media institutions are the envy of the world."

This is what I've been trying to tell people for the past ten years.

Best Perk I Ever Got Was a Parking Space

Gotta love this...

New Ferry Name

The public was asked to name the new Ferry on the Isle of Wight.

Gotta love what they came up with: Floaty McFloatface

Sunday Morning TV Ratings

Sunday morning Show Ratings are out, and over the first quarter of 2017, Meet the Press has regained the top spot...

1. NBC, Meet the Press, 4.089M viewers
2. CBS, Face the Nation, 3.837M
3. ABC, This Week, 3.517M
4. FOX, Fox News Sunday, 1.684M

Get Well Soon Stever

From Robert Feder's column this morning...

Sending get-well wishes to Chicago broadcast legend and Radio Hall of Famer Steve Dahl, who’s recovering from an undisclosed illness. Dahl, 62, has been off the air and in the hospital since Wednesday, but he’s expected to return Monday to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890. “He’s a tough guy,” wife Janet Dahl told Facebook friends. “He will be good as new soon.”

(Photo: From a recent Bobby Skafish appearance on Steve's show. L-R. Brendan, Bobby, Steve Dahl, Dag)

The Cost of Being a Cub Fan

Gettin' Stuff Done

I've been hearing people say that the Russian scandal is preventing the Trump administration from getting stuff done. I'd like to point out that isn't exactly correct. They have done three things.

They passed a law allowing internet providers to sell your browsing data without your permission.

They passed a law allowing the mentally ill to buy guns.

They passed a law allowing states to defund Planned Parenthood.

So, let's be fair here. They are getting things done.

Farneda Returning to WXRT

This is welcome news for the folks over at WXRT. From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

CBS Radio Triple A WXRT/Chicago announced that one prominent staffer is leaving for a new job -- and one very familiar face will be returning. First, MD Kelly Ransford broke the news of her resignation, telling the staff has accepted the position of Director of Event Marketing for iHeartMedia's Denver cluster. You are invited to stay tuned for further details on Ransford's big move very soon. To help fill the void of Ransford's impending departure, OM/PD Greg Solk has turned to a man who knows the inner workings of XRT pretty much better than anyone -- 30-plus-year station vet John Farneda who was XRT's MD/Operations Manager until his exit in late 2014, has agreed to come back as interim Music Director. Commenting on Farneda's return, Solk said, "To those of you who are unfamiliar with John, he is not an XRT rookie. It was just over two years ago that John stepped aside to focus on some personal goals when Kelly replaced him as MD. This is an exciting time for all of us at XRT for sure. John will be in the house and working on a smooth transition with Kelly by next Wednesday 4/5."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Amazon Wants To Take Over the World

I honestly don't think Amazon will be happy until they kill every retail outlet of any kind. How big are they? They are going after the outlets that previously killed American retail...Costco, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, etc.

Amazon wants to sell items in bulk.

Bloomberg has the details.

Having Fun with Dad's Fear of Heights

Son #3 is on a trip with my sister to Mount Rushmore, and he wanted to make sure his Dad (who is deathly afraid of heights) wouldn't sleep last night. He sent these two photos...

It Wasn't A Daily Show Hack

I was watching The Daily Show last night and got a little freaked out. I even took pics of the screen to make sure I wasn't seeing things. In the middle of a bit, it appeared the show was suffering a Russian hack. This appeared on the screen with no reference to it at all...

Turns out it was just a publicity stunt.

A good one. But still just a stunt.

Minutia Men, Episode 44

EP44 – Rick and Dave discuss reality show nightmares, the fattest cities in America, someone who REALLY doesn’t want his job, a Cubs tongue twister, and Rick’s brush with Jimmy Piersall.

Listen to it here.

Hopes for Fox News Fading

There was a glimmer of journalistic responibility after Judge Napolitano created an international incident last week by saying that Obama asked the British to spy on Trump. After the British government angrily denounced this report, Fox News openly distanced themselves from his claims, said that they couldn't verify them, and took the Judge off the air.

Yesterday he was back on Fox and back to repeating the same unsubstantiated claim.


Oh well. Looks like Rupert Murdoch has made his call. The money he makes from his conservative audience is more important than truth or responsibility.

Now That's Coffee

Have you tried Black Insomnia coffee yet?

That coffee from South Africa has 300% more caffeine than Starbucks.

To me, Starbucks is already hopped up on caffeine. This stuff may make my heart explode.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


He's a shell of his former self, but he's still the first real reason I've had to go to a Fire game since they moved to Bridgeview...

The Most Popular Slang the Year You Were Born

Good Housekeeping has the list if you want to look up your year.

Here's what it says for my year...

1963: Mickey Mouse
To goof off, especially on the job, was to "Mickey Mouse." It was a phrase that came over, somehow, from the military.

Writing for Sean Spicer

It looks like Spicey has hired a joke writer...

Here's another one he can use whenever he needs some levity. (He still needs to try to say them less angrily, but baby steps).

*"Listen, just because the president is in a hurry to get this over with, doesn't mean he's Russian."

Let me know if you need more. I've got a whole Tolstoy bit that could really help.

White House Staff Also Not Attending WH Correspondent's Dinner

They announced it yesterday, as a show of solidarity, to support their boss who feels he is unfairly picked on by the press.

Snowflakes. Every last one of 'em.

Bill O’Reilly Apologizes for Calling Maxine Waters’ Hair a ‘James Brown Wig’

Even Bill O'Reilly is capable of apologizing. He appeared on Fox and Friends yesterday and they showed a clip of Maxine Waters saying something about President Trump. O'Reilly said, "I didn't hear a thing she said because I was looking at that James Brown wig." Yeah, I'd say an apology was in order there.

“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” O’Reilly said on his own show later the same night. “I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.”

By the way, not that it matters, but James Brown didn't wear wigs. He did that to his hair by putting it in one of those old school enclosed hair dryers ever day. True story.

Roger Ailes Could Be in Big Trouble

Apparently firing the US Attorney pursuing the case against Roger Ailes hasn't stopped it, at least for now before a new US Attorney to New York is named. In fact, the case took a major turn yesterday.

Ailes' right hand man, the CFO of Fox News, has been granted immunity to testify.

Immunity is rarely offered unless the person is ready to finger his boss.

WGN Walk of Fame

Congrats to this year's inductees. Robert Feder listed them in his column today...

Lou Boudreau and Vince Lloyd, the late, legendary sportscasters on Tribune Broadcasting news/talk WGN AM 720, will be among 10 honorees added this year to the WGN Radio Walk of Fame. Others are overnight host Nick Digilio, news anchor Judy Pielach, sports producer Jack Rosenberg, crime reporter Larry Schreiner (posthumously), and traffic reporters Leonard Baldy (posthumously), Lincoln Hampton, Mike Mathis and Anne Maxfield. They’ll join other WGN stars enshrined with bronze plaques embedded in front of Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue. The induction ceremony May 25 will air live at 10 a.m. on WGN.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Closer Look

Great stuff...

A Side Of Jay Cutler We've Never Seen Before

"Good times, no tan lines. Let the sea set you free" - @tony2coats

A post shared by Kristin Cavallari (@kristincavallari) on


Go Cocks!

Gee, I dunno, Mr. President

Another tweet storm last night, this one even more non-sensical...

I'm not 100% sure about this, but let me go out on a limb and speculate. Could it be that the Russians hated Hillary (according to the FBI) and were doing everything they could to destroy her, and that Hillary was ripping Putin every chance she got?

Meanwhile, you have never said a bad word about him, and all of our intelligence agencies are convinced that he was trying to help you get elected?

Just spitballin', but that would be my guess.

Highest Revenue Stations

Inside Radio has a chart that features the ten highest grossing radio stations in the country. All of them are in New York (5), Los Angeles (3), Chicago (1) and Washington (1).

You can see the chart here.

Chicago's only entry is WBBM-News Radio, which pulled in a whopping $45 million last year, the fifth best in the country.

I Love You, America

That's the name of Sarah Silverman's upcoming late-night talk show for Hulu. It "will discuss the current political/emotional landscape of the country," and is produced by the Funny or Die team of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell.

Sounds like it has some potential.

Deadline Hollywood has the details.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ted Koppel on The Great Divide

I think Ted does a pretty good job of presenting the truth...

Have You Set Your DVR Yet?

Tonight is the night the show "Reign Men" debuts on CSN at 9pm.

It's the film about Game 7 of the World Series won by the 2016 Chicago Cubs.

I have a meeting tonight so I can't watch it live, but I'm rolling digital tape, baby.

Rivals Playing Hardball in Chicago Radio

From this morning's NOW newsletter, an analysis of Robert Feder's weekend scoop...

Hubbard’s Chicago rivals want to “level the playing field” a little. By doing something pretty rare in a Nielsen Audio PPM market – changing the boundaries of the metro by tossing out a whole county. When Bonneville bought then-classical WNIB Chicago/97.1 in 2001 from Bill and Sonia Florian for $165 million there was a little bonus – the Illinois-Wisconsin border signal of WNIZ Zion, Illinois at 96.9. Bonneville converted the pair to classic hits/classic rock as “The Drive” and kept the simulcast – but that northern signal helps the Drive (now owned by Hubbard) achieve in the Chicago metro. That’s because Nielsen considers Kenosha County, Wisconsin to be part of the Chicago metro. Some folks think the county that Waukesha’s in rightly belongs to the Milwaukee metro – and Chicago media blogger Robert Feder says “there’s an effort underway among local broadcasters to eliminate Kenosha County” as part of the Windy City metro. One source says “This really is about creating a level playing field.” Re-drawing a metro doesn’t happen overnight, and presumably Hubbard would vote “no.” Here are the rules - Feder says “If nine out of 12 Nielsen subscriber votes vote to approve the change, the new boundaries could take effect later this year.” One other possible change to the Chicago metro – adding Jasper County, Indiana. Feder adds another thought – voting Kenosha out of Chicago “would more closely align the radio market with Nielsen’s Chicago television DMA (Designated Market Area)” – and we know that Nielsen’s adding the radio panel-sample to its local TV ratings.

How Right-Wing Media Saved Obamacare

Conor Friedersdorf is a conservative/libertarian writer for the Atlantic, and he presents a very compelling case for why the right wing media (Fox News, talk radio, et al) actually saved Obamacare.

They did it by intentionally misleading the public for many years about the true consequences of repealing the legislation. They told their audiences that repealing it would provide everyone with a better product for less money. That promise got the Republicans votes and the opportunity to live up to it.

But when it was time to actually repeal it, the truth of the Republican alternative came out (it would cost more and cover less), and nobody wanted it repealed any more.

Some people still think that the fantasy world alternative exists out there (about 17% of the country according to the latest polls), but many more now realize they have been duped.

I would argue they've duped about a lot more than this, but they will find that out soon enough. I'm not an expert on the various different policy proposals. I am an expert on the media, however. And whenever I hear someone compare the right wing media to the mainstream media as if they offset each other, I know I am dealing with someone who isn't living in reality.

The mainstream media isn't intentionally distorting the news to fit the narrative left wing readers desire (other than an outlet like MSNBC, which was built on the Fox News model). They are actual journalists who might personally lean left, but who have a series of rules they must follow to present the truth as well as they can. That's their mission. Sometimes they fall short of it, but that is what they are trying to accomplish.

Do you really think the right wing news has the same mission? Is truth their goal?

Ask the people who are disseminating the information in the right wing media. They know that isn't the goal. The goal is to present the conservative argument, for or against, with no one seriously challenging that message.

That's not news.

And it's not healthy for this country when people think it really is.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Review of "We Have Company"

This review of Bobby Skafish's Eckhartz Press book "We Have Company: Four Decades of Rock and Roll Encounters" was written by Rick O'Dell for his smoothjazzchicago website. Here's a small sample...

I also liked how the interviews are not in transcript form. Bobby adds an essential personal element--he tells us what’s going through his mind before, during and after each conversation. (If I was still teaching my Radio Programming course at Columbia College, I’d make this book required reading—as an instruction manual on how preparing for an interview involves both researching relevant facts and applying the right emotional tone appropriate to each guest.) And, to his credit, he hasn’t cherry picked his best interviews to be included in the book, either. There are remembrances of conversations that went very well (David Bowie, Robbie Robertson) but also some that just didn’t seem to click (Heart), one that required him to take a extra creative approach to make it work (John Lydon, AKA Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) and others where he felt he wasn’t quite on his game (Chrissie Hynde & the late James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders; Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music). Some interviews proved to be pleasant surprises (Alex Van Halen, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony of Van Halen). Another produced an unexpected disappointment (Jackson Browne). All in all, though, Bobby--ever the pro--was able to find the right balance point between minding the musician's ego and putting on an entertaining radio show for his listeners.

And if you grew up in Chicago, you’ll appreciate Bobby’s references to places you likely frequented back in the day. Among them: Sounds Good Records up on Broadway and Ashland; Wax Trax Records on Lincoln; International Amphitheatre; Club C.O.D.; Poplar Creek; Quiet Knight; ChicagoFest. It’s all icing on the cake in a book that’s a fun and fast read.

Read the entire review here.