Friday, May 05, 2017

Closing down the office again

Today, I head to the north side of Chicago. A certain little place where happiness lives. Taking my bride with me. The office is officially closed for the day.

Best Headline Ever

Here it is, courtesy of CWB Chicago: Uptown Man Ripped Penis Ring From Rock'n'Roll Pole Dancer, Prosecutors Say

You don't even need to read the article.

This is why I used to get upset with my writing teachers who demanded a certain word or page count on a given assignment. Sometimes you can do it in less than 15 words.

Celebrating Taking Insurance Away!

To put their happiness/giddiness in perspective, coursey of TPM...


They do sound like a married couple sometimes, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by this. But I am.

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski are engaged.

I actually thought they were already married to other people. According to the article, they were when they started working together, but both have since gotten divorced. This will be Joe's third marriage. It's Mika's second. (Her first one lasted 23 years)

A Closer Look

Ring Lardner Event

I had a great time at Cliff Dweller's yesterday afternoon. Met author Ron Rapoport and heard great stories about Ring Lardner. Met Lardner's grandson and great-grandson too. Felt very literary. Lardner was later inducted into Chicago Literary Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Newberry Library...

Tony Lossano

Congrats to Tony Lossano. From Robert Feder's column this morning...

Tony Lossano has been named executive producer of Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano’s midday show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890. Since 2011 Lossano has worked for classic hits sister station WLS FM 94.7, producing shows for Dick Biondi, John Records Landecker and Robert Murphy, among others. Sirott and Murciano air live from 10 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. On nights when WLS does not air White Sox baseball or Bulls basketball, their show is rebroadcast from 7 to 9 p.m. Coincidentally, this week Lossano is hosting 20th anniversary special of “Nude Hippo,” his locally produced variety/talk show, at

Tony is also the executive producer of Minutia Men.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Minutia Men, One Year Anniversary

Hard to believe it's been a year, but it's true. Minutia Men debuted on May 5, 2016. It was a different world then. We had a good president, and the Cubs were still considered perpetual losers.

For our one year anniversary show (dropping today), which of the following do you think we did?

A) Rented out Chicago Theater, hired the Rick and Dave dancers, invited guests ranging from Paul McCartney to Anthony Rizzo, and performed a celebrity-laden all-musical version of the show.

B) Same old show with no reference to the anniversary because we didn't realize it was our anniversary until after we recorded it.

If you are a Minutia Men listener.

This week's episode does, however, feature a treasure hunt involving Dave and his deceased mother's safety deposit box.

Listen to it here.*

*When I posted this at 9:12, it still wasn't up there, but it will be before noon or so.

Ring Lardner

I'm shutting down the blogging office today to attend these two events. Come join me if you're in the area...

Chicago Literary Hall of Fame founder Don Evans is bringing in former Sun-Times writer Ron Rapoport. Why Ron? Because he will be there to induct the immortal Ring Lardner into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame. Ron wrote a book about Ring (The Lost Journalism of Ring Lardner)

There are really two events. The first one is a luncheon at Cliff Dwellers (my favorite spot). Starts at noon, ends about 1:30 or 2 p.m. The price for the luncheon and program is $30. Reservations are required, and can be made by emailing, or calling 312.922.8080. Click here for more information.

Later this evening is the actual induction ceremony. That begins around 5pm, and it's free. This one is at the Newberry Library. Click here for more information.

I'll be there, so I hope to see you there too.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Fake Controversy

The Trump campaign (even though there isn't a campaign for another three years) has produced an ad touting their "accomplishments" in his first 100 days. In the ad, it calls the mainstream media "Fake News".

CNN refuses to air the ad for obvious reasons.

Trump campaign officials (again, no campaign) are crying censorship! Obviously, this is what they wanted all along. "See, this proves they are against us!"


This man is the president of our country. He is the "I know you are, but what am I" leader of the free world. How unbelievably embarrassing.

Megyn Kelly's First Big Interview

When she got a prime time network shot last year, her first interview was Donald Trump.

Now that she's moved over to NBC her first interview is with Trump's best friend: Vladimir Putin.

No joke. That's really who she is going to interview. Should be interesting.

Steve Dahl in the Hospital

Frpm Robert Feder's column today...

Speedy recovery wishes to Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl, who’s in the hospital again for diverticulitis. On Tuesday he underwent surgery to repair his large intestine. “He has been touched by all the kindness and love, and wishes he could broadcast this like the vasectomy [in 1989],” wife Janet Dahl told Facebook friends. “He also wishes his post op only involved a bag of frozen peas on the groin. . . . We are blessed by the circles of love and support. You can never have too much family.” Dahl hopes to return next week to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890.

Wishing him an uneventful and quick recovery.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel's Emotional Story

This moment on Jimmy Kimmel's show is likely to have a bigger impact on the health care debate in this country than anything anyone in Washington has to say...

The Beatles Channel

Sirius/XM just announced that they are starting up a Beatles channel.

My first thought was "I have to get Sirius/XM." My second thought was "But I already own every single Beatles song ever."

I could just as easily program my iPod. Sorry Sirius/XM. Sorry Beatles.

Pickle Juice Soda

Sounds fake, doesn't it? It's not. It's real.

I tasted it. For real. When we went to Romania in 1976, they served us this at our relative's house.

Worst. Drink. Ever.

Steve Cochran

This month's Illinois Entertainer is out, and features my interview with WGN Radio morning man Steve Cochran.

You can read it here.

Taste of Chicago Music Lineup

WXRT runs down the list of acts coming to Taste of Chicago this summer.

One of those bands will take you on the Love Train.

Fake Interviewing President Trump

The End of WGN as we know it?

Robert Feder's column this morning is a depressing preview of what will happen to WGN when Tribune Media sells them. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when, and the two suitors are Rupert Murdoch and Sinclair Broadcasting. Both would try to turn these two powerhouses (WGN Radio and TV) into conservative outlets, and more than likely eliminate local content (on TV especially).

Read the depressing forecast here. The word bloodbath is used by someone in the know.

How is Seacrest Going to Do it?

How is it even possible to host both a morning television show in New York, and a morning radio show in LA? The answer appears to be: do a really half-assed job with the radio show. From Tom Taylor's NOW column today...

Ryan Seacrest takes another day-job – and Bob Pittman doesn’t mind. iHeart leader Pittman says “Very few people have both the appeal and the work ethic to accomplish this” – to front both a morning radio show and co-host ABC-TV’s “Live” mid-morning show alongside Kelly Ripa. Seacrest will shift most of his life from L.A. to New York and if you’re wondering “What about his morning show on iHeart’s top 40 KIIS/102.7 in Los Angeles?” – the answer is that he’ll appear on the first KIIS hour via recorded drop-ins. (Predecessor Rick Dees used to do that, though his was a more bit-driven show, less topical when it comes to celebrities.) KIIS morning co-host Sisanie will keep that 6am hour moving. Then Ryan appears live for the 7am L.A.-time hour – though you wonder what happens when “Live” needs to tape a special guest or segment and there’s a conflict. Seacrest will create his end of the KIIS show from a new radio studio inside the ABC building at 67th Street. One NOW reader says “This makes at least the third New York studio that Seacrest could work out of, counting the immaculate and unused one at the iHeart cluster downtown, and the Rockefeller Center studio he’s used when he visits New York.”

Monday, May 01, 2017

Now Go Home and Get Your (Bill) Shine Box!

First he was Hannity's right hand man.

Then he was Roger Ailes' right hand man.

Then he was Roger Ailes' successor.

Now Bill Shine is out the door, before they push him out.

Fox News may remain repulsive on the air, but at least they are cleaning up the mess in the hallways.

New Cheap Trick!

Whaddya think?

Ringo Wants to Sing More

Thanks to "DS" for pointing this one out to me...

Kelly Reveals New Co-host

Finally, finally, finally! Ryan Seacrest can FINALLY get some much needed exposure.

Another Writer's Event

One of the events sponsored by the Chicago Writers Association. I went to my first board meeting yesterday, and found out about this. If I didn't have a prior commitment, I would be there too...

George Bush at the Not-The-White-House Correspondent's Dinner

Samantha Bee's counterprogramming was pretty funny. It was fun to see the return of Will Ferrell as George W...

White House Correspondent's Dinner

A few laughs. There have been better, but he had some important points.

Fact Checking

It was an accepted fact in this country that Hillary Clinton had an uneasy relationship with the truth. At the very least, she had the propensity to walk to the edge of the line between truth and falsehood. It's the reason many people couldn't vote for her.

Ironically, the man they voted for instead has been setting records for the very same thing.

In his first 100 days, Washington Post fact checkers note that Trump has already lied to the American people 488 times. Here are some of the other facts about his relationship with the truth...

488: The number of false or misleading claims made by the president. That’s an average of 4.9 claims a day.

10: Number of days without a single false claim. (On six of those days, the president golfed at a Trump property.)

4: Number of days with 20 or more false claims. (Feb. 16, Feb. 28, March 20 and April 21.) He made 19 false claims on April 29, his 100th day, though we did not include his interview with “Face the Nation,” since that aired April 30.


Cumulus Layoffs

Another round of radio layoffs hit Chicago on Friday. Cumulus laid off some very popular traffic reporters, who also served as sidekicks on the shows they were on, including Marti Jones, Jen DeSalvo, JoAnne Genette and Christina Filliagi.

But to me the biggest cut was Scott Dirks, the production voice at WLS. He had been there for nearly 20 years. Scott and I worked together for many years at the Loop, and you just won't find a nicer guy in the biz.

Bummed for all of them.

Robert Feder has the details.