Saturday, October 07, 2017

Memory Lane

I had a nice lunch with Fran Gatziolis a few weeks ago, and she gave me her sister Cindy Gatziolis' treasure trove of Loop newsletters from the late 80s/early 90s. "Loop Scoop" was written by the Loop's promotion department to keep all Loop employees informed about what was happening on our many shows. The other night I came across these two items from 1990 and 1991. What a trip down memory lane! (Click on photos to enlarge)

Friday, October 06, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 68

EP68 – Rick and Dave discuss ridiculously complicated shopping lists, things that children inhale, how to lure a crook out of a tree, the most famous homer in Wrigley history, and Rick’s brush with Hugh Hefner and Tom Petty.

Listen to it here.

US Mens National Team

Looks like I'll be flipping back and forth between Cubs and USA game. Cubs start at 6:30 (Central Time) on TBS. USMNT starts at 6:35 on ESPN 2. Two wins would bring a giant exhale from Mt. Prospect.

Playoff Roster

I used to peruse Cubs playoff rosters to predict who the goat would be. Last year was the first time I didn't do that. I think I'll try that approach again.

Here Come The Hawks

Amazing opener last night for the Blackhawks.

Absolutely crushed the Stanley Cup champs, 10-1.

It's been a few years boys. Let's bring that Cup back home.

Tornado of Fake News

Jimmy Kimmel last night on ABC...

RIP Skip Haynes

Two thirds of Aliotta, Haynes, and Jeremiah are now gone. Skip Haynes was 71.

Haynes and his bandmates will always be remembered in Chicago for their hit song "Lake Shore Drive"...

Highest Paid Radio Hosts

From Tom Taylor's NOW Column this morning...

Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh and Ryan Seacrest top the Forbes list of “Highest-paid Radio Hosts.” Stern earned a Forbes-estimated $90 million between June 2016 and June 2017, and his estimated $450 million net worth makes him “one of America’s wealthiest celebrities.” Forbes staffer Hayley Cuccinello says the deal he signed with SiriusXM in late 2015 “includes digital distribution channel like apps and video streaming, which could pad Stern’s paycheck in the future.” (Though we haven’t yet seen the promised new products and management says they’re in the works.) #2 on the Forbes “Highest Paid Radio Hosts” ranking is Premiere’s Rush Limbaugh at $84 million. The Wednesday “fourth hour” on his paid subscription service probably encouraged more sign-ups – so Rush might do even better in next year’s accounting by Forbes. #3 is radio/TV personality and entrepreneur Ryan Seacrest, at an estimated $58 million. #4 is onetime radio host Bill O’Rielly – though calling him a “radio host” misses that he’s been making his money from cable TV (his former Fox prime-time gig) and all those “Killing...” books. #5 is Sean Hannity of Premiere and Fox News Channel, at an estimated $36 million. Forbes compiler Cuccinello says it’s been a rough patch for Premiere’s Glenn Beck. His $10 million take is “our lowest estimate since we started tracking his earnings in 2009.”

Landecker Adventsingen

John Landecker sent me this yesterday and asked me what in the world it meant...

I explained it to him this way. Landeck is a town in Austria. Someone from there is called a Landecker. Every year they stage an Advent festival, a sort of Christmasmarkt like they have in Daley Plaza in Chicago. At the festival in Landeck, they sing Christmas (or Advent) songs. So...Landecker Adventsingen literally means "singing at the Landeck Advent festival"

German is a very literal language

Everyone is picking the Nationals

It's weird to be the underdog when you have the best record in baseball in the second half of the season, and you're the defending champions, but that's how it is. All the experts are picking the Nationals.

Here's an example from former big league GM Jim Bowden:
“Even though the Cubs are basically the same team we saw last year – with (Wade) Davis replacing (Aroldis) Chapman and (Jon) Jay replacing (Dexter) Fowler – the fact of the matter is the starting pitching isn’t what it was a year ago,” Bowden said. “We don’t know about (Jake) Arrieta’s hamstring. We’re waiting to see on that. (Kyle) Hendricks certainly has pitched well lately. (Jon) Lester had a good start Saturday, which was a good sign. But the pitching is just not what it was before. So I like the Nationals in this series. I won’t be surprised if it goes to four or five games. I don’t think it’ll be a quick, easy sweep, but this year, the Nationals are the better team."

In theory I agree with a lot of that. The Nationals do have a better pitching staff, and I will panic every time Daniel Murphy comes up, but the National also have one thing that gives me hope. I'll give you a hint. He'll have a toothpick in his mouth.

Q&A with Rick Balis

Not to be confused with Chef Rick Bayless. This Rick Balis is my former program director at the Loop, a Chicago native and U of I alum (and WPGU), who is best known as the longtime program director of KSHE-FM in St. Louis.

His St. Louis station is celebrating its 50th anniversary, so he sat down and did a Q&A with Inside Radio.

You can read it here.

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Harvey "Cosby O'Reilly Ailes" Weinstein

Turns out there was a good reason Harvey Weinstein didn't want this article to come out.

He's a sexual creep too.

Sexual predator behavior is bipartisan.

Why are there so many guns in Chicago?

This is an argument we hear all the time. Guns are illegal in Chicago. You can't buy them within the city limits. So how is it possible that there is so much gun violence in the city? That's proof the laws don't work, right?

Of course not. All you have to do is drive to Indiana (which is very close if you live on the south side) or one of the many nearby Illinois municipalities that sell guns. If you don't have a car, you can reach all of these places via train. Super easily. Unbelievably easily.

The New York Times shows how this is true of every place in America that has restrictive gun laws.

I'm not saying that more universal gun laws will work. But it's obviously not provable that they won't.

Did Vegas Shooter Plan Lolla Attack First?

That's the implication from this report via DNAinfo, which relies on According to this piece, the shooter had booked a hotel room at the Blackstone overlooking the Lollapalooza festival this summer. The hotel doesn't confirm it, although they do say they are in touch with authorities about it. He never checked in, however.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The latest nominees to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame were announced this morning.

First time nominees are: the Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Nina Simone, Radiohead, Rage Against Machine and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Nominated for a second or more time are: the Zombies, Rufus (Chaka Khan), Link Wray, the J. Geils Band, the Meters, the Cars, Bon Jovi, Depeche Mode, LL Cool J, and MC5.

The Cars have to be in there, as far as I'm concerned. I'd also vote for Dire Straits. Not so sure about the rest of them.

The Eagles to Play Grand Ol' Opry

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

The Eagles will perform a special invitation-only concert for SiriusXM listeners at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Sunday, October 29. The show will mark the first time the legendary Grammy Award-winning band -- Don Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, along with Deacon Frey and Grand Ole Opry member Vince Gill -- will perform at this historic venue.

It will air on Sirius/XM's Eagles channel.

One Satirist Takes a Crack at it

Yesterday I lamented that satirists can't possibly satirize someone who goes to a natural disaster and essentially says "I'm great. But enough about me. Tell me what you think about me." When reality is that ridiculous, how can you make it more ridiculous? Impossible, right?


Dana Milbank of the Washington Post gives it a go today. His column is titled: A Narcissist’s Guide to Helping Others Understand It Is All About You

Nicely Done.

Judd Sirott Heads to Boston

The Boston Bruins have named Judd Sirott as their new radio play by play man. Sirott had been the radio studio voice of the Blackhawks for years (and a former play-by-play guy for the Chicago Wolves). Congrats to Judd, who sounded pretty darn excited: "I didn't just hit the lottery, I hit the Powerball," said Sirott. "An Original Six team; a spectacular hockey market; one of the world's greatest cities; a terrific partner to work with in Bob Beers; and a fabulous station to be a part of. I am incredibly fortunate, privileged and humbled to be the radio voice of the Boston Bruins on 98.5 The Sports Hub."

Replacing him at WGN Radio is former CSN (and CBS) sports anchor Chris Boden.

Harvey Weinstein

The New York Times and the New Yorker are both working on a piece about Harvey Weinstein, and it appears neither article will be friendly towards the famous movie producer. Harvey has lawyered up big time.

The Hollywood Reporter has the story behind the story this morning.

Randy Richardson Receives National Award

Look who is on the cover! Eckhartz Press' very own Randy Richardson is the cover boy of National Federation of Press Women's quarterly newsletter, just released yesterday. The photo was taken a month ago during their conference in Birmingham, Alabama, moments after the announcement that he'd been selected as their 2017 Communicator of Achievement.

Congrats Randy!

(Randy has written "Cheeseland" and "Lost in the Ivy" for us, and has a new book coming out in early April of next year. Details coming soon.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The USMNT roster for last two qualifiers

These are both "MUST WIN" games for the US Men's Soccer National Team this weekend. First comes Friday against Panama. Here's the roster...

Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

Eliminating the Main Studio Rule

From this morning's Tom Taylor NOW column...

“Elimination of the Main Studio Rule” is likely at the FCC’s October 24 meeting. Last month FCC Chair Ajit Pai told the NAB/RAB Radio Show “It’s time for the Main Studio rule to go” – and he meant it. The Chairman recycled a story he’s told about a Minnesota station owner who didn’t build out an AM construction permit because of the cost of complying with the rule (September 7 NOW). That’s not just a physical space near the community of license (within the primary signal contour), but also “full-time management and staff during normal business hours” and “program origination capability.” To Pai, “local access to a physical station is no longer necessary” in 2017. Yesterday’s FCC “Fact Sheet” traces the requirement to back to 1939, “to ensure that stations would be accessible and responsive to their communities.” But now, says Pai, it’s a burden and erasing it “will produce substantial benefits.” Not everybody in the radio community’s going to like this. The Fact Sheet reveals that licensees would still have to maintain a local or toll-free phone number. And they’d be expected to “maintain any portion of the public file that is not part of the online public file at a publicly-accessible location within the station’s community of license.” Will it pass a vote? Chairman Pai can count on Republicans Mike O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, and that’s enough.

Let me translate this for you. Radio stations run by conglomerates no longer have to be located in the town they broadcast, so they won't be. Soon all radio stations will be run out of the conglomerate headquarters and your town will simply have a toll free number. Imagine the cost savings for the conglomerates! The chairman delviers for them again, and local radio (and people who listen to it) can take a flying leap.

The FCC was created to protect the public airwaves. it is now intentionally doing the opposite.

How Chicago’s WBBM Covered The Vegas Shooting

Radio Ink has an interview with WBBM Radio's Ron Gleason about their coverage of the Vegas shooting in the middle of the night.

It's actually a very interesting piece, examining how an all-news station covers an out-of-town tragedy.

I Pity the Satirists

I watched the President yesterday during his visit to Puerto Rico. He spent all of his time saying how great he and his team had done. And then, he invited other people in the room to say how well he had done.

How can you write satire about someone who says "Enough about me. What do you think about me?" during a visit to comfort an island torn apart by a hurricane. I pity the satirists. When reality IS satire, their jobs become impossible.

Late Night TV Ratings

From Deadline Hollywood...
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert won Premiere Week with an average of 3.02 million viewers – 43K better than last season’s Premiere Week performance for the CBS late-night show. NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon logged 2.54M viewers during Premiere Week, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live clocked 2.3M. Helping push Colbert over the top was Friday’s visit with Jerry Seinfeld, which logged 3.24M viewers.

At 12:35 AM, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers edged out Late Late Show with James Corden both in overall audience and the key demographic. Meyers show snared a 0.34/3 in the demo and 1.36M viewers, to Corden’s 0.29/3 and 1.32M.

3 Billion

The folks at Yahoo! have revised the number of accounts they believe were hacked in 2013.


All of their accounts.

3 Billion accounts. Including mine.

Now what?

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Radio Engineer Sentenced to Prison

It was in the Tribune over the weekend, and Robert Feder has more details this morning...

WDCB FM 90.9, the public radio station based in Glen Ellyn, has closed the book on a scandal former engineer John Valenta said “placed an unthinkable blight on the College of DuPage.” Valenta, who’d been employed as engineer for three decades, was sentenced to eight years in prison for defrauding the school of more than $443,000 in a billing scheme involving transmitter parts and other equipment he never bought. He also was ordered to repay $399,000 in restitution. Valenta pleaded guilty in February to felony theft charges. “I’m pleased that this chapter in the station’s history is in the past,” Dan Bindert, station manager of WDCB, said at the time. “I’m happy that justice has been served.”

CWA Book of the Year Finalists!

Congrats to two Eckhartz Press authors (Bobby Skafish and M.L Collins) for being nominated for Book of the Year by the Chicago Writer's Association.

Indie Fiction
M.L. Collins for Out the Door

Indie Nonfiction
Bobby Skafish for We Have Company

Super proud of both of them. Their books are actually quite good if you'd like to check them out...

We Have Company invites you to tune in as classic rockers to cult heroes go on record to celebrate the historical and the inane. It’s all here: Woodstock, Lennon’s Death, Band Aid, Live Aid, and even 9/11. Stories from first recordings to the Last Waltz, all carefully coaxed by a radio DJ who wants you to hear them told by insiders. In the pages of this book you’ll find hungry beginnings, mega tours, and humbling interventions. Be ready for the ludicrous and the profound…because We Have Company.

Check it out here.

A story about a little of everything: geology, sex, politics, the environment, prairie voles, cheese curds, casinos, aphrodisiacs, sturgeon, trilobites, gulls, Hat Island, bit of mystery – and much more

Check it out here.

They're still pushing silencers

I've given up believing we can get any reasonable gun control. The murder of children didn't do it. Polls showing 90% (!) of the public wanting it, didn't do it. Congress knows where it's bread is buttered. As long as the NRA is contolling them, lives aren't as important as guns.

But passing a bill to allow silencers is actually on the table? Now? This week?

I'm guessing this won't pass because the public will rise up and smite them, but even during the coverage of the mass shooting in Vegas, Republicans were defending their bill to allow silencers to become legal. This little tidbit from this morning's Washington Post made the hair on the back of my neck stand up...

Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), the bill’s sponsor, said in an interview Monday that the silencer provision would have had little bearing on the events in Las Vegas — pointing to media reports that the shooter may have had more than a dozen firearms, some of which may have been illegal.

“He’s already breaking the law shooting an automatic weapon that wasn’t registered, so what’s going to stop him, had he chosen to shoot a suppressed weapon, to do that?” Duncan said. “The thing is, and the thing he probably realized is, it doesn’t make any difference — it’s still loud.”

If it doesn't stop every killer in every situation then what's the point, am I right? The president's spokesperson also brought up the strict gun laws in Chicago, which I always point out is a stupid point. It's illegal in Chicago. It's not illegal in the rest of the state or in Indiana. That's why gun laws don't work here. It takes a ten minute car ride to score legal guns.

The rest of the world thinks we're crazy, and they are correct.

Jimmy Kimmel talks about the shooting in his home town of Vegas...

While the world watched the tragedy in Vegas...

...the Senate quietly reconfirmed the FCC Chairman to another five year term (which is unusual, by the way). He remains committed to further media deregulation, and the end of Net Neutrality.

All you need to know about him is that the media and telecom giants love him.

And the consumers won't know what hit them for many years. We will be paying more for less, the quality of the media product will continue to degrade. And there's nobody at the top looking out for us. His job is to regulate the public airwaves and he's in the pocket of the industry.

RIP Tom Petty

This news broke yesterday afternoon. Total bummer. From the RAMP Newsletter...

CBS News is now confirming that musician Tom Petty has died at the age of 66. As TMZ initially reported, Petty had suffered a full cardiac arrest and was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home on Sunday night. He was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and put on life support. TMZ later updated that Petty had been removed from life support. Petty rose to fame in the 1970s as the frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, putting out radio hits like "American Girl," "Free Fallin'," "Breakdown," "Listen to Her Heart," "Refugee" and many more. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Petty was also a member of the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. Petty performed what would be his final show last Monday night at the Hollywood Bowl, the final of three sold-out shows at conclude the Heartbreakers' 40th anniversary tour.

I saw Petty in concert twice, and met him once, and was very bummed out that I missed his concert at Wrigley last summer because I was out of town. He truly was one of the all-time greats. I was a Grammy voter in 1989 and voted for his "Full Moon Fever" album as the Album of the Year that year.

By the way, who would have guessed that Bob Dylan would be one of the last two Wilburys standing?

Monday, October 02, 2017

World Series Tix

I share my season tickets with eight others, so we each only get one playoff game. Yesterday we had our "draft" and I got the second pick. I chose Game 2 of the World Series. (First pick chose Game 1)

Last year I didn't get to go because I had the last pick. It sure would be swell of the Cubs to make it to the Series again so I could see it in person. The only World Series game I have attended remains Game 2 of the 2005 World Series (White Sox vs. Astros). I was wearing my Kerry Wood jersey to that one (under many layers of winter coats to stay warm, and not get killed).

(Photo: I did get to wear a WS ring however. Thanks to the Cubs trainer Mark O'Neal.)

Royal Salute

I'm obviously a Cubs fan (playoffs start on Friday!), but I thought this was a classy and emotional moment for Royals fans on Sunday.

Chicago Radio Ratings

From this morning's NOW newsletter...

Chicago likes consistency – which means the leader is again iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ (6.7-5.9-6.5). The only daypart it doesn’t claim is mornings, where it’s third. Second overall is the station that does win the lucrative morning daypart, and that’s Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (4.7-5.0-5.2, total week). Remember, the future of missing morning show partner Kathy Hart was still unknown until the final week of this book, and we now know that Eric Ferguson and his crew will carry on without her. CBS Radio is third with news WBBM/WCFS (4.4-4.7-4.7). ’BBM is #2 mornings and tied for second on weekends. Fourth place is CBS sports “Score” WSCR (3.7-3.9-3.9), and tied in fifth place with 3.8 shares are iHeart’s top 40 “Kiss” WKSC (3.8-4.1-3.8) and CBS country “US99” WUSN (4.1-4.2-3.8). The Score is #2 at night with the MLB Cubs, while WUSN’s best daypart is weekends (fourth). Watch the gain for Chicago Public Media’s not-for-profit news/talk WBEZ (2.3-2.6-2.9). Its “Morning Edition” is fourth in that daypart. The Windy City’s largest weekly cume is attracted by top 40 Kiss, at just over 2 million.

Another Sign the FCC is Going in the Wrong Direction

This new era of consolidation is getting the attention of one of the men who destroyed the radio industry. He sees a chance to come back and destroy it some more (by lining his own bulging pocketbook). From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Would the Mays family and “Red” McCombs buy back iHeart? Their hometown San Antonio Express-News says McCombs “picked up the phone and called his friend and former business partner Lowry Mays a few months ago.” Lowry says Red suggested that perhaps they could team up again and buy back the former Clear Channel. McCombs recalls it this way – “If it ends up in refinancing mode, I told [Mays] that I would have some interest in it.” How did Mays react? He said “Count me in.” Both parties say they haven’t gone beyond that stage. But Clear Channel made them billions of dollars, and Red, also a wealthy car dealer and investor, says “I might make a play for it...In a heartbeat, I would go back into a venture with the Mays family in radio.” As the Express-News rightly says, “iHeartMedia’s financial troubles are embedded in a 2008 leveraged buyout” led by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners. By 2008, nearly a year after the deal was struck the economy was crashing and there were all kind of legal threats to force this deal to the finish line. In the end it was the Mays family and McCombs who came out on top – not the private equity companies. Even a hint that they’d come back in – presumably buying back the company for much less money – is surprising. iHeart’s currently in hock for about $20.4 billion.

SNL Returns

This Weekend Update bit is getting a lot of attention most likely because of Michael Che's smackdown of Trump's Puerto Rico response...

I personally thought this really strange bit was the funniest bit of the show...

Joe Cicero

This month's Illinois Entertainer is out and includes my interview with Star 105.5 morning man Joe Cicero.

You can read it here.