Friday, November 03, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 72

EP72 – Rick and Dave discuss strippers who steal guns, memorable protests, beer cooler dos and dont’s, Circus Solly Hofman, and Rick’s brush with Burt Ward from Batman.

You can listen to it here.

John and Amy make the rounds

John Landecker and his movie/tv star daughter Amy were on WGN-TV this morning and WLS-AM 890. I've got a lot more pictures from both to publish when my IT guy gets home from school, but for now, here's one on WGN-TV set...

Watch the video here! It's really entertaining.

Here are the pics. The extra person at WLS is Amy's boyfriend Bradley Whitford, the former star of West Wing...

Apparently Even Creepier Than Originally Known

Eight people who currently work on House of Cards also claim that Kevin Spacey sexually harassed them.

CNN has the details.

This is why they shut down the show.

Pictures from the National Radio Hall of Fame Broadcast

Great night last night for John Records Landecker. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame by his good buddy Bob Sirott. John used his speech to argue for recognition for the man who created the Lone Ranger.

He also thanked everyone who helped him along the way, including yours truly. Very nice speech. We had a great time. The dinner was held at the Museum of Broadcasting, which currently has a great SNL exhibit. (Hence the SNL-type photos below)

Lineup Shuffle at KHits

Brian Peck, a longtime jock in Chicago, is joining the lineup at WJMK (K-hits). He will slot into the midday slot, with Jeffrey Mason moving to afternoons (to replace Gary Spears--who retired to Florida).

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Hall of Famer

Thanks so much to Robert Feder for publishing this in his column today...

Just in time for his induction tonight in the National Radio Hall of Fame, John Records Landecker has released an updated edition of his excellent 2013 autobiography, Records Truly Is My Middle Name. The revised Hall of Fame limited edition features 70 additional photos and four new chapters, including Landecker’s reflections on the business since he quit WLS FM 94.7 in 2015. It’s published by Eckhartz Press, whose co-founder, Rick Kaempfer, served as producer of Landecker’s morning show on WJMK FM 104.3 and co-wrote the book.

Big night tonight! I'll be attending the National Radio Hall of Fame induction ceremony and watching my old friend and co-author John Landecker take his rightful place among the all-time greats. I even bought a new suit!

The Reign is over

Congrats to the Astros. They beat the Dodgers in Game 7 (pretty easily) to win the World Series. There is now a new (sniff) champion.

Marv Nyren to Cumulus Chicago

From Radio Online...

Cumulus Media/Chicago appoints veteran radio manager Marv Nyren as VP/Market Manager for its four radio stations there, including WKQX-FM, WLS-AM, WLS-FM and WLUP-FM (The Loop 97.9). Nyren joins the company from Chicago Public Media, where he was VP/Corporate Sponsorships for WBEZ-FM. Nyren was previously President/RVP for iHeartMedia's 13 stations in Jacksonville, FL and Brunswick, GA. He was also RVP/Market Manager for Emmis Media for 13 years, managing the company's stations in Chicago, Phoenix and Indianapolis.

I worked with Marv briefly at the Loop in the mid-00s. He certainly knows the history of that station. He's also a native Chicagoan.

Another Creep?

Sounds like it. This time it's famous actor Dustin Hoffman. From The Skimm...

Yesterday, a woman accused the actor of sexually harassing her back in the '80s, when she was 17 years old. She says this took place on the set of a TV movie where she was interning. And that Hoffman grabbed her butt multiple times and had sexually inappropriate convos with her. Hoffman said he was sorry for "anything I might have done" and that the account is "not reflective of who I am."

Softball Season

If you had a campaign manager that had just been indicted, and someone who worked for you just plead guilty to lying to the FBI about Russian collusion, but you wanted to get out your message about tax cuts, who would you agree to be interviewed by?

For Donald Trump that answer is obvious. His next interview will be with Laura Ingraham at Fox News. She's been pushing the "You're not the puppet, Hillary's the puppet" story line since she got her own show.

My prediction of her first question: "How are you coping with this onslaught of fake news?"

Don't Let Gov Sabotage Your Healthcare

A reminder video. The days and hours of the day you can enroll in Obamacare have been severly and drastically cut (so they can say it's a failure). The government also isn't advertising this. If you need to enroll, the open enrollment only lasts until December 15th.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Purple Stride

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month, a cause that is close to our hearts at Eckhartz Press. One of my high school buddies (and a roommate after college) Mark Gelinas wrote a book for us about his struggle with the disease. It came out around this time last year--called "GelStrong". It's a hell of an inspiring tale.

It's so inpiring, in fact, that my wife Bridget and I just booked a trip to go down to Mark's current hometown of Atlanta the weekend of November 11 so that we could participate in and offer support to their annual 5K run to benefit pancreatic cancer research. It's called the Purple Stride, and if you want more information about it, click here. We're donating 25 copies of GelStrong to the event.

Mark is going to be a featured speaker. He is still dealing with cancer, but every time he speaks, he encourages people to have a positive outlook on life.

A hell of a guy. A hell of a cause. If you can't make it to Atlanta, you can still contribute. Do it in the name of Team GelStrong. We'd appreciate it.

Tom Shaer

The latest issue of the Illinois Entertainer is out and features my interview with former sportscaster Tom Shaer.

You can read it here.

Entercom-CBS deal approved by Dept. of Justice

Looks it's full-steam ahead now. From Inside Radio...

BREAKING: DOJ Approves Entercom-CBS Radio Merger.
In a crucial step toward closing the merger of CBS Radio and Entercom, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has cleared the $2.86 billion deal. The settlement with the DOJ will see Entercom swap stations with iHeartMedia and Beasley Broadcast Group in Boston, Seattle, Richmond and Chattanooga and strike local marketing agreements with Bonneville International Corporation in San Francisco and Sacramento.

Happy birthday Eckhartz Press!

Today is the 6th birthday of my publishing company, Eckhartz Press. Hard to believe it, but we are now 37 authors strong, and have another ten in the pipeline.

On the day I announced we were starting this company, here's what I posted to our facebook page...

Details about my new publishing company and our first book (and some of the other books already in the pipeline) will be coming soon, but here's an explanation of the company's name. The name is a combination of two names; Eckhard and Fritz. Those were the first names of the co-owners' fathers, Eckhard Kaempfer and Fritz Stern. The laughing "E" in the logo might give you an indication of the kind of books that will be coming from Eckhartz Press.

Two More Creeps Revealed

Two more added to the ever growing list...

Six women accuse filmmaker Brett Ratner of harassment

Two women accuse NPR News boss Michael Oreskas

And this scandal hasn't even hit Washington yet. Just wait until you hear the stories of what happens there.

A Great Question

Of all the questions posed to Facebook yesterday during the Senate hearings, the question posed by Senator Al Franken of Minnesota was clearly the best.

He asked Facebook how it's possible that they didn't realize Russians were buying political ads when they paid for those ads in Rubles.

That's a true story, by the way. They paid in Rubles. And some (one, actually) still says it's all a hoax.

The DANK Haus and the Odd Fellows

Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm a German-American, and that I'm pretty active in the local community, especially through the soccer club my father co-founded--Green White Soccer Club. (I wrote a book about them)

Because of that, I'm on the e-mail list of the DANK Haus. This is the organization in Chicago that preserves German history in Chicago--and there is a bunch of it. Chicago was essentially built by Germans. The DANK headquarters is on Western Avenue, just a block away from Lincoln Square. I've been there several times to research things I was writing about, and to show it off to fellow German Americans. It's really amazing if you're into history.

The November e-mail just crossed my desk and led me on a historical exploration this morning. This is what was written...

The DANK Haus is happily celebrating our building's 90th anniversary. Built in 1927, we treasure the historical structure that provides a home to the DANK Haus German American Cultural Center. The 6-Floor building was designed by Architect Paul Gerhardt Sr. (1863-1951). The structure was originally built for the Three Links Association, of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and in 1967, it became a home for German Chicago.

Paul Gerhardt, the architect of the DANK Haus and German native, was born in the town of Dobeln in what was then the Kingdom of Saxony and today a part of Germany. He came to the United States upon the request of the German Textile Corporation to design spinning mills. Early in his career and shortly after arriving in the United States, Gerhardt also designed hotels and restaurants for German clientele, including an earlier Bismarck Hotel and the Rienzi restaurant in Chicago. He then was chosen as the Cook County Architect where he designed the Cook County Hospital and the building still remains today on Chicago's Near West Side along W. Harrison St. He was then hired as the supervising architect for the Chicago Board of Education and designed numerous schools. In the midst of all of his accomplishments, Paul Gerhardt designed the building that we all cherish, the DANK Haus.

Is there anything in this description that catches your eye? I was immediately drawn to the line about the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. What in the world is that?

So, I did some research and found that the organization was a charitable fraternity that helped people in need during a time when the government didn't do it at all. This isn't just a bunch of Odd Fellows who got together, either. The list of members is unbelievable. Most of them were not located in the Chicago chapter, but still. Check out this list...

Some notable members are:

William Jennings Bryan, U.S. Secretary of State (1913–1915)
Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator (1959–2010)
Charlie Chaplin, comedic actor and film director
Schuyler Colfax, U.S. Vice President (1869–1873)
Wyatt Earp, law officer in the American Old West
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President (1869–1877)
Warren Harding, 29th U.S. President (1921–1923)
Rutherford Hayes, 19th U.S. President (1877–1881)
Thomas Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States
Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, author, inventor, explorer
Sir John A. Macdonald, 1st Prime Minister of Canada
William McKinley, 25th U.S. President (1897–1901)
Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President (1933–1945)
Earl Warren, U.S. Chief Justice (1953–1969)

Amazing list, eh? Turns out that after the New Deal passed and the social safety net was instituted, the need for the Odd Fellows diminished and the membership dwindled, although it still exists in dozens of countries.

There is also a black mark on this organization, however. They didn't allow African-Americans until 1971. That seems like a pretty late date for that inclusion, doesn't it?

Nevertheless, that's how I spent my morning today. Welcome to my rabbit hole.

Last Day as Champs

Game 7 of the World Series is tonight, which means the Cubs glorious year as World Series champions will officially end. I'll never forget it. So happy I lived long enough to see it.

Long Day

At the risk of sounding like the Halloween grinch, when you've got a barky dog, it's the longest day of the year. Every time the doorbell rang (which was about every 45 seconds), my dog Ivy went nuts.

Still rubbing my temples this morning.

Facebook Grilled by Senate

It didn't get a lot of coverage because of the Trump scandal and the NY terrorism event, but representatives of Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared before a Senate committee yesterday and were grilled about the Russian intervention in our election.

They revealed a few of the Russian-paid ads, including this one...

When you watch the disgraceful Fox News coverage (and the equally ridiculous Wall Street Journal editorial page coverage) comparing the Hillary dossier purchase with the collusion of Trump's people, keep this in mind.

If the Russians were really colluding with Hillary, why on earth were they spending all their money ripping Hillary and helping Trump? The evidence is overwhelming. First of all, the stolen e-mails were only stolen from one side.

As we learned yesterday, there were hundreds of millions of facebook pages/posts created--and they haven't found ONE that was pro-Hillary. There were hundreds of millions of Twitter profiles/tweets created--and they haven't found ONE that was pro-Hillary.

Stop it. Just stop it. This is a national emergency. We need to stop the Russians from stealing another election. This isn't a partisan issue. Next time it may be in favor of the Democrats.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Candy

At my house we're giving out Kit Kats/Reese's Peanut Butter Cups/Smarties. Two of them are in the top 5, according to 538. They did a poll and found these are the top ten most popular (according to kids)...

1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
2. Reese's Minatures
3. Twix
4. Kit Kats
5. Snickers
6. Reese's Pieces
7. Milky Way
8. Reese's Stuffed with Pieces
9. Peanut Butter M&Ms
10. Butterfinger

Apparently kids love peanut butter. And I'd like to meet those kids who put Butterfingers in the top ten. Those are vile.

As a non-peanut-butter lover, I like the second ten even more. I'd gain 100 pounds if I had an unlimited supply of these.

11. Peanut M&Ms
12. Three Musketeers
13. Starburst
14. 100 Thousand Grand
15. M&Ms
16. Nestles Crunch
17. Rolo
18. Milky Way Simply Caramel
19. Skittles
20. Krackel

By the way, last place on the list is Good & Plenties. They are #86.

The News: A Horror Movie

Agree with this 100%. Wish I had the hundreds of hours back that I've spent watching/listening/reading news with my jaw dropped...

All hail Barry Butler

Best photographer of Chicago ever...

A few more creeps revealed

It seems there is no end to sexual harassment charges. A few more have been ensnared in recent days, including...

New Republic publisher Hamilton Fish

E! News correspondent Ken Baker

Amazon Studios head (since resigned) Roy Price

Vox Media Editorial Director Lockhart Steele (sounds like a porn name)


Famous Chef John Besh

Chicago Radio Ratings

One day Eric Ferguson will be appreciated as one of the all-time kings of Chicago radio. Check out the latest ratings news...

Chicago last month was all about “consistency,” we said. But there’s a new #1, and it’s convincing – Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (5.0-5.2-5.8). Chris Huff has the commentary – “This is Mix’s largest share since May 2013, its first #1 since August 2015 – and only the station’s third #1 in history.” No problems with Kathy leaving the Eric & Kathy morning show – the ratings are up there and the show’s still winning its daypart. Mix is tied for the lead in both middays and afternoons, and second on Saturday/Sunday. Slipping to second is iHeart’s urban AC “V103” WVAZ (5.9-6.5-5.6). It’s tied with Mix for the midday lead and it wins weekends. CBS is third and fourth with news WBBM/WCFS (4.7-4.7-5.0) and sports/Cubs flagship “Score” WSCR (3.9-3.9-4.9). ’BBM is second in mornings, while the Score is tied for the lead in afternoons – and the new leader at night. Fifth-place overall reveals another instance of compression – a three-way tie between Hubbard’s classic hits “Drive” WDRV (4.0-3.6-3.9), Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO (3.3-3.3-3.9) and CBS Radio’s country “US 99” WUSN (4.2-3.8-3.9). US 99’s format rival is iHeart’s 24th-place “Big” WEBG (2.2-2.3-2.0). The two rivals in classic hits are WLS-FM (Cumulus, 3.1-3.2-2.8) and WJMK (CBS, 2.6-2.7-2.4). Easy oldies WRME-LP, a low power Channel 6 TV leased by Weigel, moves 2.6-2.6-2.4. Eighth-place total week is iHeart CHR “Kiss 103.5” WKSC (4.1-3.8-3.6) – also the cume leader at 1,936,200.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Another Merger Could Doom Political Comedy

Do you like John Oliver, Bill Maher, and/or Samantha Bee's shows?

Look out. The merger between AT&T and Time Warner (which is scheduled to happen by the end of the year) could bring a pro-Trump CEO to power. That could mean the end for three of the most critically acclaimed political comedy programs on television.

Vanity Fair has the details.

Gruesome Injury

During the Bears game yesterday Zach Miller suffered a gruesome injury. It looked like his leg snapped in half at the calf while he was catching a touchdown pass. They had to show the replay a dozen times because it was also a play under review. Yesterday I was worried about him, but I was even more pissed that the refs overturned the call--probably one of the worst overturns in NFL history.

But today, I feel stupid for being pissed about that. Miller is in serious health jeopardy, and that's way more important than a stupid football game...

Not a Hoax

This is just the first shoe to drop. Anyone who continues to say this is all a hoax should be disregarded...

Another shoe drops. This one dropped a month ago, but prosecutor kept it secret.

Down to the Wire for Discount

For those of you considering attending the Chicago Writer's Association writer's conference in March, register today or tomorrow and save $50.

Cubs lose another coach

Davey Martinez, the bench coach for Joe Maddon since he arrived in town, has been named as the manager of the Washington Nationals.

Since the '17 season ended, the Cubs have parted ways with their pitching coach, hitting coach, assistant hitting coach, third base coach, and now their bench coach.

The new pitching coach is Jim Hickey, formerly with the Tampa Rays. Their new hitting coach is former big league slugger Chili Davis. Will the new bench coach be David Ross? Not sure about that. He'll demand a pretty penny. He's making a fortune these days as a media maven.

Roger Stone Kicked Off Twitter

It's almost impossible to get kicked off Twitter, but Trump troll Roger Stone has been pushing the boundaries for years. This past weekend after CNN reported the news that someone was about to be indicted, he went over the edge, and has been kicked off Twitter permanently.

What did he say? From Recode...

Why? Not just because Stone called CNN's Don Lemon a “cocksucker” and a “dull witted arrogant partyboi,” but for this tweet, which announced that Lemon “must be confronted, humiliated, mocked and punished.”

That, according to people who know things about Twitter but don’t want to say them on the record, violates Twitter’s anti-abuse rules, which say users can “not incite or engage in the targeted abuse or harassment of others” by “inciting others to harass another account.”

Another Hollywood Creep Revealed

This time it's Kevin Spacey, and the alleged victim was a 14-year-old boy. The boy is now 46 and based on the statement from Spacey, it sure sounds like it is true.

Buzzfeed has the details.

America's Tiananmen Square Equivalent

God bless the cyclists...

Lee Kingsmill in his Element

Eckhartz Press author Lee Kingsmill hosted a highly successful book club/book signing over the weekend. The house was packed with adoring fans, and Lee read from his incredible novel. Thanks to everyone who came out...

"Safe Inside" keeps garnering great reviews, including this five star review on GoodReads...

Barbara Durand
What a joy to read! This is a many layered story filled with rich description, strong wit, poignant moments, and a protagonist you will root for. Set in the 1940's and 50's on the south side of Chicago, the novel explores the universal theme of the search for identity and acceptance. It provides insight into the saving power of the arts and a rich interior life. Reading this finely crafted novel is a journey well worth taking.

Get your copy of "Safe Inside" at Eckhartz Press today.

Rizzo wins Clemente Award