Saturday, November 18, 2017

JRL in Indiana

A few photos from yesterday's live broadcast in Michigan City Indiana. Thanks so much to everyone who came out. We sold a bunch of books and had a lot of fun.


I worked at WJMK for ten years. At the time it was known as Oldies 104.3 or Magic 104.3, but the format was the same. We played Oldies. Around 2005, the entire staff was fired and the format was changed to Jack FM. A jockless format. Nobody liked it.

So, a few years later it was switched back to a Classic Hits format. It remained that until yesterday around 11am, when Entercom officially took control of the station.

Once again, the entire staff was fired and the format was changed to Hip Hop. Poof. Just like that. The call letters will be gone soon too. From Robert Feder's column...

The station will air initially without commercials or announcers. In the coming weeks it’s expected to change call letters to WBMX, evoking the legendary urban contemporary station that aired in Chicago from 1973 to 1988. (The call letters currently are being used by an Entercom station in Boston.)

”The expertise and energy that Entercom brings into Chicago coupled with our all-star programmers will bring incredible new life to this storied frequency,” said Jimmy deCastro, new senior vice president and market manager of Entercom Chicago. “We will be dancing in the hallways with you, Chicago.”

Greg Solk continues as operations manager and program director of WJMK as well as adult album alternative WXRT FM 93.1.

The sudden demise of K-Hits will cost the jobs of morning host Dave Fogel, midday host Brian Peck (who was hired only two weeks ago), afternoon host Jeffrey T. Mason and assistant program director Bob Lawson, in addition to a number of part-time staffers. A new lineup of on-air personalities will be unveiled in January.


It's a rough business.

Taking the station off my pre-sets.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Meet a Legend or Two

Two big appearances this coming weekend. Today (12-4pm) at Galveston Steakhouse in Michigan City with John Landecker selling his HOF edition of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name." On Sunday November 19 (9-noon) with Mitch Michaels Salchow selling his book "Doin' the Cruise" at the Chicagoland Record Collector's Show in Hillside. Come on out and meet a legend or two.

Zero Self Awareness

President P-Grabber went after Al Franken...

If there was ever a subject he should keep his twitter fingers away from, this is it.

CBS Radio is no more

They even took down the decals at WBBM News Radio...

Another Creep Exposed

This time it's Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor.

Sorry to hear about this one.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Minutia Men, Episode 73

EP73 – Rick and Dave discuss funeral etiquette you’ve never considered, airplane disturbances, the happiest dog ever, a Cub named Bilko, and Rick’s brush with gymnast Nadia Comăneci.

Listen to it here.

26 years

On this day in 1991, a young Bridget and a young Rick said "I do" in St. Michael's Catholic Church in Wheaton. And they said it wouldn't last. :)

The Hills Are Alive

The honeymooners are in Austria. Have a few Stiegels for us, kids.

The Russia Story

This is a really insightful piece in Slate Magazine about the Trump/Russia scandal. It's an interview with an American journalist who has lived in Russia for the past five years. He offers his insights into where he thinks we've got it right, and where he thinks we've got it wrong. The basic gist is that all the pieces might not connect because they aren't necessarily all connected--Russia may not be smart enough to do that. As for collusion, while it's obvious there was an attempt at it, this reporter can't decide if the real explanation isn't just simply that the Trump campaign contained a basket full of idiots including (and especially) Donald Trump Jr.


I find myself scratching my head every day these days, but this one is really impossible to understand: Trump admin. to reverse ban on elephant trophies from Africa.

I know Thurston Douche the Third and his brother love to hunt the endangered species, but really?

Another Creep Revealed

This time it's a Democrat--Senator Al Franken.

An anchor from KABC in Los Angeles was the victim. You can read her account here.

Al Franken responds...

I stopped bidding at $300 million

How do you know when your date is too young?

When you have to call her at high school. Another woman accuses Roy Moore. From TPM...

Richardson told the Washington Post that she first encountered Moore while working at the Gadsden mall, where Moore was known to roam and hit on teenage girls. Richardson said that in her first encounter with Moore, he asked her where she went to school and for her phone number. She declined to give him her number, but he called her at her high school and asked her out again just a few days later.

She was in Trigonometry class, and the principal called her to the office for the phone call. Come on. This is beyond creepy. This guy should be in jail.

Which one was better?


Rubio has an opinion...

Merger Palooza

The FCC is expected to officlaly relax media ownership rules today, which is so sure to unleash another round of consolidation that the headline in Variety today says: FCC's Move to Relax Ownership Rules Could Lead to Wave of Mergers.

Last time it happened, it destroyed the industry.

This time, it could put the final nail in local media's coffin, and allow an unscrupulous billionaire to control the flow of information to the nation.

But about eight people will get really rich in the process, so don't forget the good side.

Hannity's Ultimatum

On Tuesday night's show Sean Hannity gave Alabama Senate Candidate Roy Moore an ultimatum. Moore had 24 hours to prove that the accusers were wrong or Hannity would jump ship and ask Moore to step aside. So what happened last night?

Hannity lost his nerve, telling viewers on Wednesday that Moore’s fitness for office “shouldn’t be decided by me.” Hannity declined to say whether he believes Moore or his accusers and did not call for the former Alabama chief justice to exit the race, even though Moore failed to “remove any doubt” within the 24-hour window.

Instead, Hannity devoted most of his program to rehashing accusations of sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton.

Of course. Although Hannity and I do agree on one thing. No person's fitness for office should EVER be decided by him.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet a Legend or Two

Two big appearances this coming weekend. On Friday November 17 (12-4pm) at Galveston Steakhouse in Michigan City with John Landecker selling his HOF edition of "Records Truly Is My Middle Name." On Sunday November 19 (9-noon) with Mitch Michaels Salchow selling his book "Doin' the Cruise" at the Chicagoland Record Collector's Show in Hillside. Come on out and meet a legend or two.

Comedy for Men

This is a good piece in GQ. It's written about comedy and the real lives of the comedians we love.

It's pretty brutal, ripping the greatest comedians of all time (including Pryor, Allen, Kinison, Murphy, Louis CK and more), but it also makes you question yourself. This is a subject that I've been thinking about for a long time. I can no longer laugh at the bits I used to laugh at (and some I wrote myself).

Watch the devil versus angel scene in "Animal House" again. It will make you cringe.

I know that times change, but every generation since the 60s has had a teen movie about guys trying to get laid. This has become a rite of passage. But it almost certainly isn't going to happen anymore. And that's probably a good thing.

I remember going to a Don Rickles concert in the early 1990s. He was doing racial bits that would have made people howl in the 1960s, but by the 1990s they were no longer acceptable. The crowd was mostly uncomfortable.

Not trying to be a snowflake here. I used to only have one rule of comedy. Funny is funny, and it doesn't matter what it's about. You know what? Sometimes it does matter.

Another Creep Revealed

This time it's NBC's top talent booker. Page Six has the details, including...

NBC News says it has fired Matt Zimmerman, its top talent booker, for “inappropriate conduct” with more than one woman at the network.

Zimmerman used to be in charge of arranging guests for the “Today” show but in 2014 was promoted to vice president and led the behind-the-scenes unit responsible for such bookings at all NBC News programs.

The network didn’t give any details Tuesday about Zimmerman’s behavior, only that he violated company policy. The network acted in response to internal complaints.

Just when you thought it couldn't get slimier...

...take a look at this.

I mean, come on. They even use a Jewish name. Very subtle.

Walking against 105 mph winds

The Bravest Man on Fox News

It can't be long before they fire this man, puncturing holes from within the conservative bubble...

Mancow's Emotional Distress

This story made my jaw drop yesterday: 'Mancow' Muller sues new radio boss for emotional distress. The gist of the story is that Mancow is upset his new boss is the same as his old boss. As in, the boss that fired him back in his Q-101 days. That boss is Marv Nyron, the new GM of the Cumulus stations in Chicago. From the Tribune article...

The lawsuit says Muller has “suffered both physically and emotionally” since Nyren was named market manager of Cumulus Media Chicago earlier this month, putting him in charge of four stations, including rockers WLUP and WKQX.

“It’s literally making him physically ill,” said Michael Young, a Westchester attorney representing Muller in the lawsuit. “He saw a medical professional last Thursday because of this. It’s absolutely very traumatizing to him to be in this position after everything he went through.”

OK, I suppose the behavior listed in the lawsuit is not very nice behavior (it's actually very bad--if true), but you'll have to forgive every radio producer in the country (probably including Mancow's former producers) for chuckling when they read this.

For us, reading this story was like opening up the newspaper and seeing the headline..."Dog sues man for barking every time the doorbell rings."

This is how I put it on Twitter last night...

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Christian Pulisic

Not only is he the greatest American soccer player in the world right now (at the age of 19!), he's also a great writer. This piece is tremendous...

No Italy in World Cup '18

This is hard to believe. Italy has qualified for every World Cup since I was born (and I'm not young).

This year they couldn't do it. A scoreless draw to Sweden yesterday knocked them out.

That's too bad for the soccer-loving nation, although I have to admit--I've never been able to root for them. They play dirty, they play ridiculously defensively, and they have beaten the Germans a few too many times.

Scrabble Crackdown

One sport that won't get caught up in a steroids or cheating scandal is the Scrabble world. (My buddy Scott Petersen did a great movie about the scrabble world "Scrabylon"--preview below).

Well, in the UK, one of the top Scrabble players just cheated and Scrabble did what all sports should do. One strike and you're out! Well, actually they found out he had cheated four times, but still you get the message. When they found out, they banned his ass.

Are you listening to this Bill Belichick?

Carlos Beltran Retires

After a 20-year big league career, Carlos Beltran retired yesterday as a World Series champ.

Is he a Hall of Famer?

He was a 9-time all-star, a perennial winner, a man who got the biggest hits in the biggest moments for multiple teams.

I say yes. Hall of Famer.

Representative Democracy

I've had discussions with people richer than I am, who claim that because they pay more taxes, they should have more say at the ballot box. Of course, our representative government isn't based on one dollar-one vote.

It's also not based on one person-one vote. It's a representative democracy with two houses of Congress, one that provides 2 senators per state to give all states equal representation, and one that is represented by population so that heavily populated areas are not under-represented. Well, if that still true, it's time to reassess the number of congressional seats. Do the math with me.

Illinois has 18 congressional seats. Wyoming has one.

Illinois' population is 12.8 million. Wyoming's is 585,000. If 585,000 is the marker for 1 seat, then 18 seats should serve 10.5 million. What about the other 2.3 million in Illinois? That's another 4 seats. And I'm guessing that all of those would come from Cook County. (see the map below) That's where I live.

Talk about taxation without representation!


Never heard of this concept, but read about it today in Inside Radio...

As more Americans get hooked on podcasting, some devoted fans are now listening at breakneck speed, eager to take in as many programs as possible. So-called “podfasters” speed up podcast playback, often two or three times faster than normal, with some saying the faster pace suits their lifestyle and others noting rapid playback helps them binge-listen to entire podcast catalogues.

To all of you podfasters, there are 72 episodes of Minutia Men right here. The episodes are short--no longer than 43 or 44 minutes. You should be able to polish those off in no time.

Monday, November 13, 2017

JRL appearance this Friday afternoon

Friday afternoon (11/17) we'll be at Galveston Steakhouse in Michigan City Indiana (10 Commerce Square) with John Records Landecker from noon to 4 pm. John and Mike Dempsey will be doing their regular radio show during the party. Galveston doesn't open until 4 pm but they will be open for us and have a bartender on duty. John's HOF book will be available there, and the good folks at Galveston Steakhouse are doing a good job of promoting the event...

My Favorite Mookie

Strange combination of sports for this multi-sport star...

SNL Goes There

First, the Roy Moore controversy was addressed in a skit...

Then, the whole sexual harassment climate was addressed in the monologue...

President Mean Girl

He's a 71 year old man. He's the president of the United States. And this is what he tweeted over the weekend...

Rupert Murdoch Wants to Buy CNN

If you haven't been following the news about the proposed ATT/Time Warner merger, the Trump administration is threatening to reject permission for the merger unless the newly merged company sells CNN. There's absolutely no reason why that one provision should be insisted upon, other than spite. Trump hates CNN.

Oh, and Rupert Murdoch wants to buy CNN.

These guys really should be wearing top hats and twirling their mustaches. (Photo: Rupert Murdoch)

Louis CK Admits Behavior

He admitted on Friday that the stories told about him (masturbating in front of women) were all true. That makes him the first one to admit anything, but it didn't help him keep his jobs.

He has lost it all--his FX show, his upcoming movies, his manager. You name it.

Say this for Hollywood (as opposed to Washington--which will soon have a child molestor Senator AND a pussy-grabbing President), at least there are consequences for their behavior (even if it is many years too late).



I was in Atlanta this weekend supporting my old pal (and Eckhartz Press author) Mark Gelinas. This is pancreatic cancer awareness month, and they do a 5K race in Atlanta to support the cause. Mark was the featured speaker and gave a wonderful speech. (Bumped into a celeb there too--former Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. His mom is also a survivor).

My wife Bridget came along and ran in the race. There are a few pictures of her below.

Thanks to Atlanta for the hospitality and thanks to the folks at the Purple Stride for supporting such a worthy and noble effort.