Monday, December 31, 2018

Just One Bad Century

I have updated our EVERY CUB EVER feature at Just One Bad Century. There are more than a hundred new or updated profiles. More than 2000 entries in all (players, managers, celeb fans, etc), presented conveniently in alphabetical order.

Check it out here.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Writers Conference Scholarships

On March 16th & 17th, I'm appearing as a panelist at "Let's Just Write: An Uncommon Writer's Conference". It's really a great event. If you're a writer, I highly recommend it. This year once again CWA will award SIX FULL SCHOLARSHIPS. You may apply for the scholarship even if you've already registered. If you win, they will refund your registration fee. APPLY NOW! There is no application fee.The deadline for entries is January 15. Scholarships will be awarded February 15.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A few photos from our Eckhartz Press Xmas Party

Barry Butler on WGN-TV

My old friend Barry Butler, the best photographer of Chicago, was featured on WGN-TV this week.

Watch him here.

Barry previously provided the photo we used for the cover of Pat Colander's book, and the photo we used when we signed Mitch Michaels and Ken Churilla to write a book for Eckhartz Press.

Chicago Radio Ratings

From Robert Feder's column...

Here are Chicago’s top 30 radio stations from 6 a.m. to midnight Monday through Sunday, as measured by Nielsen Audio from November 8 to December 5, followed by format and average quarter-hour share of listeners age 6 and older (with previous month’s share in parentheses):

1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 8.3 (3.2)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.7 (5.7)
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 5.3 (5.3)
4. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.8 (5.4)
5. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.3 (4.3)
6. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.2 (4.5)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.0 (4.8)
8. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 3.5 (3.1); WUSN 99.5-FM country, 3.5 (3.7)
10. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.4 (3.7)
11. WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 3.3 (3.1)
12. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 2.9 (2.9); WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.9 (3.3); WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.9 (2.8)
15. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.8 (3.1)
16.(tie) WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.7 (2.7); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.7 (3.3)
18. WGN 720-AM news talk, 2.6 (3.2)
19. WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.3 (2.3)
20. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.2 (2.9)
21. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.1 (2.5)
22. WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.9 (1.9)
23. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.5 (1.4)
24. (tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.4 (1.4); WLS 890-AM news talk, 1.4 (1.6)
26. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.1 (0.9); WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.1 (1.2); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.1 (1.1)
29. WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.0 (0.8)
30. WERV 95.9-FM classic hits, 0.7 (0.7)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Eckhartz Christmas Party/Book Signing

Star studded author event coming to Pitchfork (2922 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL) on Saturday December 22nd from 3-5pm. 11 Eckhartz Press authors will be on hand to sign their books, all of which are perfect last second Xmas gifts for somebody on your list. Among our authors...novelists Beth Jacobellis and William Mansfield. Beth will even be doing free tarot card readings to anyone who buys her book. (Not kidding). See you there!

Stever Signs Off

This afternoon marks the final over-the-air Steve Dahl show on WLS.

Robert Feder has a nice piece about Steve and his final show.

I was just over there last week to contribute to a piece that will be airing on the podcast, and had a chance to talk to Steve briefly. He will always be one of the all time greats.

(Photo: From the day I brought Chet to WLS to promote Chet's new book)

Pat Hughes

In Tom Taylor's final newsletter (farewell Tom, you'll be missed) he brought us this great news...

Chicago Cubs PBP talent Pat Hughes will keep showing up to work at Wrigley Field, beginning a 24th season in the booth next Spring. Entercom and the Cubs announce his contract extension, which keeps him on Entercom-owned sports “670 the Score” WSCR for “multiple years.” His current contract expires December 31. After calling minor-league baseball in San Jose and Columbus, Hughes traveled to Minneapolis for TV work for the Minnesota Twins. Then he worked alongside National Radio Hall of Fame and Baseball Hall of Fame member Bob Uecker in Milwaukee, before coming to the Cubs in 1996. (That’s when the Cubs games were on co-owned talk WGN/720.) Entercom market manager Jimmy deCastro isn’t exaggerating when he calls Pat Hughes “the iconic voice of the Cubs…He’s the eyes and ears for so many Cubs fans in Chicago and worldwide.” A NOW reader adds that Pat’s a fan of sports broadcasting history and did a series of audio documentaries about baseball play-by-play talents, called Baseball Voices. Hughes is 63.

Reagan's view of immigrants

RIP Mark Gelinas

My friend of 38 years.

His obituary.

Still can't believe it.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A great Xmas idea

Eckhartz Press Christmas Book Signing

Star studded author event coming to Pitchfork (2922 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL) on Saturday December 22nd from 3-5pm. 11 Eckhartz Press authors will be on hand to sign their books, all of which are perfect last second Xmas gifts for somebody on your list. Among our authors...Richard Reeder and Alex Burkholder. It doesn't get more Chicago than these two. Richard's book ("1001 Train Rides in Chicago") is based on his lifetime of riding Chicago's famous L. It's like a socio-economic study of Chicago come to life. Alex's book ("Death of the Angels") is about one of the most tragic events in our city's history...the fire at Our Lady of the Angels School. His book has been flying off the shelves--this is your last chance to get it before Christmas. If you know someone who was affected by that day (and seemingly everyone in Chicago knows someone), this is the perfect gift. Trust us, they will thank you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Free Kicks, Episode 26

EP26: Adam and Rick discuss the firing of Jose Mourinho, preview the Round of 16 in Champions league, take a quiz about Liverpool, and give you TV tips for the jam-packed holiday schedule.

Listen to it here.

Almost like a bonus Minutia Men

Dave and I appeared on Lossano & Friends last weekend...

More Good Press

Eckhartz Press Christmas Event

Star studded author event coming to Pitchfork (2922 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL) on Saturday December 22nd from 3-5pm. 11 Eckhartz Press authors will be on hand to sign their books, all of which are perfect last second Xmas gifts for somebody on your list. Among the authors...Donald G. Evans. Don is not only the director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, he has the most thematically appropriate book of our whole event. Don has written a Christmas book! ("An Off-White Christmas") His stories are funny and poignant and written absolutely beautifully. The book is a work of art, He even has a special edition hard cover version that would make a perfect present for someone on your list. Come for Don's book and stay for the other ten...and the beverages...and the food. See you there!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

RIP Penny Marshall

Sad news. She was Laverne. She was Myrna in the Odd Couple. And she was one heck of a director. RIP.

Les Moonves Isn't Getting His Severance

Looks like CBS is taking advantage of Les' sexual misteps to avoid paying him his severance.

You know who would have approved of that? Former CBS CEO Les Moonves.

Uncle Lar and Snot Nosed Tommy

This little tidbit was in Robert Feder's column this morning...

On the fifth anniversary of his passing, Larry Lujack continues to be revered as one of America’s greatest radio personalities and Chicago’s preeminent disc jockey for the ages. The Radio Hall of Famer and self-proclaimed “Superjock” died at 73 of esophageal cancer in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on December 18, 2013. From the time he landed in Chicago as late-night personality at WCFL in 1967 through the two decades he dominated Top 40 powerhouse WLS 890-AM, he was without peer. More on Lujack’s extraordinary life and career will be revealed in the soon-to-be-published autobiography of Tommy Edwards, the radio legend long known as Lujack’s “Animal Stories” sidekick Lil’ Tommy. “Remembering Uncle Lar’. What a great talent!” Edwards wrote on Facebook Monday. “There was another side of Larry Lujack you may not know. You will soon. Stay tuned.”

I know what press is releasing it!

RIP Dave Robbins

This news made the rounds amongst my former colleagues yesterday. Tom Taylor has it in his newletter this morning...

R.I.P., Dave Robbins, gone at 59. Robbins, born David Robinson, was the victim of a heart attack. Dave grew rapidly from his beginnings as a jock – he programmed in Phoenix, St. Louis, became a group programmer for the former Nationwide chain and manager of its awesome cluster in Columbus, and later managed for CBS Radio in Chicago (2002-2010) and Orlando (2010-2015). (He’d previously been a jock in the early days of Chicago CHR “B96” WBBM-FM.) Dave was an early advocate of tech in radio, and his LinkedIn page says he “launched CBS Radio's Digital Radio Initiative.” In 2015, he left radio to devote full-time to one of his own family’s ventures, begun a decade earlier, named “Florida Getaway Vacation Homes.” He’d been partnered in that vacation-rental business with his son.

Dave was the only person in radio who ever fired me, although in fairness, he didn't technically do it himself. He had his underlings do it. He fired the whole Landecker show in 2003. Last time I saw him (about a year after he fired me), he said "So jealous of you, getting to spend so much time with your family." I thought it was an odd thing to say to someone he had fired. Still sad to hear he passed at such a young age. 59 is way too young.

Monday, December 17, 2018

RIP Mark Gelinas

My heart is heavy today. Just got the news that my good friend Mark Gelinas passed away. This photo is from his book launch just two years ago, with his incredible wife Donna Frederick Gelinas. My heart goes out to Donna and the incredible Gelinas family, particularly his son Alexander Briggs Gelinas, and Mark's parents and siblings. Mark was my roommate for a few years after college, and a friend who I could always count on. I was texting with him up until just a few days ago. When he didn't respond to the last text, I feared this day was near. Miss you, buddy. I'm so happy your pain is gone.

Minutia Men, Episode 118

EP118 – Rick and Dave discuss Uranus Missouri, the top trends of 2018, a German chocolate highway, Rick’s brush with Davy Jones, and they interview New York Times best-selling author (and humorist) James Finn Garner.

Listen to it here.

Free Kicks, Episode 25

EP25: Adam and Rick discuss the new teams at the top and bottom of the Premier League table, the MLS final and American soccer progress, and Adam takes a quiz about Wolverhampton.

Listen to it here.

It's a Wonderful Trump

Pretty well done. Gotta hand it to the SNL folks...

Da Bears

The only thing missing yesterday was a closeup shot of Aaron Rodgers crying. Da Bears!

Bringing WW1 to Life

Incredible new documentary by Peter Jackson has taken World War I footage, slowed it down, colorized it, added sound, and wow!

Take a look at a preview in the New York Times. It's amazing.

An Eckhartz Christmas

Star studded author event coming to Pitchfork (2922 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL) on Saturday December 22nd from 3-5pm. 11 Eckhartz Press authors will be on hand to sign their books, all of which are perfect last second Xmas gifts for somebody on your list. Among the authors...the big Bohunk, Chester W Coppock. You can't miss him. He's 6'5" or so. Any sports fan would love his book as a gift. Incredible first hand stories of the all-time greats told by someone who knows them well. Not only will you save on the shipping charge if you swing by, Chet is reducing the price by $5 just for this one day...

Friday, December 14, 2018

Explaining the Sniffing

Eckhartz Press Holiday Party/Book Signing

I'm getting very excited about the Eckhartz Press Holiday party/ book signing on Saturday December 22 (3-5pm) at Pitchfork ( We have 11 different authors showing up with books to sell & sign for last minute Christmas shoppers. Meet Chester W Coppock, Rich King, Becky Sarwate-Maxwell, Randy Richardson, Donald G. Evans, Richard Reeder, Beth Jacobellis, Bruce Bohrer, William Mansfield, David Stern, and me. Guaranteed that one of these books is perfect for somebody on your list...specifically that person you save for last minute shopping.

WGN News

That 7-10pm shift has new occupants once again...

Another Creep Revealed

This time it's Michael Weatherly from the TV series Bull. Although, and I know I'm going to get in trouble for this one, but what he said to the victim here (actress Eliza Dushku) doesn't sound that bad to me. The bad part, obviously, was firing her for complaining about it.

Details are here.

She was paid $9.5 million for it, by the way. That's the equivalent of being a regular on the show for four years.

President Petty

President Trump canceled the White House Christmas party for the press. It has been held every year for decades, but you know, enemy of the people and all. He's holding another party, just for those that do favorable reporting. (Suck-ups and liars)

By next year, he'll be in a room by himself, counting pennies. I'm predicting he'll be visited by three ghosts in the night.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Talk about an eclectic HOF class

Right Behind You, Keith

I'm going to follow Keith's advice and quit drinking when I turn 75...

Frank Wright

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

The interplanetary search for a new Content Director for Alpha Media's suburban Chicago Hot AC WXLC/Waukegan, IL, has come full-circle and right back into the building, as the position has been awarded to midday personality Frank Wright. According to General Manager Karl Wertzler, "Frank has performed quite admirably on an interim programming basis over the last month and a half and he has definitely earned the position." For his part, Wright, a 15-year station vet, is looking forward to this "dream-come-true" opportunity.
Wright succeeds former longtime OM/PD Haynes Johns, who exited at the end of October after 13 years.

Michael Ferro

Robert Feder has this story in his column this morning, and it caught my attention...

As if it were possible to think any less of Michael Ferro, a bombshell report Wednesday claimed the former chairman of Tribune Publishing was heard making an anti-Semitic slur to a gathering of company executives. NPR reported that Ferro was caught on tape referring to California billionaire Eli Broad as part of a “Jewish cabal” that ran Los Angeles. NPR’s David Folkenflik reported that Tribune Publishing made secret payments of more than $2.5 million to keep a former publisher and editor of the Los Angeles Times from disclosing Ferro’s comments. Recent financial reports show Ferro’s infamous $15 million “consulting fee” on his way out was reduced by $2.5 million to $12.5 million in the second quarter this year, according to NPR. Ferro resigned as chairman in March, hours before sexual harassment accusations against him were published. But he remains the largest shareholder of the Chicago Tribune’s parent company (which he’d earlier stuck with the hideous name tronc). A spokesman for Ferro denied he made the slur. Tribune Publishing declined to comment.

Alleged anti-Semite, alleged sexual harasser, AND terrible company namer is the largest shareholder of the Tribune's parent company. I'm sure they are very proud.

Butt Boy?

I'm usually not on the side of the conservative fake outrage machine, but I have to agree with them about the comment Mika Brzezinki made yesterday on MSNBC. She called Mike Pompeo a "dictator-wannabe's butt boy".

Butt boy? What is this, 1978?

I thought we were going with "small hands afficianado".

White House Panic

What happens when the National Enquirer flips on you?

When they corroborate your felonious lawyer (just sentenced to 3 years in prison), and they admit they kept an entire safe full of damaging stories about you--going back 30 years, it's time to start panicking.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Reynas

Warning! This story is absolutely heartbreaking.

Champions League

The drawing for matchups in the knockout phase is on Monday, but here are the teams...(among them 4 English teams, 3 German teams, 3 Spanish teams, 2 Italian teams, and one from France, Holland, and Portugal)

Group winners
Barcelona (ESP)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)
Porto (POR)
Real Madrid (ESP, holders)

Group runners-up
Atlético Madrid (ESP)
Liverpool (ENG)
Roma (ITA)
Schalke (GER)
Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

Through, position to be confirmed
Ajax (NED)
Bayern München (GER)
Juventus (ITA)
Manchester City (ENG)
Manchester United (ENG)

A Good Trend

First it was Tyler Perry. Then it was Kid Rock (yes, Kid Rock). And now...would you believe Glenn Beck? From Radio Online...

As reported by The Dallas News and other media outlets, Premiere Networks syndicated personality Glenn Beck played Santa Claus and paid off $27,000 worth of layaway items at a North Richland Hills Walmart in Texas. It all happened on Saturday, December 8, just two days before the final payments were due. Joining a growing trend of celebrities this season, Beck said he was inspired by actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, who paid off all the layaway accounts at two Atlanta Walmart stores.

Beck and his family, who were on the way to a Christmas party, broadcast via Facebook live as they walked into Walmart and met with the layaway department to pay each account individually. In a video, Beck challenged other conservative media personalities, including Mark Levin, Steven Crowder and Bill O'Reilly, to do the same.

"You don't have to spend the money that Tyler Perry or I spent," Beck told his radio listeners on Monday. "You can just go in and just give $100, or $50, or $10. You are not going to believe what a difference it makes."

Another chance to meet Chet

Oh, you know, just a HOFer stoppin' by the ol' Twitter feed

I may be 55 years old, but I'm still a kid at heart. When I saw this on my Twitter page it made my day...

An Uncommon Writers Conference

If you're looking for a unique gift for the writer in your life, how about the gift of a writers conference? I will be there as a panelist and board member. There's a great roster of writers, teachers, and publishers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Another Amazing Barry Butler Photo

These do not happen by accident. He times them. He sits there in the cold and dark and waits for that perfect moment...

Another Chance to See Chet Coppock

Chet will be back in Orland Park again on Thursday night.

The Patch has the details.

Tom Taylor Signs Off

This is a bummer. I read his column every day. This morning this was the lead story...

Final issue of this Tom Taylor NOW Newsletter will be Friday, December 21. Yes, it’s time for me to retire. In my head, I may still think I’m a kid, but my odometer is about to roll over to a large round number (70). And at this point in my life, my family needs more of me. Between my wife and I, one parent has a grave illness and another parent just passed away. (Also, my wife reminds me that with me working six days a week and taking little time off, we haven’t taken a real vacation since 1995.) I’ll miss this daily conversation with you, and I apologize for breaking the news to you this way.

He was the very best at what he did and will be missed on the radio-trade scene.

Ghost Marriage is Over

The crazy lady who married a ghost around Halloween has decided to call the marriage quits.

I had January 1st in the pool, so I'm pretty sure I win this one.

Good Year for Disney

In a year where movies are struggling, one company is not.

Disney just announced they have brought in $7.6 billion at the box office this year.

They have four of the top eight movies.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Santa Smackdown

Da. Bears.

Chet on the Radio

The creator of Chet Chit Chat and the inspiration for it will lock horns on Wednesday...

On a New Level

How much does Donald Trump lie? So often that the Washington Post Fact Checker had to create a whole new measure. The Pinoccio system isn't good enough any more...
Trump’s willingness to constantly repeat false claims has posed a unique challenge to fact-checkers. Most politicians quickly drop a Four-Pinocchio claim, either out of a duty to be accurate or concern that spreading false information could be politically damaging.

Not Trump. The president keeps going long after the facts are clear, in what appears to be a deliberate effort to replace the truth with his own, far more favorable, version of it. He is not merely making gaffes or misstating things, he is purposely injecting false information into the national conversation.

To accurately reflect this phenomenon, The Washington Post Fact Checker is introducing a new category — the Bottomless Pinocchio. That dubious distinction will be awarded to politicians who repeat a false claim so many times that they are, in effect, engaging in campaigns of disinformation.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Big Lee Smith

Congratulations to Big Lee Smith for being selected for Baseball's Hall of Fame. Here he is with fellow Cubs HOFer Fergie Jenkins and a little guy who lives in my house (the onty non-HOFer in the photo.)

Oh, congrats to Harold Baines too. Great White Sox player.