Friday, April 06, 2018

New Dylan Gardner album available now!

I've known this young lad since he was born. He is the son of former Landecker & the Legends guitarist Mark Gardner. Dylan is amazingly talented. His last album is incredible, and this one sounds like it's good too...

1970s German Soccer Fashion

This video is haunting me...although I did learn a few new moves.

Don Jr.

We know this poor kid had no chance of turning out normal. I used to cut him slack because I heard a story about how his dad treated him in college, and it made me feel sorry for him.

But there's a good reason that Bill Maher calls him "Thurston Douche the Third" and this article in the Huffington Post is a great example. In it, he talks about what a bummer it was to be at the Playboy Mansion with his pregnant wife, how he wants to follow in his father's footsteps to be rich and bone hot chicks, and the relative size of his penis compared to his father's.

Class act, all the way.

Lee Kingsmill

Lee Kingsmill wrote a wonderful novel/memoir for us called "Safe Inside". Since that book came out, he has dealt with some very sad times in his personal life. His partner passed away, and he has been struggling with it, as we all would. Part of his therapy is writing a blog called "Me Now" which chronicles his daily life. It's poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, depending on his mood each particular day.

Today's entry is called "The Much Belated Tale of The City Boy and the Country Bunny"

Cable TV Ratings

How fired up is the anti-Trump crowd these days? Look at the ratings...

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow beat out Fox News’ Sean Hannity in the Nielsen ratings to become the most-watched cable news host for the month of March.

Maddow averaged 3.058 million viewers for the month, narrowly topping Hannity’s 3.00 million. That also marks Maddow’s best performance ever in the 9 p.m. ET time period. Maddow also won in the adults 25-54 demographic, nabbing an average of 671,000 viewers in the measure compared to Hannity’s 616,000. CNN’s Anderson Cooper finished third in the hour with an average of 1.125 million viewers and 382,000 in the demo.

MSNBC also had a strong month as a whole, with the network’s prime time, daytime and total day numbers all setting new MSNBC records in total viewers. MSNBC’s primetime lineup averaged 2.398 million viewers in March, up 8% over the same month last year. Both Fox News and CNN saw declines in the same period of 18% and 16% respectively. MSNBC was also up this March in both daytime and total day, while Fox News and CNN saw declines.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Reminds me of the movie "Tin Cup"

Dr. Evil Leaves Trump Administration

My guess is Jared wasn't ordering coffee

Cubsessions Book Launch!

You won't want to miss this one, Cub fans. Should be a fun star-studded event...

Minutia Men, Episode 90

EP90 – Rick and Dave discuss cycling for beer, outlawing self love, Biden boxing Trump, Opening Day 1968, Rick’s brush with the Harlem Globetrotters.

Listen to it here.

Great Moment

Former Sinclair News Director Speaks Out

From Mediaite...

Aaron Weiss, a former news director at a local station who quit after it was bought by Sinclair, appeared on CNN’s New Day to explain what it’s like to have the broadcasting group begin to influence coverage.

In 2013, Weiss was a news director at a station in the Midwest that was bought by Sinclair, when “we started getting these must-run pieces everyday that would come down from corporate.”

“The must run pieces were generally political,” he explained. “Some of them were pre-produced packages from corporate, some of them were scripts that anchors were expected to read. And the expectation was that they would be read entirely, untouched, without any oversight.”

Weiss added that the scripts were of terrible quality, “but corporate expected us to run them untouched.”

He continued that the scripts were not local, but “entirely national, and they did have a conservative slant.” Weiss said that while he has no problem with conservative or liberal slanted news, what Sinclair does is more insidious:

“The problem with what Sinclair does, is they co-opt the credibility that local anchors have built up in their communities over years and decades, and use that credibility to promote a political agenda. And that, to me, is what it so ethically inappropriate about what Sinclair does.”

Will the Loop move to 94.7 FM?

This is the sort of news that must be making the staff at WLS-FM a little nervous. From this morning's Tom Taylor column...

Somebody registered the domain for “” That’s tantalizing, because it suggests that Cumulus might replace the classic hits format on WLS-FM/94.7 with classic rock Loop. Or at least, it suggests that somebody (maybe not Cumulus) wants that outcome. A reader says that domain registration happened on the very last day the Loop was at 97.9, literally during Steve Dahl’s on-air sendoff. (He wished that the last song played on 97.9 before it was turned over to contemporary Christian K-Love operator EMF was AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” – and it was.) The Loop’s 40-year history include some prime years when it cranked out so much cash, it fueled the growth of the Evergreen Media ownership group led by Scott Ginsburg and Jimmy deCastro. And the Loop brand still means something. Another possible clue – Cumulus recently moved WLS-FM programmer Brian Thomas to Atlanta, to do country “Kicks 101.5” WKHX. Succeeding him at WLS-FM was Wade Linder – who’d been PD/ops manager for both the Loop and alternative WKQX/101.1. He’s a rock guy, listing his “format specialties” on LinkedIn as “Rock, alternative and classic rock.” Now he’s got WLS-FM and WKQX. If Cumulus and market manager Marv Nyren transplant the Loop to 94.7, that means they’ve decided there’s more upside doing classic rock – against Hubbard’s “97.1 the Drive” WDRV – than classic hits. (That format spectrum includes Weigel-run easy oldies WRME/87.7.)

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

5 Years Ago Today

Roger Ebert passed away five years ago today. There are several stories about Roger Ebert in "Records Truly Is My Middle Name". This one occurs on page 230...


The king of the movie reviewers is Roger Ebert. In addition to being the best film critic on the planet, Roger is one of the smartest human beings I know.

Some people that become big stars get big heads. That wasn’t the case with either Roger or Gene Siskel. Roger was totally welcoming to me when I became a critic, which wasn’t the case with all of the critics. Remember, I was just this radio guy who was a big fan of movies, and happened to review them on my show — I wasn’t really doing it as a job like the rest of them.

But Roger came up to me at one of my early screenings and made a big point of saying in front of everyone: “You finally have a worthwhile profession.”

The highlight of my time as a film critic probably came when I was on a two-man panel discussion about film in Indiana with Roger Ebert — just the two of us. Not that we were on the same level in any way. This is a man who can dissect a film shot by shot, frame by frame. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of film. He knows just about all there is to know... and suffice it to say, I don’t know, and can’t do, any of those things.

One of the people in the audience asked Roger what his favorite genre of film was, and he answered “Film Noir.” I said, “I don’t even know what that is!”

I have two more stories to give you an idea of how passionate Roger Ebert is about film. When the movie Babe came out, I loved it and I knew Roger loved it, but my wife at the time had no interest in seeing it. I asked him if he would come on my show to help me convince her that she had to see the movie. He did it with great enthusiasm. It’s hard to say no when the greatest film critic in the world tells you that you have to see a movie.

Another time I invited Roger and his wife over to my house for a party (along with a bunch of other friends). I had just gotten this new plasma television, and asked Roger if he wanted to come in and see it. I put on the film Wyatt Earp which had just come out on DVD, because I love that opening scene — the way they use sound is unbelievable.

While we were watching that opening scene, with the sound cranked to ear splitting levels, Roger was doing a dissertation on why Val Kilmer should have been nominated for an Academy Award for that role, and Roger’s wife Chaz walked into the room.

She looked at what we were doing, sighed, and said. “Oh great. Just like home.”


Rick was also there for the Ebert movie dissertation that day... "My three kids, who were all little at the time, were also there. They sat quietly and listened to Roger pontificating about the genre of Westerns, and the acting in some of those old Westerns, and before he was through, a small crowd had formed. All of us were spellbound. When we got in our car to leave later that day, my oldest son Tommy, who was about eight or nine, said to me, “Who was that friend of John’s? Boy, he sure does love movies.”

Records Truly is My Middle name is available on paperback here at Eckhartz Press, and the e-book is available at all the major e-book distributors including amazon.

50 Years Ago Today

From "Records Truly Is My Middle Name" by John Records Landecker, page 68...


I can tell you the exact date of my most memorable experience at WILS-Lansing. It was April 4, 1968. We had a very special guest in the studio that day; Stevie Wonder. Stevie was a big star at the time for Motown Records in Detroit, but he also supported a local school for the blind in Lansing, so he came to town semi-regularly. The music director at WILS (Craig Dudley) knew Stevie, and knew that he loved playing disc jockey, so he invited him to come to our station, sit at the control board, play records, and talk on the air.

I was there that day, and was lucky enough to watch him in action. It was just an amazing sight. He cued up the records, turned the knobs, turned the microphones on and off; you name it. Even though he couldn’t see a thing, he knew exactly what he was doing. There were a few Motown Records employees with him, but he was doing it all by himself. I was standing in the back of the studio watching the whole thing, in awe of his abilities.

That’s when the news came across the wire that Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot.

At first it wasn’t clear if King was dead or not, but we all suspected he was. An instant tension filled the room. The Motown executives didn’t say a thing. None of the radio station employees (including me) responded, and neither did Stevie. But we all knew we were experiencing a significant moment.

Even though this clearly affected him, Stevie was a total pro. He finished the show.

Marvin Gaye unplugged

Amazing singer...

Ron Magers on Sinclair

I thought Ron Magers made a great comment on Robert Feder's page yesterday about Sinclair forcing anchors to read their propoganda word-for-word.

Ron Magers: We’re skipping a step here. Before the anchors were ordered to read it, dozens of General Managers signed off on it. Did not one say, “This doesn’t work in my market for my station!”

Forget their political agenda and remember that Sinclair is making a mockery of serving a local community. For me, that’s evidence enough for the FCC to say no to this deal.

But we all know it won’t happen that way.

And can we guess that the orders to muzzle WGN employees came from up top where any number of executives stand to reap a financial windfall when the Sinclair deal closes?

It led to this response this morning on Robert Feder's page...

Bill K Walsh · Loyola University Chicago
Why did Ron and the elites, not notice the key last sentence was missing from the Soros like permutation of the Sinclair video.
.......At [station] it’s our responsibility to pursue and report the truth. We understand Truth is neither politically "left nor right." Our commitment to factual reporting is the foundation of our credibility, now more than ever.
iit allows them to be condescending and ignore the actual total perspective of the statement. It applies as much to the Wolf Blitzers and the Shep Smith’s.

Which Ron Magers again answered quite well...

Ron Magers · Toppenish High School
Ron and The Elites was the name of my quartet in the 60's. How did you know?
What I did notice is that the category of "Fake News" as presently used for political purposes is itself fake. "Fake News", in our era, started as a false story circulated mostly on the internet for the purposes of influencing opinions. The Russians, our own political parties and fringies of every variety got quite good at it. Certain politicians have now taken up the term to denigrate any story or outlet that doesn't agree with their political position. Mr. Trump has, on countless occasions, used the term to describe stories that were true and accurate and, somehow, his base agrees with him. It is sad to see.

Mainstream journalists may sometimes make a mistake but they don't practice "Fake News". That dark art is a specialty of those who have you, Bill, in their bulls eye.

Cumulus officially buys Q-101

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

After negotiating the price on rocker WKQX-FM in Chicago, Cumulus and Merlin Media have come to a new agreement that will lead to Cumulus keeping the station after all. Cumulus will also get the WLUP-FM call letters and all WLUP intellectual property from Merlin.

So, if you want to start up a new Loop station, you can. You just need to buy the rights from Cumulus.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Dane is stuck in London

My good pal Dane Placko (Fox 32 reporter) took his daughters to London for a spring break vacation. Unfortunately for Dane, he suffered a detached retina while he was there, and now he has to stay in England for at least four weeks.

He tells the whole story on his facebook page.

50 Years Ago Tonight

MLK's last speech. The next day he was shot dead by James Earl Ray.

ELO Bonus

I bought my boys tickets to see ELO this coming August as a Christmas present. I know they love the band, and figured it would be a good bonding experience to see the show with them.

I had no idea at the time that the opening band would be Dawes. The guitarist of Dawes is Trevor Menear, son of my old Loop pal Kevin Matthews.


Remember those tough Russia sanctions?

We were all a little surprised that President Trump expelled 60 Russians in retaliation for the attempted murder in England. Turns out, we were right to be surprised. It was all for show. The Russians are free to replace those 60 with 60 new guys...

Clint Watts, a former FBI agent, has a pretty plausible take about Trump's involvment with Russia in this morning's New York Times...

Evidence of Russia’s intent to interfere in the election is overwhelming, and documentation of Trump campaign members’ collusion not only exists but is growing. The special counsel’s investigation into collusion ultimately comes down to two questions. First, did President Trump or any member of his campaign willingly coordinate their actions with Russia? And did President Trump or any member of his campaign knowingly coordinate their action with Russia?

Trump campaign members certainly colluded with Russian influence efforts, some willingly, some possibly knowingly. The president denies the Kremlin’s hand, either still unaware or in denial of being manipulated by Mr. Putin’s minions. For Mr. Putin, it’s likely everything he hoped for — America riddled with political infighting and mired in investigations, a weakened NATO alliance vulnerable to aggression and a United States president seeking his adoration, obstinate and ignorant of the great caper the Kremlin just orchestrated.

The problem for the president is that ignorance is not immunity. The problem for America is that ignorance of Russian interference is vulnerability.

The highlighted portion above was not highlighted by the New York Times. It was highlighted by me. The fact that people are still questioning it, despite such obvious public evidence, is absolutely amazing to me.

Brent's Liverpool Tips

Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen ("Truffle Hunt") is a fellow Beatles nut, so when he recommends things to see and do in Liverpool...listen to what he says.

His blog today has tips and photos.

Cara's new gig

When Cara Carriveau signed off at WSHE a few weeks ago, she indicated that something else was in the works. That news came out yesterday. From the RAMP Newsletter...

Local Radio Networks has expanded its on-air team with 15 additional major market and network hires across its 24/7 Music Formats -- please welcome: Cara Carriveau -- (ex-WLUP & WSHE/Chicago, who takes on middays for Classic Rock); Craig "Catfish" Hunter -- (ex-Jones Radio Network, Denver, Atlanta, San Jose & Tampa jock will do afternoons on new music format TBA); Gregg Stone -- (ex-Westwood One Radio Networks, longtime Denver talent joins Classic Rock); Ryan "Tall Guy" Chase (ex-WWO, longtime Denver talent hosts afternoons on Classic Hits); Michael Gifford -- (ex-Jones, WWO, local Denver talent joins AC); John Gleason -- (ex-Jones, WWO, local Denver talent takes nights for Classic Country); Tim Jeffreys -- (25 years in San Francisco/San Jose, most recently PD of KFOX/San Jose, joins Classic Hits); Maria "ChaCha" Chavez -- (Former WWO, longtime Denver talent to do middays on new music format TBA); Andrew "Jaye" Cannon -- (ex-Jones, now doing evenings on Mainstream AC); Jenny D -- (ex-WWO, local Denver talent to do nights on new music format TBA); Dennis Harrington -- (ex-Jones, WWO, local Denver talent will do overnights on new music format TBA); Chad Blake -- (ex-Jones, WWO talent joins Classic Country); John Glenn -- (ex-Waitt Radio Networks and Country PD joins Mainstream Country); Ray Michaels -- (longtime Florida programming vet to host middays on Classic Hits); Robb Rose -- Currently with WSHE/Chicago, joins Mainstream Country).

Fearing for WGN

Robert Feder has a chilling piece today about the future of WGN-TV. Read the whole thing, but this excerpt sets the tone...

Jeff Hoover, a longtime producer and on-air contributor for WGN-Channel 9’s top-rated morning news show, was the first employee to speak out Monday about the impending takeover of the Tribune Media station by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

He also was the last.

In response to a video montage that went viral last weekend showing anchors at Sinclair stations delivering identical messages parroting President Donald Trump’s anti-media talking points, Hoover tweeted: “Re: Sinclair – There is NO WAY any of our on-air anchors and reporters will read their scripted messages on our show. Chicago’s Very Own, not owned.”

The normally free-spirited Hoover later said he could not talk about what he had written and declined further comment. Other sources confirmed that Hoover had been admonished by his bosses for the unauthorized tweet.

I know the people on that morning show felt a little bulletproof because of their incredible ratings, but these Sinclair folks don't care about ratings. They are in this to push a political agenda. I said it at the time, and Feder says it too, Mark Suppelsa sure picked a good time to get out.

I still hope that Sinclair won't mess with what's working, especially that morning show. But the reaction of the current WGN bosses sure makes it look like they aren't exactly convinced.

This John Oliver piece from last summer might illuminate you to what WGN will be soon facing...

Monday, April 02, 2018

Beth Jacobellis on WGN Radio

This morning during the 9am hour, Steve Cochran interviewed Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis about her book "Cameo". It was an entertaining segment that should be available soon as a podcast on WGN's website. Dave Stern was there with her and took a few pictures...

Loop Memories

My personal story about the Loop is this month's media column in the Illinois Entertainer.

You can read it here.

Will Laura Return?

The hub-bub over Laura Ingraham's obnoxious tweets about the Parkland teenagers has resulted in her taking a last minute vacation this week. Eleven of her advertisers are taking vacation as well.

The question is...will Laura return?

If not, fear not right-wing fans. There's always another conspiracy theorist in the backup bin. They will never run out. What would America do without an alternate reality?

Welcome to the MLS

Zlatan...gonna be huge in LA.

April Fools

Son #3's wacky April Fools joke. He hid hard boiled eggs and made us search for them. He said there were three, but we could only find two--one labeled #1, and one labeled #3.

Not finding a hard boiled egg? Not an option, for obvious (smelly) reasons.

After we searched for about 20 minutes, he admitted he was kidding. He only hid two. April Fools.

Love this joke

Destroying America, One Market at a Time

Sinclair broadcasting, coming soon to WGN-TV...