Friday, April 20, 2018

Taking a few days off

I'm actually going to be working--getting new outlets for one of our books in New Orleans--but I won't be able to do any blogging until next Wednesday.

Pray for me. I've got a window seat on Southwest Airlines.

I was already a white-knuckle passenger. Adding one more thing to worry about on an airplane shouldn't affect me too much.

Making America Great Again

It's come to this...

Happy 4/20

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Elizabeth Vargas

Former ABC newscaster Elizabeth Vargas has been named as the face of the new show A&E Investigates. Good for her! You may remember Elizabeth from her time here in Chicago at WBBM-TV.

I remember her as my classmate and fellow Heidelberg High School student. This is her picture from our 1980 yearbook...

Study of First Born Children

I'm the oldest sibling in my family, so whenever I see a study about first born kids, I read it. The latest one concludes the following...

They found that first-born children performed better on psychometric intelligence tests, which corresponded to a higher level of intellect when compared to their later-born counterparts who took the same tests. Sulloway’s findings also noted that first-borns showed a higher level of conscientiousness. He hypothesized their increased level of conscientiousness was a result of first-born children often being delegated to act as surrogate parents to their younger siblings. This also instills a certain level of maturity and responsibility first-born children will carry with them well into adulthood.

Let me just say that in my family, this was definitely not true. Then again, my sister (one year younger) was treated more like the first born and she fits this description to a tee.

Surprise Guest

Brandwidth (second printing)

A few years ago Kipper McGee wrote a great book about the media called Brandwidth. It was widely praised throughout the industry and Kipper has since created a podcast (co-hosted by Dave Martin) that shares a name with his book.

For this year's NAB, Kipper went back to the book, and updated his classic. The Second Printing of Brandwidth debuted at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Vegas.

And now it's also available at Eckhartz Press. Pick up your copy today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Colbert & Comey

Cool Uniforms

1968 is the year I discovered baseball and collected my first baseball cards. This is what the Oakland A's and Chicago White Sox wore that year. (The Sox had blue hats, though. Not black)

A change at the FCC

To tell you the truth, I'm just becoming numb to the terrible decisions that have been coming out of the FCC. This month, for instance, they are going to change ownership rules to allow for MORE consolidation. They've already done it once (for Sinclair), and now they're going to do it again. This is coming on the heels of the Net Neutrality travesty. And now, one of only two Democrats on the board is leaving. From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Mignon Clyburn to step down as FCC Commissioner. The September 15, 2017 NOW Newsletter story about the long-serving Democrat potentially resigning was headlined “Empty chair at the FCC?” At yesterday’s FCC Open Meeting, Clyburn removed the question mark – she’s leaving, months before she needs to. That shocked the room, apparently even her fellow Commissioners. Quite properly, she’s not revealing her plans. (D.C. observer Leslie Stimson at Inside Towers says Clyburn “did not name an end date and said her future plans are not set.”) But Clyburn’s still got time – barely – to mount a run for her father Jim Clyburn’s House seat, representing South Carolina’s Sixth District. When he won in 1992, he was the first African-American to represent South Carolina in the House since 1897. He’ll be 78 at the end of this term. Jim Clyburn’s attained important leadership positions in the House – and no doubt relishes the possibility of a change back to Democratic control this Fall. But it might be his daughter’s best shot at succeeding him, during a potential Democratic wave. She’s said she’ll remain “in public service” – a change from many recent post-FCC Commissioners. They’ve often turned to private-sector jobs, often running trade groups.

RIP Barbara Bush

Words of wisdom...

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Caddyshack Restaurant

The Murray Brothers are opening a Caddyshack restaurant in Rosemont today. The Sun Times has the story...

Brian Doyle-Murray said the menu is all about comfort food, the stuff he and his brothers and sisters grew up eating. “It’s not fine dining, but it’s gonna be consistently good,” he said. “You’ll go away happy and full. … I grew up eating everything. My eight brothers and sisters and I ate everything and anything my mom cooked. … [The restaurant’s] basically an extension of my living room.”

Cubsessions on the South Side

Some people believe there aren't any Cub fans in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Eckhartz Press authors Randy Richardson and Becky Sarwate-Maxwell hope to prove them wrong this Sunday in Orland Park. They'll be signing and selling their great new book "Cubsessions" there. Details below.

We Have Company

With Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up, Bobby Skafish's book is on sale now at Eckhartz Press for only $15. If Mom or Dad loves rock and roll, they'll love this book.

Get your copy today.

Not sure what this song is about

It's very subtle.

Colbert Reacts to Hannity News

RIP Harry Anderson

The actor/comedian/magician and former star of Night Court passed away yesterday at the age of 65. Sad news. He was a talent.

Pulitzer Prizes

The age of Trump, while being derided as a time of Fake News, may actually go down in history as the golden age of journalism. Outlets like the New Yorker, New York Times and the Washington Post are doing amazing work, and they were recognized yesterday as Pulitzer Prize Winners.

The entire list is here.

Kendrick Lamar also won a Pulitzer for his music.

Congrats to all the winners.

Chicago Radio Ratings

From Tom Taylor's NOW column...

Chicago has a clear 6+ leader (urban AC “V103”) and a bunch of ties, further down. iHeart’s WVAZ wins (5.8-6.6-6.1) and wins all the dayparts except the 6am-10am shift. The first tie is between Entercom’s news WBBM/WCFS (4.7-5.3-5.1) and Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (5.4-4.9-5.1). “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” is #1 in mornings for Mix. Fourth overall is Entercom’s classic hip-hop/throwbacks “104.3 Jams” WBMX (4.8-4.0-4.5, and second on weekends). Fifth place is another tie, between Hubbard’s classic rock “Drive” WDRV (3.3-3.3-4.2) and Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO (3.5-3.7-4.2, and second place middays/afternoons). The country leader remains Entercom’s “US 99” WUSN (3.4-3.0-3.9, and up in rank from a fifteenth-place tie to eighth). iHeart’s “Big” WEBG is twenty-fourth (2.0-1.7-1.5). The owner just changed out PDs, importing Lance Houston from Boston. Finally, three stations score 3.5-shares – Cumulus classic hits WLS-FM (3.1-3.4-3.5), Entercom’s adult alternative WXRT (3.2-3.1-3.5) and Weigel-run easy oldies-on-a-low power TV audio signal WRME (2.4-3.6-3.5). Chris Huff says “This is the largest share for SBS’ regional Mexican WLEY-FM since January 2009, 2.6 to 2.6 to 3.0.” How about the station Cumulus just agreed to buy for $18 million, after LMAing it since 2014? Alternative WKQX is steady (3.0-2.8-2.8). Tough book for Tribune’s talk WGN. It’s #22, down 3.3-3.1-2.2. For Chicago’s 97.9, the month is split between classic rock “Loop” WLUP (until March 10) and EMF’s not-for-profit “K-Love” as WCKL. Nielsen shows the frequency going 2.9-3.2-1.3. Chicago’s leading cume station is iHeart CHR “Kiss” WKSC (1,775,900). In the share rankings, it’s tied for tenth (3.4-3.0-3.1).

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Praise Radio

From this morning's Radio Ink, great to hear that people didn't forget what made them popular. During their Hall of Fame introductions...

Bon Jovi credits the now defunct WAPP in New York City for giving him the break that record labels were unwilling to give him. “After sending that cassette to every label and manager I could think of, I thought, ‘Who is the loneliest person in the music business? … the DJ. There was a new station in NYC called WAPP. It was so new, that there even a receptionist, so I was able to walk in and get the attention of John Lassman and the DJ Chip Hobart. I told them about the songs on the cassette and the frustration of not getting any label to listen to it. Chip did listen to it, and he told me he thought it should be included on their ‘Homegrown’ record of local original music.”

John Lodge and Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues also heaped praise on radio and spoke about some of the personalities that helped the band succeed. “I’d like to thank American radio for supporting us for five decades. And the belief in us has just been tremendous and has given us encouragement to keep going, and doing everything we love to do, and that’s make music. We’d like to thank also some of our friends at radio, Howard Stern. And the great Scott Muni (of WNEW and later, Q104.3) in New York. Hawyward said, “I would also just mention, like John and some of the radio personalities, Scott Muni and Howard, and Alison Steele (WNEW FM). She was a wonderful, wonderful DJ.”

The Cars also thanked radio when they were inducted. The Cars thanked WBCN in Boston and Maxanne for discovering and playing “Just What I needed” in heavy rotation, before they even had an album.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Trade That Helped Everyone

Love this little moment...

RIP R Lee Ermey

Lost one of the acting greats from Full Metal Jacket over the weekend...

Good news, bad news

Michael Ferro has sold his shares of Tronc (the Chicago Tribune), and is now officially gone (other than a consulting agreement that the company must pay him). That's good news. He has been a train wreck there.

The shares were bought by Col. McCormick's family, the original owners of the Tribune. That's good news too. At least they appreciate the history.

But Ferro is walking away with a profit of more than $100 million...after inflicting untold damage.

That doesn't seem fair or right.

Comey on Trump

Like the rest of the country, we were watching last night. This quote made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I agree with every word of it, too...

“I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president. A person who sees moral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on moral grounds. And that’s not a policy statement… Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is morally unfit to be president.”

70 Years of Cubs Baseball on WGN-TV

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the first Chicago Cubs baseball broadcast on WGN-Channel 9. The Tribune Broadcasting station will celebrate by featuring classic Cubs memories and moments throughout tonight’s coverage of the Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals game, starting with the “Leadoff Man” pregame show at 5:30 p.m. “There is no relationship in TV sports we are aware of that compares to this partnership,” Bob Vorwald, executive producer and director of production at WGN, told the Tribune. “We broadcast more games over the air than all other teams combined.”

It's the 70th anniversary on WGN, but the Cubs were on TV two years earlier. Here's the description from Just One Bad Century...

April 20,1946
The first televised Cubs game airs. WBKB-TV broadcasts that first game with famous bowling announcer Whispering Joe Wilson (photo) behind the microphone. It’s a memorable day at the ballpark for a few other reasons too. It’s the 30th anniversary of the Cubs playing in Wrigley Field, and the National League Pennant is raised up the flagpole for the fifth time since the Cubs started playing there. As everyone who follows Cubs lore knows, it’s also the last time that happened until 2017. In addition, this game marks the first game back at Wrigley Field for returning soldiers Stan Musial and Enos Slaughter. Slaughter knocks in Musial for the only run the Cardinals would need that day, as the Cardinals beat star Cubs pitcher Hank Borowy. The defending NL champs will finish in 3rd place that year, 14 1/2 games out of first; a finish that wouldn’t be topped for another 20 years.

Incredible Comeback

Sean and I were there on Saturday, freezing our butts off. What a comeback!

You can watch it all right here.

It's one for the ages.

RIP Art Bell

The nationally syndicated UFO-believing radio host has passed away at the age of 72. Radio Ink has the details. His show aired locally in Chicago overnights on WLS for years.

A Rare Funny SNL

The whole episode was funny, including this opening bit...