Saturday, April 28, 2018

Eckhartz Press Bloggers

I know I've mentioned these bloggers before, but I just have to mention them again. Eckhartz Press is proud to have a full stable of great writers, but Lee Kingsmill and Brent Petersen really go the extra mile--writing often on their blogs in an entertaining fashion.

Here are a few more examples..

Lee Kingsmill's: "The Passing of the Bucks"

Brent Petersen's: "The Watts Tower"

Keep it up fellas. You are making Dave and I look like geniuses for publishing your excellent novels (Safe Inside and Truffle Hunt)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Take Your Daughter to Work Day

Minutia Men Update

You may have noticed that we didn't have Minutia Men episodes the past two weeks (including this one).

We did actually record one last week (and it was a good one too, dammit), but the levels were so bad that our producer opted not to air it, and came out to fix my equipment this week. It's still not 100% ready to go. He's coming out again tomorrow.

So...we will be back NEXT week with another episode of...Minutia Men.

Et tu, Tom Brokaw?

Just read the report from Linda Vester in Variety.

Sadly, it sounds totally believable to me.

Another hero fallen. Another creep revealed.

Paul Ryan fires the House Chaplain

Yesterday Paul Ryan asked the House Chaplain to resign. A reason wasn't given, but both Dems and Republicans think it was because of the chaplain's prayer during the tax debate when he reminded lawmakers to keep in mind the less fortunate Americans.

You can't make this stuff up. It's almost cartoonish.

(Photo: Paul Ryan)

Radio's Best Friend

Great piece about Radio's Best Friend Art Vuolo in Eastern Magazine (he's a Eastern Michigan grad).

He also was named the recipient of Talker Magazine's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.

Good for Art. He's a good man.

Beth Jacobellis on WGN Radio

Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis ("Cameo") appeared on WGN radio with Patti Vasquez this week.

You can listen to it here.

It starts around the 40 minute mark.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Is Don on the Phone?

From this morning's NOW Newsletter...

Don Bustany, a key figure in the development of “American Top 40” and “American Country Countdown,” died Monday, says the RAMP Newsletter. Don preferred to let stars like Casey Kasem take the spotlight, but he’s mentioned in that famous tape where Casey throws a tantrum while reading a “long-distance song dedication” from a man in Cincinnati whose dog died. As Casey warms up to his rant about how you can’t come out of an up-tempo record into a downer-message like a dead dog, he asks “Is Don on the phone?” – meaning Don Bustany. Don was the business-man who made AT40 and ACC go in their early days. Bustany went on to work on the TV sitcoms of Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore as a camera coordinator and director. He died in Santa Barbara at age 89.

One last spin of the dog dying tantrum...

Germany Cancels Their Grammy Awards

German society has changed quite a lot since I lived there in the 1970s. Over the last twenty years or so, there has been a flood of Muslim immigrants, which has led to an increase in anti-Muslim sentiment. It's been a real problem.

But in addition to the anti-Muslim issue, one unexpected problem with the rise in Muslim immigrants has been the rise in anti-Semitism...from those immigrants themselves. As you might expect, Germany does not want to be known as anti-Semitic. There's a bit of a problematic history there that cannot and will not be allowed to return.

So, when a popular Muslim rap group won the nation's Grammy award for an album that included a line about "starting a second Holocaust", the nation was aghast. The record company was unapologetic at first (it was a huge hit, after all, and they were making lots of money), but eventually the outcry became too much. Not only did the record company drop the band, the industry decided to completely drop their Grammy Awards.

Not everyone agrees with this approach. Just like in this country, there is a backlash against political correctness and multi-culturalism. In fact, one of Germany's conservative politicians is running on a platform of a "cross in every public place" to reclaim Germany's Christian identity. That doesn't really sound like a solution either, does it? With giant century-old Christian churches in literally every single German city, town, or village there's no shortage of signs that Germany is essentially a Christian nation.

But Germany, like the US, has freedom of speech and freedom of religion according to their constitution, and one never is supposed to trump the other. In this case, Germany has decided that 'hate speech' against a religion is not protected by your religious beliefs. In our country, we've decided the opposite, in the famous 'I won't bake a gay wedding cake' case.

Not sure which approach is better. Both seem wrong to me.

Diana Steele

From this morning's Robert Feder column. An old U of I friend of mine is coming to Chicago...

Diana Steele, a prominent voice-over artist and former announcer for “The Arsenio Hall Show,” is joining WBMX 104.3-FM as midday personality. Starting today, she’ll be heard from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Entercom classic hip-hop and R&B station. Steele, who grew up in Elk Grove Village and graduated from the University of Illinois, previously worked for rhythmic/urban stations in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Until a permanent midday host is named later this year, Steele will broadcast for 104.3 Jams from her studio in the Bay Area. “We’re thrilled to welcome this legendary voice and mother of two boys and two dogs to the new 104.3 Jams,” said program director Todd Cavanah. With mornings, middays and evenings filled, the station is expected to announce an afternoon host soon.

I've run into Diana a few times over the years since we graduated, and followed her radio career from afar. Happy for her success.

This could have been me

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Favorite Planet

It's such an easy question to answer. What is your favorite planet?

Why it's Uranus, of course. (tee hee)

That's probably why I giggled when I saw this headline: Scientists confirm Uranus smells terrible

Bob's Book Selection

Thanks to Bob Sirott for contributing to our book Cubsessions, and thanks to Marianne Murciano for taking this picture for us...

How Joe Maddon Stays Young at Heart

Nice piece about the Cubs skipper by Jesse Rogers.

I always root for the old guys.

RIP Schoolhouse Rock Musician

Sad news...

Beat Tom & Bill

For the past few years I've been helping out the folks at this incredibly worthy charity fund raiser, Beat Tom and Bill. They really helped out my cousin's son Caleb a few years ago--and this year they'll be helping more families going through cancer treatment. What I love about their approach is that they make it fun, and put a little sunshine in lives that are in desperate need of some.

My job is to gather prizes for the silent auction. So far I've gotten Foo Fighters tickets, Cubs tickets, autographed Fergie Jenkins photos, and more. If you could donate anything at all that might garner a bid, please e-mail me as soon as possible ( My final date for accumulating these prizes is May 8th. The event is May 18th.

Thanks again for all of your generous support! I'm still looking for someone to golf with that day too. Let me know if you'd like to trudge around White Pines with me. I'm not a good golfer, but I do enjoy the experience.

The Most Popular Trump

Can you blame her for this reaction? Melania is far and away the most popular Trump in America.

Another All-Sports Station in Chicago

From this morning's Radio Online...

WCKG/Chicago flips to Sports/Talk on 1530 AM and 102.3 FM with a line-up of national and local talent, including several FOX Sports Radio programs. Effective April 23, "Outkick The Coverage with Clay Travis" (5-8am), "The Dan Patrick Show" (8-11am), "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" (11am-2pm) and "The Rich Eisen Show" (4-7pm) will anchor the new lineup, with additional FOX Sports Radio programming at nights and on weekends.

WCKG is licensed to the city of Elmhurst in Chicago and also simulcasts on a low power FM translator from Elmhurst on 102.3 FM. The FCC recently granted WCKG a construction permit to move 102.3 FM to the top of Trump Tower in downtown Chicago, as well as increasing power of 1530 from 760 watts to 4kW.

How is Comey's Book Tour doing?

I'm a publisher, and to me, there is only way to judge how successful a book tour is doing. How many books has he sold?

In James Comey's case, a crap-ton. 600,000 copies in the first week. That's twice as many as Hillary sold in the same time period, and three times more than Michael Wolff's Fire & Fury sold in hard cover in the same time period.

In other words, it has been a mega-success.

Peabody Winners

The following news programs won Peabody Awards this week. Congrats to them all...

News, Radio/Podcast, and Public Service
“Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Taxpayers Taken for a Ride” (NBC5/KXAS-TV Dallas-Fort Worth)
“Charlottesville: Race & Terror” (Vice News Tonight on HBO)
“Fall of ISIS in Iraq and Syria” (CNN)
“Inside Putin’s Russia” (PBS, WETA)
“Plight of Rohingya Refugees” (BBC News)
“The Whistleblower” (CBS)

“Lost Mothers: Maternal Mortality in the U.S.”(NPR)
“S-Town” (Serial and This American Life)
“The Pope’s Long Con” (Louisville Public Media)
“Uncivil: The Raid” (Gimlet Media)
“74 Seconds”(MPR News)

Public Service
“The Cut: Exploring FGM” (Al Jazeera)

Rick in New Orleans

I was in New Orleans the past five days with my lovely bride. She visited with her family there, and I pitched our Eckhartz Press book "Cameo" to the many psychics and jewelers in town. Had some success too.

In Jackson Square...

He told me to listen to the women in life more...

It was crawfish season...

Fitting...a jewelry store that sells cameos

No, I did not open my own cabaret

At the world famous Cafe Du Monde