Friday, May 18, 2018

Beat Tom & Bill Beat Cancer

I will be out of the office all day today helping out at the Beat Tom & Bill beat Cancer golf outing. This is the fourth year in a row that Bridget and I are volunteering because we believe so strongly in this cause. They have raised over a million dollars for local families struggling with cancer. One of my jobs is to help get prizes for the silent auction, and this year so many of you came through to help. Thanks so much to KP, Randy, Richard, Sean, Tom, Karen, and Fergie for donating very cool items. All of the money raised goes to the families who really need it.

Randy Richardson Book Signing

Cubsessions Book Signing at the Billy Goat Tavern (430 N Michigan Ave). 4-6pm today (Friday).

Come one, come all! Get your copy of the hottest book around.

America's Most Haunted

Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis appeared on America's Most Haunted last night as a guest. Below is the blog post about the interview. When the audio is posted, I'll post it here.

On an inspirational episode of After Hours AM/America’s Most Haunted Radio — scintillating paranormal talk Thursdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis and Eric Olsen — we delve into reincarnation and timeless love with author Beth Jacobellis, whose new novel Cameo is based on true events. We talked with Beth at 10pE.

The future looms mysteriously in front of Samantha Ricks, who at the young age of twenty-three, finds herself at a crossroads. Driven by boredom and an innocent pursuit of divine intervention, Samantha makes an impromptu visit to Ingrid Eloise Cook, the infamous Chicago psychic. The moment Samantha walks through Ingrid’s door marks the beginning of her tumultuous journey, tainted with Ingrid’s quiet foreboding that nothing that lies ahead of her will be what it seems.

As Samantha starts to see Ingrid’s predictions coming true, she finds herself thrust into the fast-paced, lucrative and unhinged world of Chicagoland Radio. Through resilient friendship, tremendous loss and a true love that transcends the hands of time, Samantha’s destiny unfolds while a simple piece of jewelry becomes the unexpected link between the present and the past.

Cameo at Eckhartz Press.

Beth Jacobellis
Beth Jacobellis’ dream was to write something that changed the way people viewed things, offering an explanation of why beautiful and horrible things happen to us along the way. Hence, Cameo was born. Beth is a graduate of the University of Kansas Journalism School and is currently an account executive at WGN Radio in Chicago. She is a native of Chicago and lives with her two children just outside the city.

The Chicago radio industry is a central part of the storyline and is where Beth has spent most of her career for the better part of 20 years. There was a major event that happened within that community in 1994 that altered the lives of many people she knows. It was a horrible tragedy that inspired her to write a story about the cycle of life as opposed to the finality of it. She wanted to challenge everyone’s entire belief system, providing an explanation that gives comfort in knowing that just because someone is gone from your life, does not mean their soul is.


Totally excited about seeing Utopia next week. One of the all-time great underappreciated bands.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Minutia Men, Episode 94

EP94 – Rick and Dave do a medical symptoms quiz, discuss a justifiable arson, the toughest teacher ever, a poetic Cub, and Rick’s brush with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer.

Listen to it here.

Words of Wisdom from...Rex Tillerson?

Rex Tillerson had a front row seat in an administration that is trying to create an alternate reality through it's tweeting liar, and his media brothers like Fox News, right wing talk radio, and alt-right websites. This is what Rex told graduates at VMI (a military school) in a commencement address this past weekend...

“If our leaders seek to conceal the truth or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom."

Amen. Mr. Tillerson speaks the truth.

Murphy in the Morning

Hey wait a second! I was just reading about the Murphy Brown reboot in The Hollywood Reporter and saw this little tidbit...

"The returning characters, who anchored newsmagazine FYI in the original, now have a morning cable news show called Murphy in the Morning."

I smell lawsuit. Whaddya say Robert Murphy, longtime host of Murphy in the Morning?

Senate Votes to Restore Net Neutrality

A shocking development yesterday. They were supposedly one vote short, but this is why you have the vote. Three Republicans joined the Democrats in the Senate, and they passed it!

Variety has the details.

The odds are still against it. The Republican house is framing this as a regulation (which it isn't. It's the opposite. It's a keep-your-greedy-mitts-away-from-our-internet move), so most of their members will vote no. The president doesn't understand it. He'll do whatever Fox News tells him to do.

But still...this was a good first symbolic step. The Democrats will be running on this in the fall.

As the Redstone Turns

There's something about the Redstone family (lead shareholders of CBS & Viacom) that really fascinates me. It's not because they are richer than God. It's because they are living, walking, talking soap opera. That's why I call this recurring segment as the Redstone turns.

Last week, CBS CEO Les Moonves was suing to stop Shari Redstone from trying to recombine CBS & Viacom. Today Redstone struck back. From the Hollywood Reporter...

Shari Redstone has made her next move in the legal showdown that puts the fate of the CBS and Viacom merger in uncharted territory.

The Redstone-controlled company National Amusements issued a statement Wednesday saying it "has delivered written consents to CBS to amend CBS’ Amended and Restated Bylaws, effective immediately, to safeguard against unlawful action by CBS and its special committee in derogation of their fiduciary obligations to shareholders."

"The amendment principally requires that certain board actions with respect to dividends and amendments of CBS’ bylaws be approved by a supermajority of the CBS Board of Directors and be subject to certain procedural requirements," the NAI statement continued.

In plain English, Redstone is attempting to block a plan by CBS to issue new voting shares to its investors in order to dilute the 80 percent voting control that she (and father Sumner Redstone) enjoy via their ownership of National Amusements, which owns a slew of special shares of both Viacom and CBS.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Interview Like An Expert

Lynee Alves is the owner/proprietor of an exciting new business. After many years working in the media as an executive, Lynee noticed there was a distinct lack of preparedness in the interview process...on both sides.

Lynee has personally conducted over a thousand interviews herself, and has written a comprehensive guide for how to conduct an interview, but she's also now conducting workshops and bootcamps to help. Have you ever lost a great candidate for a role with your company? Are you confident that your interview process is well defined and supports accurate assessments of candidates?

I have been through so many terrible interviews (as the interviewee), I immediately saw the brilliance in this idea. She knows her stuff and can really help.

If you want to find out more, here is her website.

Tell her Rick sent you.*

*Full disclosure, Lynee is my friend, but that should just further cement how sharp she is. :)

Green White

One of the books I've written is about this great soccer club, located in Mt. Prospect. Tryouts are next week for you youngsters looking for a club.

Book Signing Weekend

Book signing weekend! Come one, come all and pick up a couple of great Eckhartz Press books. On Friday, Randy Richardson will be at the Billy Goat (on lower Michigan) in Chicago, and on Saturday Beth Jacobellis will be at the Harp & Fiddle in Park Ridge.

Donald Trump's America

From sea to shining sea.

This one is in unprovoked anti-Muslim rant. "What is this Halloween?" to a Muslim wearing a hijab.

This one is in New unprovoked anti-Spanish rant. "I pay for their welfare" to people speaking Spanish.

Both of them from this week. Both of them perfectly normal looking white guys who should be wearing white hoods.

Not Even in the Top Ten?

Chicago is demanding a recount...although I am thinking of retiring in Wisconsin.

Tom Lounges Record Bin

Tom Lounges is a local legend in Northwest Indiana. He has been a music and media writer for the NWI Times for many years, and now he is opening up a store in downtown Hobart Indiana that sounds very cool...

Northwest Indiana music legend Tom Lounges has amassed a massive record collection in his decades-long career of writing about, talking about, booking and promoting musical acts.

Now he's putting his gently "pre-loved" vinyl records, as well as CDs and cassettes, up for sale at the Tom Lounges' Record Bin in downtown Hobart. The new record store, which opened Friday at 218 Main St., doubles as a mini museum with posters and other music memorabilia and a live 24/7 online radio station, Lounges DJs, at

For Lounges, it's a return to where he started his long, distinguished career — at shops like Hegewisch Records and Woodmar Records. He went on to write for national magazines, author liner notes for a dozen Sony Records albums, pen a weekly column for The Times, host radio shows at Lakeshore Public Radio and other stations, publish the Midwest Beat Magazine for more than two decades, run the Tom Lounges Entertainment booking firm, and lecture at many colleges throughout the Chicago area.

Tom has interviewed several Eckhartz Press authors over the years including John Records Landecker, Bobby Skafish, and Mitch Michaels. I wish him the best in this new venture.

Twitter is taking on trolls

This is great news if you spend any time on Twitter. I spend a little too much time there, I must admit, and when I leave it's usually because I run into a bitter nasty troll...or Bruce Wolf. This is what Twitter told Variety about how they will get rid of them...

To catch trolls in the act, Twitter is now using algorithms that detect suspicious behavior regardless of the content of the actual tweets. This includes users who open up accounts without verifying their email address, users who open up multiple accounts at the same time, and users who repeatedly tweet at someone who doesn’t follow them. “We’re also looking at how accounts are connected to those that violate our rules and how they interact with each other,” the company said.

It's a bit late, but I'm glad they are finally doing this. Twitter was in danger of becoming so toxic that people were going to leave in droves.

Facebook has disabled 1.3 million fake accounts

Recode has the story about Facebook's bot extermination program.

I was happy to see I haven't lost any Facebook friends, which means none of my pals were bots. I figured out the bot thing years ago. Whenever a super-hot twenty-something girl wants to be my Facebook friend, I say no. There are literally zero super-hot twenty-something girls who legitimately want to be my friend. At least I have the self awareness to realize that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Never propose with kids or animals nearby...

One last chance to save Net Neutrality

The odds are still not good, but Congress will be voting on it this week. Variety has the details...

Senate Democrats say they will force a vote on Wednesday on a resolution to restore the FCC’s net neutrality rules.

All 49 members of the Democratic caucus are in favor of the resolution, along with Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). If it passes, the resolution still faces a tough vote in the House, as well as the signature of President Donald Trump.

RIP Tom Woolfe

Free Kicks, Episode 2

EP2: Adam and Rick recap a memorable Premier League season, preview the FA Cup final, and discuss a possible new soccer franchise coming to Chicago.

Listen to it here.

Chicago Radio Ratings

From this morning's Tom Taylor NOW column...

Chicago has a new station tied for #2 – and it speaks Spanish. “Largest share in station history,” says ratings historian Chris Huff, for Univision’s regional Mexican WOJO (3.7-4.2-5.0). It’s now tied with Hubbard’s hot AC “Mix” WTMX (4.9-5.1-5.0). WOJO is also tied for second on weekend (though not with Mix). “Eric in the Morning with Melissa & Whip” keeps Mix in first place there. Like last month, Chicago’s overall picture is of a clear #1 station – iHeart’s urban AC WVAZ (6.6-6.1-6.1), and #1 everywhere except mornings. And then a plethora of ties, like WOJO and WTMX tied for second. It was almost a three-way tie, with Entercom’s news WBBM/WCFS moving 5.3-5.1-4.9. Like many other all-newsers, it’s especially strong mornings and nights (second in both dayparts). Fifth with its highest shares since September 2011 is Hubbard’s classic rock “Drive” WDRV (3.3-4.2-4.6, and tied for second middays). The next two stations (WLS-FM and WBMX) are intertwined, since WBMX (4.0-4.5-3.5) was classic hits before Entercom changed it to classic hip-hop/throwbacks as “104.3 Jams.” Now Cumulus classic hits WLS-FM shows the gains, up 3.1-3.4-3.5-3.8 since January. It’s fourth middays, while “Jams” is fourth at night. Actually, we should say that overall, WBMX is tied in seventh place, with Entercom’s country “US 99” WUSN (3.0-3.9-3.5) and easy oldies WRME, on a low power TV station leased by Weigel (3.6-3.5-3.5).

Chicago’s diverging baseball stories are revealed by the flagships of the Cubs and the White Sox. It’s easy to see who’s got the Cubs – Entercom’s sports “Score” WSCR (2.5-2.3-3.2, and now third at night). But there’s not much happening at Tribune’s talk/White Sox baseball WGN (3.1-2.2-2.0). WGN is 22nd overall, and 23rd at night. While Cumulus talker WLS (2.0-2.0-1.8) is the station that just shed the White Sox contract due to costs. At 2.2-2.5-3.0, Chris Huff says this is a PPM-record for Chicago Public Media’s not-for-profit news/talk WBEZ. It’s now eleventh in mornings. iHeart does country on “Big” WEBG (1.7-1.5-1.8). The Windy City’s cume leader is a station we haven’t mentioned yet, iHeart CHR “Kiss 103.5” WKSC. Its weekly cume reaches 1,891,600, but it’s tied for tenth with AQH share (3.0-3.1-3.3) – suggesting lots of potential. It’s unclear what’s happening with 97.9, the former classic rock “Loop” WLUP. K-Love parent Educational Media Foundation LMAs it from Merlin Media, but it doesn’t appear in this book. Suburban sister WJKL, also doing not-for-profit contemporary Christian, has a 1.3 share.

As the Redstone Turns

Even though patriarch Sumner is basically a 94-year-old vegetable (I mean that in the nicest possible way), the Redstone family is still causing problems with CBS and Viacom. From this morning's Daily Skimm...

CBS sued its controlling shareholder Shari Redstone for trying to make a merge with Viacom happen. CBS and Viacom used to be one company. Over a decade ago, Redstone's father Sumner - the billionaire media mogul - decided to split them up so Viacom (which runs MTV and Comedy Central) could thrive on its own. But CBS was the one that did well post-breakup. In recent years, the Redstone family has been toying with the idea of CBS and Viacom getting back together. But CBS CEO Leslie Moonves and its board of directors aren't fans of the potential merger. They're going for a "nuclear option" that takes away some of Redstone's voting power and gives it to shareholders. And requesting a temporary restraining order to keep her from making what they think are bad decisions for the company. The Redstones called the lawsuit "outrageous." Expect more drama. A crucial board meeting and a hearing about the restraining order are both happening later this week.

Another All-Chicago Radio Ad

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

Former Chicago television sportscaster Howard Sudberry will be everywhere on the radio today. Sudberry, now senior director of marketing and communications at Arlington International Racecourse, will appear in a 60-second interview on the effectiveness of radio advertising. More than 40 Chicago area radio stations will simulcast the promotion at 4:29 p.m. today. It’s the latest joint effort of Radio Broadcasters of Chicagoland to sing the praises of their medium. “Radio is an important part of our business,” Sudberry said in a statement. “The ability to change our radio advertising message frequently is the most effective way to let consumers know what is happening at Arlington.”

Monday, May 14, 2018

Johnny B Nominated for Radio Hall of Fame

This is another one of those "You mean he's not already in there?" moments, like last year's correction of the John Records Landecker oversight.

Right now, Johnny is only nominated. He is up for induction in the same category as Bob Rivers from Seattle, Preston Elliot and Steve Morrison from Philly, and Jim Harper and the Breakfast Club from Detroit.

I have a good feeling about Johnny's chances. He most certainly deserves to be in there.

Another EAS Test Gone Bad

Remember the alert that went out in Hawaii saying a bomb was on the way? Well, there was a similar false alarm over the weekend in Alaska. Tom Taylor's NOW column has the details...

The Anchorage Daily News says “The National Tsunami Warning Center issued what officials considered a routine communications test at 7am [Alaska time] Friday.” But it says “within minutes, people watching TV or listening to the radio heard what sounded like a legitimate tsunami [tidal wave] warning, extending from California to Hawaii and Alaska.” Yes, there was a mention of a “test” – but only after “a list naming almost every coastal county on the West Coast and Alaska.” Even Anchorage, an unlikely target for an ocean-borne disaster. The good news is that unlike Hawaii on that peaceful Saturday morning, there were almost immediate messages correcting the apparent alert. It’s still unclear just what happened. The National Weather Service in Juneau said “We issued a routine communications test message at 7am AKST that has been misinterpreted.” Unlike in Hawaii, the test didn’t go out to cellphones (via WEA) or weather radio. But just like Hawaii, expect the FCC to investigate.

Best Mothers Day Present Ever

Son #1 graduated from Columbia College yesterday. What a fun graduation ceremony. Made me wish that I had attended a school for creatives. Instead of Pomp & Circumstance, the band played "Walk This Way" when the students came up to get their diplomas. Instead of dry speeches, they got a gospel choir, a R&B ensemble, and a jazz band.

Tommy got his degree in cinema and television arts. He is available if anyone is looking for a video editor. That's his specialty, and he's really good at it.

Super proud of the young lad.

The Mob