Friday, May 25, 2018

Free Kicks, Episode 3

EP3: Adam and Rick discuss Adam’s trip to Barcelona including the game he saw there, as well as the FA Cup final, a preview of the Champions League final, and the finer points of coaching Adam learned from the Spanish.

Listen to it here.

Minutia Men, Episode 95

EP95 – Minutia Men, Rick and Dave discuss Serena playing beer pong, a 30-year-old who still lives with his parents, another cake-writing controversy, Babe’s last stand, and Rick’s brush with local Chicago legend Ray Rayner.

Listen to it here.

One Creep Charged, Another Revealed

Notorious sexual predator Harvey Weinstein was charged with rape and sexual assualt in New York today. He could be going to prison for a very long time.

And another creep was revealed. This one's a crusher, and it's fair to say it's nowhere near the Harvey Weinstein level, but Morgan Freeman has been accused of inappropriate behavior and harassment. It was mostly things that he said, and the looks he gave women. Freeman released a statement: “Anyone who knows me or has worked with me knows I am not someone who would intentionally offend or knowingly make anyone feel uneasy. I apologize to anyone who felt uncomfortable or disrespected—that was never my intent.”

Write City Review

This is a beautiful book that we published for the CWA. Highly recommended...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Man with the World's Longest Name

For the past few years I've been asked to come to a local school and talk to the children about being an author. I did that again this week. This time was a little different than the previous appearances. This time the kids greeted me by reading a children's story I wrote to me. They also illustrated it (the original illustrations were ruined in a flood), and put it into a book. I was very touched. Thanks so much to the kids at North School in Des Plaines.

The story is a poem I wrote when my grandfather was ill. It came to me in a dream. It's really the only children's story I've ever written. About five years after I wrote it, there was a writing contest sponsored by Diet Coke, and I submitted it as an entry. It won the grand prize; a trip to New York to meet with the big publishers there. I didn't know it at the time, but that weekend in New York was the beginning of my writing career.

I haven't published the story on my blog before. One day Eckhartz Press will publish it properly. If there are any illustrators who would like to tackle it, let me know. If not, maybe I'll just go with a group of kids. They are all very talented.


Rudy liked to play in the park, there were so many things to do,
He could slide down the slide, or play in the sand, or he could swing on a swing or two,
Every day he went to the park, as soon as he finished school,
And he would wait for his mom to pick him up, that was his #1 rule.

One day the sun was shining bright, and he had little time left to play,
He couldn’t stop watching the man on the bench, who came to the park every day,
There was something about that old man there, and Rudy couldn’t help stare,
Birds were flocking and landing on him, and they came from everywhere,

He held a big bag, and fed all the birds, and soon the food was no more,
But they stayed to listen to the old man talk, and Rudy wondered, "What for?"
So he dropped the sand he was playing with, and he walked to the end of the park.
What was the old man saying to them—what were those soothing remarks?

But as he approached, the birds flew away, leaving Rudy alone with the man.
The man looked at Rudy, and Rudy looked back, and he almost turned and ran.
"What is your name?" came a gentle call, and he added, "You look like a Mike."
Rudy shook his head, and the man guessed on, "Are you Charlie, or Kenneth, or Ike?"

"Rudy's my name," he heard himself say, and he wondered about the man's name.
He wondered if he was supposed to guess back, were they playing some sort of game?
"What is your name?" Rudy asked the old man, then guessed "Are you a Joe?"
"Yes, I am," the old man replied, "and a Tom, and a Sean, and a Moe!"

"I'm also a Vince, a Benny, a Pete, a Billy, a Jim, and a Barry,
I'm a Chuck, and a Steve, a John, and a Beav, an Alex, a Mark and a Gary.
All of these names are part of me now, I’m the man with the world’s longest name,"
And he told little Rudy the story about, how he achieved this acclaim,

"I once had three names," the old man said," A first, a middle and last.
But that was many years ago, before my loved ones passed,
When I was a boy, my granddad died; I mourned him and I cried,
My mother tried to comfort me, but I wanted to know why he died."

"God called for him," she said to me, "He also loves your granddad.
And he touched our lives, like no one else; be thankful for the years that we had.
What one thing will you miss the most, what made you love him so much?"
I said, “I loved the way he made me laugh, with a face, or a smile, or a touch."

"Do you think that you could do that, son, to people that you meet?"
I just nodded and looked at her, and I slowly got up to my feet.
"That way he still lives with us," I said, as the idea came.
"And since he is now part of me, I shall add his name to my name."

"I added his name to my other three, to make the total four.
And many years have passed since then, and I've added many more.
My father was great, and he loved to sing, and though he’ll never have fame,
When he died, I learned his songs, and I added his name to my name."

"My mother was kind and loved animals, she soothed them with her sweet words.
And when she died, I added her name, and I came to talk to her birds."
Rudy was quiet, but then he asked, "Have all of those people died?"
"Oh, no!" said the man, and he smiled at Rudy. "Inside me they're quite alive!"

"If you wanted to add my name," Rudy asked, "would you put it right after Mark?"
"If I added your name, I'd put it first, and I'd love to play in the park."
Rudy smiled and said “My mom’s coming soon, I better get back to the sand,”
And though he never saw him again, Rudy never forgot that old man.

Biondi Leaves WLS

I've heard this was true for a few months, but it wasn't officially announced until this morning. Robert Feder has the details...

When Dick Biondi turned 85 last September 13, WLS 94.7-FM honored the legendary radio personality with a daylong celebration that included an outpouring of on-air salutes and social media messages along with a “Happy Birthday, Dick Biondi” web page.

No one knew it at the time, but those tributes turned out to be Biondi’s farewell from the Cumulus Media classic hits station.

Marv Nyren, vice president and market manager of Cumulus Chicago, confirmed Wednesday that Biondi’s employment ended months ago. He’s no longer on the WLS website, and he’s not expected to return as weekend morning host.

Biondi did not respond to requests for comment.

I know Dick hasn't been healthy enough to broadcast, and that's the main reason he hasn't returned. It's a bummer for his many fans. I worked with Dick for a decade at WJMK, and I think the world of him. Just a year or two ago he and I appeared on Tony Lossano's podcast together (photo below). Get well soon, Dick! Chicago loves you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Brandi Chastain?

Totally agree with this tweet...

He's Doing it On Purpose

This piece in the Washington Post is pretty revelatory. It's an interview with 60 Minutes reporter Leslie Stahl. She talks about the lead up to her interview with President Trump. Before the interview began she asked him why he always rips the press, and he said..."you know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me no one will believe you.”

Adam Nielson

Every now and then there are reminders that my generation is running the world. That always comes as a surprise to me--but I can usually put it out of my mind and pretend that I'm still young.

But I was reading this article today about the federal farm bill (a sign that I'm getting old right there), and what did I see? The name of an old college friend of mine. I lost contact with him after college (which is now more than 30 years ago). It turns out, he's done well for himself. From

In the midst of the partisan fighting, Adam Nielsen, director of national legislation and policy with the Illinois Farm Bureau, said politics are getting in the way of needed stability for farmers.

“Getting House passage would have been a little bit of a shot in the arm,” he said. “Instead, everybody’s wondering where do we go from here.”

Adam Nielson! We worked together at WPGU in Champaign. And now he is the "director of national legislation and policy with the Illinois Farm Bureau."

Good for him!


Two people in this photo graduated from college in 2018. The baby being held by me (Tommy Kaempfer) and the DJ who asked me to bring him in on Take Your Kids to Work Day in 1996 (John Landecker)

Jeff Hill

I worked with Jeff at a few stations not listed in this article (the Loop, WJMK). Congrats to him on his new position. From the RAMP Newsletter...

Cumulus Media has appointed 30-year Chicago radio sales pro Jeff Hill as Vice President of Sales for Cumulus Media Chicago. In the newly created position, Hill will head up sales for Alternative WKQX, Classic Hits WLS-FM and Talk WLS 890 AM. The move also marks a radio homecoming of sorts for Hill, who previously served as Local Sales Manager for WLS-AM back in the day.

Hill crosses the street from WGN Radio, where spent the past eight years as Director of Sales. He previously served that station as Local Sales Manager and Interim GM. Prior to that, he was Sales Manager for ABC Radio for eight years and Local Sales Manager for CBS Radio's WCKG.


Went to see Utopia last night at the Chicago Theater. Great show! The first set was for the die-hard fans--they did a bunch of their old progressive stuff. (Not my favorite). The second set was the good stuff. Really entertaining. Loved it.

I ran into a bunch of old radio pals there too. In the picture below...(left to right) Mike Medina, Michael McInerny (son of Jimmy Mac & Wendy), Jimmy Mac, me, Fred Huebner, and Dan McNeil.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Sinclair and WGN

The FCC is once again looking at the Tribune merger with Sinclair, and they are accepting comments in favor or against. Odds are they will ignore the comments, but it has worked in the past. Charley Meyerson's newletter Public Square has the details for exactly how to make those comments...

WORRIED ABOUT THE WGNs? If you’re of a mind to let the FCC know how you feel about Trump-aligned Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plan to acquire Tribune Media, parent of WGN-TV and Radio, the FCC site doesn’t make it obvious. Here’s how:

Go to this page (where you can read others’ comments).
Click on the “+ Express” link in the lefthand column.
Make sure the docket number 17-179 appears in the “Proceeding(s)” field.
Comment away.

Obamas Make Deal with Netflix

From this morning's Politico...

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have entered into a “multi-year agreement” to produce films, documentaries and various series for Netflix, the company announced Monday.

Netflix did not immediately disclose the dollar amount the Obamas are expected to receive, but the company said in a tweet that the wide-ranging contract includes the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and feature films.

Sounds like a good use of their talents, and a way for them to continue to reach people.

Richard Milne

I was one of the people who was ticked off when WXRT removed Bobby Skafish and gave the afternoon shift to Jason Thomas. It was a major downgrade, in my opinion. That being said, I figured he was part of XRT's plan to go younger. If that was the plan, the plan has been canceled. According to Robert Feder this morning, Richard Milne is the new afternoon man...

After more than three decades as a weekend and fill-in air personality at WXRT 93.1-FM, Richard Milne has moved up to afternoon drive — from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday — on the Entercom adult album alternative station. Jason Thomas, who’d hosted afternoons since 2006, will shift to weekend and fill-in duty, and continue to host “The Big Beat” from 10 p.m. to midnight Mondays. “Needless to say, I’m thrilled at the prospect of day-to-day communication with WXRT listeners and working full-time alongside an air staff that I’ve long considered the best in radio,” Milne said. “Many great years are ahead for WXRT and I’m proud to have been asked to play a part.” The Addison Trail High School alum, who started in college radio at Southern Illinois University and worked at the former WDEK in DeKalb, joined WXRT in 1986. For 26 years, Milne hosted and produced “Local Anesthetic,” the station’s weekly new music showcase.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Cameo in Park Ridge

Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the Harp & Fiddle in Park Ridge to support Eckhartz Press author Beth Jacobellis and her book "Cameo". Enjoyed it very much. Ran into someone I interviewed over twenty years ago, former radio personality Abby Polonsky (now a radio salesperson). That's the last photo. I texted it to our mutual friend John "Swany" Swanson from Eric & Kathy's show.


WPGU (Champaign-Urbana) posted this picture over the weekend. From the wayback machine. 1984 in Champaign. That's me on the far left. I had just interviewed the guy on the scooter, John Hunter (lead singer of the Hounds). We later gave away the scooter to a lucky WPGU listener.

The hair. Look at that hair.

Spain WC Roster

The three Spaniards on Chelsea (winners of last weekend's FA Cup) have been left off their national team...

I am not one of these guys

But I sure am glad they are on my side...

Sarah Palin on SNL was Tina Fey, as Sarah...

WLIT Loses a Morning Host and brings back Melissa Forman

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

It’s over and out for Kristina Kage as morning personality at WLIT 93.9-FM. Friday was her last day on the air at the iHeartMedia adult contemporary station. No comment from station bosses, but insiders said her replacement will be named today. Kage, whose full name is Kristina Zsenyuk, arrived in 2015 from Portland, Oregon, where she previously had worked with Mick Lee, program director and afternoon personality at Lite FM. In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, Kage’s morning show ranked 12th overall with a 2.9 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 468,000.

The news came out just an hour later that Melissa Forman is coming back to the show. This is great news. Melissa is a super-talented morning host. Again, Robert Feder has the details (who else?)

Randy Richardson at the Billy Goat

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Billy Goat on Friday night to see Randy Richardson. Those who attended got a few bonuses...namely Ronnie Woo Woo, former Cub Steve Trout, the man behind the Shawon-O-Meter (and now Schwarb-O-Meter) Dave Cihla, and various members of the Chicago literary community (including author Dan Burns and Chicago Literary Hall of Fame founder Donald G. Evans)....

Sunday, May 20, 2018


I have not heard anyone dent the logic of this tweet...

If the above is true, and it most certainly appears to be, than everything else is just noise.