Saturday, October 13, 2018

Behind the Scenes with Chet Coppock on WGN Radio

Some behind-the-scenes photos of Chet Coppock's interview yesterday at WGN (with Bill & Wendy). Also, the audio of the very entertaining interview is at this link.

Minutia Men, Episode 111

EP111: Rick and Dave discuss squirrel CPR, Chicago Radio Spotlight, a John Wayne Gacy Jenkins moment, Rick’s brush with former Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak, and they interview Svengoolie–Rich Koz.

Listen to it here.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Chet on WGN Radio

Heading downtown today. Chet Coppock is set to appear on Bill & Wendy's show at 10:30am.

I'll be there to take a few pictures and check out the new studios.

Listen if you get a chance. Should be a fun interview.

The Saudis

It appears that the Saudis lured Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi to the Kingdom under false pretenses, and then gruesomely murdered him. There is supposedly an audio and video tape of the murder.

Our president is freaking out about this, but not out of outrage. He doesn't want to do anything to retaliate. Why?

He personally makes a lot of money thanks to the Saudis. (This is why we have an emoluments clause in the constitution)


He signed a big arms deal with the Saudis. (Although it hasn't actually happened yet)


Jared is best buds with the Saudi Crown Prince. (That's the guy who allegedly ordered the murder)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Kathy Hart

Robert Feder's column this morning gives us an update on Kathy Hart (formerly of the Eric & Kathy show)...

Kathy Hart, the former Chicago radio morning star who’s been a free agent since her highly publicized breakup with Eric Ferguson, is getting a shot as a talk show host on WGN 720-AM.

Hart will appear as guest co-host three times in the coming weeks alongside weekend host Frank Fontana on the Tribune Broadcasting news/talk station. They’ll be on during Fontana’s regular show from 1 to 3 p.m. this Sunday and October 28, and they’ll fill in for John Williams from 1 to 3 p.m. October 17.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New Paul Video

Not sure why, but this new Paul McCartney video put a big smile on my face. Totally unexpected from Paul. Dig it.

Sad News

Chicago Radio Spotlight

I just updated my Chicago Radio Spotlight blog to include links to the interviews I've done for the Illinois Entertainer. There are now more than 250 interviews of Chicago media professionals in the archives. Feel free to peruse...

Check it out here.

Now on Spotify!

This is exciting news for both Minutia Men and Free Kicks with Adam & Rick...

What did he just tell him?

I know I'm starting to go down a conspiracy rabbit hole, but tell me that Trump didn't just tell former Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy something terrible...

Q&A with Donald G. Evans

A great Q&A of Eckhartz Press author Donald G. Evans--conducted by one of our favorite writers, Christine Sneed.

You can read it here.

Don's book is available here (paperback or special edition hardcover)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

From this morning's RAMP Newsletter...

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the 15 nominees for its Class of 2019 -- The Cure, Def Leppard, Devo, Janet Jackson, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Stevie Nicks, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan and The Zombies.

If some of these nominees sound more than a little familiar, its because this isn't their first time up for induction: repeat nominees include LL Cool J (his 5th), Kraftwerk (5th), Zombies (4th), MC5 (4th), Janet Jackson (her 3rd), Rufus featuring Chaka Khan (3rd), Radiohead (2nd), The Cure (2nd) and Rage (2nd). The rest of this year's group of artists are first-time nominees.

From now through December 9, fans can vote daily in the Fan Vote presented by Klipsch Audio. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will comprise a "fans' ballot" that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2019 inductees. Visit to cast a ballot -- voting is capped at one ballot per day. At press time, Stevie Nicks leads the Fan Vote, followed closely by Def Leppard.

Of that list, here are my choices: The Cure, Devo, Kraftwerk, Roxy Music, Todd Rundgren. Time to get some of that New Wave scene in the Hall, man.

50 Years of WBBM News Radio

From Robert Feder's column this morning...

Current and former employees of WBBM 780-AM will gather tonight to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Entercom station’s all-news format. Following the lead of CBS Radio stations in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, WBBM Newsradio’s actual launch date was May 8, 1968. “It was a learning experience getting into it and getting it all set up,” recalled news anchor John Hultman, who joined the station three months earlier. “The format has changed a little over the years, but we are telling people what they need to know — about traffic and weather, about sports, about the stock market, about the breaking stories.” Tonight’s 50th anniversary celebration at the new Chicago Architecture Center is by invitation only.

Fox Movie Drama

The star-studded film about Roger Ailes and Fox News is undergoing some last second unexpected drama. They were set to begin filming in two weeks, and the main financier suddenly dropped out, leaving it in limbo.

The Hollywood Reporter has the details.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

That first book

Without a question, the best part of being a publisher is sharing in the joy of an author getting to see the first copy of his or her book. "The Scar Dance" author William Mansfield got to experience that moment over the weekend, and we couldn't be happier for him.

Happy Birthday John

John Lennon would have been 78 years old today. Here are a few of my favorite Lennon songs...

I don't know how to say exactly how much John's music meant to me, but let me put it to you this way. I have a son named John, AND a son named Sean.

20 Years of ESPN-AM 1000

Robert Feder's column this morning is about the 20th anniversary of ESPN Radio in Chicago. The station is holding a big party on Friday to celebrate the milestone.

Monday, October 08, 2018

Exactly How I Used to Take Them

RIP Sandy the Tramp

From this morning's Robert Feder column...

Don Sandburg, the former WGN producer and writer who played Sandy the Tramp on “Bozo’s Circus” from 1961 to 1969 and was credited with creating “The Grand Prize Game,” died of complications from Alzheimer’s disease Saturday in Springfield, Oregon. He was 87. “Behind the scenes, Don Sandburg was the creative force that steered [‘Bozo’s Circus’] into one of the most enduring and loved children’s shows ever produced,” recalled WGN producer Jeff Hoover. Sandburg later was a producer for “The Banana Splits” and a writer for “New Zoo Revue” and the “Star Trek” animated series. He began his career in Cincinnati, where he worked with Bob Bell (Chicago’s original Bozo) and Wally Phillips before all three were hired at WGN.

Q&A with "An Off-White Christmas" author Donald G. Evans

An Off-White Christmas features a dozen stories all set on or around Christmas, though with little to no clear religious emphasis. Instead, these stories explore life changes and choices and chaos in times of heightened drama, when family and friends and life partners merge to form cohesive units, happy or otherwise. The stories range from a gambling spree in Las Vegas to a caravan traveling to Baraboo; from a teepee hotel in Kentucky to a retro movie theatre in Arizona; from a jolly Santa lookalike to a frustrated Dickensian actor; from students to retirees. Christmas, in these stories, is a character as much as a setting—it acts upon and with plot to create tension, but each story is unique. It’s hardly all sugar plums and pure white flakes, but always there’s that hope. Just as the notion of a “white Christmas” evokes well worn traditions of the holiday, these dozen “un-white Christmas” stories introduce potential traditions that could expand and augment the Christmas spirit.

We recently got a chance to have a chat with author Donald G. Evans about this exciting project.

EP: "An Off-White Christmas" is a collection of short stories that revolve around the Christmas season, but they really aren't religious stories. Is that why you chose the title?

Don: An Off-White Christmas comes from a line in the title story, but it resonates, I hope, throughout the collection. The white, or tainted white, does not refer to a virgin quality, or anything Biblical. Rather, it suggest the imperfections inherent in the various characters and settings as they try to orchestrate or participate in a holiday that is hyped as something it could never live up to. Plus, I think it's funny, which is always, in my mind, gives it bonus points.

EP: One of my favorite things about this book is that it features stories from all around the country. Why did you choose these locations, and are the stories based in any way on real life events?

Don: I'm familiar with all the settings, some more intimately than others. Las Vegas and Casa Grande were both places in which my parents lived. Syracuse is where I went to graduate school and return frequently to visit relatives. My wife and I lived in South Amana, Iowa for several years. We visited Lanesboro, Minnesota for a weekend. And so forth. So I chose the settings in part because I had observed them, and knew enough to incorporate the wheres with the whos and whats. I believe that settings should be integral to the story, not mere backdrop. And, yes, I stole anecdotes or episodes from my experiences or the experiences of others. But in the end, these experiences, in terms of the places and people and events, act merely as launching pads to an exploration of worlds that in the end are largely created, even if the details mirror real life. There is a difference between telling a good story while you drink at the bar and writing a good story. Well, lots of differences. Stories as they happen to you refuse to capture any larger sense of drama or meaning, and the actions and reactions therein often pale in comparison with the possibilities. Writing fiction gives an author license to reinvent those scenes and make the story live up to its possibilities. Experiences often don't make sense to me at the time, but writing them, even in a fictionalized form, enables me to understand my life and the life of those around me better.

EP: The illustrations in "An Off-White Christmas" are fantastic. How did you get hooked up with illustrator Hannah Jennings, and what was your guidance to her for creating illustrations to match the stories?

Don: I met Hannah through Margot McMahon, the fabulous sculptor. She recommended Hannah when the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame was looking for a designer to redo our website, in part to include a literary map of Chicago. Hannah's work on the website, in tandem with her partner Rich Kono, who is the technical expert, was fantastic. Over the course of working with Hannah on the website, we became friends, and I got to knew her work as an illustrator and artist. I love her work--the colors, the subject matter, the texture--and so when I started thinking about the way this collection should look I broached the subject with her.

EP: There's also a very special limited edition hard cover version of this book--and it's beautiful. Why did you choose to go this route?

Don: I collect books, especially Chicago books. The book as an object is important to me, and well made books lend themselves to a permanence that cheaply made books do not. I own several sets of Folio Society books, as well as Easton Press books, and they look awesome on my bookshelves. There are two Folio Society sets--one is the Sherlock Holmes stories, and the other the Sherlock Holmes novels. The spines on one make a silhouette of Holmes; the spines of the others make a silhouette of Watson. I'm never getting rid of those books, even if I don't read them again. I want, first and foremost, for my book to look just as awesome on my own shelf, and secondly to look just as awesome in scattered shelves throughout the country. I want people to say, "Oh, you have to see this one!"

EP: People may not realize that you are also the Founding Executive Director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, which keeps you incredibly busy. Has it been difficult to find time to continue to write?

Don: Yes, sure. Every responsibility you accept naturally takes time away from writing, and running the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame is a big responsibility. I've had difficulty finding a balance between my own writing and everything else since probably my son Dusty was born. I was the stay-at-home dad, and priorities shifted. Nothing seemed as important as anything having to do with Dusty, and it's mostly still that way. With the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame I'm consistently advocating for other writers, and collaborating with a variety of scholars, authors, organizations, artists, and so forth. I think it's my natural bent to do things for others rather than myself. That said, I've been trying for a while to recapture that time and place in which my own writing is sacred and I tell all my other responsibilities to fuck off until, say, ten o'clock. I'm not there, yet, but now that Dusty is in high school it's certainly possible. Like I lot of things, I have to do it now, which is always harder than being able to do it.

EP: You're scheduled to be out and about quite a bit to promote this book. What are a few of your upcoming appearances if people would like to meet you or hear more about you?

Don: Well, the event schedule is on my website, and I'm always updating it. I'm going to stick around Chicago because I don't much feel like going on the road and it doesn't make sound financial sense. The Oak Park Festival Theatre is going to do a staged reading of one or two of my stories, possibly with the backdrop of A Christmas Carol set; I'm looking forward to that one, but we're trying to nail down the date and venue. The launch at Cliff Dwellers should be a lot of fun--great place, spectacular view, and a club I like a lot. There will be a series of private house parties--I like parties and I think I'll like parties at which everyone buys my book even better. If anybody wants to go to one of the private parties, they should just email me; it's not that we're trying to be exclusive with these, just that we cannot just open the doors and go from there. In other words, we need to know who's coming in advance, but within reason everybody is welcome.

Minutia Men, Episode 110

EP110 – Rick and Dave discuss a granny who scares away prowlers by pulling out dentures, a cheerleader with pot brownies, a German criminal mastermind, Rick’s brush with artist Peter Max, and they talk to the Godfather of Sports Talk Radio, Chet Coppock.

Listen to it here.

Chet Coppock promotional video

Scotty Bastable

My old friend from my Loop days, Scotty Bastable, just got a big new gig. Congrats to Mr. Bastable. From Radio Online...

Veteran media sales executive Scotty Bastable is named VP/Director of Sales for Cumulus Media's cluster in San Francisco, effective November 15. Bastable was previously Agency and Corporate Development Manager for CBS 360 in San Francisco. Prior to that, he was General Sales Manager for crosstown KOIT-FM and Director of Sales for then Clear Channel Radio/San Francisco.

VP/Market Manager Doug Harvill said, "Scotty is a solid sales management leader who is admired by his employees, advertisers and competitors. I've both competed and worked with Scotty and I'd much rather work with him and have him on the Cumulus team. He will be an incredible asset to our stations and client partners."

Bastable added, "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I am thrilled to join Cumulus Media, where teamwork and collaboration thrive. I have always had a special relationship with radio, and I am thrilled at this amazing opportunity with Cumulus Radio Station Group-San Francisco. The future belongs to those who think big, and I am all in with Cumulus' vision."

McConnell Called On It

Mitch McConnell so rarely gets called on his bullshit he doesn't have an answer except to repeat his previous points louder...

Great Ad