Saturday, May 16, 2020

RIP Mike McCaskey

This is getting ridiculous

Lost another one. Phylis George is gone at age 70.

He's Mad as Hell

I suspect he's not the only one who feels this way...

RIP Fred Willard

Lost another one. Comedy great Fred Willard passed away at the age of 86. I loved him in just about everything, but my favorite has to be his performance in "Best in Show". Here's a little taste...

Friday, May 15, 2020

Hey, that's me!

My contribution to the Inside for Indies program, helping to raise money for independent book stores trying to survive this crisis...

RIP Astrid

And yet another one. Sheesh.

60 years ago today

In his first start as a Cub, Don Cardwell throws a no-hitter...

RIP Bob Watson

Lost another one...

I have a bunch of Bob's cards including these...

KIng of *arts

I wrote this song with Hall of Famer John Records Landecker back in our WJMK days. The video was created this week by my son Tommy. It's his favorite of the Landecker & the Legends songs. It's one of the two songs the station banned us from playing on the air. (The other was about Jeffrey Dahmer).

Hall of Famer

So yesterday John Landecker was officially inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. (Read the full All Access article here)

The second day of sessions streaming at the NAB SHOW EXPRESS included an opening event celebrating "Achievement in Broadcasting," with a highlight being the induction of legendary radio personality JOHN RECORDS LANDECKER into the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS Hall of Fame.

LANDECKER's career took him to ANN ARBOR, GRAND RAPIDS, LANSING, and a stint at WIBG-A (WIBBAGE)/PHILADELPHIA before his long stint at WLS-A/CHICAGO, where he became a dominant talent in the market for many years; he later hosted at CFTR-A/TORONTO, WLUP, WAGO/WCKG, WLS again, WJMK, and WZZN/WLS-F in CHICAGO, and WIMS-A/MICHIGAN CITY, IN. His induction was preceded by a tribute video including his daughter, actress AMY LANDECKER, her husband actor BRADLEY WHITFORD, his WLS PD JOHN GEHRON, comedian GREG ECKLER, and iHEARTMEDIA AC KOST/LOS ANGELES morning host ELLEN K, and clips from his WLS days, including his "Boogie Check" bit. In accepting the award, LANDECKER said he would say something no other award recipient would say -- "I'm not wearing any pants" -- before closing with his signature line, "RECORDS truly is my middle name."

The Lisagor Awards

This year's Peter Lisagor Awards were handed out virtually, depriving the winners the joy of picking it up on stage in front of their peers. Nevertheless, it's a great honor. I was honored twice during my "Father Knows Nothing" days, which I consider the highlight of "journalism" career.

This year's winners are listed here.

Among the winners is my old pal Charlie Meyerson for his excellent blog Chicago Public Square.

A needed change of pace

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Hall of Famer

Free Kicks--Soccer is Back-ish

Soccer is back! Well, at least it is in Germany. In this week's episode, we'll break down the Bundesliga for you and tell you all the latest details about the re-opening of the Premier League.

Listen to it here.

Donald G. Evans

This week's Minutia Men celebrity interview features a chat with the director of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame (and Eckhartz Press author) Donald G. Evans. He has some great stories.

Listen to it here.

Mitch Michaels

Got this e-mail today from Bob Zak, a former colleague of Eckhartz Press author Mitch Michaels. We support this movement...

To Fellow Broadcasters and Radio Fans,

Please take a moment to nominate radio legend Mitch Michaels to the Radio Hall of Fame. His time has come to be recognized for his countless contributions to our industry.

Click this link:

Mitch Michaels has a long record as a personality, innovator & communicator, with more than 45 years in Chicago radio at WGLD, WXRT, WDAI, WKQX, WLUP, WBBM-FM, WCKG, WLS, WXCD, 9FM and WRXQ. Mitch currently hosts afternoon drive on 95.9 The River.

Thank you!
Bob Zak

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Liz Cheney

I'm fairly sure I've never agreed with anything this woman has said since she entered public life...until now.

Lindsay Eanet

Felicia Signs Off

A day after the morning drive ratings in Chicago cemented her WBBM show (co-hosted with Pat Cassidy) in first place, Felicia Middlebrooks has announced she's leaving the station. Her last day will be May 29th. She's leaving radio like Michael Jordan left the Bulls...right after hitting the game-winning shot.

Robert Feder has the details about Felicia's next project.

Happy Birthday Stevie!

Lately it seems I'm writing an RIP post every day. This is not one of those. It's a happy birthday post. Stevie Wonder is 70 years old today. One of the all-time greats. In my book, one of the five best songwriters of my lifetime.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Chicago Radio Ratings

Robert Feder posted these figures today. Click here if you want the daypart breakdown...

1. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 8.4 (7.7)
2. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 6.4 (5.1)
3. WGN 720-AM news talk, 5.6 (4.5)
4. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 5.4 (4.3)
5. WVAZ 102.7-FM urban adult contemporary, 5.0 (5.3)
6. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.4 (5.2)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.0 (4.3)
8. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.9 (3.8)
9. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 3.7 (4.3)
10. WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 3.1 (2.4)
11. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 3.0 (3.3)
12. (tie) WGCI 107.5-FM urban contemporary, 2.8 (2.3); WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 2.8 (3.1)
14. WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 2.6 (3.1)
15. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 2.4 (2.1); WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.4 (2.4)
17. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.2 (2.5)
18. (tie) WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.1 (2.7); WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.1 (2.8)
20. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip hop, 2.0 (2.4); WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.0 (2.4)
22. WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 1.8 (1.8)
23. (tie) WEBG 95.5-FM country, 1.5 (1.2); WFMT 98.7-FM classical 1.5 (1.1); WPWX 92.3-FM urban contemporary, 1.5 (1.4); WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.5 (1.3)
27. WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian, 1.3 (1.3)
28. (tie) WMBI 90.1-FM Christian ministry, 1.2 (1.0); WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.2)
30. WIIL 95.1-FM album-oriented rock, 0.8 (no previous share)

50 years ago today

Ernie's 500th homer. I remember it vividly...

RIP Zay Smith

So sorry to hear this news. I followed him in the Sun Times. He followed me on social media and we engaged in spirited banter.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Longest Home Run I've Ever Seen

Exactly 20 years ago today...

Misinformation really can kill

Not Exactly a Partisan

The US is becoming an embarrassment. This is the guy who killed Bin Laden. Listen to his point of view on the subject...


I think we all feel this way. Hoping it can happen safely and soon.

RIP Jerry Stiller

Another great is gone. He will always be Frank Costanza to me.

This is a hilarious blooper from the DVD collection. RIP Frank.

What is the latest science on this virus?

The Washington Post has a great piece explaining all the unexpected ways COVID-19 damages and attacks the body. It's not just a respiratory virus, it's a cardiological virus--and that's the part that is killing so many people. (It also may be why finding a vaccine will be very difficult)

John Hopkins Corona Virus Resource Center felt it was necessary to release this paper, explaining why it's a bad idea to shoot for herd immunity. Bottom line: We still haven't seen any evidence that people become immune to this virus. That seems like a pretty important point.

Look, I understand why you want to get back out there. I do too. I saw my mom over the weekend for the first time in almost two months. But we wore masks and kept our distance. This is just too friggin dangerous.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

RIP Betty Wright

Lost another one. R&B singer Betty Wright has passed away at the age of 66. Wow has this been a bad year...