Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Jeff Dickerson

Sad news on the local Chicago radio front. I never met Jeff, though we did correspond via e-mail a number of times. His colleagues at ESPN Radio certainly loved him.

RIP John Madden

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Dick Allen

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Friday, December 17, 2021

Thursday, December 16, 2021

New Video for My Sweet Lord

This is interesting...

Mitch Michaels

 Congrats on 50 years, Mitch! From Robert Feder's column this morning...

Monday marks a milestone for Mitch Michaels, afternoon personality on Alpha Media west suburban classic hits WERV 95.9-FM. It’ll be the 50th anniversary of his first broadcast on Chicago radio — as evening host on the former WGLD. “The station was on the floor of an old folks’ home — the Oak Park Arms Hotel in Oak Park — which I always thought was an unusual place for a rock station,” he once recalled. “There was a fire escape in the program director’s office and the door out faced east. I’d go out there for smoke breaks and just look at the Chicago skyline at night, knowing that’s where I really needed to be.” Michaels went on to a stellar career, including stops at WXRT, WDAI, WKQX, WLUP and WCKG. In 2017 he released his memoir, Doin’ the Cruise: Memories From A Lifetime in Radio and Rock & Roll, published by Eckhartz Press.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Top 5 for me

Amen sir

Monday, December 13, 2021

Randy Merkin

We had a fun time with Randy Merkin on Saturday pitching his book "Behind the Glass". Here are a few photos...

Friday, December 10, 2021

RIP Mike Nesmith

Sorry to hear about Mike's passing. That leaves only one Monkee (Mickey). I met Mike in the late 80s and he signed one of my old Monkees albums. I don't think it's a stretch to say that he was the most musically gifted of the Monkees. For one thing, he wrote this song, which was a HUGE hit for Linda Ronstadt. I personally prefer this version...

Thursday, December 09, 2021

Randy Merkin Event

Wednesday, December 08, 2021

John Lennon

This is how I heard the news that John had been shot. Never forgave Howard Cosell...

Monday, December 06, 2021

Minutia Men

When Harry Met Rehab

Chris Cuomo Fired

 I'm not suprised at all that he was fired. I am surprised it took this long.

But he gone.

Friday, December 03, 2021

Illinois Entertainer

The latest issue of Illinois Entertainer is out and includes my tribute to the Chicago media figures we lost this year. Thanks to Rich King, Joan Esposito, and Kipper McGee for helping me memorialize a few of their former colleagues.

Read it here.

Thursday, December 02, 2021

An Off-White Christmas


 This arrived in my e-mail box this morning. Perhaps it was in yours too. I'm not optimistic this is going to be settled anytime soon...

Cubs Fans,

Thank you again for being the best fans in baseball and providing remarkable support and love to our team. We are constantly reminded of the power of our sport to unite people, restore hope and provide joy. We hope you know you are central to making that happen.

As a valued member of our Cubs family, we would like to share an update with you on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Despite Major League Baseball's best efforts to reach an agreement with the Players Association, the current CBA has expired. As a result, MLB has been forced to commence a defensive lockout of Major League players. While we share your disappointment in the situation our game finds itself in today, we can assure you MLB negotiated in good faith and exhausted every reasonable avenue to try to avoid the first work stoppage in nearly 30 years.

Today’s announcement does not necessarily mean games will be canceled. The purpose of MLB taking this step is to create urgency to reach an agreement as quickly as possible with the goal of avoiding impact to the 2022 season.

MLB is working around the clock to reach an agreement by offering solutions aimed at addressing the Players Association's stated concerns in a manner that is fair to both sides, improves competitive balance on the field so every team has a chance to compete and improves and preserves the game of baseball for all fans.

Until an agreement is reached, we are not permitted to sign free agents, offer contract extensions, waive/option/release players or conduct trades. We have prepared for this undesired outcome. Once a new agreement is reached, we will be well positioned and ready to continue our work to build the next great Cubs team.

We are confident there is a path to an agreement and both sides will work together to protect, grow and strengthen the game we all love. In cooperation with MLB, we are committed to keeping you informed throughout this process. For the most up-to-date information from the League, please visit

We appreciate your patience and support as we await a new agreement. We know how important our team and sport are to you and your family. We can't wait to share the magic of Wrigley Field and enjoy competitive baseball with you in 2022.

The Chicago Cubs

Chicago Radio Ratings

 For the full break down of the dayparts, click here on today's Robert Feder column. These are the overall numbers...

1. (tie) WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.7 (6.7); WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 5.7 (4.6)
3. WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 5.0 (5.8)
4. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.8 (4.3)
5. WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 4.7 (4.9)
6. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.4 (3.5)
7. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 4.3 (4.5)
8. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 4.1 (3.8)
9. (tie) WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.7 (4.0); WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.7 (3.5)
11. WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.9 (2.9)
12. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.8 (2.8)
13. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.7 (2.7)
14. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.6 (2.5); WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.6 (2.5)
16. (tie) WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.4 (2.3); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.4 (2.4); WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.4 (2.4)
19. WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 2.1 (2.5)
20. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 2.0 (2.0)
21. WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.9 (2.3)
22. (tie) WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 1.8 (1.7); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 1.8 (1.8)
24. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.6 (2.0)
25. (tie) WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.2 (1.3); WZSR 105.5-FM hot adult contemporary, 1.2 (1.1)
27. WGRB 1390-AM gospel, 1.0 (0.6)
28. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 0.9 (1.1)
29. (tie) WLS 890-AM news talk, 0.8 (1.1); WSRB 106.3-FM R&B, 0.8 (0.7)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Dick Allen book

Monday, November 29, 2021

Get Back

 What did I do over Thanksgiving break? I watched all seven hours. Loved every minute of it. An absolute delight for Beatles fans.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

EveryCubEver '22

 It's here! The brand new 2022 edition of my book "EveryCubEver" is now available at Eckhartz Press. There are over 100 new and/or updated entries (geez, the Cubs had a lot of new players this year). It's the perfect Christmas gift for the Cub fan in your family. We have a few new endorsements too...

“From the immortals to the footnotes, they’re all here. Every player has a story. An enduring fascination for any baseball fan with the curiosity to ask, hey, who were those guys?”
--Lin Brehmer, WXRT Radio

“Amazing. That’s the only word for EVERY CUB EVER. Amazing. For bar bets, crazy stories, pull-out lists (every Cub born in Hawaii
or every Cub to serve in the military) and playing “Six Degrees of Fergie Jenkins”, it’s a die-hard’s must-have. Its immersive Cubness bound to please both the casual fan and the red-eyed obsessive, not to mention the ghosts of all the Colts, Orphans and White Stockings who can be found whizzing around the warning track, rustling the ivy.”
---James Finn Garner, NY Times Best Selling Author, Politically Correct Bedtime Stories

Tuesday, November 23, 2021


Here's the full list of nominees from the big 4 categories...

 Record Of The Year: "I Still Have Faith In You, ABBA; "Freedom," Jon Batiste; "I Get A Kick Out Of You," Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga; "Peaches," Justin Bieber f/Daniel Caesar & Givēon; "Right On Time," Brandi Carlile; "Kiss Me More," Doja Cat f/SZA; "Happier Than Ever," Billie Eilish; "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name," Lil Nas X; "Drivers License," Olivia Rodrigo; "Leave The Door Open, "Silk Sonic.
 Album Of The YearWe AreJon BatisteLove For SaleTony Bennett & Lady Gaga; Justice (Triple Chucks Deluxe)Justin BieberPlanet Her (Deluxe)Doja CatHappier Than EverBillie EilishBack Of My MindH.E.R.MONTEROLil Nas XSourOlivia RodrigoEvermoreTaylor SwiftDondaKanye West.
 Song Of The Year: "Bad Habits," Ed Sheeran; "A Beautiful Noise," Alicia Keys & Brandi Carlile; "Drivers License," Olivia Rodrigo; "Fight For You," H.E.R.; "Happier Than Ever," Billie Eilish; "Kiss Me More," Doja Cat Feat. SZA; "Leave The Door Open," Silk Sonic; "MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)," Lil Nas X;  "Peaches," Justin Bieber f/Daniel Caesar & Givēon; Right On Time," Brandi Carlile.

 Best New Artist: Arooj Aftab, Jimmie Allen, Baby Keem, FINNEAS, Glass Animals, Japanese Breakfast, The Kid LAROI, Arlo Parks, Olivia Rodrigo, Saweetie. 

Monday, November 22, 2021

RIP Doug Jones

Time to Become a Basketball Fan Again

Fox News Contributors Quit

Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes used to be widely respected conservative pundits. They quit over the weekend because of the network's dangerous "documentary" about January 6th.. In the special Tucker Carlson says the violence of January 6th was a false flag operation, which is obviously untrue, and was reported as it were on one of America's top cable networks. It's the lowest point ever for a network that has had many low points. I applaud Goldberg and Hayes for their principled stance.

Friday, November 19, 2021

RIP Mick Rock

Randy's Book Launch

 A few photos from last night's Randy Merkin book signing. Thanks to everyone who came out. Randy had a great time and was very humbled by the huge turnout...

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Les Mann

Book Launch!

 Life is slowly returning to normal for us at Eckhartz Press. Tonight we're even having a book launch party...our first one in two years. Randy Merkin and his book "Behind the Glass: Stories from a Sports Radio Producer" are the stars. Come out and see him, meet him, buy his book, and get it autographed tonight November 18, at the Claim Company in Northbrook (776 Skokie Blvd.) Drop by any time 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Dave and I will be there too. We hope to see you there!

Don't Travel Like a Local

 Eckhartz Press author Brent Petersen (Truffle Hunt) has a great website, in case you haven't checked it out before. It's called Destination Eat Drink (He has a podcast with the same name on the Radio Misfits Podcast Network). Today's piece is a great one. Here's a short excerpt pointing out that the conventional tourism adage is should NOT travel like a local...

Locals get up early every morning and go to a job they hate. Locals are worried about their kids’ school. Locals are eating leftovers for dinner in front of the TV. Locals are paying bills

Meanwhile, tourists are sleeping in at their luxurious hotel. Tourists turned on their “out of office” automatic email reply. Tourists left the kids with grandma. Tourists are eating at gourmet restaurants every night. Tourists put everything on the credit card that they won’t worry about paying until they get home.

Locals don’t go to vineyards for wine tastings or to the top of the Eifel Tower. They’re too busy getting crushed on the subway during their commute.

Locals don’t visit a museum and then have a leisurely lunch at a cafe while people watching. They scarf down a sandwich at their desk between depressingly soul-sucking meetings.

Locals don’t take a sunset cruise complete with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. They’re answering after-hours emails and desperately trying to get the kids ready for bed.

Lisa Dent

 Happy for Lisa Dent. She was named the new afternoon voice at WGN Radio, according to today's Robert Feder column. Steve Bertrand stays aboard as newsman. Anna Devlantas loses her show, but will remain on the staff as a reporter.

The new WGN lineup is...

6 to 10 a.m. Bob Sirott
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. John Williams (including the Wintrust Business Lunch at noon)
2 to 6 p.m. Lisa Dent and Steve Bertrand
6 to 7 p.m. WGN Radio’s Money Matters (airing early 2022)
7 to 10 p.m. John Records Landecker

Of course, I have previously interviewed Lisa. When we spoke in 2016, she was the morning co-host at US-99.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview

 This week's Minutia Men Celebrity Interview is with actor Dan Butler, ("Bulldog" on Frasier). He's in town for the play "When Harry Met Rehab"

Another New Eckhartz Press Book

Lots of good news for us at Eckhartz Press these days. Our latest book (not even released yet) has already been optioned for a movie. From Robert Feder's column this morning...

A new book about the late Chicago White Sox legend Dick Allen has just been optioned for a documentary film. Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, The 1972 White Sox and a Transforming Chicago, soon to be published by Chicago-based Eckhartz Press, was written by John Owens and Dr. David Fletcher and edited by veteran sportswriter, baseball historian and author George Castle. (Here is the link to order.) “We look back at this unique time in Chicago history, when the arrival of a controversial slugger lifted the Sox out of a daunting hole and united a fractious fan base during a time when Chicago was going through tremendous changes,” said Owens, a longtime producer and president of the Chicago/Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Allen, who missed induction to Cooperstown by one vote in 2014, is on the 10-person National Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Days Era Committee ballot. Andy Billman, the former ESPN producer who directed episodes of the “30 For 30” series, optioned the book and will be with Allen’s family in Orlando for the Hall of Fame vote December 5. A portion of the book’s proceeds will be donated to Gilda’s Club Chicago. 

Jim Baumann on WGN Radio

Eckhartz Press author (Grammar Moses) Jim Baumann appeared on WGN Radio the other night to discuss his book. You can listen to the interview here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

The True Middle America

30 years ago today


Monday, November 15, 2021

Every Cub Ever Sale

 For the next two weeks we have a sale (while supplies last) of my EveryCubEver book (2021 edition) at Eckhartz Press. It's 50% off until the end of the month. The new 2022 version (at full price) will be coming out in December. Click here to order.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Tuesday, November 09, 2021


Bob Boone

 Looking for something to do tonight? This will be a fun virtual event at the Glencoe Library. I'll be on-line checking it out. Register here:

Monday, November 08, 2021

Randy Merkin

Thank you Robert Feder...

Randy Merkin, operations manager and executive producer of Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM, has just released Behind the Glass: Stories from a Sports Radio Producer. (Here is the link.) Published by Rick Kaempfer and David Stern’s Chicago-based Eckhartz Press, the book highlights Merkin’s encounters with athletes, coaches, journalists and celebrities over his three decades in the business. It also offers an inside look at how radio shows are produced and provides expert advice on how to book big-name guests. Merkin, who got his start in radio at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, worked at One-On-One Sports (later known as Sporting News Radio) before joining ESPN 1000 as executive producer of Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s midday show in 2007.

When you've even lost the NFL Today crew

Minutia Men

This is Your Life, Roger Badesch

Eckhartz Press author, and now retired WGN newsman...

Jim Baumann in Elgin

 Thanks to everyone who came out to Elgin on Saturday to meet Eckhartz Press author Jim Baumann (Grammar Moses). Jim sold a lot of books while managing to stay safe and follow protocols. He also had a great time.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Behind the Glass by Randy Merkin

Our latest book is currently being announced on AM 1000, ESPN Radio. That's because the executive producer of the station is our latest author. Click here to pre-order today.

Here are a few reviews...

  • “As a new talk show, finding the right executive producer is vital to a show’s long-term success. I can say that the Waddle & Silvy Show has been successful over parts of three decades due, in part, to Randy Merkin. After his sweaty first interview with Waddle, our PD, and me in 2007, Randy quickly established relationships with A-list guests, a trust with Chicago teams, and a quick wit on the air.

    Merk is much more than an executive producer & is one of the best storytellers I know. I’ve enjoyed watching him creatively navigate booking the best guests in the business. And, if he’s booked them once, they continue to join us thanks to Merk establishing a trust that few other producers earn. Merk is a pro’s pro, a lifelong friend & radio brother.”

    Marc Silverman, Co-Host of the Waddle & Silvy Show, ESPN Radio AM 1000
  • “Randy is an incredible radio talent. His vast knowledge of the business and bottomless pool of contacts are unmatched. I’ve learned a lot about the business from Randy. His talent is only exceeded by his loyalty and integrity. Randy is the best!!!”

    Tom Waddle, Co-Host of the Waddle & Silvy Show, ESPN Radio AM 1000
  • ”In our years together I saw Randy go from green to whatever the opposite is when it comes to experience. I also saw him go from black to grey (now I’m talking hair), maybe from having to deal with us! But when it came to guest booking, I’ve never been with anyone better. My partner, Bob Berger, and I would marvel at his naivete when it came to his guest pursuits, and what he said he could deliver, until he actually DELIVERED! What a great joy it was for us to have those conversations, thanks to Randy’s passion and ‘never take no for an answer approach.’ He was the best!”

    Bruce Murray, former host, One-On-One Sports/Sporting News Radio & current host, SiriusXM’s NFL Radio
  • “After more than 40 years in radio, I can tell you that Randy’s the best. There’s nobody better at booking guests! If there was a Hall of Fame for producers, Randy would get in on the first ballot. The list of those he somehow convinced to come on radio shows is a who’s who’s of the sports world and beyond. I was lucky enough to be in front of the microphone for many of those interviews.”

    Bob Berger, former host, One-On-One Sports/Sporting News Radio
  • “While we cherish champions in the world of sports, we cheer louder for champions in the game of life. Character, integrity and honesty matter. That sums up Randy Merkin.”

    James "JB" Brown, Host of NFL Today on CBS and Inside the NFL on Showtime


Free Kicks

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Jim Baumann on Minitua Men Celebrity Interview

Jim Baumann with Steve Cochran

Women in Radio

 Behind the Tribune paywall so I can't read it, but having seen the business first hand, I probably don't need to...

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Eckhartz Press Author Bob Boone

VIRTUAL Author Event with Bob Boone

 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Glencoe Public Library


Hammond Room


Event Details

Journalist Donald Liebenson will interview Glencoe’s own Bob Boone about City U, his most recent book of short stories. Mr. Boone will also read selections from City U and answer questions about his other books of school stories, which, according to Eric Lutz of New City, “sparkle with the feeling of lived experience.”

REGISTER HERE for this Zoom-based virtual event.

About Bob Boone: Mr. Boone and his wife have lived in Glencoe since 1969. In addition to his short story collections, he has written a memoir, a sports biography, a literature anthology, and three creative writing books. Bob has taught English in New York City, Germany, and Highland Park. He has also taught in Chicago, where he founded Young Chicago Authors. For his work with city youth, he was presented with an award at the White House by Michelle Obama.