David Bowie’s early years, Led Zeppelin’s wild party, Liver tattoos, the best Popes of all time, a crackpot COVID rap, and Lassie’s amazing life saving techniques are discussed by Rick and Dave.
Born OTD in 1947, Paul Reuschel. According to @jodonnell17, Paul once lived on the street I live on now. On 8/21/75, brother Rick pitched a shutout for 6 1/3 innings before tiring. Paul pitched the rest. The brothers remain the only siblings to combine for a shutout #EveryCubEver pic.twitter.com/qd70pfgj0H— Rick Kaempfer (@RickKaempfer) January 12, 2022
Radio host @MancowMuller announced on NewsNation he is running for governor of Illinois and says he wants to "leave people alone" but acknowledges he has "a graveyard" of skeletons in his closet. Read more: https://t.co/N6c6hl6i6S pic.twitter.com/IJ8s2ecxL5— NewsNation Now (@NewsNationNow) January 13, 2022
It's official. The entire country is crazy.
Seen during this morning’s Dallas City Council meeting: a rap during open mic about getting vaccinated. Here’s part of it. I missed the part where he squirted hand sanitizer on himself. pic.twitter.com/68iaTFXMas— Everton Bailey Jr. (@EvertonBailey) January 12, 2022
Thanks so much to Robert Feder for mentioning my Illinois Entertainer article in his column today. Here is what he wrote...
Rick O’Dell, program director of WRME 87.7-FM, the Weigel Broadcasting soft-rock oldies station known as MeTV FM, offers encouraging words for fans in an interview with Rick Kaempfer in the January issue of Illinois Entertainer. (Here is the link.) “Everyone else is chasing the younger viewer and listener, and if you want them, you’re only going to be able to get a much smaller slice of the pie,” said O’Dell, who’s been a Chicago radio treasure for four decades. “The stations focused on listeners 25-54 are in panic mode as the average age of the radio listener climbs up and up. Still, Weigel Broadcasting, in their radio and television products, is successful in targeting the older viewer and listener. That means we’re not in crisis mode, and we’re putting out a product that overlaps with my own taste and preferences, and we’re filling a niche for people in that age group by giving them music they really have no other place to get.”
This account of Andy's time with the Cubs comes from Just One Bad Century...
On this day in 2007, I reviewed a great media book about the dangers of media consolidation, a subject that is near and dear to my heart, in the Beachwood Reporter. Even though the media landscape has changed dramatically over the past 15 years, if you can find the book out there, it's still highly recommended.
Reviewed by Rick Kaempfer
As a long-time radio veteran, and someone who has followed the story of media
consolidation as closely as anyone in the country, even I was appalled by the
details of the
According to Klinenberg’s excellent narrative, local
officials tried to contact the radio stations in
There was only one problem with this plan.
Clear Channel owned every radio station in town, and all of the programming was coming from elsewhere. There wasn’t a single person in any of the radio studios to answer the calls, and therefore, there was no-one to alert the public about the impending danger.
By the time the cloud had dissipated, one man was dead, and
more than a thousand people needed medical care. If
And that’s just the introduction of “Fighting for Air.”
Eric Klinenberg, a sociologist from
Why does radio suck now? Klinenberg explains it.
Why does 24-hour cable television news cover so little news? Klinenberg explains it.
Why does it seem like we have more media options than ever, yet less information and entertainment? Klinenberg explains it.
He effectively and meticulously presents evidence of the cost cutting that follows all big media mergers, and shows how that has led to decreased news staffs in every medium. That, in turn, has led to a country that only appears to have more information available, while it actually has far less. (What’s more terrifying than an uninformed electorate? An uninformed electorate that actually thinks it’s informed.)
He shows how the increased power of these few media corporations has led to several big stories being buried in the broadcast media; including, and especially the effect media mergers have had so far, and the fact they are trying to get even bigger and even more powerful as this book went to press.
He chronicles the complete disregard the current FCC (and the one headed by former FCC Chairman Michael Powell) has for public, professional, and scholarly opinion about consolidation.
The arguments against media consolidation are clinically enumerated by Klinenberg, most convincingly in the sections about the loss of local news and information. The arguments that were presented by big media before the Telecommunications Act of 1996 are also thoroughly and convincingly proven to have been far off the mark. For instance, instead of the 1.5 million new jobs promised, 500,000 have been eliminated.
So what is the argument for further deregulation? I thought this was the funniest quote in the book. In a report often quoted by former FCC Commissioner Michael Powell: “The real danger to Americans is that outdated and unnecessary FCC restrictions will limit improvements in media markets and technologies, limiting the benefits that they can provide.”
Got it? They aren’t making enough money to improve technologies. If you just let them own it all…they’ll work harder at making it better.
Is there honestly someone in the world who believes that? Certainly no-one who has ever worked in the media. So why aren’t members of the broadcast media (who would personally be most harmed by further consolidation) coming out to aggressively point out how ridiculous this argument is? Simple.
To tell the truth about your corporate media bosses is to commit career suicide.
To tell the truth about the FCC is to bring down the wrath of the FCC on your bosses, which is an even more effective way of committing career suicide.
“Fighting For Air” isn’t the first book to tell this story, but it’s probably the most impressively researched and well written.
My only quibble with Klinenberg’s book is his assignation of political motives to some of the big media CEOs. In my experience, these guys don’t have a political agenda as much as they have insatiable greed. Scratch the surface of an apparent political agenda (even Rupert Murdoch’s), and you’re bound to find just another money grab.
At its heart, however, “Fighting for Air” tells an important truth: The big media corporations have completely abdicated the public interest obligations required as a precondition of operating the public airwaves, and the FCC, which was founded to keep an eye on this above all other things, is helping them do it.
I guess it takes a sociologist to tell the real truth about the media.
But at least he tells it well.
Rick Kaempfer was a
So two months ago Dobie Maxwell gave me a copy of his book Monkey in the Middle to bring back to LA for a mutual friend and I told him I would, on the condition that I got to read it first (once an English teacher...).
Dobie is a Milwaukee native and longtime Chicago comic. He's one of the first professional comedians I ever met - he hosted my first audition showcase at Zanies in September 2009 - and was definitely the first to ever compliment me on my act and encourage me to keep at it. I've always respected him as a comic and as a mentor, so I just thought it would be fun to read his story, and find out just where Mr. Lucky got his roots.
I got about 70 pages in before life became life and I ran out of free time. I picked it back up two days ago and burned through the last 300 pages about as fast as I've ever read anything.
This book is phenomenal!
It is an incredible, almost unbelievable (unless you know Dobie), story told by a master storyteller: it's compelling, it's unpredictable, and it's laugh out loud funny and emotionally devastating simultaneously. It is straight-shooting honesty and unapologetically flawed. It's Dobie in paperback.
It's the most I've enjoyed reading a book in a very long time (and again, English teacher, I read an awful lot of books).
Go get this book. Do it. Do it now. (Click here)
I have one recommendation before reading it, however - go see his show first. And I say that for three reasons:
1) after seeing the show you'll say "ah, that makes sense," about every three pages.
2) reading the book with Dobie's distinct, Wisconsin, doesn't-give-a-rats-ass voice in your head just makes it that much more enjoyable.
3) it's just a damn good show.
Thanks, Dobie, for the years of kind words and advice, and for one hell of and amazing read.
*Ten years ago today, WGN-TV Morning show producer Jeff Hoover reviewed my book "The Living Wills" (written with Brendan Sullivan). This is what he wrote about it...
Thanks to Robert Feder for posting these numbers today. He breaks it down by daypart here, if you are interested.
1. WLIT 93.9-FM adult contemporary, 11.8 (5.7)
2. WBBM 780-AM/WCFS 105.9-FM all news, 5.7 (5.7)
3. (tie) WBEZ 91.5-FM public radio news talk, 5.1 (4.7); WVAZ 102.7-FM R&B, 5.1 (5.0)
5. WTMX 101.9-FM hot adult contemporary, 4.4 (4.4)
6. WDRV 97.1-FM classic rock, 4.0 (4.8)
7. WLS 94.7-FM classic hits, 3.8 (4.1)
8. WGN 720-AM news talk, 3.7 (3.7)
9. WOJO 105.1-FM Mexican regional, 3.6 (4.3)
10. WXRT 93.1-FM adult album alternative, 3.5 (3.7)
11. WRME 87.7-FM soft rock oldies, 2.9 (2.7)
12. WKSC 103.5-FM Top 40, 2.8 (2.8)
13. (tie) WBMX 104.3-FM classic hip-hop, 2.7 (2.6); WPPN 106.7-FM Spanish adult contemporary, 2.7 (2.9)
15. WUSN 99.5-FM country, 2.5 (2.4)
16. WBBM 96.3-FM Top 40, 2.4 (2.4)
17. WCHI 95.5-FM rock, 2.1 (1.8)
18. (tie) WGCI 107.5-FM hip-hop, 2.0 (2.6); WLEY 107.9-FM Mexican regional, 2.0 (2.4)
20. WKQX 101.1-FM alternative rock, 1.7 (2.0)
21. (tie) WSCR 670-AM sports talk, 1.6 (2.1); WSHE 100.3-FM adult contemporary, 1.6 (1.8)
23. WMVP 1000-AM sports talk, 1.2 (1.6)
24. (tie) WFMT 98.7-FM classical, 1.1 (1.9); WPWX 92.3-FM hip-hop, 1.1 (1.2)
26. WVIV 93.5-FM Spanish contemporary, 1.0 (0.9)
27. WLS 890-AM news talk, 0.8 (0.8)
28. (tie) WCKL 97.9-FM contemporary Christian music, 0.7 (0.7); WSRB 106.3-FM R&B, 0.7 (0.8)
30. (tie) WXLC 102.3-FM hot adult contemporary, 0.6 (0.7); WZSR 105.5-FM hot adult contemporary, 0.6 (1.2)