Saturday, July 23, 2022

Minutia Men--A Funny Finn

 Our latest episode has dropped. You can listen to it here.

The difficulties of learning American English, tips for avoiding the English heat, Jewish delis, less than observant Scottish cops, and Damone from Fast Times at Ridgemont High floating down a river in Los Angeles. [Ep277]

Friday, July 22, 2022

Cubs Tweet of the Week

Media Notebook--7-22-22



A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago…




*Marconi Award Finalists

This week the NAB announced finalists for this year’s Marconi Awards. Chicago is represented in a few of the categories. The Drive (WDRV) was named as a finalist for Major Market Rock Station of the Year. Janda Lane’s “Behind the Song” podcast is a finalist for Radio Podcast of the Year (Read my recent interview with Janda here). And the Score’s afternoon hosts Danny Parkins & Matt Spiegel are finalists for Major Market Personality of the Year. Congrats to all of the finalists. A full list of the finalists is here. 


*Score 30th anniversary

On Wednesday the Score celebrated their 30th anniversary with a live broadcast. They brought back some of the original Score staff. I saw Tom Shaer, George Ofman, and Terry Boers in the pictures. Looks like they did not invite Dan McNeil, which is a shame. He certainly played a big part in the Score history. I did enjoy this video. An introduction of the staff…


*A Tribute to Lin Brehmer

Pete Crozier was Lin Brehmer’s producer for years at WXRT and continues to help with the production of Brehmer’s Lin’s Bin feature. When it was announced that Lin was stepping down from the show temporarily to undergo treatment for cancer, Pete wrote a beautiful tribute on his facebook page. With his permission, I’m re-posting a portion of it here. Read the rest on Pete’s facebook page…

It’s 5:32 a.m.

The morning show started two minutes ago.

The hotline flashes. I answer.



I look at the recorded open and calculate how long until the mic goes live.

“Fifteen seconds. Talking Heads cued up. Ready to roll.”

“Once in a Lifetime?”

“Yep," I say.

“K. I’m walking to the back.”

I skip out of the studio. As I turn left, and then right, I hear two loud thumps on a metal door.

I kick it open and he comes in, a tattered leather bag in his right hand, a tray of four lattes in his left and the Firesign Theater’s “That’s Not Funny, That’s Sick” album squeezed under one arm.

He hands me the lattes as the open ends and the Talking Heads song starts.

“Sixteen second intro,” he says, a statement not a question.


He hands me the album and says, “Bill Murray’s birthday. Cart up Mr. Roberts, part one. End with, ‘You should sleep late, much better on your constitution’.”

“Eleven seconds,” I say.

He smiles and says, “Like taking candy from a baby.”

He nudges open the studio door with his hip as I enter a production studio across the hall. I hit a button on the board that brings his voice into my headphones.

“Goooooooooood morning, everybody.”

I think to myself, "Four seconds."

“Take nothing for granted. It's great to be alive,” he says, hitting the post perfectly as David Byrne starts singing, “And you might find yourself living in a shotgun shack…”

Lin Brehmer.

Chicago radio legend and my friend.


*Black Information Network

The RAMP Newsletter reported this week that the Black Information Network is now on the air in Chicago via WMFN-AM, branded as BIN 640 AM.  BIN is an iHeart operation, and Tony Coles is the president. He provided this quote to RAMP:

                "BIN brings Chicago the most trusted full-time news network for both local and national news by and for the Black community, and we're looking forward to the network's impact in the community for years to come."


*Former Chicago Radio alerts

=Former WLS-FM program Director Michael La Crosse just got a big promotion out west. He is now VP/Programming for IHeart’s seven radio stations in Sacramento.

=Former Kiss-FM (WKSC) weekend jock Nick Gomez is now the 7-Mid jock at WIHT in Washington


Media Interviews

The following Chicago media figures are celebrating birthdays this week. If you’ve like to read any of my previous interviews with them, click on their names below. The year I interviewed them is in parenthesis.

July 19—Loop night and overnightjock Terry Gibson (2007) 

July 19—WGN Program Director Todd Manley (2015) 

July 20—Loop/WCKG producer/host Pugs Moran (2012) 

July 21—AM 1000/ESPN/WCKG/WLUP personality and award-winning playwright Spike Manton (2007) 

July 21—River PD and morning personality Danielle Tufano (2014)  

July 22—WLS/Q-101/Loop personality Tim Virgin (2019) 




*Eddie Olczyk leaves the Blackhawks

Good Ol’ #16 was not just a part of Blackhawks broadcasts for years. He was/is simply the best color analyst in the game. Jim O’Donnell explores and explains Eddie’s departure in his Daily Herald column this week.


*No charges for Colbert crew

The announcement about the decision not to prosecute came this week. Sounds like it was a no-brainer once cooler heads prevailed. ABC News had the details…

A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office said it was not probable a conviction could be obtained and sustained given that the nine arrested had been invited and that their escorts had never asked them to leave the building. Though Capitol Police have refused to provide the names of those who were arrested, a person familiar with the matter provided The Associated Press with a list of nine people who had been stopped by Capitol Police. They included several producers, along with comedian and writer Robert Smigel, the voice behind Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.


*Netflix loses a million subscribers

You would think that losing a million subscribers in one quarter would be a disaster, but when your projections were that you’d lose twice as many, it softens the blow a bit. Adweek has the details about the exodus, and the new ad-supporter version of Netflix that is coming soon.

*Chris Cuomo’s first interview

The former CNN prime time host has been lying low since he was fired for improprieties earlier this year. The Hill reports that he has agreed to sit down with Dan Abrams on NewsNation next week for his first nationally televised interview.  (Chris Cuomo has also started a podcast if that's your thing)


*Canabis ads

You would think that cannabis ads would be legal in states that have legalized weed. You would be wrong. Because pot is still considered illegal federally, the FCC does not allow canabis ads on the public radio or television airwaves. The U.S. House took steps to rectify the situation this week. Radio Ink has the details at the link. The bill still faces likely opposition in the Senate. But I’ve already created the first Cannabis ad. This is a freebie for all of you media mavens…


Other Media News


*Pulitzer Reaffirms 2018 Awards

Former president Trump was urging the Pulitzer board to rescind their 2018 Pulitzer Prize awards to the Washington Post and New York Times for their reporting on his Russia scandal because he claimed that he had been exonerated by the Mueller Report (which, by the way, explicitly did not exonerate him). After re-examining the reporting that won the prize, the Pulitzer board announced that they are reaffirming the awards. Nothing in those reports has been proven untrue, despite the former president’s claims.


*Amazon vs. Facebook

There’s no good guy in this story. Two evil giants are going head-to-head in court. Amazon is suing Facebook because of their Facebook groups promoting/creating fake ratings for amazon products. Techcrunch has the details. Is there a way for both of them to lose?


*The Kennedy Center Honors

The 45th Kennedy Center Honorees have been announced, and it includes Gladys Knight, George Clooney, Amy Grant, Tania Leon, and U2. Here’s the statement U2 released…

                "In December 1980, we made our first trip across the Atlantic to America. We had big dreams then, fueled in part by the commonly held belief at home that America smiles on Ireland. And it turned out to be true, yet again. But even in the wilder thoughts, we never imagined that 40 years on, we would be invited back to receive one of the nation's greatest honors. It has been a four-decade love affair with the country and its people, its artists, and culture. We consider America to be a home away from home and we are very grateful to the Kennedy Center Honors for welcoming us into this great clan of extraordinary artists."

Galway Podcast

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2014, Eckhartz Press author Bruce Bohrer appeared on WGN Television to talk about his book Best Seat in the House.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Uwe Seeler

 One of the all-time greats of soccer has passed away, West German star Uwe Seeler. Believe it or not, he once came to Chicago and watched a Green White game (the club my father co-founded) when we were still located in the city. Here's a clip from the German newspaper...


Eckhartz Press author and Radio Misfits podcaster Brent Peterson (Destination Eat Drink) has a new piece out on his DED website that I recommend. It's about Galway, Ireland. I was with Brent for a lot of this exploration of Galway earlier this year.

Here's the link.

Here's a photo or two from Galway...(Brent and his girlfriend Karen are in the photo with Bridget and I)

Eckhartz Everyday

*Today is Eckhartz Press co-author Spike Manton's birthday. Happy birthday to Spike! He co-wrote the book Patty & The Stump.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sox in the Basement

Live from the Blue Island Beer Company, Eckhartz Press authors John Owens and David Fletcher on the Sox in the Basement podcast. Listen to it here.


Talking 'Bout My Generation

From The Patch...

Talking ‘Bout My Generation Released By Chicago's Own Eckhartz Press

William J. Wagner Pens Intriguing Novel Following the Mystical Journey of Pete Townshend's Guitar!

Music-lovers, guitar-lovers and classic rock-lovers...rejoice! 

You won't want to miss this fascinating and imaginative romp, chronicling the life of a guitar, and the lives it touches along the way! 

The book can be pre-ordered today at Chicago's own Eckhartz Press!

Summary (Courtesy of Eckhartz Press) 

Talking ’Bout My Generation: The Amazing Journey of Pete Townshend’s Woodstock Special is an imagining of what happened after that guitar left Townshend’s hands.

Woodstock was meant to be the pinnacle of the hippie youth movement—a moment when peace, love, and understanding would prevail—but Pete Townshend, the temperamental guitarist for "The Who", didn’t buy into any of it. Known more for smashing his guitars than preaching free love, he saw Woodstock as a festival of slop that had been marred by rain, LSD, and misguided idealism. 

Yet at the end of The Who’s performance, as a brilliant sunrise broke through thick storm clouds, he couldn’t help but be caught up in the moment. Instead of reducing his guitar to splinters, he held it out like a religious offering and gently tossed it into the crowd.

Talking ’Bout My Generation: The Amazing Journey of Pete Townshend’s Woodstock Special is an imagining of what happened after that guitar left Townshend’s hands. 

Over the course of three decades, the Gibson SG Special touches the lives of an array of colorful characters. The guitar is a symbol of hope, but will it survive it's amazing, sometimes harrowing journey? And will it ever be reunited with Townshend?

About the Author

William J. Wagner is an award-winning writer and editor who’s been at it for thirty-plus years, mostly in Chicago. He has written for everything from Sports Illustrated to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and also is the author of a book about the Chicago Cubs titled Wrigley Blues. In his spare time, Wagner likes to play guitar. He owns a (but not the) Gibson SG. 

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2021, Roger Badesch released the audio book of his Eckhartz Press memoir The Unplanned Life.

*On this day in 2017, Eckhartz Press author Bill Paige appeared on WBEL to promote his book Everything I Know I Learned From Rock Stars.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Happy Birthday

Talking 'Bout My Generation

 The reason we do this...the moment the author gets his first copy of the book. Will Wagner's book "Talkin 'Bout My Generation" (a great novel about the journey Pete Townshend's guitar took after he tossed it into the crowd at Woodstock) is available for pre-order beginning today.

Studio Walls

       Every week I send my Minutia Men Co-Host Dave Stern a list from our audio archives for this week's Studio Walls feature. These are the possibilities for this week. Which one will he choose?

*July 17 is Fast Times at Ridgemont High star Robert Romanus' birthday. He appeared on our show a few years ago to talk about the film. (Listen to entire interview here)

*July 18, 1910 is the anniversary of the classic poem about the Cubs, Baseball's Sad Lexicon. We have the audio of a famous actor reading that poem. (AUDIO)

*July 19 is Wayne Messmer's birthday. We have audio of Wayne singing a song written by Rick when he was the producer of John Landecker's show. (AUDIO)

*July 20, 2002 is the debut of the cartoon Jimmy Neutron. We interviewed the voice of Jimmy, Debbie Derryberry, a few years ago. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*July 21 is playwright/author/broadcaster/comedian Spike Manton's birthday. Spike was nice enough to join us as a guest on the program a few years ago. (Listen to the entire interview here)

*July 22 is composer Alan Mencken's birthday. We interviewed his songwriting collaborator Glen Slater a few years ago, and Glen told us all about the genius of Alan. (Full interview here)

*July 23, 1965, the Moody Blues released their debut album. We had Moody Blues member Alan Hewitt on the show last year. (Listen to the interview here)

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is Ilie Nastase's birthday. The former tennis star is featured in the Eckhartz Press book Signature Shoes. 

*On this day in 2021, Eckhartz Press author Paul M. Banks sat down for a Q&A session. You can read that here.

*Today is also Wayne Messmer's birthday. Wayne was kind enough to appear at a book signing for us a few years ago for Cubsessions.

Monday, July 18, 2022

Baseball's Sad Lexicon

The poem “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon” written by Franklin Adams was published in the New York Evening Mail. on July 18, 1910. It’s probably the most famous poem ever written about the Cubs, and it was so memorable it probably got Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance elected into the Hall of Fame.

The poem went as follows…

These are the saddest of possible words: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.” Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds, “Tinker and Evers and Chance.” Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble, Making a Giant hit into a double— Words that are weighty with nothing but trouble: “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Adams was, of course, a Giants fan. And Giants fans had seen just about enough of Tinker, Evers and Chance. After all, the Cubs had won four of the previous five pennants–and each time the Giants were their biggest rival.

1910 also marked the end of the Tinker to Evers to Chance era of dominance. They played their final game together early in the 1912 season.

Adams got the last laugh. He may have immortalized the Cubs double play combination, but in the next fourteen years the Giants were in the World Series seven times.

Eckhartz Everyday

 July 18 is a big day in Cubsessions history.

*In 2018, Cubsessions had it's own night at the Book Cellar in Lincoln Square. In 2019, Cubsessions was part of a huge celebration at Club 400 in Lake in the Hills. Carlos Zambrano and Willson Contreras were there.

Minutia Men--The Old Man in the Cubicle

 Our latest podcast is out and available. Listen to it here.

Younger workers complaining about older workers, a mustard shortage in France, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Alabama judge mocking Asians, ridiculous memorization, and a listener story about Mutual of Omaha’s Jim Fowler. [Ep276]

Chili Dog on the South Side

 We had a great time yesterday out at Blue Island Beer Company. John Owens and David Fletcher were there, so was the Sox in the Basement podcast. The fellas sold and signed books, and did a fun 30 minute podcast...