Friday, October 14, 2022

Media Notebook--10-14-22


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



*You know who loves contentious elections? Media companies

=And not just because the conflict drives the ratings. That’s just a bonus. The real reason is because the tighter the race, the more money candidates spend on ads. Inside Radio says $10.6 billion will be spent on midterm election ads. Of that, Radio & Podcasts will rake in about $644 million. (The vast majority is still spent on television)


*Sports-talk Battle

=Jeff Agrest covers sports media for the Chicago Sun-Times, and he has taken a deeper dive into the ratings for sports-talk. Interesting battle going on in the morning time slot…


*WGN Tidbits

=Rick Kogan is receiving a major award from the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, the Fuller Award for Lifetime Achievement. The ceremony will be on October 18th.

=Jim Bohannon announced his retirement. His last show is tonight. Bohannon is 78 years old, and he is retiring due to health reasons. For the past few years he has been holding down the overnight slot at WGN (out of Washington), but he has been a nationally syndicated host for more than 30 years.

=Steve & Johnnie filled in for Dave Plier last weekend and welcomed guest Ted Gordon Smucker. They talked about the glory days of WCFL & WLS.

=Andy Masur eloped and got married last weekend. The WGN sportscaster announced it on Facebook

*R.I.P Art Laboe & Anita Kerr

= Art was 97 years old. You may not know his name because he was mainly a broadcasting icon on the West Coast, but if you ever go to the Museum of Broadcast Communications, their showcase radio studio is named after Art. 

=Anita was 94 years old. She did the first jingles for WLS Radio back in the day. Here are a few samples…


*WLTL Wins National Award

=The radio station at Lions Township High School has a stellar reputation. It’s become almost old hat for them to be named Best Radio Station in the Nation at the John Drury High School Radio Awards. It happened again this weekend, the 8th time they’ve won it since 2002. They also won 14 individual awards.

=Lots of local media types are WLTL alums including Ryan Arnold, Emma Mac, Dave Juday, Brendan Greely, Matt Dahl, Steve Darnell, and Mike Murphy.


*Hub Arkush Health Update

=From his son Arthur…


*Podcast Corner

=Media news fans will probably be interested in this Mediaite podcast interview of former Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan. She discusses her new book, and persuasively argues that not all cable-news-bias is equal. Guess which one is worse than the others?

=Tis the season for Halloween podcasts. I’m not kidding.


*WLEY News

=Maire Mason has been the VP/General Manager of Spanish Broadcasting System’s New York stations. The announcement came out yesterday that she would add WLEY in Chicago to her general managing portfolio.

*Ex-Chicago Radio Corner

=Dick Helton was a mainstay at WBBM NewsRadio for 29 years before he moved to KNX Los Angeles in 1998. This week he announced his retirement. Full details are here.





*October 10 was WGN Morning Show producer Jeff Hoover’s birthday. I’ve interviewed Hoover a number of times over the years. This one from 2007 was the first time.


*October 10 is Chicago TV news icon Carol Marin’s birthday. You surely know that Carol has won countless awards (including Emmys, a Polk, a Peabody, and more), but did you know she was the sister-in-law of the late news great Garrick Utley? She is also an Illini. Just sayin.


*October 11, 1975, SNL debuted. This is a clip from that very first show. •


*October 12 is the birthday of two WLS Radio executives: VP/Market Manager Marv Nyren and Program Director Stephanie Tichenor.

*October 12 is former Windy City Live host and current ABC-7 sportscaster Ryan Chiaverini's birthday. It was a milestone this year. Ryan is now 22. Just kidding. He's 45. 


*October 12 is former WMET PD Tom Teuber’s birthday. Tom also worked in town at WBEZ.


*October 13 is Fox 32 morning show anchor Roseanne Tellez’s birthday. Roseanne has been on television in Chicago since the mid-90s. She previously worked for Channel 9 and Channel 2.


*October 14, 2007, exactly 15 years ago, I got my one and only chance to interview legendary audio man (Loop/Drive/Mix) Matt Bisbee. He doesn’t do many interviews.


*October 15 is the birthday of former WLS program director Kipper McGee. Kipper has his own consulting business now. A few years ago he wrote a book about the business called Brandwidth, which has gotten rave reviews within the industry. I’m not just saying that because I published it.


*October 15 is Jeff-Award Nominated Playwright (for the play “When Harry Met Rehab”) Harry Teinowitz’s birthday. Of course Harry is probably better known in Chicago for his radio career. I interviewed him about that for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2007.


*Former Chicago weatherman John Coleman was born on October 15, 1934. He is remembered here in Chicago for his wacky antics at Channel 7, but his greatest achievement was probably founding the Weather Channel. Coleman passed away in 2018. (Photo: as part of the Eyewitness News Team in 1972) 





*Say Goodbye to InfoWars

=Alex Jones doesn’t have the $965 million he is being ordered to pay, but he may have to pay every cent he has (reportedly hundreds of millions), and everything he earns in the future. Libel and slander have consequences, and it’s hard to imagine a more egregious case. On the other hand, anyone with hundreds of millions of dollars will probably find a way NOT to pay.



*Rich King & John Owens are finalists for Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year

=Former WGN-TV and WBBM-TV sports reporter Rich King published his third book (Ike & Me) with Eckhartz Press this summer, and this week the Chicago Writers Association named it a finalist for Book of the Year (in the Indie Non-Fiction category).

=John Owens works at WLS, ABC-7, but he’s also an author. He co-wrote the book Chili Dog MVP with Dr. David Fletcher, which was released earlier this year. That book is a finalist in the same category as King.


*30 Years of Placko

=I’ve known Dane Placko since the mid-80s, and I honestly didn’t even remember him with brown hair. Congrats to him for 30 years at Fox 32.


*Network TV Corner

=Ever since Daily Show host Trevor Noah announced he was leaving, the entire genre of late night talk shows is being scrutinized. With the increased popularity of streaming, have they outlived their usefulness? The New York Times does a deep dive into this subject.

=NBC News won the Edward R. Murrow Award for overall network excellence.


*Cable News Corner

=The outtakes from Tucker Carlson’s Kanye West interview are eye-opening. Quite a peak into how Carlson chooses to edit. West’s antisemitic rants remained on the cutting room floor.

=CNN’s new morning show will debut on November 1st.


 *Streaming Corner

=Netflix announced their upcoming ad-plan, a $6.99 monthly service if you are willing to put up with ads.



*2022 MacArthur Fellows Named

=Every year I look at the list of MacArthur Fellows to see if any of them are from Chicago. This year there are three. Jazz cellist and composer Tomika Reid, Artist/Architect Amanda Williams, and University of Chicago sociologist/criminologist Reuben Jonathan Miller. These three, and these three only, are allowed to use the word genius on their business cards. They’ve been given genius grants.


*R.I.P Nikke Finke

=Would it be unkind of me to say that she wouldn’t let others RIP? Probably. I won’t say it then. The Deadline Hollywood founder passed away this week. She was a trailblazer in the Hollywood gossip world, even if she was more feared than loved.



If you have any media stories (Chicago or national) that you think I might like to share in future columns, feel free to drop me a line at or

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today would have been John Wooden's birthday. The famous UCLA coach is featured in Ryan Trembath's Eckhartz Press book Signature Shoes.

*On this day in 2016, Bobby Skafish appeared on WBEZ to talk about his book We Have Company.

*On this day in 2015, I appeared on the Rabbi Doug show to talk about my book Father Knows Nothing.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday

*October 13 is the birthday of Sammy Hagar, featured in Bobby Skafish's Eckhartz Press book, We Have Company

October 13 is also the US Navy's birthday (1775). The US Navy plays a huge role in Keith Conrad's Eckhartz Press novel,  Righteous Might

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Tonight at Ranalli's

 Two destinations tonight. 

1) This great Who-related book signing at Ranalli's.

2) The Who concert at United Center

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2018, Chet Coppock appeared on WGN Radio with Bill & Wendy to promote his Eckhartz Press book Your Dime My Dance Floor.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Another Big Day For Eckhartz Press!

In our 11 years of publishing, we've now had 13 books named as Book of the Year finalists!

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?

*October 10 is actor Bradley Whitford's birthday. We had Bradley on the podcast during the pandemic.

*October 10 is also WGN-TV's Jeff Hoover's birthday. His former running mate on the Brandmeier show, Brendan Sullivan, told us a great story about a day the two of them made a personal appearance dressed as Nazis.

*October 11, 2019, I made an appearance on the Destination Eat Drink show talking about my visit to Rovinj.

*October 12, 1960, the Congress Expressway opened in Chicago. Shermann Dilla Thomas was on our show once and explained why his father refused to drive on it.

*October 14, 1994, the film Pulp Fiction premiered. We interviewed one of the actors from that film, Paul Calderone.

*October 14, 1994, the Chicago Wolves played their first ever game. I once wrote a theme song for the Wolves, and their VP Wayne Messmer sang it live on the John Landecker show (AUDIO)

*October 14, 2003, the Steve Bartman game happened at Wrigley Field. Our friend Dane Placko was there covering it as a news reporter, and we videotaped him telling the story of that incredible sight. ESPN saw the video and asked Dane to participate in their documentary "Catching Hell" about that day.

*October 14, 2020, comedian Larry Reeb appeared on our show.

(This week is also the anniversary of this ad running in the Daily Illini in 1985)

Eckhartz Everyday

 *On this day in 2019, two Eckhartz Press books were named finalists for CWA Book of the Year...

Monday, October 10, 2022

Wrigley in October

 October 8

In 1929, the Cubs fall 3-1 to Philadelphia in first World Series game at Wrigley Field.

On this day in 1945, the Cubs won a World Series game for the very last time (before 2016). It was Game 6 of the series versus the Detroit Tigers, and it was captured on film.

On this day in 2016, the Cubs beat former Cub Jeff Samardizja 5-2 to take a 2-0 lead in the NLDS. Cubs pitcher Travis Wood homers for the fifth run.


October 9

In 1929, the Cubs lose the A’s 9-3 to fall behind 2 games to none in the World Series. Both losses have come at Wrigley Field. In 1950, 48,000+ fans come out to see Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Lujack and the Bears beat the crosstown Cardinals.

In 1966, the Bears beat the Baltimore Colts 27-12.


October 10: The Tigers beat the Cubs in Wrigley Field to win the 1945 World Series. In 1965, Gale Sayers and Dick Butkus play their first game at Wrigley Field, a 31-6 drubbing of the Los Angeles Rams.

October 11: In 1964, the Bears beat the Rams 38-17.

October 12: In 1947, the Bears beat the Eagles 0-7. In 1958, they beat the 49ers 28-6.

In 2015, the Cubs beat the Cardinals 8-6 behind homers from Kris Bryant, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber's homer lands on top of the right field video scoreboard.

October 13: In 1937, the Cubs lose the City Series to the White Sox. In 1946, the Bears and Rams tie 28-28.

October 14: In 1922, the Cubs win the City Series at Cubs Park. Grover Alexander pitches a shutout. In 1934, the Bears beat the crosstown Cardinals 20-0 on their way to an undefeated season. In 2003, exactly 95 years to the day after the Cubs last World Series championship, a life-long Cubs fan's life was forever altered when he leaned out to catch a foul ball. The behavior of the fans in the ballpark that day was, and always will be, a disgrace.

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Today is David Lee Roth's birthday. Roth is featured in Bobby Skafish's book We Have Company

*Today is also WGN-TV's Jeff Hoover's birthday. Hoover was kind enough to give me a blurb for my book Father Knows Nothing...

  • His funny and insightful perspective on fatherhood made me realize again why I don’t want to have any kids.

    Jeff Hoover, WGN-TV Morning News