Saturday, October 29, 2022

Free Kicks--Top of the Physio Table

 The latest episode dropped yesterday. You can listen to it here.

Injuries have been hitting key Premier League players. Adam and Rick discuss the impact on the league and the potential effect it will have on the World Cup. [Ep166]

Friday, October 28, 2022

Media Notebook--10-28-22


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



*Halloween Radio/Podcasts

=WGN Radio (720AM) will present a six-hour Halloween special on Monday night, from 7pm-1am. It will be hosted by Carl Amari, and he’ll have classic Halloween material from the early days of radio. Among the Halloween episodes featured will be “My Favorite Husband” starring Lucille Ball, and “Our Miss Brooks” starring Eve Arden.

=Last Halloween the If The Walls Could Talk podcast released two bonus episodes about a 1977 murder in Lincoln Park. The story involves a ghost, a kitchen knife, and somehow…John Wayne Gacy. Super popular last year. Rediscovering an audience this year. Perfect Halloween entertainment, wherever you listen to podcasts. Hosted by Chicago radio vets Todd Ganz and Stephani Young.

=Here’s one from the Audacy Halloween world: Mayim Bialik interviews Cassandra Petersen, better known as Elvira. 

=And here are nine more Halloween podcasts for 2022.

*The Trump Tapes

=Bob Woodward released the audio of his Donald Trump interviews. It’s really a fascinating look at the former president, but for me, it’s an even more fascinating look at how Bob Woodward conducts his interviews. This is raw tape, not polished broadcast-ready interviews. It seems like Woodward’s technique is just letting his subject talk.


*The Men of the Mix

=There’s something a little off-putting about the “Men of the Mix” moniker, but during this Breast Cancer Awareness month of October, the male on-air staffers at WTMX have flexed their promotional muscles to raise more than $17,000 for breast cancer research. You can still contribute here.


*The Radio Talent Institute

=Columbia College will be the home for next summer’s (June 19-28) Radio Talent Institute, which is an intensive summer program designed to serve as an incubator for new and upcoming radio talent. This is the brainchild of the IBA (Illinois Broadcasters Association) and the RAB (Radio Advertising Bureau).


*Harry Caray Interview from 1985

=The Facebook page Radio Archives and Memories has been posting some classic interviews from the mid-80s, conducted by Bill Schenold. None of these have been heard before and this one with Harry Caray is really a gem. Harry discusses Disco Demolition, getting fired in St. Louis, Bill Veeck, and even Wally Phillips.


*Jon Zaghloul leaves WCKG

=I interviewed the University of Chicago student last year for Illinois Entertainer when he began broadcasting on WCKG. Jon announced this week that he and WCKG are no longer affiliated. The kid has some chops if you are looking for sports talkers.





*Former WGN Radio program director Mary June Rose celebrated a birthday on October 24. She now lives in North Carolina and works as a photographer (MJ Rose-Photos).


*Former WLUP (and CBS-Boston) promotional guru Anne-Marie Kennedy’s birthday was also October 24.


*October 25, 2014, we lost one of the good ones. Cindy Gatziolis was the promotion director at the Loop during the second Loop hey-day in the 90s, before going on to work for the Mayor’s Office of Special Events. I wrote this tribute to her the day she passed away.

*Chicago rock radio royalty Patti Haze celebrated her birthday on October 25. I interviewed Patti for Illinois Entertainer in 2016.

*Chicago radio/TV producer Jasmine Cooper’s birthday was October 26. Jasmine was kind enough to appear at the Chicago Writers Association conference (Let’s Just Write!) for a panel discussion I moderated earlier this year. Jeff Hoover from WGN-TV was there as well.


*Former Chicago personality Liz Wilde’s birthday is October 27. She worked at the Loop in Chicago in the mid-90s, but has also been on the air in Miami, Boston, Cleveland, Dallas and more.




*Halloween review

=One of the big names in terror/horror these days is Guillermo Del Toro. The New York Times reviews his latest Netflix series, Cabinet of Curiosities.


*NewsNation Fires Reporter After He Questions “Mission”

=NewsNation reporter Paul Gerke was on a conference call with news president Michael Corn when he questioned the supposed mission of NewsNation after they aired a two-hour Trump rally without commentary or analysis. He pointed out that didn’t seem to fit in with the mission of being an unbiased program, the supposed reason this program was created in the first place. Gerke soon found himself out of a job. 


*45 Years of Dorothy Tucker

=CBS-Channel 2 reporter Dorothy Tucker was recognized this week by the National Association of Black Journalists for her 45 years of excellence in the television news field.


*The Dangers of Being a Reporter

=The television news business isn’t all lollipops and rainbows, especially when the subject a reporter tackles is politics. Take a look at this Arizona reporter’s Twitter timeline for an idea of how toxic it is out there these days, especially for women.


*Network TV Corner

=Jim Nantz is stepping down from covering the NCAA basketball tournament after 30+ years of doing it. Ian Eagle will be taking his place.

=If you haven’t seen Dr. Phil’s show in a while, you may be a little surprised at the political turn it has takenrecently.


*Where do young people get their news?

=Would you believe Tik Tok? This Pew Research Study has the details.


*Cable TV Corner

=Ben Smith’s first media column for Semafor is about a Fox News lawyer’s screw-up, that might lead to Lachlan Murdoch’s secrets being revealed.

=The Washington Post looks into Tucker Carlson’s bullying of a Republican Congressman over an innocuous story about Tucker’s son, Buckley.

=Layoffs to hit CNN soon. CEO Chris Licht plans to lay off up to a thousand employees by year end.





*Musk Takes Over Twitter

=It became official yesterday. He walked into the headquarters carrying a sink; a joke telling people they need to let this sink in. Get it? Then he fired the top management immediately. Buckle up for what comes next. 


*DOJ Codifies Rule Barring Secret Subpoenas of Journalists

=Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the official change on Wednesday: “Because freedom of the press requires that members of the news media have the freedom to investigate and report the news, the new regulations are intended to provide enhanced protection to members of the news media from certain law enforcement tools and actions that might unreasonably impair newsgathering.”


*Should the Government Bail Out Local Media?

=Perry Bacon wrote an op-ed last week suggesting that the government should spend billions to save (or revive) local media. Interesting idea. Never gonna happen.


*Bad Winter Coming for US Media Companies

=Saved this one for last. If you’re currently working in the media world, I wouldn’t read this with any sharp objects nearby. The report comes from Axios.


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

 *On this day in 2013, WGN-TV's Nancy Loo wrote this piece about Chuck Quinzio and his book Life Behind the Camera.

*On this day in 2017, Eckhartz Press author Lee Kingsmill (Safe Inside) held a book signing near his home in Indiana.

*Today is Dennis Franz's birthday. He appears in Cubsessions by Becky Sarwate and Randy Richardson. It's also Bill Zehme's birthday. Zehme contributed to the book Records Truly Is My Middle Name.

*On this day in 2020, the book The Most Beautiful Place in Hell was released by Eckhartz Press.

*On this day in 2019, I appeared on WGN Radio with Andrea Darlas to talk about my book EveryCubEver. The other guest on the show that day was CBS-2's Brad Edwards.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Eckhartz Everyday


*On this day in 2016, Eckhartz Press released the novel The Scar Dance by William Mansfield. It was later named a finalist for Book of the Year by the Chicago Writers Association. William did a Q&A with me the day the book came out.

*On this in 2020, Mob Adjacent co-author Mike Gentile appeared on WGN Radio to talk about his book. You can listen to that interview here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Swirsky Book

Pierzynski at the Bat


Pierzynski At The Bat

The day after the White Sox won the World Series October 26, 2005, John Landecker was hosting the morning show on WLS Radio. He asked me to write a parody of "Casey at the Bat" for the show that morning. This is what I sent him. (It was posted on the WLS website for awhile.)

“Pierzynski at the Bat”

The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the White Sox nine that day,
The Angels led one game to none, game two was slipping away,
And then when AJ got strike two, and missed strike three the same,
A pall-like silence fell upon all the Sox fans at the game,

The Angels catcher tossed Pierzynski’s ball out to the mound,
But AJ turned and ran to first, with outrage all around,
The umpire calmly stood his ground, achieving instant fame,
And AJ somehow found a brand new way to win a game,

The White Sox never lost again, and shining stars were born,
Each time Joe Crede came to bat the other team would mourn,
And he and Juan Uribe were magicians with their gloves,
And Paul Konerko was the home run hero we all love,

When Ozzie came out to the mound, he motioned round and fat,
And Bobby Jenks showed the Astros why he wanted that,
And little Scott Podsednik hit the home run in Game 2,
And the White Sox starting pitching was like a dream come true,

In Game 3’s fourteenth inning the Astros fans were glum,
Beaten by a former Astro named Geoff Blum,
And Jermaine Dye had a shining moment in game four,
When he knocked in the winning run, the White Sox shut the door.

And though each game was close and tight, the White Sox never feared,
Ever since A.J.’s run to first, they knew this was their year,

And now the catcher catches the ball, and now he lets it go,
and now the air is shattered by the AJ we all owe,
Oh, somewhere in this country, some fans are screaming foul,
But White Sox fans say let them scream, let them cry and growl,

Cause White Sox fans are laughing, and White Sox fans can shout,
The south side is rejoicing,
Pierzynski has struck out.

Eckhartz Everyday

 *Eckhartz Press world's collide. Eckhartz Press author Kipper McGee had Eckhartz Press author Bobby Skafish on his podcast (Brandwidth) on this day in 2016. You can listen to it here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Swirsky's Book

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 24, 1975, Roxy Music releases their album Siren. You may or may not realize that this was a controversial album for Roxy die-hards. Best selling author James Finn Garner has some very strong feelings about this, and got into an argument with me about it during his Minutia Men interview.

*October 25, 1995, Poi Dog Pondering released their first Chicago album Pomegranate. We had guitarist Dag Juhlin on the show to talk about his time in the band.

*October 25 is also Bobby Knight's birthday. Paul M. Banks appeared on our show to talk about his book, and he has a story about being bullied by Bobby Knight.

*October 27, 2018, there was a terrible shooting in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. We had Mark Cuban on the show shortly after that shooting, and he revealed that he had friends who perished in that shooting.

*October 28 is actor Adam Bitterman's birthday. We had him on our show a few years ago, and he revealed that he was in Hebrew School with Dave when they were young.

*October 29 would have been Quiet Riot lead singer Kevin DuBrow's birthday. We had Loverboy's Doug Johnson on the show, and he told some stories about the legendary partying of DuBrow.

*October 29 is Denny Laine's birthday. We interviewed Denny when we filled in on WLS Radio a few years ago. (photo: Mark Hudson and Neil Innes also in the photo)

Eckhartz Everyday

*Today would have been Pat Colander's birthday. She passed away a few years ago, but her book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral lives on forever at Eckhartz Press. It won the CWA Book of the Year award in 2016.

*In 2017 John Landecker and I appeared together in Pat's classroom at Purdue (where she was an instructor) to talk about our book Records Truly Is My Middle Name

Monday, October 24, 2022

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview--Amy Shiels

 The latest Minutia Men Celebrity Interview has been posted. You can listen to it here.

Actress Amy Shiels (Twin Peaks, Red Election, the Detour) talks about her acting career, her homeland (Ireland), and for some reason, Dave’s video game prowess.  [Ep109]

Eckhartz Everyday


*Today is former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's birthday. Bobby Skafish wrote about his encounter with Bill in his Eckhartz Press book We Have Company.

*On this day in 2016, Pat Colander did an appearance in Muenster, Indiana fot promote her award winning Eckhartz Press book Hugh Hefner's First Funeral.