A curation of news items about the media from this past week, with a particular emphasis on Chicago
(By Rick Kaempfer)
*Danny Bonaduce Having Brain Surgery After Health Scare
=TMZ.com reported the news early this morning. Danny is quoted in the article, and explains his diagnosis (hydrocephalus), and prognosis.
*Mary Sandberg Boyle Interview
=The June issue of Illinois Entertainer came out this week and included my interview with WGN GM Mary Sandberg Boyle. Here’s a short excerpt.
“I’m a no-bullshit kind of person,” she says, “and I knew there were some tough decisions to be made. I understood that business decisions wouldn’t always align with my personal feelings, but I also knew I would be able to separate that from what needs to be done. I’m a very clear message person, and I’m able to communicate very directly. My husband always says that I’m really good at delivering bad news. My producer training probably helped with that. Being a producer, especially of a very high-profile show, you have to be tough. You’ve learned to take the shrapnel. You’ve learned personality management. A lot of GMs come from the sales side. Coming from the programming side gave me an advantage. I knew what could work, and what couldn’t work. And I understood the sales side because all high-profile shows deal extensively with client integration. I had to do a lot of that before. My background meant that it wouldn’t be too difficult to absorb that part of the equation, which is obviously an important part of the job too.”
=The National Black Radio Hall of Fame announced their 2023 class this week. Tom Joyner will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The rest of the inductees are listed here.
*Sherman & Tingle Pitch New Beer
=They call it Driver Nation American Premium Lager.
*Terri Hemmert Update
=It’s been a few weeks now since her traumatic gun incident in New Orleans. This week she updated her friends and fans on Facebook, along with a treatise about how this all ties in to the great Harry Nilsson.
*The Loop Files
=Tuesday is the day I post another of my Loop interviews. This week it was with former AM Loop Program Director Jack Silver.
*Leon Colvin Retires
=Leon had an astounding career at WBBM, nearly 53 years in the saddle. His colleagues praised him all over social media. This little note (and photo of Leon & Rob) is courtesy of WBBM NewsRadio’s Rob Hart: “September 21, 1970 was a big day in broadcasting. ABC aired the first edition of Monday Night Football and started at WBBM. Today is Leon’s last day at the midday editor’s desk before retiring. He worked with all the greats at WBBM and he worked with me. Congratulations, Leon! Enjoy retirement and we’ll miss you!”
=Who really broke up the Bulls dynasty? Scottie Pippen’s opinion on the matter is here on Stacey King’s Gimme the Hot Sauce podcast.
=Veteran Chicago radio and podcast producer Keith Conrad hangs out his shingle for free-lance podcast producing/editing work.
*Whip Saves a Cat
=WTMX morning show member Brian "Whip" Paruch saved a cat this week. Here's part one of the story. Below is the finale.
*May 29—Felicia Middlebrooks birthday
*May 30—Dave Eanet birthday
=Dave is the sports director at WGN and can heard daily on Bob Sirott’s morning show. He has also been the radio play-by-play man for Northwestern University football and basketball for decades. (Photo: Dave on WGN-TV for Cubs World Series postgame. Far left)
*May 31—Jerry Agar birthday
=Jerry had stints at both WLS and WGN in Chicago. I got a chance to interview him during that time. He’s currently working north of the border in his native Canada.
*May 31, 2005—Watergate source Deep Throat revealed
=Have you been watching The Plumbers on HBO? Mark Felt, the deputy director the FBI, is one of the characters. A minor one in the series. A major one in real life. He was 91 when he revealed the news to Vanity Fair.
*June 1, 1974—WCFL Chart
=The Watergate scandal dominated the news. Larry Lujack was the star DJ on the station. And this is the list of songs WCFL was playing (courtesy of Chicago Radio Timeline)
*June 1, 1980—CNN Debuts as First All-News Network
=This was Ted Turner’s brainchild, and it was widely mocked at the time. (Who is going to want news 24 hours a day?). The husband/wife team of Dave Walker and Lois Hart were the first anchors. The headquarters was in Atlanta, but the network also had bureaus in Washington, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.
*June 2—Dave Hoekstra birthday
=Hoekstra is one of Chicago’s most enduring writers, having written extensively for the Chicago Sun-Times over a 30-year period. Dave’s books include “The Supper Club Book,” “The People’s Place (Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civl Rights Era to Today” and “The Camper Book (A Celebration of a Moveable American Dream),” all published by Chicago Review Press. He’s also hosted a show on WGN Radio. This is a photo of Dave (right) with legendary DJ Bobby Skafish (left) after an interview at WGN.
*June 2—Geoff Dankert birthday
=Geoff is well-known behind the scenes in Chicago’s radio and television community. His trophy case is bursting with a Peabody, Murrow, and an Emmy award. Dankert is currently a writer/editor at WBBM NewsRadio.
*June 3—Jim Kirk birthday
=Jim is the publisher and executive editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. Before coming to Crain’s, he was the editor-in-chief of the LA Times. He also worked at the Chicago Tribune, covering a beat that I hold near and dear: the media.
*June 3—Dan Deibert birthday
=The former WGN Radio host is working as a comedian specializing in corporate gigs.
*Mike Flannery Calls it a Career
=Flannery was a great political reporter for Channel 2 and Channel 32 in Chicago for nearly 50 years. The Sun Times has the story about his retirement.
=My all-time favorite Flannery interview was the one he did with Congressman Gus Savage in 1989. It was a classic audio clip we played on the radio for many years after it happened. I couldn’t find the audio, but I did find this Tribune article describing it perfectly.
*Britain’s TV News Sex Scandal
=It involves the most popular morning show on British TV, and the scandal is almost exactly the same as the fictional scandal on the Apple+ TV show “The Morning Show”. The Washington Post has a pretty good primer on the story.
*Succession Scores Huge Numbers
=The HBO series finale was the highest rated episode in the entire run of the series. The Hollywood Reporter has the details.
*Danny Masterson Guilty
=A jury of his peers found That 70s Show star Danny Masterson guilty of two counts of rape. He faces up to 30 years in prison.
*Cable News Corner
=Brooke Bower has left CNN, where she had been managing editor of CNN Politics, to become the executive producer of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” on ABC.
=Another former CNN contributor, Lisa Ling, was hired by CBS News this week.
=The suspected source of Tucker Carlson, Fox News leaks was revealed this week in a bombshell report. Fingers are being pointed at a Tampa Bay area media consultant.
*TV Star Deaths
Both of these 1960s TV stars were in their 90s.
*Jim Avila’s 5 Media Sources You Can Trust
=I love this piece by former TV reporter Jim Avila. He spells out the legitimate news sources you can trust and describes how you can use those sources to inform you on what is really going on in the world in less than two hours a day. Consider this a disinformation-avoidance technique.
*Gannett Journalists to go on Strike
=Gannett owns 200 newspapers, and a few dozen of them across seven different states are facing a strike beginning on Monday. More information about that here.
*Journalism’s Essential Value
=New York Times publisher A.G Sulzberger has penned a lengthy piece for Columbia Journalism Review about the value and necessity of objective journalism.
*Why TikTok Wants Trial To Be Held in Illinois
=Justin Kaufman of Axios explains why the social media giant is making this play in court.
*Twitter Could Soon Be Banned in Europe
=If Twitter doesn’t take steps to curb the flow of disinformation (which has exploded since Elon Musk took over), there’s a very good chance the EU will ban Twitter. More information here at the Wrap.
=This story certainly won’t help the cause.
EXCLUSIVE: Twitter is failing to remove 99 percent of hate speech posted by Twitter Blue users, new research has found, and instead may be boosting paid accounts that spew racism and homophobia. https://t.co/M4WA0HZrzy— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 31, 2023
As always, if you have any media story you’d like to share or think that I might be interested in sharing, drop me a line at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're in Chicago media and wondering why I didn't mention your birthday, it's probably because I don't know it. Drop me a line and let me know and I'll put you on my calendar.
If you're interested in some of my other projects from this week...
The Fifth Edition (2023) of EveryCubEver is out now! Buy your copy today
The Fifth Edition (2023) of EveryCubEver is also on amazon. Buy your copy today.
Minutia Men: Rudolf the Red Nosed Mayor
Minutia Men Celebrity Interview: Mrs. America
Minutia Men Celebrity Interview Classic: Actress Molly Hagan
Free Kicks with Adam & Rick: Final Relegation Battle
Meet the Eckhartz Press Author: Andrew Langert
From the Eckhartz Book Shelf: GelStrong by Mark Gelinas
My latest novel: Back in the D.D.R
Windy City Reviews Back in the D.D.R.
Podcast Interview about Back in the D.D.R: Military Family Museum Podcast