Friday, June 23, 2023

Media Notebook--6-23-23


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

(By Rick Kaempfer)




*New Lineup at B-96

=B-96 announced this week that they have signed former WTMX night jock Jordan “Dash” Orman-Weiss to be their new afternoon host. (To find out more about Dash, I featured him in my Illinois Entertainer column two years ago). The new lineup at B-96 is now…

5:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.: “The Morning Mess”

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.: Julia Lepidi

2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Dash

7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.: Bru



*The Score in London

=With the Cubs in London facing the Cardinals, the flagship radio station has set up shop in London as well…



*Pat Hughes Hall of Fame Speech Preview

=This Sun-Times article about Pat and his upcoming HOF speech came out this week. Sounds like Pat will be fighting back the tears.



*Program Director Market Swaps

=The full story behind former Q-101’s PD Troy Hanson’s departure still hasn’t been told, but this week the company made the news official that James Kurdziel is officially leaving the Cumulus station in Minneapolis to program Q-101 fulltime. Also, WLS-FM PD Wade Linder is returning to Cumulus in Minneapolis. It’s a straight market-for-market PD swap. The RAMP newsletter has more details.

=Johnnie D, who left WGCI in March after working as PD there since 2017, has re-emerged in another market. He was named Brand Manager for WHHL and WFUN, Audacy stations in St. Louis.



*Jim Johnson Update

=From the former WLS Newsman’s daughter, Alexis. She’s a wonderful writer, telling the heartbreaking story of her father’s descent into Alzheimers. This latest post is particularly heart-wrenching. 



*Radio Girl Interviews Dave Schwan

=Radio Girl is Margaret Larkin. Dave Schwan is a longtime radio reporter/anchor/host for WFMT and WGN. The interview is here.

*”My Time as a WXRT Intern”

=In 2014, Daily Southtown/Tribune columnist Ted Slowik wrote about his very short time at WXRT. Thanks to Eric Zorn for posting this link in his current Times Picayune column. 



*Podcast Corner

=Looking forward to this one. Trevor Noah will be hosting a weekly podcast for Spotify. 

=Nick DiGilio reviews Season 48 of SNL

=Have you listened to Kelly Leonard’s Second City Works podcast? Here’s an example. 

=Time Magazine dips a toe into the podcasting waters. 



*Former Chicago Radio Corner

=Congrats to former WLUP morning co-host (Spike, Dobie & Max) Dobie Maxwell for getting his name in lights in Vegas. He is performing at the MGM. Dobie’s memoir Monkey in the Middle (Eckhartz Press) is also for sale there. 


*ESPN Drops National Morning Radio Show

=The New York Post reported the news. The show was co-hosted by Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Max Kellerman. It did not air in Chicago.


*The Loop Files

=This week's Loop Files interview: Jim Shorts 




*June 18—Roger Ebert birthday

=They say that no-one is irreplaceable, but it turns out that Roger was. He was a Pulitzer Prize winning film critic, but he was also a force of nature. I met Roger many times during my radio days (I ran the board for Siskel & Ebert when they filled in for Steve & Garry), but my favorite Roger story is in John Landecker’s book Records Truly Is My Middle Name.  I added my two cents as well…

Landecker: I invited Roger and his wife over to my house for a party (along with a bunch of other friends). I had just gotten this new plasma television, and asked Roger if he wanted to come in and see it. I put on the film “Wyatt Earp” which had just come out on DVD, because I love that opening scene—the way they use sound is unbelievable. While we were watching that opening scene, with the sound cranked to ear splitting levels, Roger was doing a dissertation on why Val Kilmer should have been nominated for an Academy Award for that role, and Roger’s wife Chaz walked into the room. She looked at what we were doing, sighed, and said. “Oh great. Just like home.”

        Rick:  My three kids, who were all little at the time, were also there. They sat quietly and listened to Roger pontificating about the genre of Westerns, and the acting in some of those old Westerns, and before he was through, a small crowd had formed. All of us were spellbound. When we got in our car to leave later that day, my oldest son Tommy, who was about eight or nine, said to me: “Who was that friend of John’s? Boy, he sure does love movies.

=Channel 32 reporter Dane Placko also told me a great story about Roger on my podcast a few years ago. It’s a great story about the time Dane and Roger got into a car accident on their way home from the Illini Rose Bowl loss. Dane tells it well. 


*June 18—Bruce Dumont birthday

=Bruce was the founder/CEO/President of the Museum of Broadcasting. He also had a long career as a broadcaster, hosting the show Beyond the Beltway. I got a chance to interview him back in 2009.


*June 18—Andy Shaw birthday

=I interviewed Andy for Illinois Entertainer back in 2013 when he was with the BGA. This week he turned 75, and posted this on his Facebook page…


*June 19—Kate Sullivan birthday

=The former Channel 2 anchor is now the host of the show To Dine For TV, a show for foodies. 


*June 19—Brian Peck birthday

=Brian has worked as a disc jockey for both Hubbard broadcasting and Cumulus but is now a reporter for WBBM-NewsRadio. He also hosts The Catholic Word podcast.


*June 19, 1928

=Very, very, very early TV. W9XAA and WCFL simulcast an image of Chicago Federation of Labor Secretary Edward Nockles.


*June 19, 2013

=Actor James Gandolfini died in Rome, Italy. Vanity Fair has a tribute to him, written on the ten-year anniversary of his death. It’s called James Gandolfini was much more than Tony Soprano. 


*June 20, 1989

=The Chicago Tribune published an article about a new-fangled machine that was transforming radio shows. It was called the fax machine. I was quoted in the piece. So was Q-101’s Doug Blair and WLS’ Brian Kelly. It was written by Katherine Seigenthaler. 


*June 20—Drew Horowitz birthday

=Drew was an executive with Bonneville during the heyday of the Eric and Kathy years.


*June 21—Erich “Mancow” Muller birthday

=Mancow has had nine lives in Chicago radio, beginning with his first stop at 103.5 FM. He later had a long run at Q-101, but also worked at WLS-AM, and the Loop. He had a television show for a while as well. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008. 


*June 21—Lou Visconti birthday

=Lou is one of the administrators of the great Facebook page: FM Rock Stations of the 1970s. If you like this column, I’ll bet you’ll like that Facebook page.


*June 23—Alan Cox birthday

=Alan got his start on Brandmeier’s show on the Loop. He went on to host the morning show at Q-101 and is now on the air every afternoon in Cleveland. I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight in 2008.

*June 23—Scott Miller birthday

=There were two Scott Millers in Chicago radio. This one hosted the afternoon show on Oldies 104.3 for nearly a decade. Scott is still in radio, working for Townsquare Media in Greenwich, Connecticut.


*June 23—Bob Vorwald birthday

=The legendary sports TV producer worked with Mark Giangreco at Channel 5, before moving over to WGN to produce their live sports broadcasts.


*June 24—Roger Badesch birthday

=Roger was a longtime Chicago radio newsman (most prominently for WGN), but he also worked in the press office for Mayor Byrne and Mayor Washington. In 2020 he published his memoir, The Unplanned Life, via Eckhartz Press.  I interviewed him for Illinois Entertainer in 2016. 


*June 24—Midge “Cheese” Ripoli birthday

=Midge was a long-time producer for Mancow, but currently produces the Sherman and Tingle show at the Drive.


 *June 1973--WGN Radio and TV print ad





*What’s with the Sling?

=Viewers of WGN Morning News may have noticed that anchor Larry Potash is sporting a sling. I got a few e-mails asking what happened, so I inquired. Nothing too earth shattering. He had bicep surgery.



*Lester Holt Profile

=Brian Stelter profiles the NBC Nightly News anchor about his long career and how he chooses to put a newscast together. You can read it here.

*Emmy’s May Be Postponed Because of Writer’s Strike

=The Emmy’s don’t air until September, so that should tell you something about how long Hollywood is expecting this writer’s strike to continue. The New York Times has the details. 



*New Grammy Rule About AI

=If you’re wondering how award shows are going to handle the advent of AI in the media, this is the statement released this week by the Grammys: "Only human creators are eligible to be submitted for consideration for, nominated for, or win a GRAMMY Award. A work that contains no human authorship is not eligible in any Categories. A work that features elements of A.I. material (i.e., material generated by the use of artificial intelligence technology) is eligible in applicable Categories; however: (1) the human authorship component of the work submitted must be meaningful and more than de minimis (defined as lacking significance or importance; so minor as to merit disregard); and the author(s) of any A.I. material incorporated into the work are not eligible to be nominees or GRAMMY recipients insofar as their contribution to the portion of the work that consists of such A.I material is concerned."



*The 2023 Kennedy Center Honors

=This year's honorees are Billy Crystal, Renee Fleming, Barry Gibb, Queen Latifah, and Dionne Warwick. More info here.

*Father/Daughter team

=It must be a thrill to work with a parent or child…



*How Jury Duty Pulled Off the Biggest Con in TV History

=I binged this show and loved it. If you did too, check out how they did it. 



*Cable News Corner

Sorry, this is an all-Fox News edition. They made a lot of news this week.

=Geraldo Rivera stepping down from The Five.

=Fox News will host first Republican debate. Moderators will be Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum

=Fox Fires “Wanna-Be Dictator” Chyron Producer

=Fox settling claim with producer who claimed sexism



*Rest In Peace

=Paxton Whitehead. Best known as the stuffy professor who fought Rodney Dangerfield over Sally Kellerman in the movie Back to School and his recurring role on TV’s Mad About You. He was 85. 

=George Frazier. The Colorado Rockies TV analyst was only 68. Best remembered in Chicago for his days with the Cubs. (Photo: 1986 Topps Baseball Card)






*Sun-Times Introduces Right to be Forgotten Policy

=Sun Times executive editor Jennifer Kho announced the policy this week. It essentially allows people the right to have past articles that reflect badly on them removed from internet searches. The idea is to protect people who were wrongly accused. The announcement notes that the policy does not apply to people who were convicted, or people running for public office (or who have previously held public office). 


*50 Years of Clarence Page

=The Chicago Tribune columnist has now been a journalist for a half-century. In this column he shares what he has learned. 



*The Chicago Center for Photojournalism

=It’s brand new and opened this week in Uptown. Block Club Chicago has the story. 



*Gannett Sues Google Claiming Tech Advertising Monopoly

=Gannett is the owner of USA Today, but the rest of the publishing and advertising world is rooting for them in this case. The Associated Press has more details. 



*News Publishers Banding Together Versus AI Threat

=The actual headline in this Vanity Fair piece is “Don’t Get Screwed Again” which hopefully reveals that news publishers have learned a lesson from what happened to them during the last few technological breakthroughs. 

=On the other hand, the German publisher Bild announced they are replacing some human editors with AI. 



*Joan Walsh Apologizes for Role in RFK Article

=In 2005 Salon and Rolling Stone published a piece written by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about the impact of vaccines on autism. Anyone with a child on the spectrum (raising hand) knows the damage that article has caused. Joan Walsh was the editor-in-chief of Salon at the time, and this week she apologized for her role in the piece, calling it the biggest mistake of her career. 





*Zuckerberg vs Musk in a Cage Match

=Believe it or not, this isn’t a joke. The men running the two biggest social media companies in the world are apparently sixth graders. 


*Amazon Getting Sued by FTC

=It's about time. 

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 or 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.

EveryCubEver interview with Garry Meier

EveryCubEver interview with Andrea Darlas

Minutia Men: Fathers Day Special

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview: Actress (Seinfeld, Friends, etc) Alex Kapp

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview Classic: Sara Karloff

Free Kicks with Adam & Rick: Season Finale

Meet the Eckhartz Press Author: Lauren LoGiudice

From the Eckhartz Book Shelf: Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

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.RMilitary Family Museum Podcast


Thursday, June 22, 2023

From the Eckhartz Bookshelf: Hugh Hefner's First Funeral

 With over 80 books in our library, this year we're taking some time every week to highlight one of the books on the Eckhartz bookshelf. This week's book is Hugh Hefner's First Funeral And Other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago by Pat Colander. This one was named as Book of the Year by the Chicago Writer's Association.

Pat Colander was a writer for The Reader and The Chicago Tribune in the 1970s and 1980s, and covered some of the most offbeat stories during that time. Seven of those tales of love and death in Chicago are featured in this incredible book.

Featuring a beautiful cover photograph from Barry Butler and memorable illustrations from artist Dave Mosele, Hugh Hefner’s First Funeral and other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago is a gritty trip into Chicago’s past. Before the last page is devoured, the reader will track the Tylenol killer(s), get inside the mind of a tortured artist, meet the woman behind the women at Playboy Magazine, follow along with a shocking murder trial, spend time with a legendary Chicago attorney, and tour the old Cook County morgue.

Hugh Hefner’s First Funeral and other True Tales of Love and Death in Chicago is shocking, gruesome, and gritty, and will remain in your heart and mind long after you finish reading the final page.