Friday, November 03, 2023

Media Notebook--11-3-23


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



 *50 years of Terri Hemmert

=Today marks the 50th anniversary of Terri Hemmert on WXRT. Congrats to Terri and the station. The celebration began this morning but continues in many ways. A few of them are listed here. 

=Chicago Magazine also did a profile of the broadcasting legend.  

*Christmas music on WLIT

=Tis the season. As of yesterday afternoon, WLIT is playing Christmas music 24 hours a day. This propels them to the top of the ratings every year. This year the jump won’t be as high. They’re already the #1 rated station in Chicago. 


*Audacy De-listed by NYSE

=Not a great sign for the financial health of the broadcasting giant. More details are here.  In Chicago Audacy owns WXRT, WSCR, WBBM-AM, WBBM-FM, WBMX, and WUSN, some of the biggest and most popular radio stations on the dial.


*Highest Net Worth Americans/ Favorite radio formats

=Katz Media did research on what media the highest net worth households in America consume to show which radio formats most align with other media choices. I’m sure the sales departments of talk stations (news, news/talk, all talk, sports) already knew this. Same with the classical and jazz formats. Nice to see AAA and Soft AC on the list too. Full list is here…

·         All News Radio: $646,103

·         Classical Radio: $599,206

·         News/Talk Radio: $587,859

·         Kiplinger’s Personal Finance: $586,602

·         Golf Channel: $572,626

·         The Atlantic: $568,719

·         Fox Business Network: $567,362

·         All Talk Radio: $551,150

·         Condé Nast Traveler: $545,908

·         Sports Radio: $541,450

·         Golf Magazine: $540,810

·         Wall Street Journal: $535,649

·         AAA Radio: $534,125

·         Real Simple: $531,181

·         The New Yorker: $519,879

·         MSNBC: $518,431

·         Jazz Radio: $513,884

·         Smithsonian Channel: $506,552

·         New York Times (Daily): $503,912

·         New York Times (Sunday): $499,398

·         BBC News: $496,957

·         HGTV: $490,740

·         The Economist: $484,128

·         CNBC: $473,659

·         Soft AC Radio: $469,501

·         Average U.S. Household: $399,050


*Podcast Corner

=Last year’s scandal becomes this year’s podcast. TJ Holmes and Amy Robach were TV news co-hosts on ABC when their affair became news. They were each married to someone else at the time. That eventually led to their departure from ABC. Now they are back with their own podcast. Radio Ink has the details. 


*Ex-Chicago Radio Report

=Former WJMK program director Kevin Robinson has a new gig. He is the new  Executive Director of listener-supported, non-profit 98.9 WYRZ/Brownsburg, IN, “The Voice of Hendricks County,” a teaching radio facility operated by the Hendricks County Educational Foundation. 


*Sports Talk Chicago Regional Syndication

=Jon Zaghloul’s YouTube show Sports Talk Chicago announced this week it is being syndicated regionally in Illinois and Indiana. It can now also be heard on WKAN Kankakee (Saturdays 6-7pm), WKYT  Wilmington (Satudays 10-11am), WRPW Bloomington (Saturdays 6-7pm), WJOB Hammond (5-6pm Thursdays), JED-TV Hammond (5-6pm Thursdays), and ACTV Aurora (various times, daily).


*Spotify creating new royalty rules

=These rules don’t kick in until 2024, but it won’t surprise you to discover it will mean less money going to musical artists. Details are here.


*Rest in Peace

=Bobby Knight

You’ve undoubtedly seen all the stories about him throwing chairs in fits of anger. A few years ago I interviewed radio sports reporter Alison Moran, and she had her own story…"I was asked by UPI Radio to interview him at Northwestern after he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Well, I ended up being the last to enter the interview room, and there were literally no seats left anywhere. The room was packed. I was going to do what I usually did--just put the mic on the interview table and dive under it to stay out of camera range. I was also nervous because I was wearing...horrors of horrors--a purple and white dress...Northwestern colors! And I'd never met him before. So, Bob rose up from his seat, picked up the chair next to him....held it over his head...and placed it gently on the floor right across from him. Then he patted the seat, looked at me, and said. "There's a chair for ya." I sat down and mouthed "thank you, Coach!" You wouldn't expect that from Bob Knight, would you?"

*The Loop Files

=The latest issue of Illinois Entertainer is out and includes a preview of my book, The Loop Files. Quotes from Mitch Michaels, Garry Meier, Jonathon Brandmeier, Kevin Mathews, Bob Stroud, and Chet Coppock are in the article.  

=I also appeared on Bruce Wolf’s podcast to promote The Loop Files. Thanks to Bruce for having me on.

=It looks like the book will officially (cross your fingers) ship next week. Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered it! It took a little longer at the printer because there were so many orders. 3 book signings are already scheduled (one in the city, one in the southwestern burbs, one in the south burbs). I’ll share those details next week. I want to book one more in the northwestern burbs. Got any suggestions?



Media birthdays/milestones


*October 30, 1938

=Orson Welles broadcasts "The War of the Worlds" radio hoax, causing mass panic in US.


*October 30—Jim Volkman birthday

=Best known for his spot-on Harry Caray impersonation.


*October 31—Jim Shorts birthday

=The (totally real) sportscaster was born on Halloween. (I've interviewed him in English, and German, The German one is here, if you'd like to hear it.)


*October 31-- Jane Pauley birthday

=She obviously went on to bigger and better things, but she did a stint here locally at WMAQ-TV, Channel 5.


*October 31--Bill Gamble birthday

=Former Chicago radio program director (Q-101, CD-94.7, et al). I interviewed him for Chicago Radio Spotlight back in 2009.


*October 31—John Candy birthday

=The late great comic actor also hosted a radio show that aired on AM 1000 back in the eday.


*November 1-- Tom Sochowski birthday

=Former radio producer/host  (WJMK, WCKG, ESPN, The Fish).


*November 1-- Judy Pielach birthday

=Former WGN & WLS newscaster 


*November 3--Alex Quigley birthday

=Alex worked at several radio stations in Chicago including Q-101, WGN, and The Game. I interviewed him back in his WGN days (2010) for Chicago Radio Spotlight. 


*November 3-- Catherine Johns birthday

=The Chicago broadcasting legend (WLS, WJMK) is now a motivational speaker. I’ve interviewed Catherine several times over the years. The first time was 15 years ago. 


*November 3-- J.R. Straus birthday. 

=He and his brother were featured together for a piece I wrote in 2008.


*November 4--Tom Hush birthday

=The Steve Cochran show (WLS Radio) producer.



*Chicago Emmy Awards

=The ceremony is coming soon, November 11 at the Swiss Hotel. The full list of this year’s nominees is here. 


*Me-TV to air M*A*S*H finale on Veterans Day

=Veterans Day is November 10th. The show airs at 6pm. When it first aired 40 years ago, it was one of the most watched shows of all-time. It remains the 13th most watched show ever, and if you don’t count Super Bowls, it’s 3rd behind only the first moon landing and Nixon’s resignation speech. 105.9 million tuned in.


*Disney buys the rest of Hulu

=Comcast owned 33% of Hulu, but Disney bought them out. They now own Hulu outright. What is it supposedly worth? $27.5 billion. 


*James Cordon Replacement Named

=The show will be called After Midnight. The host will be Taylor Tomlinson. It will be nice to have a female late-night host. The Hollywood Reporter has the details. 


*The untold story of Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News

=Vanity Fair has an excerpt from Brian Stelter’s new book


*Boris Johnson Becomes Right Wing TV Host in UK

=This headline didn’t surprise me in the slightest. Sounds like what he was put on this earth to do. 


*Rest in Peace

=Matthew Perry

The Friends star was only 54. He was, without question, the funniest Friend.

=Richard Moll

The Night Court star was 80. The Catchy Comedy Network will air 88 back-to-back episodes of the series all weekend long from Saturday, November 4 at 10am through Monday, November 6 at 5am.

=Tyler Christopher

The General Hospital star was only 50.




*The Daily Herald brings home the hardware

=16 first place, 10 second place, and 11 third place awards in the annual Northern Illinois Journalism contest. 


*Fact Checking vs. Fact Crusading

=Mark Jacobs argues for the latter in his Substack this week. 


*Death Toll of journalists covering Israel/Hamas war reaches 34

=The AP is keeping track. 


*Paramount sells Simon & Schuster

=It is now a stand-alone company again, which it hasn’t been since Sumner Redstone purchased it. The price was $1.62 billion. I’d like to think that The Radio Producer’s Handbook (a Simon & Schuster product) had a little something to do with that massive price tag. 


*What happens when a Russian business tycoon buys an American magazine?

=They are finding out at Forbes. According to Semafor, journalists at the magazine are reluctant to share sensitive information with their new owner. 


Social media


*Twitter is now worth $17 billion

=Not bad, right? Not bad unless you paid $44 billion for it just a year ago. 

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...


Minutia Men Podcast: Spartans & Spies

Minutia Men Celebrity Interview Podcast: The real Matt Foley

Free Kicks with Adam & Rick: Not so Spursy

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.

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

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

The Morning Mouth

 Thanks so much to Don Anthony and his trade publication, The Mouth...

Rick Kaempfer's 'The Loop Files' Now Available For Pre-Order

THE MOUTH, OCTOBER 30TH, 2023 –– Our most anticipated book of the year is available for pre-order now! It won’t ship until November, but you can be the first in line to get it in your hands. For that period of time when all the stars aligned, when rock and roll and comedy and radio were all simultaneously kings (1977-1998), when the 1927 Yankees of Radio all gathered in the same hallway at the same time, the Loop created something that will never be forgotten.

Author Rick Kaempfer (who worked there himself from 1987-1993 as a producer, jock, and talk show host) has gathered all the people who worked there to tell the story of that great radio station, in their own words. Among the people quoted in the book…Lee Abrams, Matt Bisbee, Danny Bonaduce, Jonathon Brandmeier, Jessie Bullett, Chet Coppock, Bob Coburn, Steve Cochran, Phil Collins, Alan Cox, Steve Dahl, Sky Daniels, Jimmy de Castro, Scott Dirks, Lise Dominique, Rick Kaempfer, John Landecker, Bill Leff, Dave Logan, Kevin Matthews, Garry Meier, Graham Nash, Mitch Rosen, Tim Sabean, Bob Sirott, Greg Solk, Larry Wert, Oprah Winfrey and Bruce Wolf. Great stories about a truly great radio station. Click HERE To Order