The 'Feder Rules': Advice on how to edit the best media columnist in Chicago

December 10, 2010

As we wrap up the work-week, let's look back at the big media story.  Robert Feder is going to....Time Out Chicago. Time Out wins the rumor derby for the top media columnist in Chicago, after he left our little blog network. As of now, Time Out doesn't really cover media (or local media), so this will be a new day for the culture magazine. I worked with Rob for the past year on the Vocalo blogs. I learned a lot. Not necessarily about the media beat, but how to handle media columnists.

Time Out, here's what you need to know about editing Mr. Feder:

1) He doesn't like mayo on his sandwiches. I once witnessed him throw a filing cabinet into Lake Michigan (from our offices) because his 'wreck on wheat' had too much mayo. Worst part, that cabinet was filled with lost episodes of "Whadya Know."

2) Keep an extra fedora in your desk drawer. When he comes down to the offices, he likes it to be all "newspaper."  Fedoras, cigars, newsprint, ticker tape, etc.   Keep a bottle of whiskey on hand. Think Don Draper meets Mike Royko with a little of your drunk uncle.

3) He hates NSFW slideshows. Just FYI, TOC.

4) Feder can't stand techno music. If he comes in the office and you are throwing a rave, he'll blow his top. Seriously, I've been there. And don't get me started on bubble machines. Who doesn't like a million bubbles? (He's partial to foam parties).

5) Rob is a huge Adam Sandler fan. Not a day goes by where he doesn't quote "Billy Madison" or "Anger Management" or "Spanglish" or "Little Nicky." He even stood in line for the opening of "Grown Ups." So you might want to invest in some movie posters for the office.

6) He loves to be pranked. Like, Jackass style. If he walks in the office, pour a bucket of water on him. Or put a pillow case over his head and hit him in the stomach with a bat. God, he just laughs and laughs and laughs.

7) Feder types every blog post on a typewriter. I hope you have an abundance of onion-skin.

8) Have petty cash available. I can't tell you how many "off-the-record" calls I received from Cook County jail. Sh*t happens. 

9) Don't refer to him as an 'out-of-work blogger.' You will probably end up losing your job (see Randy Michaels). That's like calling Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher a "finesse" player.

10) Finally, don't call him Bob. It's Mr. Feder. At least until you guys can hit up a rave or two...