Dec. 17, 2009
Dec. 17, 2009
Jonathon Brandmeier isn't the only would-be poet out there when it comes to delivering angry diatribes against clueless radio bosses. Just as his deliciously wicked comic/rap music video (titled "Johnny B. The Unemployed Radio Mo Fo") was getting nationwide attention Wednesday, supporters of two other former Chicago radio stars were on a rampage of their own.
Fans of Kathy O'Malley and Judy Markey still haven't gotten over the midday duo's firing last May after an extraordinary 20-year run at Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720). Although they had little in common demographically with Brandmeier's target audience, Kathy and Judy's loyal legion of "girlfriends" was every bit as put out by the ham-fisted way WGN dispensed with them. It was a shameful example of station management's ongoing disrespect and disregard for listeners.
Dec. 16, 2009
Hunter's post about X-Men listening to This American Life in a story by James Asmus made us do a double-take. We knew of James Asmus as a Chicago comedian [and former contestant on Impress These Apes (video NSFW)]. It turns out he's moved to LA and writes comic books for Marvel. We asked him to tell us a little more about the This American Life reference he wrote into Nation X #1. Here's what he had to say:
I'm a huge TAL fan (NPR in general) so when trying to depict the warm and wistfully quiet moments in a road trip, it felt like the perfect way to set the mood.‚ Plus, after years of entertainment and beauty from that show, plugging it was the least I could do.‚ I should also say the artist is one of my absolute favorites, Mike Allred.‚ He's most famous for creating Madman, but has also worked on‚ Fables, Fantastic Four,‚ X-Statix, and he did the art for all the stuff in Chasing Amy.
Dec. 16, 2009
Don't look now, but Chicago radio is about to lose another one of its good guys. After almost four decades in the business, Harvey Wells says he's leaving to "reflect, re-think and re-invent" himself.
Wells, 59, announced Tuesday that he's stepping down amicably at the end of February when his contract expires as vice president and group station manager for Newsweb Radio, a division of printing and broadcast magnate Fred Eychaner's Chicago-based Newsweb Corp.
Given the challenges facing the industry -- and his stations in particular -- Wells' decision was not nearly as surprising as his move in 2004, when he left CBS Radio after a 25-year association with adult rock WXRT-FM (93.1) to join Newsweb. During his six years at Newsweb, he oversaw the expansion of the company's radio holdings from four stations to nine and its shift from mostly time-brokered ethnic and foreign-language programming to mainstream music and progressive talk formats.
Dec. 15, 2009
It's Jonathon Brandmeier as you've never seen him before -- angry, profane and rapping like a mother. (NSFW)
In a four-minute music video posted on his website Tuesday night, the former million-dollar Chicago radio star spoofs himself as "an everyday unemployed normal mother---er" who's out to settle a few scores with the radio bosses who fired him:
"He said we know who you are and we know who you were, but there's only one thing that corporate does concur: You may have been the greatest and you might be yet, but our bottom line says you ain't worth shit."
Dec. 15, 2009
Last March, comedian Paul F. Tompkins performed and recorded a sold out show at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago. Nine months later, he released this show for posterity(and money!) in the form of his second album, Freak Wharf. The album starts with a stream of consciousness opening to the show, a comic method that Tompkins has been experimenting with recently. As Tompkins has found himself dabbling with his form, he found himself trying out new venues to accommodate his comic format. As he booked a show in Atlanta, this summer, Tompkins found himself trying to fill a small but empty venue as he began a series of smaller, more intimate shows. Anxious to try out his new routine (and perhaps a little bit desperate) Tompkins and his loyal fans stumbled upon a new way to use social media to book comedy shows. I spoke to Tompkins on the phone about his new album and the Tompkins 300...
Dec. 15, 2009
Former Streeterville ringmaster Jerry Springer may have uprooted his syndicated talk show and relocated to Connecticut last summer, but he's still on the move in Chicago: His local outlet will switch this fall from Fox-owned WPWR-Channel 50 to Weigel Broadcasting's WCIU-Channel 26.
"Jerry Springer has a long, colorful history in Chicago," Neal Sabin, executive vice president of Weigel and general manager of "The U," said Monday. "We will come up with our own unique spin in adding his show to our morning schedule."
Sabin won't say exactly what he has in mind to promote Springer on Channel 26, but Weigel will have its own Web camera installed at NBC Universal's facilities in Stamford, Conn., where Springer's show is produced. "He'll be coming back in town for sales calls and pie fights," Sabin added.
Dec. 14, 2009
With less than eight weeks to go before a primary election involving contests for U.S. senator, Illinois governor and Cook County Board president, it might seem like an odd time for a news organization to fire its veteran political editor. But that's what happened Friday at Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32.
In a move that caught most staffers by surprise, Jack Conaty, 63, was forced out after 22 years as chief political correspondent. Many of his Channel 32 co-workers learned the news when they read it on Phil Rosenthal's Chicago Tribune blog. By then, Conaty had taped his last "Fox Chicago Sunday" show and left the station for good.