Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bill Cochran, Jason Skaggs, Ken Jennings, Elliot Abrams

Today is International Podcast Day! When I started doing my pod in 2009, there weren't many out there, but now there are a lot!

  • In honor of this day, I will be referring to a few pods in this post (being informative yet self-promotional) starting with the freshest: this week I posted a new interview with Bill Cochran, whose voice you've heard all over the airwaves, for years on WNUA and online Smooth Jazz, and most recently on MeTV-FM. But he also does and talks about a lot more! Very interesting guy. 
  • The major news is Jason Skaggs' (who* I interviewed) departure from Chicago radio to Houston, Host of Hurricane Harvey (deliberate alliteration there). Jason was the Commercial Manager at WGN and is going to be Production Director at Cox Media Group. I often say this in various places online and off, but to reiterate: the best time I've had in radio (not that it's still not fun) was working for and filling in for Jason. Actually, it was one of the best work experiences I've ever had (I described that plus more at my non-media blog). 
  • And another major promotion is Ken Jennings (who was a guest when my pod was in its infancy), who went from mere Studio Crew (like cameraman, cake presenter, etc.) at Big Ten Network to Studio Operations Supervisor. He's also a huge Ohio State fan, so if your Big Ten team is playing the Buckeyes, watch out! 
  • Now you're probably wondering why I'm not mentioning International Translation Day at this point...well here's a media representation to honor it: a reporter and cameraman from Telemundo interviewing someone outside Holy Name Cathedral, where they had a special mass for victims of the earthquake in Mexico.

Telemundo Holy Name Cathedral
I didn't stick around long enough to try to understand what they were saying.

  • And as we're on the brink of October, I have a special essay/reflection written by Accuweather's Elliot Abrams. You've probably heard him for years on WBBM (and throughout the country). Not only is he very knowledgeable about weather, but he's totally into radio (he co-founded Accuweather's radio service) and is a dynamic person with varied interests and a quirky sense of humor. 

October colors scream for attention as summer's emerald draperies are splashed with auburn, set ablaze with firethorn, streaked with burnished copper, then saturated in chocolate just before Halloween. 
If March is the chameleon month, October is its cousin. One day is bright and crisp, brimming with fresh vitality; the next is under a dreary roof of slate framed by steel wool curtains...a lint-filter sky. 
Nature takes its full palette of pastels, earth tones and half shades and thrown them together in a tapestry simultaneously chaotic and yet invitingly familiar. Autumn is our annual sunset, the rich colors and interweaving of light providing our last look at the year, with the winter night temporarily postponed but imminently inevitable. 
October's loud colors are matched by its noisy winds. The brittle leaves crackle in the breeze, a sure giveaway it's autumn on those increasingly rare warm south wind nights.  The leaves lodge in the lawns, shove into shrubs and burrow into the bushes; the nachos style crunchiness amplifies the sound of footsteps. 
Brash noise and sullen solitude. Bold bright colors and dim dreariness. Tossed trees with spiced scenery.  How they match life's many moods and tastes. For here in one month is captured the diversity of the entire annual cycle of earthly life. Yet for all of its richness and variety, few of its scenes and sounds will last out the year.

But, when winter's scouts retreat north for reinforcements, an eerie still is left behind.  The quiet is punctuated by the quick tick of a bouncing acorn. The scene of vivid crispness is hidden by a haze that smears the colors. The waning sun is too feeble to stir the grimy soup; fog lingers through damp mornings. Later, the haze tints muted sunbeams on bittersweet warm afternoons. You can just barely feel the hint of bygone summer, but the lengthening shadows and eager evening dusk say warm times are headed for history. 
As the sun wearies of its heated climb through summer skies, the woodlands are tossed into an autumn salad bar. The leaner diet of light and the fingers of frost lace the chervil and sage greens of summer with oregano, pumpkin spice and cinnamon. The ocean of summer green now has islands of amber and auburn amidst currents of crimson, the mixing colors changing each day.   
Fall days can bring wondrous variety: 
We can have windy days. In the nooks and crannies around buildings on a dry day you see dust, paper scraps and leaf fragments whipped into whirlpools, the tiny pieces sucked in and thrown out as the vortex vanishes. 
Out in the countryside, cumulus cloud shadows race along the ground, racing along the ridges and vaulting the valleys. The trees, still in leaf. have their twigs twisted and their branches bent. In the fields and weedlots, unseen waves rustle the tassels and taller grass blades, the surface rippling like waves on a lake.  
Other days represent just the opposite: foggy calm mornings and hazy quiet mellow afternoons. Tiny spider mites weave threads and fragile strands that drift in the slightest puff of wind. The leaves detach from their summer homes to form a carpet of brown crinkle on the forest floor. Acorns snap to ground. You can still feel a hint of summer in the afternoon air; the long shadows of late afternoon and the early dusk make us sense somehow the summer party is over.  
Only later do we find ourselves skewered on the rotisseri of reality, sucked in by the shop-vac of autumn's summer remnants, raked over by nature's leaf blower, the rototiller of northerly winds. The annual chilly eraser transforms the artful tapestry of October to the gray canvas of late fall and winter. 

by Elliot Abrams
Sr. VP
AccuWeather Inc 
Twitter: accuelliot

 *I know it's supposed to be "whom" but I want to say "who."

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Doreyde Vazquez, Josh Liss, Karl Clauson, blueberry popsicles

It's interesting how things appear symmetrical, because last week when I posted tidings it was National Cherry Popsicle Day, and today is National Blueberry Popsicle Day. So once again, you have an official reason to eat a popsicle...enjoy!
blueberry-popsicle
I have real blueberries in the fridge.

  • Wow, Doreyde Vazquez has come a long way since her early days as a student at Columbia College and intern at Telemundo, CBS Chicago, WLS, WGN Radio, and ABC Chicago (and working at some of those places as well). Since then, she's been working in TV in Los Angeles for a lot of shows and companies, and she's just started a Post Coordinator/Scheduling job at Disney ABC. Way to go! Remember us little folks from your humble beginnings :p
  • Also moving on, literally, is Erik Zachary, who's been on the air at WKSC/Kiss-FM. He's officially moved to New York to host MTV's Total Request Live (which oddly doesn't seem to have its own web page) and do other features there. But he'll still going to be hosting nights on KISS-FM, thanks to the beauty of modern technology. 
  • My current guest is Josh Liss, who's the sports director and reports sports every weekday morning on WBBM. Not only does he have a fantastic job, but he seems to be a really nice, sincere guy, which is not common in sports media IMHO.

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Bill Cochran, Jason Skaggs, Ken Jennings, Elliot Abrams

Today is International Podcast Day! When I started doing my pod in 2009, there weren't many out there, but now there are a lot! In ho...