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Thursday, August 28

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Merge

Stream Dreams

"TV everywhere" service NimbleTV is coming to Chicago, and Chicago-based "Pandora for news" Rivet Radio recently raised $1.7 million from investors including the Associated Press.

The Early Late Show

Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson is in talks with Tribune Media to bring a daily half-hour talk show to its TV channels.

Thumb's-Eye View

A poignant companion piece to the Ebert documentary Life Itself was posted today at the A.V. Club: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky's recollections on co-hosting Roger Ebert Presents: At The Movies in 2011, which include his thoughts on why the program did not survive.

Lena Dunham Tickets on Sale Today

The "Girls" creator and actress will be speaking Oct. 6th at Northwestern as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. Tickets on sale now for CHF members (and noon for non-members); the $35 ticket includes a signed copy of her new book and a job at a really cool coffee shop.

Quest to be the Best

Local bartender Katie Smaluk left the North Side for Middle Earth to be a contestant on ABC's fantasy-themed reality show, "The Quest."

Music & Money

Alex White of White Mystery talked with Marketplace about how rock stars manage their money.

Free Jeff Tweedy!

Sound Opinions is recording a live show at Lincoln Hall with Jeff Tweedy and his band on July 17. Tickets are free, but you need to RSVP at the Eventbrite page starting at 9am today.

Sharing Our Stories

StoryCorps has already had a permanent spot in the Cultural Center where people can record true stories about their lives. Soon it will also have an exhibition space to help share those stories.

After the 20-Game Run

The third winningest "Jeopardy" contestant lives in Wilmette. The Reader's Gwynedd Stuart interviewed her.

Get "Real"?

Crain's reports that the production company behind reality TV stalwart, "The Real World," has designs on a location in the West Loop.

RIP Bob Abrahamian

Bob Abrahamian, Chicago soul collector, historian and host of WHPK's Sitting in the Park, died Thursday of an apparent suicide.

No Longer Truant

There used to be a team of truancy officers keeping tabs on CPS students skipping class. WBEZ's Curious City finds out what happened to them.

Paternity TV

"Swab Stories," a new VH1 reality series following the travels and travails of a mobile DNA testing service, is filming in Chicago this week. Watch for it in Lakeview today.

Rahm and Jimmy Part Two

Mayor Emanuel made good on his promise to appear on the "Tonight Show" after host Jimmy Fallon did the Polar Plunge, making another bet with Fallon that the host will bring his show to Chicago if kids read over 2.4 million books this summer.

Jeopardy Juggernaut

Chicago-area woman Julia Collins won Jeopardy! 20 times in a row before losing in an episode aired this week, setting the record for a woman and taking home around $428,100 in winnings.

Bringing This Life Home

Chicago Public Media will distribute "This American Life" itself starting July 1.

Englewood's not All Bad

Journalist Rashanah Baldwin took Huffington Post on a tour of the positives in Englewood, her home neighborhood. Baldwin hosts a show on Kennedy-King College's WKKC-FM called "What's Good in Englewood."

Culture Warriors Return

The Dueling Critics Kelly Kleiman and Jonathan Abarbanel, formerly of WBEZ, are returning to public radio on WDCB's "The Arts Section."

Transforming Television

Tyra Banks is producing a documentary series about a group of transgendered women in Chicago. "TransAmerica" will be hosted by Carmen Carrera and run on VH1. (Thanks, Dee.)

Now They Have a Request

Local radio DJs are coming together to speak out against violence in the city, adding regular messages to their broadcasts telling listeners to put their guns down and speak out.

Get "Wild About Chicago"

Ben Hollis, the creator and original host of the dearly departed TV show "Wild Chicago," is returning to the airwaves this summer with "Wild About Chicago," to air on Cable 25. Hollis is raising production funds on IndieGoGo; lend a hand to get the show back on the air.

Documentary Choreography

Despite being part of an "unscripted" series, Mayor Emanuel's interactions on CNN's "Chicagoland" may have been set up by his staff and the show's producers. CNN denies the administration had editorial control.

How Beverly Stayed Diverse

Curious City turned its attention to Beverly and its concerted effort to remain racially integrated in the face of white flight.

Explore the Whedonverse

On May 3, DePaul is hosting Joss Whedon: A Celebration, a daylong conference on the writer and director's works and the culture that surrounds them.

Fake Lady Parts

WGN anchor Robin Baumgarten couldn't keep a straight face during a story about lab-grown vaginas, and her grossed-out grimace landed her a spot on "The Soup."

Hemmed by History

Jen Beeman of Grainline Studios talks about the dying profession of pattern-making for "Marketplace."

Cuddy Humanties Festival

WBEZ arts and culture correspondent Alison Cuddy is becoming the program director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

Hard Core Re-Pawn

Two employees of Royal Pawn Shop, the setting of the canceled "Hardcore Pawn: Chicago" reality show, have been arrested for stealing from the shop and re-pawning the goods for gambling money.

Over the Ledge

Tightrope artist Nik Wallenda is planning to walk between two Chicago buildings for a live, televised stunt on the Discovery Channel.

New Chief at WBEZ

Chicago Public Media (which runs WBEZ) announced its new CEO will be Goli Sheikholeslami, who worked previously at The Washington Post and other digital media companies.

Selfridge's Returns

Season 2 of the PBS Masterpiece series "Mr. Selfridge" debuted Sunday night. GB's Nancy Bishop wrote last fall about the Chicago connections in the show and the story.

Wicker Park is a Different Place

MTV's "Real World" is casting in Chicago this weekend.

The Vitamin Vault Locked It In

Comedian Todd Barry's First Annual Best Walgreens Award goes to the chain's Wicker Park location.

Tune in to Chicago

Funny people with Chicago roots are continuing their takeover of the TV and film industries, including Hannibal Buress, who is set to tape his own Comedy Central special here.

Pledge Your Support

WBEZ's "The Afternoon Shift" and Chicago-based "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" are head-to-head in a public radio March Madness bracket. Only one can make it to the next round; choose wisely.

Streaming the 'Hoods

DNAInfo is launching a 24/7 streaming radio station of neighborhood news.

Salty from Our Tears

So, how much road salt ends up in Lake Michigan? Curious City tries to figure it out.

Funny Five

Time Out profiles five of the latest Chicago-trained comedians now writing laughs for TV.

Theaster Gates Gives Stephen Colbert a Contact High

Theaster Gates has been getting a lot of attention lately, but little of it compares to his recent appearance on the Colbert Report.

Our Lives on TV

CNN's "Chicagoland" documentary miniseries premieres tomorrow with a behind-the-scenes look at Mayor Emanuel's education efforts and conflicts with the teachers union.

Wait, Wait, Don't Go

Carl Kasell, veteran broadcaster and the official judge and scorekeeper for NPR's "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me," is retiring this spring.

Chicago Knows It Can Dance

The Fox television show "So You Think You Can Dance" made a stop at the Oriental Theatre Thursday to give Chicagoans a chance to audition for the show's 11th season. The tryouts were held with the show's producers, and callback auditions will be held on Saturday with the judges.

What's the Statute of Limitations on Cereal Theft?

John C. Reilly, who grew up in Chicago Lawn, admitted on "Conan" last night to stealing 500 boxes of Sugar Pops from a train car when he was a kid.

Stream Pledge-Free

WBEZ's annual spring pledge drive starts next week, and they've got a deal for online listeners: give at least $40 and get access to a pledge-free stream.

Must See TV?

"Mind Games," a new Chicago-filmed show starring Steve Zahn and Christian Slater, debuts tonight on ABC.

Talking Through the EMC Problem

GB's politics editor, Monica Reida, was on WBEZ's "Morning Shift" this morning, discussing her story on the long-closed Edgewater Medical Center and ongoing efforts to do something with it.

#SwimmyFallon

New Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon accepted Mayor Emanuel's challenge to join him in jumping into Lake Michigan for the Polar Plunge this Sunday.

CHI to MEX by Airwaves

WBEZ's Linda Lutton captured the sounds of taking a bus from Chicago to Mexico, a trip hundreds of people make every week.

The Quiet News

The WGN morning crew was silenced in the studio this morning due to some technical difficulties. Anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten had some fun with it.

WGN Goes FM

87.7 FM, co-owned by the Tribune Company, will rebroadcast WGN-AM beginning today at 1:02pm, just as the former Q87.7 (née Q101) launches its new format at 101.1.

Candy Radio Hearts

The Google Doodle today is a special Valentine's Day mini-episode from "This American Life." The show also has a Valentine sampler of favorite love-themed pieces.

Airing Their Dirty History

Someone at WGN probably should have cleared their browser history before filming some B-roll footage that also shows the adult sites they recently visited.

Don't Mind the Gap

Here's a beautiful short video based on "This American Life's" Ira Glass' advice to beginners in a creative field.

A Lot Like L.A.

Plans to expand Cinespace, the West Side soundstage where TV shows like Chicago Fire are filmed, include turning nearby buildings into sets by adding new facades resembling a bank, a courthouse, and New York brownstones.

Better Than the Black Eyed Peas

Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl X will include a touchdown dance by first lady Michelle Obama, as well as penguin cheerleaders and a halftime performance by "Keyboard Cat."

A History of Violence

Check your local listings for the violent programs on TV in Chicago- back in October 1954, as shown by a study prepared for the Senate at the time and unearthed by Slate.

One of the Girls

Local playwright Tanya Saracho is joining Lena Dunham as writer for the fourth season of "Girls" on HBO.

The Conventioning Dead

If you're a "Walking Dead" superfan, Walker Stalker Con is the place for you. It's shambling into Rosemont March 14-16.

Champions of Cuteness

Taser and Sharpie, two Italian Greyhound puppies from a Chicago-based rescue organization, are stepping into the arena for this year's Puppy Bowl.

Change at the Top at CMW

Veteran journalist Susy Schultz is taking over as executive director of the Community Media Workshop, as co-founder and president Thom Clark steps away from day-to-day management after 25 years at the helm.

More Chicago on the Small Screen

Boosted by the success of "Chicago Fire," the latest action-drama series based on Chicago's public servants, "Chicago P.D.," premieres Wednesday on NBC.

A New, Old Alternative

Alternative music will be back on the radio dial at 101.1, with new owners Cumulus Media saying they will first simulcast Q87.7 on the station before completely restoring Q101. However, the station won't be called Q101 unless another deal happens: the name, website and intellectual property were sold to Broadcast Barter Radio Networks when Merlin bought the station.

Bears Lose, Ditka Snoozed

As the Bears failed to make it to the playoffs, former coach Mike Ditka dozed off on "Sunday NFL Countdown."

Kiss Kiss

Kiss FM is the most popular radio station in Chicago according to the latest figures, with over 2.2 million people tuning in each week.

Public Radio People, United

The workers of Chicago Public Media, which includes WBEZ and Vocalo, voted to form a union that will be represented by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG AFTRA).

RIP Larry Lujack

Larry Lujack, legendary radio DJ on WCFL and WLS, passed away Wednesday after a yearlong battle with esophageal cancer. He was 73.

Enemy in Our Midst

During WWII, Chicagoland played host to several POW camps. WBEZ's Curious City dove into the history of the camps, talking with both prisoners and workers.

Late-Breaking Outtakes

RedEye put together a collection of Chicago's biggest TV news gaffes of the year.

Radio's Not Dead

HearHere Radio hopes to reinvigorate radio through its Rivet iPhone app, which will deliver radio content based on where you are in the Chicagoland area -- leaving out traffic reports from two counties away, for instance.

Filling the Air

That sound isn't a 747, it's AIR Chicago Radio, the new station bringing smooth jazz, weather, and airport updates to O'Hare and Midway.

SNL Gets Rich

Second City main-stager Katie Rich is joining the writing staff of "Saturday Night Live."

Watch the City Online

ArchLive.tv is a new subscription-based internet TV station featuring original content about Chicago.

Ladies in the TARDIS

A certain segment of the TV-watching world is in a tizzy over the 50th anniversary of "Doctor Who." At C2E2 earlier this year, local cosplayer Nina "MangoSirene" and friends put together a photoshoot of genderbent Doctors, and it's pretty awesome.

"Wild Chicago" is Back -- on Your Laptop

If you miss "Wild Chicago" on Channel 11, you can now stream the best of the first two seasons on Vimeo for $2.99, or download them for $4.99. Or you can pick up the DVDs.

'The Golden Age of WILD CHICAGO' - Trailer from Ben Hollis on Vimeo.

Don't Have a Cow, Man

Shock jock Erich "Mancow" Muller is "heartbroken" after deciding to move out of the city, citing the quality of public schools, price of parking, and other issues as his reasons for relocating his family.

Stewart Gets Saucy

Jon Stewart unleashed an epic rant against Chicago-style pizza on the Daily Show after commentators pointed to it as something other than tallest building-having that Chicago still does better than New York.

Cubs to Leave WGN

The Cubs notified WGN-TV, the superstation that helped create a national fandom for the "lovable losers," that the team is exercising a contract option to end their broadcasting deal after the 2014 season. No word yet on the WGN-AM radio contract, which is up in 2014 as well.

Wait, Wait, Don't Insult My Nationality

"Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" apologized for the use of a Polish joke in last weekend's episode after the Polish consul in Chicago objected.

Back to the Wild

"Wild Chicago" fans, rejoice! Host and co-creator Ben Hollis has successfully brought the cult classic WTTW show back from the dead on DVD (previously), and is screening Volume 1 at the Patio Theater later this month. You can pre-order the DVD on Hollis' website.

ChiTube

Billing itself as a new kind of Netflix, ArchLive is a Chicago-focused Internet television channel that streams locally-produced programs. [via]

A View of the Exit

Rumor has it Jenny McCarthy may soon be shown the door at "The View" due to poor audience reception. "Viewers want to tune out the second she opens her mouth," an insider told Radar.com.

It's for the Dogs

After watching Dog TV is with her dog Abby, Aimee Levitt found the pet-focused network to be "unrelievedly sexist" and too boring for her pup.

Apply Your Own Mascara

FOX 32 News anchors may soon look a little less sparkly: the station has fired its makeup artist, and now expects on-air talent to pretty themselves up.

The Chicago Voice

Groupon staffer Sam Cerniglia is trying to go big with his singing career as a contestant on "The Voice."

City of Big Shoulders Yields "Big Brother" Champ

Andy Herren, a 26-year-old professor of public speaking based in Chicago, won the grand prize of $500,000 on the long-running CBS reality series "Big Brother".

RIP Svengoolie (the First One)

Jerry G. Bishop, the original "Svengoolie," passed away Sunday. He was 77.

Here, Bishop passes the torch to Rick Koz as "Son of Svengoolie" debuts in 1979.

Chicago Front & Center on SNL

Former iO start Cecily Strong will co-anchor the Weekend Update desk with Seth Meyers on "Saturday Night Live" this season, and former Second City actor Michael Patrick O'Brien will move from the writers' pool to the cast.

"Lesbians rule!"

Chicago's dearly departed Cameron Esposito was on Craig Ferguson's "Late, Late Show" last week, as was Jay Leno. And beyond the approval of two veteran comedians, it was Leno's endorsement of her lifestyle that made her night.

Rahm & Dave

Mayor Emanuel was on "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night, talking about violence in Chicago, being chief of staff, and his thoughts on Syria. If you missed it, here's the full video.

Politicians Behind the Politicians

Discovery's new documentary "The President's Gatekeepers" debuts this Wednesday, and features both Mayor Emanuel and Bill Daley.

RIP Don Wade

Radio host Don Wade passed away Friday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 72.

Wait, Wait... New Logo!

"Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!" got a new logo, and it got the Under Consideration treatment.

Noprah

The WGN Morning News team managed to hang up on Oprah yesterday morning, in the middle of the queen of all media telling them about her upcoming schedule. She was nice enough to call back and rub it in. [via]

Miley Cyrus and the Politics of Twerking

Miley Cyrus's notorious performance at last night's Video Music Awards has been the talk of the internet. If you missed it to watch "Breaking Bad", or if you caught it but are still trying to sort it out, reading this essay by Nico Lang and this piece from Britt Julious might help.

Unite Together Among Ourselves

In March of 1963, Malcolm X was interviewed on WMAQ-TV's "City Desk" program about the "Black Muslim movement." [via]

"Pregnant Behind Bars" at Cook County Jail

"Pregnant Behind Bars", a two-part series about expectant mothers at Cook County Jail, premieres tonight at 9pm on Discovery Fit & Health.

More on Vivian Maier's Copyright

GB contributor Julia Gray was on "The Morning Shift" this morning, talking about her article covering the ambiguity surrounding the copyright on renowned street photographer Vivian Maier's work. Also, Northwestern professor Pamela Bannos has posted an excerpt from her book that includes a heartbreaking passage from Maier's probate papers about the photographer's last days in a hospital room.

'That '70s Show' Actress, DePaul graduate dead at 43

Lisa Robin Kelly was found dead in California today. She was a 1992 graduate of DePaul, where she majored in acting.

Architecture, Jazz, Improv...

The latest episode of Freakonomics Radio looks at 10 of Chicago's many major contributions to American life.

What Is It?

Studs Terkel asks people at the unveiling of the Picasso in Daley Center what it looks like to them. The accents and digressions might be more interesting than their answers. The full episode will be broadcast on WFMT this Friday at 10pm. [via]

Skilling's Coral Anniversary

Last night Tom Skilling celebrated 35 years on the air at WGN-TV.

Here's a weather break from 1980, courtesy of FuzzyMemories.TV:

Reversing the River

Radio show 99% Invisible shares the story of how the Chicago River was reversed.

These Boyz Got Talent

The tumblers of the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team moved on to the semifinals of America's Got Talent after debuting their Human Jump Rope Routine.

The Gift Returns

The Gift, a series on WBEZ that delves into the writing process (and more) with various authors, is taking a look back on much older works during August. The first is T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, read by poet Rachel Jamison Webster and filmmaker Spencer Parsons.

Daym That Food is Super Official

YouTuber-turned-T.V. host Daym Patterson visited Chicago on his hunt for the "Best Daym Takeout," offering enthusiastic reviews for Pequod's Pizza, Superdawg, and Mr. Beef from the driver's seat of his car.

Not Mad Men, Crazy Ones

AdWeek notes that "The Crazy Ones," CBS's upcoming series starring Robin Williams as the kooky president of a Chicago ad agency, bears some resemblance to Leo Burnett for a very good reason.

To Have and to Hogtie

A local couple tied the knot during a cowboy-themed wedding shown live on WGN News, the groom pledging to his bride he would "love and cherish and lasso her when she gets out of line." [via]

When TV was Weird

"This Week in Joe's Basement" aired on Chicago public access cable from 1989 to 1993. You can watch all 60 episodes on Media Burn

The Tributes from Lakeview

Two Chicagoans are competing on "Capture," the new Hunger Games-esque reality show on CW.

Malatia Leaves WBEZ

WBEZ President and CEO Torey "Southside" Malatia resigned today after 20 years at the radio station. [via]

Zimmerman "Got Away with Murder," Juror says

The only juror of color on the George Zimmerman trial jury was originally from Chicago. She spoke with "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts Thursday and said she originally voted for second degree murder.


Let's Hear it for the Hawk

If you get the MLB Network, tune in tonight at 6pm for Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson, a documentary about the White Sox's colorful announcer.

Haymark-(hic!) Riot & Other (hic!) Events

Comedy Central's "Drunk History" covered Chicago's tipsy past in its latest episode.

MJ and Fallon, Together at Last

Michael Jordan stopped by the "Late Show with Jimmy Fallon" last night. Sort of. [via]

Later, he sang.

500 American Lives

"This American Life" will soon air its 500th episode. Host Ira Glass spoke with Slate about how they get subjects to open up in interviews, how they pick their stories, the TAL's unique place in NPR, and the business side of the show.

RIP Jim Nayder

Jim Nayder, host of NPR's "The Annoying Music Show" and "Magnificent Obsession" and former program director at WBEZ, has passed away. He was 59.

"The View" on Your Phone, Etc.

Aereo, a gadget that lets you watch live broadcast TV online, will launch in Chicago in September.

Potholes, Pigeons & Pregnancy Tests

What do the aldermen do? WBEZ's Curious City finds out it's a lot more than just rubber-stamping the mayor's initiatives.

A Series of Bad Dates

Solo in the 2nd City cofounder Carly Oishi is pretty sure she's the worst dater in the state, and has the TV show appearance to prove it.

Steve Dahl, Rock'n'Roll Star

Steve Dahl is infamous for his radio antics, Disco Demolition Night and more, and now has a successful podcast network. But did you know he was also a Billboard-charting recording artist?

In 1979, Dahl recorded "Do You Think I'm Disco?," a parody of Rod' Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy," that peaked at 58 on the Billboard 100 charts in 1979. He went on to record several other songs with his band, Teenage Radiation. Here's a sampling:

"Do You Think I'm Disco?" - 1979

"Ayatollah" - 1979

"Skylab" - 1979

"Crew Cut Hero" - 1981

"Another Kid in the Crawl" -1981

"Falklands" - 1982

Dahl also recorded two albums of original, non-parody songs in the '90s as Steve Dahl & the Dahlfins.

Welcome to Chiraq

The latest episode of VICE magazine's show on HBO focused on violence in Chicago, using the term "Chiraq" that's been dropped in local hip hop for a couple years. Chicagoist finds it questionable -- which would not be the first time VICE did something questionable regarding Chicago violence.

Busking as a Business

Curious City asked how much panhandlers and street musicians how much they made in a day.

Pride of the South Side

Marvel at WHPK Record Library, a tumblr of scans of records in WHPK's collection. [via]

Reasons to Watch the Bee

Four local kids are semifinalists in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which are being shown live on ESPN2 at 1pm.

48 Hours in Chicago

"48 Hours" focuses on Chicago's war on gangs and drugs in its next episode, which airs Saturday, May 18.

Meyers is the New Fallon

"SNL" performer/writer, Evanston native and NU alum Seth Meyers will be replacing Jimmy Fallon when the late-night talk show host takes over "The Tonight Show" next year.

"Real World" Casting Call

MTV is scouring the nation for housemates for "Real World" season 29(!?), and the hunt arrives in Chicago this weekend. Register here and show up at Mad River Bar & Grill Saturday at 10am for open auditions.

SNL en Español

"Saturday Night Live" is auditioning in Chicago at iO June 5 for a Spanish-language version of the show.

Shooting Chicagoland

CNN is planning an eight-part documentary series called "Chicagoland" from the team behind Sundance's "Brick City," which focused on Newark, NJ. Robert Redford is executive producer. The series began shooting on St. Patrick's Day weekend, and will air in 2014. (Thanks, Dee!)

Duck People

Chicagoans Nettie Kossart and Alex Huen and their pet ducks, Victor and Ming Mei, were recently featured on NatGeo Wild's "Spoiled Rotten Pets". Nettie sells ducky diapers and other products for pet ducks on Etsy. (Thanks, Dubi!)

Media Burn Video Feature: Blind Arvella Gray

Today marks the first of a series of featured videos from the Media Burn Independent Video Archive. This clip is a 1978 performance by Blind Arvella Gray at the Maxwell Street Market, originally from A Tribute to Chicago Blues. Watch more from the feature on Media Burn.

Get the Check

Quick reminder, this is your last day to vote for the next host of "Check, Please!"

The Next Cheers

Lottie's Pub in Bucktown will star in several episodes of "Chicago Fire" next season.

Sagal & Kasell on the Silver Screen

If you can't make it to the Chase Bank Auditorium for a Thursday night taping of "Wait Wait ...Don't Tell Me!", maybe seeing it live on the big screen May 2 would be an acceptable alternative.

Trailer for the Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me's live cinecast. May 2nd. from Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! on Vimeo.

It Works

William H. Macy may be an unemployed drunk on "Shameless," but in 1976 he found a job through the Chicagoland Job Mart. [via]

Winner Takes ...Time Slot?

"This American Life" and "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" face off in the Final Four of Southern California Public Radio's NPR Radio Bracket Madness. Either way, WBEZ makes out.

Pawn it Off

Have an interesting item you'd be willing to part with? Reality show "Hardcore Pawn Chicago" is looking for people with "unusual, valuable or weird" items to sell. Call 312-720-8015 or email livehardpawnhard@gmail.com. [via]

Everything in One Particular Order

Starting at 9am this morning and running until Memorial Day weekend, WXRT will be playing its entire music library from A to Z by song title. Personally, I'm excited to hear it sounding like the old ad slogan again.

Failed Reality TV Stars Try Again

Some of the stars of the reality series "Mob Wives Chicago" are trying again with Bo$$ Ladies," a show that will follow their attempts to run a bar in Chicago.

WVON Hits Gold

WVON turns 50 this year, and it's celebrating at the Chicago Theatre on April 6 with a concert by Toni Braxton. Tickets are $100 to $500 [PDF].

RIP Marty McNeeley

Marty McNeeley, former WGN-TV "Nightbeat" newscaster and host of the "Creature Features" late-night monster movie series, has passed away. He was 86.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Like Curious City? Help them make their second season even better than their first by taking their online survey.

A Dispatch from ISIS

The cast of FX's hit animated series "Archer" will be at the Chicago Theatre on April 5 for Archer Live!, a moderated discussion, live reading and audience Q&A. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10am.

"My face retains a little too much Illinois"

Nick Offerman is featured in Paste magazine's first online-only issue. The "Parks & Recreation" star wrote a little ditty about being a cover model. [via]


Happy 176th Birthday, Chicago!

WBEZ celebrates by asking people what they would give the city for its special day. Bonus: It's also Casimir Pulaski Day!

Riding the Airwaves

CHIRP and other indie radio stations hope to finally get a spot on dial when the FCC begins distributing low-power radio licenses later this year.

Still Talking on TV

NPR takes stock of Chicago talk shows now that Oprah isn't around so much these days.

Five Months in Harper High School, Continued

This American Life's second installment of its exploration of youth violence in a Chicago high school is online. If you missed the first part, listen to it here.

Go Make Babies... or Not

WBEZ's "Go Make Babies" ad campaign and pseudo dating app have drawn some criticism from the LGBTQ community for its heteronormative messaging. WBEZ blogger took those concerns marketing director Vanessa Harris with and got some answers.

Five Months in Harper High School

This American Life has already posted part one of their epic Chicago youth violence episode.

Part two will air this coming Friday, Feb. 22.

190 North Goes South

ABC7 has canceled its long-running Chicago-centric lifestyle program "190 North." The last episode will air March 31, though it might return for occasional specials.

Jenny McCarthy gets a Show

If you're not getting enough of Jenny McCarthy in the Sun-Times, you can watch her on VH1 starting tonight. "The Jenny McCarthy Show," which she says is modeled off of the old "Playboy After Dark" series, will feature go-go dancers and randomly paired celebrities.

Trains, Trains and Automobiles

WBEZ's Curious City tackles several questions about Chicago's trains, bridges and streets.

"Check, Please!" Now Accepting Host Applications

Ready to apply? Do it here. DNAinfo lists some of the folks you'll be up against.

The People's Fraudster?

Warren Ballentine, the self-styled "People's Attorney" on radio, was indicted for mortgage fraud on Monday. Ballentine grew up on the South Side.

Alpana Checks Out

Alpana Singh is leaving "Check Please!" to focus on her new restaurant, The Boarding House. The show will begin searching for a new host soon.

Talk Gun Control Here

Newt Gingrich suggested on CNN's "State of the Union" that hearings on gun control legislation should be held in Chicago.

Chicago Does Project Runway

Fashion designer Kate Pankoke will be representing Chicago as a competitor on the next season of "Project Runway," which premieres on Jan. 24.

Vintage Aaron Swartz Interview

Fourteen-year-old Aaron Swartz was interviewed on WBEZ's "Eight Forty-Eight" in 2001, talking about web standards and the future of the web. Swartz's memorial service will be held Tuesday in Highland Park.

Watch a Vivian Maier Special Online

If you're a Vivian Meier fan, you may want to watch the half-hour special about her by WTTW's Jay's Chicago.

The Paleo-City

The Discovery Channel has a show called "Prehistoric," which explores cities at the time of the dinosaurs and later. Chicago's episode is pretty interesting.

Warriors, Come Out to Play

The PBS show "Market Warriors" recently filmed an episode at Chicago's own Randolph Street Market. The show debuts tonight at 9:00 pm on WTTW.

The Wizard Returns

Northeastern's WZRD-FM is back on the air with its student staff, who had been locked out by the administration last summer. Stream it here.

It's All in the Game

Tattoo artist Kevin Leary or Family Tattoo has created a "The Wire" flash sheet.

Like a Chicago Bootlegger

"Downton Abbey" insulted Chicago (of the 1920s) in the season premiere -- but got it wrong.

NPR on Chicago Violence

NPR's "Morning Edition" reported yesterday on Chicago's rising murder rate. They follow that up today with a piece prompted by listener questions about Chicago's "gun ban."

He Never Listened, but Lawyers Are

Months after FM News 101.1 went off the air, Patti Blagojevich has decided to sue station owner Merlin Media for using Rod's image on billboards last year.

Hardcore Debut

"Hardcore Pawn: Chicago" was TruTV's highest rated series premiere, drawing 2.1 million viewers on Tuesday night. (Thanks, Dee!)

Movie Sign!

If you're a fan of "Mystery Science Theater 3000," you owe it to yourself to be at Mayne Stage on Jan. 12, where Joel Hodgson will be performing a one-man show, "Riffing on Myself." VIP tickets to the early show include a preshow screening of "MST3K" and meet'n'greet with Hodgson.

If you've got an hour to kill, here's one of my favorite "MST3K" episodes, Mitchell, in its entirety.

Broken News

The WGN Morning News mistaking a "Chicago Fire" set for a plane crash tops off this roundup of 2012's best local news bloopers.

Risking Life & Death for a Temp Job

WBEZ's Chip Mitchell and the Center for Public Integrity's Jim Morris tell the story of Carlos Centeno, a temporary worker who died after being burned on 80% of his body when the tank he was cleaning suddenly filled with near-boiling water and citric acid. It took more than an hour and a half to get him to a burn unit.

Von Steuben Confidential

Parents of kids at Von Steuben High School aren't thrilled about the portrayal of the school on the latest season of "High School Confidential."

Don and Dawn

WBEZ's Curious City delves even deeper to dissect the Chicago accent, complete with thorough audio breakdown.

Lost Tape Thoughts

Following the broadcast of Bozo's Circus: The Lost Tape, Robert Feder reflects on the many talents of Bob Bell. The episode will re-air on Dec. 25 at noon.

Alvarez Fights Back on 60 Minutes Segment

After being embarrassed by a "60 Minutes" segment about Chicago's history of false confessions, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez fired back, sending a letter to CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager calling the segment "one-sided and extremely misleading."

Letter from Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez to CBS's "60 Minutes"

"The False Confession Capital"

That's what defense attorneys call Chicago, according to a 60 Minutes segment" investigating the reasons the city has twice as many documented cases of false confession than any other.

Come Along to "Playboy's Penthouse"

Light lunchtime viewing: the debut episode of "Playboy's Penthouse," a television show hosted by Hugh Hefner and featuring guests Lenny Bruce, Nat "King" Cole, Cy Colman, Ella Fitzgerald and Rona Laffe. It was filmed Oct. 24, 1959 in Chicago.

Old News

A locker on "Storage Wars: Texas" contained a copy of the classic Chicago Tribune election miscall "Dewey Defeats Truman," all the more valuable for the Tribune's attempt to burn all distributed copies the next day.

Chicago Backfire

A South Side shooting location for "Chicago Fire" (complete with a staged plane crash) was accidentally turned into a breaking news story this morning.

C-c-c-catch the Wave

Nov. 22 was the 25th anniversary of the Max Headroom pirating incident broadcast hijackings on WGN and WTTW. Last year a reddit member claimed he knew who did it.

On WGN-TV:

On WTTW-TV:

Media coverage the next day:

A recent overview, with industry sources providing perspective:

It's Turkey Day

Happy Thanksgiving! Posting will be light today, as we'll all be off stuffing ourselves full of turkey, tofurkey and various other foods. Meanwhile, here's a Thanksgiving Day movie-watching flowchart, courtesy of Chicagoist's Steven Pate.

A Depressing Day for Chicago-Based TV Shows

"Boss" has been cancelled, "Mob Doctor" is on deathwatch, and "Chicago Fire's" ratings aren't doing well.

Tony's Last Chicago Layover

Tony Bourdain's Chicago episode of "The Layover" airs tonight at 8pm on the Travel Channel. RedEye has a review, and the Sun-Times' Lori Rackl notes that Bourdain drives a vintage Cadillac in it, an unexpected echo of his anger with Travel Channel for cutting him into an ad for the car company without his permission.

Open, Civic Discourse

WBEZ's Torey Malatia published an op-ed defending his decision to drop the "Smiley & West" program from the station's lineup (previously: 1, 2), calling it "advocacy journalism," and far from the aim of public media. [via]

Easy (Online) Listening

Today, Rick O'Dell, former smooth jazz guru of 87.7 and 95.5, is launching SmoothJazzChicago.net, a free 24/7 streaming digital station dedicated to the genre.

"Chicago Fire" gets Full Season on NBC

NBC has decided to continue its new drama "Chicago Fire" for a full season. Much of the TV show has been shot on the city's West Side at the up-and-coming film studio Cinespace.

Plants & Animals & Birds, Oh My!

Where in Chicago is the greatest biodiversity? Curious City finds out.

Svengoolie's Real Brush with Death

Rich Koz, aka "Svengoolie," suffered a heart attack on Saturday, WCIU-TV announced today. The announcement said Koz's condition is improving, so here's hoping that he'll be trying out that new coffin real soon.

Mr. Show's in Town

Energy BBDO's Creative Salon Series brings Naperville native Bob Odenkirk to the Wrigley Building tomorrow, Nov. 1 from 4 to 6pm to talk about his career and what he's up to next. RSVP on Facebook.

"Smiley & West" Back on the Air in Chicago

...But not on WBEZ, which canceled the show amid controversy earlier this month. Tavis Smiley and Cornell West's program will instead be on WVON-AM and WCPT-AM, beginning next week.

A New Coffin to Call Home

Just in time for Halloween, local B-movie guru and television personality Svengoolie is getting a brand-new coffin, complete with chicken-feet handles and 3D animated features.

Gruesome Ghouls and Grisly Ghosts

"Creature Features," WGN's old horror movie night, returns on Halloween night as a live webcast featuring an interview with the writer of the show's classic intro, Karen Verwolf.

Chicago Talk

WBEZ's Curious City investigates the Chicago accent and how it came to be. Submit your own speech sample.

Quick Contest: See Black Prairie Tonight!

WBEZ and 312 Presents host a private concert with Black Prairie tonight for High Fidelity members -- and we've got two tickets to give away.

Email contests@gapersblock.com with your name, phone number and "Black Prairie" in the subject line by 4pm; we'll choose an entry at random. The station's doors open at 6pm on Navy Pier; see the map here. Show starts at 7pm. UPDATE: Congratulations to our winner, Darlene L.!

"Smiley & West" Off WBEZ

WBEZ canceled "Smiley and West," the controversial talk show featuring Tavis Smiley and Cornell West, at the end of September. Chicago Media Action is leading an online protest to bring the show back.

You Cantu that on Television

Chef Homaro Cantu's rumor mill is rumbling. There's the one about him taking over Charlie Trotter's old restaurant space, which has a built in TV studio. Meanwhile, he posted on Facebook that he has another TV show in the works, titled "CookiNG Under Pressure" -- then deleted it. Perhaps his claim of signing a multi-season deal was a little premature?

Debating on Television

Just in time for debate season, Art Shay shares photos and recollections of the Kennedy-Nixon debates -- the first ever televised -- held at WBBM-TV studios in 1960.

The Exit Interview

Claire Zulkey interviews departing "Afternoon Shift" host Steve Edwards as he prepares to begin his new job at U of C's Institute of Politics.

Fighting for a Signal

CHIRP founder Shawn Campbell talks about the Internet Radio Fairness Act and its effects on the fledgling station's efforts to get on the airwaves. (CHIRP's in the midst of its fall pledge drive, by the way.)

Silencing NEIU Voices

Big changes are afoot at Northeastern Illinois University. The radio station's student staff was locked out this summer, while two popular professors have struggled with the administration.

Big Win for a Big Ship

The Third Coast Audio Festival announced its 2012 competition winners, and among them was "Big Ship Diary," a piece by WBEZ's Allison Swain about life on a Great Lakes freighter.

Skilling's 10-Year Forecast

WGN signed chief meteorologist Tom Skilling to a new 10-year contract, ensuring many more years of weather geekery.

Watching Old News

The Internet Archive just launched a huge TV news archive stretching back to June of 2003. Plenty of Chicago-related stuff in there -- including some that sounds pretty familiar.

Wisecracks at the Movies

Splitsider thinks Siskel and Ebert were film criticism's most underrated comedy duo ever.

Not Your World Championship Cubs

In the trailer for NBC's new show "Revolution" this spring, a sign on Wrigley Field named the Cubs the 2012 World Champions. Fantasy caught up to reality by the time the show aired this week.

Muhammad Ali Goes to Mars

In 1966, a New Trier highschooler named Michael Aisner drove to the South Side with a friend to interview Muhammad Ali. The reel-to-reel tape hadn't been heard for 50 years -- until Aisner submitted it to Blank on Blank, a new collection of "lost interviews" old and new.

Watch Tumblr Storyboards animated version of the interview, or listen to the extended version on Soundcloud.

Listen to the Marathon

Composer Mark Mallman is in the midst of a 150-hour-long song, "Marathon 4," broadcast live from the back of a van traveling from New York to LA. He'll be out front of Graham Elliot Bistro tonight at 6pm.

Fighting for Prison Kids

The ACLU is suing the state over the poor conditions in juvenile prisons, WBEZ reports. Read more in BEZ's "Inside and Out" series.

Contest: Cloud Nothings at WBEZ

Cloud Nothings are playing an exclusive show for WBEZ High Fidelity members on Monday, Sept. 17. RSVPs filled up in 2.5 minutes this morning, but we've got a pair of passes to give away.

Email contests@gapersblock.com by noon Saturday with your name, phone number and the subject line "Cloud Nothings" to enter; we'll choose one winner at random for the two tickets.

RIP, Sharon McGhee & Julie Shannon

The Chicago theater world lost two of its own this week. Playwright and WVON news director Sharon McGhee passed away Tuesday of ovarian cancer. Julie Shannon, composer and lyricist for The Christmas Schooner, passed away Wednesday, also of cancer.

On the Small Screen

2012 is a record year in Chicago for television tapings, with four one-hour dramas having been been shot here this year: "The Mob Doctor," "Chicago Fire," "Underemployed" and "Boss."

Bronies in the 'Burbs this Weekend

Chicagoist notes that Midwestria, a convention for "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic" fans, will turn St. Charles into a stable for Bronies this weekend.

SNL Taps Chicago Again

"Saturday Night Live" is adding three new castmembers for their 38th season, and all three are from Chicago. Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson and Cecily Strong are all veterans of the local improv scene.

Uncrating "Wild Chicago"

Chicagoans of a certain age remember "Wild Chicago," a great TV show on Channel 11 that featured the weird, wacky and wonderful people, places and things about the city. Its original host, Ben Hollis, has gotten permission from WTTW to produce a best-of DVD from the first two seasons of the show, and he's started an IndieGoGo campaign to help make it happen.

TV Show of Strength

Tonight at 7pm, WGN will air "MDA Show of Strength," the annual entertainment telethon, which benefits more than 200 muscular dystrophy clinics, including the brand new one at Lurie Children's Hospital.

Come on Over to "Studs' Place"

On Sept. 5, the Media Burn Archive, the Museum of Broadcast Communications and the Studs Terkel Centenary Committee are hosting a free screening at the MBC of four episodes of Studs Turkel's "Studs' Place," the TV show he starred in back in 1950-51, recently discovered in Turkel's basement after 60 years.

Chicago's Trauma

As a way of personifying the violent summer here, CNN spent a night with the Cook County Hospital trauma unit.

Steff Bombing Craft Wars

Congratulations to local artist Steff Bomb, who was victorious in TLC's Craft Wars!

Tell Your Story

Story Corps' recording trailers are back in Chicago today through Sept. 15 in Millennium Park and at WBEZ's South Side bureau. Read about Story Corps' first visit to Chicago in Detour.

Big Dreams and Encased Meats

If, at some point in the past 50 or so years, you stood in line for a hot dog and fries at the Parky's on Roosevelt Road, you know the unmatchable feeling of a real Chicago stand and the way that the best of them transcend the notion of a restaurant. Just when condemnation seemed inevitable for the building that housed the iconic spot, Chicago native Brendan O'Connor, a man with a dream and curious palate, set out to save it.

Thanks to his creative take on sausage, and the overall fast food experience, the Food Network show "3 Days to Open With Bobby Flay," chose to help O'Connor and Big Guys Sausage Stand become a reality. Bobby Flay himself showed up at the small, narrow-roofed building at 7021 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn and worked with O'Connor and his team to turn passion into crowd-pleasing originality. Ultimately, they stayed true to O'Connor's vision of creating a classic atmosphere, with a nod to the Chicago "Super Fans," while taking a truly unique and modern approach to traditional menu items. So far, Big Guys has been well-received, living up to its promises of big flavor, competitive prices and the quick-but-satisfying turnaround perfected by the best Chicago hot dog stands for decades. Check out the food, the vision and the Bobby Flay touch Mon-Thru 11am-2am; Fri-Sat 11am-3am; Sun 11am-6pm.

Da Bears on da Tube

Sweet Chi Town collects a few 1985 Bears commercials to help you get in the mood for this season.

Celebrate Shark Week

So it's Shark Week, but before you turn on the TV, think a little about helping to conserve this awesome species. Head to The Grafton tonight for a special "fin-raiser" benefit for Shark Angels who work to keep sharks in the ocean and out of soup. You can also go see real live sharks in action at The Shedd, where there are also discounts available on general admission all week long.

Locating the "Boss"

Daniel X. O'Neil maps the city's filming location permit data and learns about the second season of "Boss" in the process.

One Danger of Being Internet Famous

The stars of the local show All About Chris had quite a time during last weekend's Bud Billiken Parade, particularly because they were being hounded by their female fans throughout the parade route. One swarming event is after the jump.


"That's bad, that's bad."

NPR reports on Chicago's violent summer.

Radio on the Web

Did you know WBEZ is on Soundcloud?

The Layover Fakeout

Apparently Tony Bourdain's tweet about canceling his shoot for "The Layover" at Budacki's was just a trick to get rid of the fans who would have crowded the place on the promise of a $1 hot dog and a glimpse of a celebrity chef. He ended up there on Saturday after all.

Q101 to FM News to i101 in a Year

Just shy of a year after killing off Q101 in favor of an all news station whose ratings never rose above dismal, Merlin Media transformed 101.1fm again this morning. The new i101 plays "adult hits"; the radio company launched Q87.7 in May to fulfill your alt-rock needs, if your radio dips down that low on the spectrum. Chicagoland Radio & Media has more details about the switch.

Make it Work this Weekend

"Project Runway" will have a pop-up photoshoot booth on Pioneer Square this weekend.

The Woman Who Does Everything

Would you like to hear Tina Fey rap?

That Journatic Story was not by Ginny Cox

Journatic, the company that now "produces content" for TribLocal, had a years-long practice of running fake bylines on stories written by its Filipino employees, This American Life reported.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

WBEZ does a roundup of some of the media outlets who had a hard time reporting on today's health care decision.

Free Sound Opinions

Attend a free live taping of Sound Opinions at Lincoln Hall if you're lucky enough to RSVP in time. Enjoy, not only the witty banter of Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, but also live performances from Japandroids and Ty Seagall on July 12. Update: That was fast! The event is now sold out!

More than Ron Swanson

HuffPo Chicago talks with Nick Offerman about his ties to Chicago, acting, woodworking and mustaches. He's performing at the Vic on Saturday as part of the Just For Laughs comedy festival.

"I will resume the body."

Nora Schweihs, daughter of Frank "The German" Schweihs and star of "Mob Wives Chicago," got her wish this week as her father's body was res-er, exhumed from St. Mary Cemetery in Evergreen Park, to confirm that it was in fact The German in the grave.

Colbert Talks Growing Power

Will Allen, MacArthur "genius grant" recipient and CEO of Growing Power urban farming nonprofit that's active in Chicago, was on "The Colbert Report" Tuesday night to talk about the organization and his new book, The Good Food Revolution. [via]

Flying Food on "Conan"

Stop whatever you're doing and watch Conan O'Brien jump a 10-foot fiberglass bratwurst over the State Street bridge.

"Conan" is taping at the Chicago Theatre all this week, and will supposedly jump the bridge with a different Chicago item every day.

No Education for Inmates

GB staffer Megan Doherty reports on dwindling education opportunities in Illinois prisons for WBEZ.

Watch Radio About Film

Filmspotting is recording its 400th episode live tonight at Lincoln Hall.

Are You Curious?

WBEZ just launched a new collaborative initiative: Curious City. Get involved by submitting a question or voting on those already posted.

OWNing Up to Failure

The Oprah Winfrey Network is a year old and still struggling to attract viewers; Chicago magazine looks at what went wrong. Meanwhile, "Windy City Live," the show that replaced "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on ABC7, is doing pretty well.

A Celebration of Studs

Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of Studs Terkel's birth, and the American Public Media program The Story kicks off a four-day retrospective today with a collection of interviews that Studs did for WFMT.

Santaland Diaries: Realish?

The Mike Daisey fiasco is reverberating through "This American Life": now some are wondering whether David Sedaris' work is fact or fiction. (This is really in question?)

City in a Garden

A new show produced by J.J. Abrams is at least partly set in Chicago. That is, after 15 years without electricity (or something). Wrigley Field needs some landscaping. Here's the trailer.

Q101 Rises Again... Sort Of

Q101 never went away online, and now it's back on the radio: WJJG-AM 1530 began simulcasting the online station yesterday. Meanwhile, WKQX-FM, Q101's old station, has returned to the airwaves as Q87.7, way down at the bottom of the dial.

Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now

For no apparent reason, the Chicago-set '80s sitcom "Perfect Strangers" has been turned into a a very weird online videogame.

perfectstrangersgame.jpg

Cat Videos Raise Money?

That's what WBEZ is hoping, anyway.

Coco is Coming

Conan O'Brien will tape four shows in Chicago June 11-14, during the Just for Laughs Festival. Learn how to get tickets here.

"Oh."

It's not easy being named Michael Jordan in Chicago, as a new ESPN commercial demonstrates.

My dad's name is Sam, which is the same as a Hall of Fame linebacker. It's not such a big deal anymore, but people of older generations will still sometimes ask if he's related. It's a problem for a lot of regular people with famous names.

United States of X: TV Edition

Advertising Age looks at who is watching what where, using data from Experian Simmons and Patchwork Nation. You might be surprised at Cook County's favorite show.

Obsessed for 20 Years

WBEZ's "Magnificent Obsession: True Stories of Recovery," hosted by Jim Nayder (better known for "The Annoying Music Show"), celebrates 20 years this weekend. Robert Feder talks with Nayder about the show. Tune in at 5:30am Sunday.

More Chicago Reality TV Coming

The Style Network is bringing another reality show to Chicago. "Chicagolicious" will be the local version of hit show "Jerseylicious," and follows the drama at AJÉS Salon in the West Loop.

Meanwhile, "Mob Wives Chicago" is ruffling feathers in the Italian-American community, and even getting restaurants they film at in trouble -- when they're allowed in at all.

Cubs Home Opener's Today

The Tribune Co. and DirecTV hugged it out, so you'll be able to watch the Cubs home opener on WGN today -- but if you are coming in from the suburbs, out of town for the game, the CTA Tattler has some recommendations for your Red Line ride to the stadium.

Help a Radio Station Out

Today is the last day of CHIRP Radio's annual donation drive. If you're a fan, consider chipping in.

WGN off DirecTV?

On Sunday, DirecTV customers may find that they're no longer able to watch WGN and other Tribune television properties, as the contract between the companies expires Saturday with no resolution in sight.

Hard Cover Crowdsourcing

Community TV Network's youth-run show, "Hard Cover," is raising money on IndieGoGo to build a new production studio.

Consigned to VH1

The Wiener's Circle isn't the only local business with a reality show. VH1's "House of Consignment" follows the drama at eDrop-Off, a luxury eBay consignment company in Lincoln Park.

On the season premiere, eDrop-Off owner Corri McFadden and colleagues went through chef Karyn Calabrese's closets.

Hotdog Reality: Reviewed

For those of you who missed (intentionally or not) the television debut of "The Wiener's Circle," Chicagoist tuned in and says it's actually pretty entertaining.

Accuweather's Mea Culpa

Accuweather admits it was wrong when it predicted a winter so bad "people in Chicago are going to want to move." But Tom Skilling doesn't buy the explanation: Japanese tsunami debris.

"Your presence is causing a scene."

Apparently at least one Chicago police officer thinks that first amendment rights are revokable at will, and arrested reporters from WGN and NBC 5 yesterday because he thought they were too close to Mt. Sinai Hospital as they taped reports on a 6-year-old girl who was shot and killed in Little Village last weekend.

Watch "The Weiner's Circle" Tonight

Reality show network TruTV is airing a show about The Weiner's Circle, giving its notorious bad behavior (on both sides of the counter) more attention than it probably deserves. It debuts tonight at 9pm. Do312 and Chicagoist are teaming up for another viewing party at Liar's Club tonight; RSVP here.

Not Their Favorite Thing

Thirty OWN staffers will be losing their jobs as part of restructuring efforts in the wake of unexpectedly low ratings and upper management woes.

Not So Rosie

The Rosie Show has officially been cancelled. The final episode will be aired at the end of the month.

This American Life Retracts Apple Factory Story

On the day the new iPad comes out, This American Life is retracting the incredibly popular story about Foxconn's factories in China by monologist Mike Daisey (previously). Tonight's episode of the show will be an explanation of why the story is being retracted and how it occurred.

This American Life and WBEZ have also canceled the performance of Daisey's monologue, The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs, scheduled for April 7 at the Chicago Theatre.

The following email was sent to fans of the show:

From: Ira Glass
Date: Fri, Mar 16, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Subject: Our recent Mike Daisey episode
To: XXXXX

Hi XXXXX,

I'm writing to tell you that tonight, This American Life and Marketplace will reveal that a story that we broadcast on This American Life this past January contained significant fabrications.

We're retracting that story because we can't vouch for its truth, and this weekend's episode of our show will detail the errors in the story, which was an excerpt of Mike Daisey's acclaimed one-man show, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs." In it, Daisey tells how he visited a factory owned by Foxconn that manufactures iPhones and iPads in Shenzhen, China. He's performed the monologue in theaters around the country; it's currently at the Public Theater in New York.

When the original 39-minute excerpt was broadcast on This American Life, Marketplace China Correspondent Rob Schmitz wondered about its truth. He located and interviewed Daisey's Chinese interpreter Li Guifen (who goes by the name Cathy Lee professionally with westerners). She disputed much of what Daisey has been telling theater audiences since 2010 and much of what he said on the radio.

During fact checking before the broadcast of Daisey's story, I and This American Life producer Brian Reed asked Daisey for this interpreter's contact information, so we could confirm with her that Daisey actually witnessed what he claims. Daisey told us her real name was Anna, not Cathy as he says in his monologue, and he said that the cell phone number he had for her didn't work any more. He said he had no way to reach her.

At that point, we should've killed the story. But other things Daisey told us about Apple's operations in China checked out, and we saw no reason to doubt him. We didn't think that he was lying to us. That was a mistake.

Schmitz does a 20-minute story on our show this weekend about his findings, and we'll also broadcast an interview I did with Daisey. Marketplace will feature a shorter version of Schmitz's report earlier in the evening. You can read more details on our website, and listen to our show on WBEZ at 7 p.m. tonight, and noon tomorrow.

We've been planning a live presentation of Daisey's monologue on stage at the Chicago Theatre on April 7th, with me leading a Q&A afterwards. Maybe you've heard me advertising it on the air. That show will be cancelled and all tickets will be refunded.

I've never had to write an email like this. Like all our friends and colleagues in public radio, I and my co-workers at This American Life work hard every day to make sure that what you hear on WBEZ is factually correct. We will continue to do that, and hope you can forgive this.

Best,
Ira Glass

© 1998-2012 Chicago Public Media. All rights reserved.
WBEZ / 848 East Grand Avenue / Chicago IL 60611-3509

The discrepancies in Daisey's story were uncovered in part by a report by Marketplace's Rob Schmitz.

Daisey has posted a statement on his own site, saying in part, "I stand by my work. My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge. It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity."

Below is the official press release from This American Life regarding the incident.

Retraction Press Release Final

"Didn't you hear my show about bullying?"

Ira Glass's voice had a brief, thrilling cameo in the opening minutes of "30 Rock" last night.

Where's That 800 Number?

Readers of a certain vintage might remember these classic TV ads for Encyclopaedia Brittanica that aired in the early '90s.

The kid in the commercial is Donavan Freberg, who's now a photographer in LA and has his own YouTube channel. He is the son of TV, animation, music and advertising legend Stan Freberg, who is still active in the industry 70 years after he got started; that's Stan doing the voiceover). The series was so well-known that Seattle's local TV show "Almost Live" did a great parody: Oliver Stone's World Book Encyclopedia. In fact, Brittanica even mocked itself:

Soda Pop Board Strikes Again

Ellen DeGeneres is the latest to be taken in by a fake vintage ad from the fictional Soda Pop Board of America, which was not headquartered in Chicago.

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Rosie Heading to NYC

Now we know (allegedly) why Rosie O'Donnell put her house on the market: she's moving her show to New York. Meanwhile, she's found a buyer for the house.

Cubs Win! (Not Really)

A new trailer for the video game MLB 12: The Show imagines what Chicago would look like if the Cubs won the World Series.

Ladies of the Outfit

Mark Brown has details on some of the women in the Chicago cast of "Mob Wives," including the daughter of enforcer Frank "The German" Schweihs.

Radio Mostly Tunes Out Davy Jones

Robert Feder notes that radio coverage of Davy Jones's death shows just how impoverished the medium has become in the age of pre-programmed broadcasts. By the way, if you're in mourning, Tribune-owned Antenna TV will be running a "Monkees" marathon starting at 4pm Saturday.

How Much Would You Pay Roland?

Sun-Times reporter Neil Steinberg reflects on how he could have handled a chance encounter with former Senator Roland Burris differently. (If you haven't already, listen to Burris' WBEZ interview from Friday afternoon.)

Oprah Now Getting Terrible Career Advice

Jimmy Kimmel pitched some new ideas to Oprah last night on his annual post-Oscars special.

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No "Sick" Days Anymore

"Marketplace" visited Glenbrook North High School to see how teenagers today differ from the school's most famous alumnus, Ferris Bueller, took a day off. A lot has changed.

National Attention for Photographing Derelict Sites

Local photographer Eric Holubow was featured on CBS Evening News last night.

The Grid: The Mediated Plant

The newest installment of our documentary series The Grid examines how The Plant -- Chicago's vertical farm and food business incubator -- has been represented in the media.

The Sound of Blue Neighbors?

The Third Coast Audio Festival has teamed up with Everyblock for its annual Short Docs competition this year. You've got until April 30 to record a two- to three-minute audio piece that includes at least two of your neighbors, a color in the title and a couple seconds of narrative silence. Go!

Tea for Sharks

Chicago tea boutique Talbott Teas will be on "Shark Tank" this Friday.

Interrupt Again

If you weren't able to view last night's showing of The Interrupters on WTTW, you have a few more opportunities in the coming days.

"Mob Wives" Coming To Chicago

The hit VH1 reality show "Mob Wives" will be announcing the new Chicago cast in two to three weeks.

Ira Takes the Afternoon Shift

Tune in right now (2pm) for the first episode of "Afternoon Shift," WBEZ's new afternoon show hosted by Steve Edwards. Ira Glass will be on, taking calls and answering questions.

You Won't See Rosie Live Any Time Soon

Rosie O'Donnell confirmed that her Harpo Studios show has stopped selling tickets because it won't be taped with a live audience. The decision is part of a broader shift for the show.

More Don Cornelius Memorials

In addition to the WCIU "Soul Train" marathon tomorrow, the Museum of Broadcast Communications is holding a public memorial service from 6pm to 8pm on Feb. 15; it will be broadcast live on WVON-AM.

Soul Memorial Train

WCIU-TV will be airing a "Soul Train" marathon tonight Saturday night from 6pm to midnight in memory of Chicago-born creator Don Cornelius.

Relive the Blizzard on TV

Tune in tonight at 9:30pm for a repeat airing of "Snowed Under: The Story of the 2011 Blizzard" on WGN. In other TV news, CeaseFire Interrupter Ameena Matthews will be on the "Colbert Report" tonight.

LP Zoo: Chimps Aren't Funny

The Lincoln Park Zoo asked CareerBuilder to stop using chimpanzees in its commercials. CareerBuilder plans to run its Super Bowl ad anyway.

Commercial History

Chicago's Museum of Broadcast Communications recently relaunched an online exhibit on the history of television commercials, where you can look at thousands of ads from the 50's onward.

JVO Joins the Dahl Network

Former Q101 DJ James VanOsdol has joined the Steve Dahl Network with a monthly podcast. Get a sample of what it'll be like with his interview with author Kevin Guilfoile.

"He Bought It"

The full Ferris Bueller Super Bowl ad is now live; it's a commercial for the Honda CRV.

Drawing Cats for Sharks

As previously mentioned, local sketch comic Steve Gadlin is on ABC's "Shark Tank" tonight, trying to get investments in his site IWantToDrawACatForYou.com. Tune in at 7pm to see if he succeeds.

Your Daily Dose of D'awww

An orphaned baby sea otter named Cayucos, currently adjusting to life at the Shedd, made an adorable appearance on the "Today Show" this morning.

Watch312 Launches

Watch312, a new online television network, debuts today. The launch party at The James Hotel will stream live on the site tonight at 5:15pm.

Richard Threlkeld Dies

The former ABC correspondent, who graduated from Medill and was raised in Barrington, died this morning in New York after his car collided with a propane tanker. He was 74.

60 Seconds to None

Chicago's new tourism slogan, "Chicago, second to none," will make its television debut soon.

Tuning In

I know, terrestrial radio is so old. But in case you're still stuck to the dial, Radio-Locator.com can help you find stations that come in loud and clear wherever you are -- as well as tell you which ones broadcast online.

You Wanna (Thoughtful 2-minute) Piece of Me?

On a lighter public radio note, "This American Life" and "On The Media" have settled their blood feud, and in doing so nearly ignited a massive cerebral radio brawl.

WBEZ Changes Up Daytime Lineup

WBEZ announced yesterday that Alison Cuddy, host of "Eight Forty-Eight," will step out of that role and become an arts and culture reporter; Tony Sarabia takes over in the interim. Meanwhile, former "Eight Forty-Eight" host and current director of content development Steve Edwards will soon get a new afternoon show of his own. [via]

Wait Wait ...Don't XKCD Me

Webcomic xkcd imagines the headlines should "Wait, Wait ...Don't Tell Me" host Peter Sagal ever does anything newsworthy in 2012. Sagal, for his part, has vowed to use the comic as a to-do list.

wait wait don't xkcd me

(Need it explained?)

A Year of Traffic Tweets

WBEZ has a downloadable list of Chicago traffic maven Sarah Jindra's favorite tweets from the past year. Ah, the memories.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tivo Me!

"Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me" makes its television debut tonight at 7pm on BBC America. Steven K. Johnson has a review.

The Loop is Q101

Just for the weekend. Starting at 5pm tonight, 97.9 FM will be an alternative '90s station (or as close to one as a classic rock station can be, so expect lots of Nirvana and Pearl Jam), with a tribute to the late, lamented Q101 (which technically still exists) at 9pm Saturday.

I Hope He Has a Fainting Couch on Hand

The television show hosted by former Chicagoan Nate Berkus, whose interior design career rose to fame on the wings of the Oprah empire, has just been cancelled.

Morning Caricature Edition

What do you imagine NPR personalities look like? Anything like this?

Dusting Off the Dusties DJ

WBEZ takes the release of Numero Group's Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels as an opportunity to examine the legacy of radio DJ Richard Pegue.

The Balcony is Closing

Roger Ebert posted an update on the financial issues with "Ebert Presents At The Movies": the show's going on hiatus at the end of December, while he works on getting more funding for the program.

The Loop on 11

WTTW debuts Geoffrey Baer's latest urban exploration, "Chicago's Loop: A New Walking Tour," tonight at 7:30pm. Meanwhile, you can explore the show's interactive website.

The Law of RPS

Rock-Paper-Scissors isn't just a game -- it's science.

Adults in Tiaras

The Katydids, who perform on Sundays at iO, imagine what those beauty pageant kids grow up to be like.

Chicago Live! Reviewed

Feder reluctantly sits in on the season finale of Chicago Live! and has a surprisingly good time -- due in no small part to host Rick Kogan, who will return with the show Feb 2.

Putting a Bird on It!

Portlandia's Fred Armisen (who used to drum in Trenchmouth) and Carrie Brownstein will make a stop at the Hideout on January 18 for an evening of live music, talking about the show (which is great, by the way) and airing footage from its next season. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

How Can I Miss You If You Won't Go Away?

Oprah's Next Chapter debuts on New Year's Day.

Wait, Wait, on Tee-Vee!

"Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" will soon be a television show on BBC America, beginning with a Dec. 23 year-in-review special, in which Peter Sagal, Carl Kasell and a panel including Paula Poundstone and Alonzo Bodden will discuss the year's biggest events.

I Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio

Former Q101 deejay Electra, aka Christine Pawlak, writes in Slate about the fall of rock radio.

Chicago, Bang Bang

VH1's "Mob Wives" is coming to Chicago because of course it is.

Windy City is a Drag

The next season of RuPaul's Drag Race, which premieres in January, will have some familiar faces; three of the contestants hail from Chicago.

Report for Service

Tune in to Channel 11 at 9pm tonight for the premier of "Reporting for Service," a new documentary on the community service organizations in Chicagoland. It stars Bryan Anderson, a veteran who came back from the Iraq War a triple-amputee.

Earlier Every Year

93.9 lite fm started the Christmas music last night at 5pm. Surprised they waited so long after Halloween.

Happy Bill Kurtis Day!

Later today Chicago's Cultural Affairs Commissioner will proclaim today in honor of Bill Kurtis and his partner, Donna LaPietra.

Will the Balcony Close?

Roger Ebert reports that without an underwriting sponsor, "Ebert Presents At the Movies" will go off the air after this season despite being a success on public television.

I Sense a Weird Al Cover in the Works

One of the best TribLocal headlines I've read, "It's hard out there for a mime," is actually about a teen mistaken for one when what he intended was to dress up as a dancer from America’s Best Dance Crew. "...not used to seeing street performers in a residential neighborhood, some neighbors were confused and called police."

Chicago-Style Overkill

Hot Doug's and Pizzeria Uno make Grub Street's list of restaurants that need to take a food TV hiatus.

A Snooki Seminar

The University of Chicago Conference on Jersey Shore Studies is this Friday. There is much to discuss and still time to register.

Be Like Guy

If you've ever wanted to eat in the, er, footsteps of Guy Fieri, here's a list of Chicago restaurants featured on "Diners, Drive-ins & Dives."

Time to Accessorize

Two local designers are contestants on "Project Accessory," a spin-off of "Project Runway."

Rosie's Ratings Not Rosy

Monday's premiere of Rosie O'Donnell's new talk show, which is filming in Oprah Winfrey's former West Loop studio, was viewed by about half a million people.

Ira Glass Sex Tape

Thankfully, it's fake, but wow is this a faithful sendup of Ira Glass and the This American Life style.

Here's some background.

Who Wants To Oprahshare?

Oprah Winfrey is looking for Chicagoans to tell their stories as part of "America's largest classroom on Oprah's Lifeclass™."

The Playboy Club Shuts its Doors Again

NBC has cancelled the show that depicted the '60s-era Chicago club after airing only two (poorly received) episodes.

Rosie Needs Help

"The Rosie Show" is looking for an intern. Considering it requires a video as part of the application, I'm guessing this won't be just picking up latte orders. [via]

Roy Leonard Selling Memorabilia

Roy Leonard, a WGN broadcasting icon, will be selling hundreds of books, CDs and memorabilia from his estate Saturday in Kenilworth.

Tribune Co.'s New Food Road Trip

Tribune Broadcasting is bringing a little of the Food Network to WGN with "America's Best Bites," a new show touring the country looking for tasty food. It debuts this Saturday at 5:30pm.

Ebert on Life, on Radio

Roger Ebert's latest memoir, Life Itself, is reviewed on "Fresh Air" today. He was also on "All Things Considered" last week, talking about the book and the cancer that robbed him of his (speaking) voice.

Screaming Yellow TV

Ever wonder why it used to be "Son of Svengoolie"? The Museum of Classic Chicago Television has unearthed recordings of "Screaming Yellow TV," the predecessor to the current show and originator of the Svengoolie character. The show aired 1970-1973.

Meet Your New Neighbor: Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie recently proclaimed her love for Chicago, and now she's buying a house in Lakeview.

"Six hours of Mancow a day is not enough but it's a start."

Mancow will be back on the radio in Chicago Oct. 3. He'll be on the air twice a day on tiny WJJG-AM.

The Radio Hour

The Hayloft Gang: The Story of the National Barn Dance is a new documentary about Chicago's key role in the development of country radio thanks to "The National Barn Dance on WLS-AM. The film premiers tonight on WTTW at 8pm.

Old Alligator Boots

Che "Rhymefest" Smith, Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel developed a raunchy puppet-filled variety show for Comedy Central a couple years ago, but it wasn't picked up. Some behind-the-scenes footage finally leaked today.

That's Right, "Jersey Shore Studies"

If you can't wait for the University of Chicago's Jersey Shore conference, this conference schedule with paper titles should help build some excitement. Paper titles vary widely, from "'You Dirty Little Hamster!': The Abject and the Monstrous Feminine in Jersey Shore" to "Situating the Situation: Psychogeography, Mimetic Desire, and the Resurgent Indo-European Trifunctional Paradigm in Seaside."

Playboy Tries Retro Pricing

Playboy's October issue will cost just 60 cents, its cover price back in the '60s, and is styled after the look of the magazine back then as a tie-in with the new "The Playboy Club" TV series.

A Peek at the "Boss"

An extended trailer fornew Starz' new show, "Boss," is now out. Kelsey Grammer stars as the powerful mayor of Chicago, hiding a different kind of secret than usual.

You Ought to be in Pictures

Here is how to be an extra in the many TV and film productions going on right now. (Thanks, Dee!)

Mechanics on the Radio

No, not Car Talk. Gapers Block's political editor, Ramsin Canon, will be among the guests on Eight Forty-Eight's Month in Review segment this morning at 9am; listen live here.

Fry in Chicago

"Stephen Fry in America," a 2008 BBC television series, has suddenly gone viral the last couple days. Here's a clip of Fry in Chicago.


[via]

GETITOFFMEGETITOFFMEGETITOFFME!

While standing outside the Federal Building, ABC reporter Jason Knowles got a good look at one of our future insect overlords.

I'll Take "College Radio" for $400, Alex

This video clip isn't much more than evidence, but it's fun hearing WHPK and its A.L.L. Sports Hour mentioned during a Jeopardy! episode.

Q101's Replacement Launches

Details of the new FM News 101.1 are emerging now that it launched Sunday, and apparently they'd like our opinions about it.

Context is Everything

WBBM coverage of a shooting in late June on the South Side is getting some warranted criticism for airing what seemed like a brief interview with a four-year-old boy about the incident. When asked what he would do to respond to area violence, the boy emphatically said "I'm going to have me a gun!"; then-anchor Steve Bartelstein remarked how "scary" the boy's comment was; what was intentionally left out of the footage was that the kid later said he wanted the gun because of his goal to become a police officer.

One Last Post about Q101's Last Day

The whole thing, in mp3 form, divided into 15 parts. Download it here. (Here's Electra's emotional farewell, too.) [via]

Journalism about the Journalists

Time Out focuses on Chicago's media this week, with articles on WBEZ's Alison Cuddy, a Medill grad's escape from a Libyan prison and an interview with three local reporters covering the Middle East.

Is the Name Ironic?

"101.1 FM New" debuted on WKQX this morning, and it sounds a lot like the pre-1993 Q101 -- Murphy in the Morning and pop hits from today and yesterday (mostly yesterday). This is an interim setup while Merlin Media readies its news programming; more details on Chicagoland Radio & Media.

Keeping Harpo Busy

Rosie O'Donnell is now in Chicago to work on her new show for OWN.

Q101 Goes Offline, WBBM Goes FM

Today is Q101's last day as an "alternative rock" station; the programming switches to something new (expected by everyone to be news/talk) at 10am Friday morning. Listen in today as the DJs say their goodbyes. Not to be outdone, WBBM-AM will be simulcast on 105.9 FM starting Aug. 1. Guess that means a few more DJs will be looking for new jobs.

For Our Next Trick... The Vanishing Q101

Reports are spreading that Merlin Media will flip Q101's format as early as Friday. Electra and Tim Virgin confirmed their final day via Twitter.

Rock & Roll Ain't Noise Pollution -- Especially in Chicago

After the sale of radio stations The Loop and Q101, many insiders are saying at least one of the two will be converted to an all-talk format. This could mean substantially less rock on the airwaves in Chicago, since only four stations -- including The Loop and Q101 -- are currently classified as "rock stations."

Ratso & Miss Mia Head Outdoors

If you find yourself in Millennium Park this afternoon, stop by the Chase Promenade for the summer's first outdoor taping of Chic-A-Go-Go. Details at the Facebook event page.

Wait Wait in Print

"Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" made its print debut as a news quiz in the New York Times Sunday Review.

Pride Redux

If you weren't able to attend (or remember) today's Pride parade, ABC 7 will be televising it starting at 11:35pm tonight.

Ditka Meets Ari Gold

Mike Ditka will make a cameo appearance on the final episode of "Entourage." Jeremy Piven tweeted a photo of Da Coach from the set yesterday.

Good Old Boys

This American Life delved into the old boys network on a recent show, including the unique way Chicago elects its judges.

Cable Companies Converge On Chicago

Looking to fulfill your lifelong dream of meeting Lou Dobbs? He and other cable leaders are in Chicago this week for the 2011 Cable Show.

Lowe = Peterson?

Rob Lowe has reportedly signed on to play Drew Peterson in an upcoming Lifetime movie. Kaley Cuoco from "The Big Bang Theory" will play missing fourth wife Stacy Peterson.

Critic Ousted After "Glee Live" Gaffe

Paige Wiser, the television critic at the Chicago Sun-Times for 17 years, left the paper after getting caught writing a fake review of "Glee Live." Wiser apparently fled the show early after one of her own kids fell off a chair and another puked in a cotton candy bag.

Radio Arte in Danger of Falling Silent

WRTE-FM, Radio Arte, may be shuttered by its parent, the National Museum of Mexican Art, as it seeks to get out of the radio business.

WTF on the Radio

Comedian Marc Maron's popular WTF podcast is coming to WBEZ Sunday nights at 8pm starting June 5.

Karaoke Superstar

Right up front, ABC's new series Karaoke Battle USA asks "Are you an American Idol wannabe?" If you are, hurry and sign up for tomorrow's competition at the House of Blues and you might get your chance. (If you just want to watch, get your free tickets here.)

Dear Opera...

The developers behind the Opera web browser are going to miss Oprah -- because of the great misdirected emails they get. (Don't worry, guys, she's just moving to cable.) [via]

The Real Day of Reckoning

Taiwanese news site Next Media Animation shares its CGI'd thoughts on what the world might be like now that "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is off the air.

Oprah's Favorite Things Cost Nearly $24 Million

Jezebel has a year-by-year summary of the cost of Oprah's annual Favorite Things giveaways.

Andy for Manager?

Fans of "The Office" might want to pick up this new button from Busy Beaver.

Our Downtown Jail

99% Invisible, a radio show about design, tackles the Metropolitan Correctional Center, that weird triangular prison in the South Loop.

Two TV Titans Talking

Ebert interviews Oprah.

Live Your Best Lie

A Canadian man is being held at Cook County Jail for lying to police after fabricating an assault near United Center yesterday--he claimed that two men robbed him of his tickets for Oprah's final show taping. The real story? He didn't want to tell his wife he never had tickets in the first place.

Night of a Million Screams

FoGB Meghan Murphy Gill is posting play-by-play coverage of Oprah's United Center finale over at EW.

Post-Oprahtive Depression

You may find yourself feeling sad and despondent after the last "The Oprah Winfrey Show" episode airs May 25 (it's taping today. Don't worry, psychologists say it's a natural part of the grieving process.

From Cops to Bunnies

"The Chicago Code" may be canceled, but NBC has given the green light to "The Playboy Club," set in 1960s Chicago. Get a sneak peek.

Mope-rah

Depressed? Sad? Think there's no point in planning for the future now that your standing 9am and 11pm weekday appointment of watching Channel 7 is over? You've got Empty Oprah Syndrome, my friend.

NBC5's Daryl Hawks Dead

NBC Channel 5's Daryl Hawks was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room today; the 38-year-old sportscaster was there to cover the Bulls' NBA playoff game.

Better than the Code (Well, Maybe...)

So "The Chicago Code" is canceled, but filming in Chicago is looking up, including new studio space and a bevy of productions.

Oprah > Derrick Rose

The Bulls are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals, but there could be a scheduling problem: The United Center is unavailable Monday night so Oprah's crew can set up for Tuesday's taping of her final show.

So Long, "The Chicago Code"

It looks like FOX won't be renewing the series.

Daley the Pitchman

A new Walter E. Smithe commercial pays tribute to the outgoing mayor. It features TV anchors, Bears players, actors, even former President George W. Bush -- and, oddly, Mayor Daley himself.

Closing Oprah's Closet Doors

The Oprah Winfrey Show won't be the only Oprah enterprise vanishing at the end of May: her two Chicago stores will also close at the end of the month.

Women with Journalistic Clout

Robert Feder put together a list of the 20 most powerful women in Chicago journalism. It's a good list, but Scott Smith has some additional nominations.

Rosie Dumps Trump

Rosie O'Donnell was planning on staying at the Trump Chicago Hotel when she tapes her new show for OWN (previously), but thanks to Donald Trump's birther jackassery, she's decided to stay elsewhere. [via]

Empire Carpet Man, RIP

Elmer Lynn Hauldren, the writer and star of countless Empire carpet commercials, passed away last night in his Evanston home. He was 89. Here are some of Hauldren's classic Empire commercials.

More on EmpireCarpet.tv.

Extreme Couponing: It's a Steal

"Super Couponer" Jill Cataldo helped lead the charge against apparent coupon fraud shown on TLC's "Extreme Couponing" show. TLC is investigating the allegations.

No, Really, Don't Spit the Water!

Local groups Blewt! Productions and Stock Yard Films are seeking contestants for their pilot episode of "Don't Spit the Water," a comedy-based game show.

Chicago's Heroin Highway

A&E's "Intervention" looks at the heroin epidemic in Chicago and the suburbs.

Cathode Rays from the Past

Dig deep into Chicago TV history on the charmingly retro ChicagoTelevision.com.

Berny, Burt & Bus

Outgoing alderman Berny Stone tries out a career in radio Saturday night on WLS-AM. Not to be outdone, Ald. Ed Bus of the 53rd Ward will be on WBEZ in the same 7-9pm slot, talking politics and who knows what else with former alderman Burt Natarus.

Cubs Fans in the Bleachers

Can't watch the game? Watch "Bleacher Bums," a 1979 teleplay last broadcast in 1984. [via]

Berrrwynnn? and Beyond!

"Svengoolie," the cult classic TV show presenting cult classic films, goes into national syndication starting this weekend. We've got an interview with Rich Koz, the man behind the show, in A/C.

Clever Apes Wants to Crush Our Souls

Many of your favorite facts about dinosaurs are totally wrong.

IT CAME FROM CHICAGO!

Svengoolie is going national. Starting this weekend Rich Koz will bring his brand of humor and horror (humorror?) to the rest of the country through the ME-TV Network. (FYI, non-Chicagoans).

Chicago's Newest Talkshow Host: Rosie O'Donnell

Rosie O'Donnell will be shooting a show for OWN in Oprah's Harpo Studios complex.

The Last O Show

Set your DVR and stock up on tissues. Harpo Productions announced today that the last episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" will air on May 25, 2011. [via]

2-1-2 in 312

Lee Bey finds "Chicago Code's" ancestor in a rare 1950s TV show about Chicago firemen.

Oh, Blago, Where Did You Go?

WLS is doing its part to bring the former governor back into the spotlight by hiring him as the guest host of their morning show tomorrow.

Do Kick the Water

Sketch comedy team Blewt! is hoping to get its improv game show "Don't Spit the Water" on TV. They've got WCIU to agree to run a pilot, and they've set up a Kickstarter to help pay for the filming.

Time Vortexes are Funny Things

Speaking of @MayorEmanuel, Dan Sinker was on "The Colbert Report" last night talking about it. And just the night before, ex-gov Rod Blagojevich made an appearance in what appeared to be Lincoln Square's Welles Park, which was standing in for Rockford.

Vocalo.org Switching Stations

Vocalo.org has begun switching to a "music and spoken-word content" format.

There Might be a New Broadcast Museum After All

The new home of the Museum of Broadcast Communications is finally moving closer to completion thanks to a $6 million grant from the state that stipulates major construction should be complete by April 30.

@MayorEmanuel Hooks Up Young Chicago Authors

Young Chicago Authors is $12,000 richer thanks to Rahm Emanuel making good on his promise to donate $5,000 to the charity of the author of @MayorEmanuel's choice. Causes.com matched him, and Roe Conn and Richard Roeper each kicked in a grand during the meeting of the Emanuels last night on their show.

The Emanuels Meet

Dan Sinker, the man behind @MayorEmanuel, will meet the real Rahm Emanuel on WLS' Roe & Roeper show tonight at 5pm. If you prefer video with your audio, NBC5 will stream the show live on its website. UPDATE: Sinker tweets that he will also be appearing on the Colbert Report next Tuesday.

TV about Movies, on the Web

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert's "At the Movies" -- as well as its predecessors, "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You" and "Sneak Previews," and its successor, "Siskel & Ebert" -- are collected on Siskel&Ebert.org for your viewing pleasure. [via]

Her OWN So-So Results

Oprah's new OWN is drawing fewer viewers than Discovery Health, the channel it replaced, but the few original shows it's running are doing OK.

A Hard Drinking Town

The "The Chicago Code" drinking game, courtesy of the Beachwood Reporter.

Political Programming Note

Our own Ramsin Canon will be on WBEZ tonight, and he will be a call-in guest on CAN-TV 21 tomorrow morning from 7 to 7:30am, discussing the election in both cases. Tune in!

Cameras in the Courtroom

A hearing related to the Drew Peterson case will be the first ever in Illinois to be broadcast live. Tune in at 1pm today on CLTV or the Tribune website here.

The Secret is Out

As of this writing, This American Life's site is just barely reachable, thanks to the nearly one million people who've visited to read Coca-Cola's secret formula since it was mentioned on last weekend's episode. [via]

Your Guide to Local Media

The Community Media Workshop's Chicago media guide, Getting On Air, Online & Into Print, is now available online.

Sarah Jindra with Your Traffic

Claire Zulkey interviews traffic reporter Sarah Jindra about the blizzard, shortcuts and her side project, INSPIREme Chicago.

Death to High Prices

Conan O'Brien aired two new Groupon commercials on last night's show.

Freeze at the North Pole

Recently Soon to be laid off Fox meteorologist Amy Freeze is competing to go to North Pole; vote by Feb. 15 and she might make a smooth transition from TV to blog. [via]

Groupon's Ad Campaign: Now a Third Off!

Bowing to pressure, Groupon has pulled its Tibet ad from television, although it still appears on the SaveTheMoney website -- and you can still donate to The Tibet Fund.

Coding Chicago

"The Chicago Code" debuts on Fox tonight. Previews abound: Chicago mag, Chicagoist, Reader, Sun-Times, Time-Out, Tribune and Windy Citizen. Oh, and right here.

How to Super Bowl for Hipsters

The NPR folks behind "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" are working on a new podcast called "How to Do Everything." In this pilot piece, they give tips on how to fake knowing anything about football during the Super Bowl this Sunday.


They're Out There

Clever Apes explores the history of UFO sightings, including the Northwestern professor who consulted on Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Live! with Eric & Kelly

Tune in tomorrow morning to catch The Mix's Eric Ferguson guest host "Live! with Regis & Kelly," part of the show's "Men of Radio" co-host contest. (It happens to be his birthday, too.)

It's a Family Affair

The wait is over: Oprah revealed this morning that she recently learned that she has a half-sister, who appeared on Oprah's show with her. Oprah's mother Vernita Lee, who lives in Wisconsin, gave up the woman for adoption as a child.

We're in Hell Right Now, Gentlemen

NPR's Carl Kasell reads the pregame pep talk from Any Given Sunday.

Happy Birthday, CHIRP!

CHIRP, the Chicago Independent Radio Project, went live on the Internet a year ago today. They're celebrating at The Whistler tonight at 9:30pm, among other festivities.

That's Entertainment

Hilarious GB staffer Jasmine Davila is liveblogging the Golden Globes ceremony if you're looking to snark on Ricky Gervais' terrible opening monologue.

Auctioning Off Happiness

The formidable record collection of jazz DJ Dick Buckley will be auctioned off by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers on Feb. 17. [via]

A Little Shameless

Miss the premier of "Shameless," Showtime's Chicago-based retread of a BBC show, on Sunday? Here's a taste.

A Super (Pro)Bowl Shuffle

Late Night with Jimmy Fallon remixes the Shufflin' Crew's 1985 hit for the January 30 Pro Bowl.

Oprah's Hopes & Dreams

Alan Sepinwall reports: "'What were your dreams when you were a kid? What did you aspire to be? And it seems like you won every lottery in the country. What were your hopes, and what were your dreams?' Oprah smiled broadly at this and said, 'God, that's such a wonderful question. Nobody has ever asked me that. That's a lovely question. I have to think about it.' So she thought about it for a moment. And then she began to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk... for the next 18 minutes and 15 seconds."

Jindra's-Eye View of Traffic

If you're a little short on details for the new car and pedestrian routes around the latest Wacker Drive construction in the Loop, then this helpful video by WBEZ traffic reporter Sarah Jindra is for you.

Feder Returns to the Web

Robert Feder's new blog at Time Out Chicago debuted this weekend with commentary on Oprah's new network and WTMX's Kathy Hart's divorce.

She OWNs You

Oprah Winfrey's new cable channel debuts today.

Vote for Helen Lishman

Speaking of the blizzard of '79 and mayoral races, here's a spoof campaign commercial promising to get rid of the "snow jobs in City Hall."

Blizzard Politics

Mayor Jane Byrne was interviewed on NPR yesterday, sharing lessons learned from the blizzard of '79 that New York's Mayor Bloomberg may want to pay attention to.

Roger Ebert Presents...

Chicagoist speculates that Roger Ebert will reveal the new co-host for his forthcoming TV show this Sunday. Meanwhile, he's posted his picks for the best films of 2010.

Winter Love, Chicago-Style

Redmoon Theater's beloved annual Winter Pageant was featured on the most recent episode "Fear No Art Chicago."

Lords of the Levee on TV

Atlantic City can have its "Boardwalk Empire" -- we'll get a new series based on Lords of the Levee: The Story of Bathhouse John and Hinky Dink, which was a GB Book Club read last year. [via]

Um, Can You Get Those Through Airport Security?

Top Chef All-Stars judge Anthony Bourdain lauds Sprout's Dale Levitski for having gigantic titanium balls.

Chicago Billboard Community in Mourning

DreX has quit Kiss FM.

Roger Ebert Returns to Television

Roger Ebert tweets that his new television program, "Roger Ebert Presents At the Movies," will premiere on January 21 in 192 markets and the Armed Forces Network.

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

Want to be on "Glee"?

First you'll have to audition for a reality show about wanting to be on "Glee," and then you have to win said reality show to be a guest star.

Oprah, What do You have in Store for Us?

With The Oprah Winfrey Show wrapping up in May, Crain's takes a look at what may or may not be going on with Harpo Studios.

Enjoy Peter Sagal at His Sketchiest

Courtesy of a mustache.

Mad Freshmen

Northwestern University is offering a class this semester called "Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963." No word on whether or not Roger Sterling's "Sterling's Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man" is listed on the class syllabus.

Occupation: World Famous Architect

Frank Lloyd Wright appeared on "What's My Line?" back in 1956. [via]

Yes, it Really Airs on Television

Behold a commercial for pawn shops that requires a disclaimer that "No little people were harmed in the making of this commercial."

"...and Point it at Boehner's House"

You can now see a little preview of President Obama asking the MythBusters team to figure out the Archimedes Death Ray; the full episode airs December 8th on the Discovery Channel.

I Want My MeTV

Chicago-based Weigel Broadcasting announced today that it's taking its MeTV ("Memorable Entertainment Television") format nationwide.

Lupe Fiasco on Vocalo

Lupe Fiasco will be a guest on MusicVox on Vocalo at 3pm today. Tune to 89.5 or stream it online. [via]

The Event So Nice She Held it Twice

Oprah's "Favorite Things" episode gets its second wind with a new audience today. Who knew there were so many deserving people?

Mayor Frasier

TV's Kelsey Grammer will be our next mayor. On TV, anyway.

Pandemonium on Washington Boulevard

Oprah's final "Favorite Things" episode airs tomorrow.

Not Like Uncle Al

The young Al Capone seen on "Boardwalk Empire" is far from the real Scarface, says one of his grand-nieces.

Honoring Tina Hilariously

When she's not singing the praises of Chicago's roasted chicken offerings, Tina Fey is poised to become the youngest recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor tonight at the Kennedy Center. Catch the broadcast of the award show on Sunday 11/14 on PBS.

Chicago's Sitcoms

This US map of sitcoms is making the rounds right now, and I'll just note that it's missing a couple for Chicago. Wither "My Boys," "Perfect Strangers" and "Good Times"?

Music to Vote By

If you haven't voted yet, WXRT's Frank E. Lee has some songs to get you in the mood.

Owner in the Outfield

Cubs owner Todd Ricketts is going to be on CBS's "Undercover Boss."

Next Iron Chef Will not be Local

Vermillion's Maneet Chauhan was cut on this week's "Next Iron Chef," but you can still try her show-inspired lunch boxes for $24. Chef Ming Tsai, who won while Chauhan lost, is at The Chopping Block tonight for a book signing and cooking demo.

"Stay With Us"

Project TAL, one blogger's attempt to listen to every episode of This American Life.

The Chicago Ride-Along Code

Apparently FOX's upcoming police drama "Ride-Along" is now known as "The Chicago Code." [via]

WBEZ Becoming More Chicago Public Media

Behold the new wbez.org. If you have compliments or complaints, here's the place to put them.

Office Raid or TV Show?

Michael Sneed says investigators raided Todd Stroger's office last night. The outgoing Cook County board president told WBEZ this morning that it was a film crew taping "Ride Along" for FOX.

Put on Your Headphones

The Third Coast Audio Festival has posted the winners of its annual Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Join them for the awards ceremony Oct. 30.

The Other Gubernatorial Candidates

The Green, Libertarian and independent candidates for governor won't be debating with Quinn and Brady in Chicago, but WBEZ gave them a forum to discuss the issues today.

Mythbuster-in-Chief

President Barack Obama will appear on an episode of Discovery Channel's "Mythbusters." The episode, which airs December 8, will address whether or not Greek mathematician Archimedes used mirrors to focus sunlight on invading ships, setting them on fire.

I'll Take "Wildcats" for $800, Alex

Speaking of "Jeopardy!," Northwestern student Katie Singh will compete in the show's next College Championship tournament.

One Conversation, Multiple Takes

From one perspective, journalists protected Rahm Emanuel from a conservative radio host's questions. From another, journalists tried to get rid of a guy getting in the way of their soundbite.

Meet the Senate Candidates

Senate hopefuls Alexi Giannoulias and Mark Kirk appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday, an indication of how important that race is to both parties nationally.

Cash for That Old Commercial

Well, no cash, actually, but claps for the 25th anniversary of the Victory Auto Wreckers commercial.

Carl Kassel, Meet ?uestlove

Carl Kasell and Peter Sagal of NPR show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me will appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon tonight at 11:30pm. Would you like me to leave a reminder on your answering machine?

Joe Trippi Cameos On The Good Wife

Joe Trippi, a campaign adviser to Sheriff Tom Dart should Dart decide to run, appeared on "The Good Wife" last night as himself. Here's The Wall Street Journal's writeup.

This Reporter's in Jeopardy!

Sun-Times reporter Kara Spak appeared on "Jeopardy!" recently and walked away with a hefty sum. Naturally, she wrote about her experience.

Meat & Gwiv

LTHForum's Gary Wiviott will be on the Food Network's new show "Meat & Potatoes" tonight, showing host Rahm Fama the wonders of Sun Wah BBQ.

What a Month

Gapers Block's Ramsin Canon joined Lester Munson and Chicago Reporter's Kimbriell Kelly reviewed the month that was on Eight Forty-Eight this morning.

Slow Video for Poke-y Apps

This video introducing WBEZ's new mobile apps is cringe-inducing. As tipster Marc Felion said, "Are you fascinated by people looking at screens and pressing buttons?"

This Springfield Life

Ira Glass' cameo on the most recent episode of "The Simpsons," courtesy of the This American Life blog.

Presidential Debates Go Big Time

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy-Nixon televised debates, which were filmed at WBBM-TV's McClurg Court studios. To commemorate the event, former Kennedy confidant Ted Sorenson dispelled some myths about the legendary broadcast in the NY Times.

Local Boy Makes Good (Food)

It's official: Dale Levitski, chef of Sprout Restaurant and Top Chef Season 3 runner-up, will be on Top Chef Season 8: All Stars along with darlings and villains from previous seasons. The season premieres December 1.

Paper Cuts

At 6pm Friday, Sept. 24, the TV show "Late Night Republic" will be at the Water Tower with 1,000 cardboard tubes. Your job is to show up and battle until the last tube is destroyed.

Ride Along with the CPD

"Ride-Along," a new FOX cop drama from Shawn Ryan, will begin filming in Chicago soon, with native Jennifer Beals as the "highest ranking police officer in this city."

Richard J. Daley on TV

The father of our outgoing mayor appeared on "What's My Line?", the popular game show, in 1956.

Oprah's Final Season Debuts, Goes to Oz

The final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" debuted today, and Oprah again demonstrated her desire to get out of Chicago by announcing she was taking the entire audience to Australia.

Swiftly Kanye

Kanye West behaved himself last night.

Back at the Movies

Roger Ebert is returning to TV with a new half-hour show on WTTW. "Roger Ebert Presents At The Movies" debuts in January, and will feature Ebert and several cohosts. Check out an extended here.

Oprah-fy Yourself

Every wondered what you'd look like with one of Oprah's hairdos?

MannoTV

Q101's Kevin Manno will soon be on MTV with a new show called "The Seven."

Honoring Oprah

The 33rd annual Kennedy Center Honors have been announced, and the incomparable Oprah Winfrey is to be lauded in December with a lively celebration in Washington. Also on the list for the night are some other people named Paul McCartney, Merle Haggard, Bill T. Jones, and Jerry Herman. You know, if time permits.

Like "Glee"? Do We Have the Store for You!

Claire's is opening a pop-up "Glee" themed store in Water Tower Place on Friday, complete with lockers, a piano and more "Glee" merchandise that a teenybopper will know what do with.

Sweet Home Chicago

This season of "Top Chef" hasn't given Chicagoans much to cheer about in the way of hometown pride (or much else). But in two weeks, "Top Chef: Just Desserts" will feature Glencoe native Malika Ameen, co-owner of and pastry chef at the late Aigre Doux. Set your DVR and get your giant fondant-coated foam "We're #1" finger ready.

Looking Back at August

Speaking of radio, our own David Schalliol was on Eight Forty-Eight's month in review segment this morning on WBEZ.

Radio Flashback

Via a Feder footnote, longtime Chicago DJ Robert "Murphy in the Morning" Murphy's website. I shouldn't have to warn you that there's music from the '80s.

Deon Cole Hits the Big-Time

In A/C, we've got an interview with Deon Cole, a Chicago comic who's gone on to write for Conan O'Brien and is working on a pilot for Comedy Central.

Join "The Club"

Did you miss "The Club," MLB's White Sox reality miniseries? Don't worry, Comcast SportsNet is airing it starting tonight. Or you could just read our recaps.

One Last Thumbs Up

In honor of the finale of "At the Movies," today NPR's Fresh Air re-played a 1996 live broadcast with guests Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.

Balcony No Longer Reserved

"At the Movies" tapes its last episode today, to air this Saturday on ABC7.

How Are Things In Your Town?

In the spring of 1957, local radio legend Ken Nordine was practicing a speech for the opening of the Allied High Fidelity store on Rush and Walton. The practice session, which includes Nordine reciting some poetry, was recorded on reel-to-reel tape and subsequently forgotten... until it was found by blogger Bob Purse and posted on the blog of radio station WFMU.

Clark Weber's Senior Moments

Fantastic post over on MetaFilter about Chicago radio legend Clark Weber.

They Call Me Mr. Glass

It was inevitable: Adam War Rock and Ruckus Robiticus have laid down some fresh beats and rhymes about Ira Glass and This American Life.

Hollywood Bowles

In the wake of his tiff with Chicago magazine, Eater has an interview with Chef Graham Elliot Bowles about "MasterChef" and his personal life.

Anchors Away

Chicago based Tribune Co. is going to launch a newscast sans anchors in Houston. The new concept will use pictures, video and writing, all without a set, desk or anyone standing in the way of the story, according to Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels. The new format, called "NewsFix," will debut in late September.

Mysteries on the Airwaves

The very low-wattage signal of Audio Noir can be picked up at 89.7fm in certain parts of the city (Bryn Mawr & Broadway, for instance), but it's generally easier to listen to the station's vintage radio mysteries online.

Unhappiness

RIP Dick Buckley. The golden-voiced announcer and jazz archivist has passed away at the age of 85. WBEZ is collecting memories of their dearly departed colleague.

Lose Big

On the heels of Michael Ventrella's recent win, NBC is once again looking to Chicago in hopes of finding "The Biggest Loser." The reality weight loss show will be holding an open casting call this Saturday from 10am to 6pm at NBC Tower, 454 N. Columbus Drive. Already have weekend plans or don't want to brave the heat? You can still send in an application and videotape the old-fashioned way.

Will You Tune In to the "Morning Rush"?

ABC 7's replacement for "The Opera Winfry Show" is starting to take shape, but will anyone watch it?

Hey, What's that Song?

WBEZ is now going to publish monthly features about the music they play in between programs and other moments in their broadcasts.

Welcome to "The Club"

Remember the White Sox reality television program that was in the works? The show will premiere on Sunday at 8pm.

Telecom Titan in Chicago: Congress v. Comcast

Yesterday members of Congress held a field hearing on the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger, a deal which could have drastic consequences for Chicago's media ecosystem. Find out why you should care in Part 2 of our series in Mechanics.

Not Exactly Progress

Kids see fewer ads for sugary foods and drinks on TV, but they're seeing more for fast food, according to research by UIC's Institute for Health Research & Policy.

Museum of Broadcast Communications Revived

The Museum of Broadcast Communications is finally restarting construction after receiving a $6 million grant from the state. Barring any new delays, the museum will be ready to open next year.

Ira Glass: So Wrong

Though not really a Chicagoan anymore, we still have a soft spot for Ira Glass. He talks with Slate about being wrong with regards to This American Life.

Kirk's Many Misrememberings

Congressman and senatorial candidate Mark Kirk is building his reputation -- though not for what he probably what he'd prefer. MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" pulled together clips of some of his less-than-true statements last night.

The Perils of Going Viral

"Yo-yo master Kenny Strasser" had to change up his schtick when he appeared on WGN's morning show this morning, after news traveled fast of his duping several small-market stations with his weird culture jam.

What Would Skilling Do?

Tom Skilling is off galavanting around the Great Plains in search of tornados, allowing us rare glimpses into his psyche. For example, he uses forks as pointers instead of high tech tools when he's not delivering his broadcast, and he leans out of moving SUVs to take iPhone pictures of severe weather.

Where Word Jazz is Made

Fans of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz might like to check out this video featuring the North Side studio/home attic where Nordine still conjures up his wonderfully trippy late-night broadcasts.

Studs on TV

A new documentary about Studs Turkel will make its debut on HBO later this month, the director was on "Eight Forty-Eight" to talk about it today.

WBEZ Hires a New COO

Chicago Public Media (née Radio) has hired Alison Scholly, former vice president and general manager of Tribune Interactive, as chief operating officer.

Studs Over the Transom

What was it like working with Studs Turkel? [via]

Ladies of the Airwaves

Mary Schmich wants to know: Where are the women's voices on Chicago radio?

Chicago's Real McCoy

In A/C, LaShawn Williams interviews LisaRaye, South Side native and star of TV One's "LisaRaye: The Real McCoy," about her childhood in Chicago, her reality show and life after being the first lady of the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Beings Made Entirely of Water

If the recent meteor and Space Shuttle sightings have you dreaming about outer space, perhaps it's time to revisit The UFO guy.

Garage Mahal Spruces Up MSI's Smart House

As if the Museum of Science and Industry's Smart House: Green + Wired Exhibit wasn't cool enough already, DIY Network's new show, Garage Mahal, will air an episode focusing on renovations they did to the home's garage. The episode airs on April 23 and May 7 at 8:30 CT.

Chicago's Got Talent (We Hope)

The Chicago Theatre will be hosting auditions for the next season of reality/variety show "America's Got Talent" on April 27th and 28th. If you're interested in seeing what our fine city has to offer, for better or for worse, free tickets are currently available.

Back to the ER/Chicago Hope/Due South/Early Edition Glory Days

If you like to scene spot TV shows for local locations, things are looking up! The Sun-Times reports that there're six pilots for TV Shows that are currently being filmed in town.

Oprah Announces What's Next

It seems that Oprah decided what to do once she retires her current show and does something new. Meet the new host of "Oprah's Next Chapter," which will be on The Oprah Winfrey Network.

This American Life In Top 10

This American Life's episode on the financial crisis, The Giant Pool of Money, was selected as one of the 10 best works of American journalism of the last decade by NYU's journalism school.

Blago Fired Again

Rod Blagojevich was fired from "Celebrity Apprentice" yesterday.

Take Control of WBEZ.org

The good folks at Chicago Public Radio are currently redesigning their website, and they want your feedback. Getting involved is more fun than you might expect due to redesign tools including a discussion forum and a visual design editor.

Columbia Broadcasting Company

Columbia College's TV department is filming a sitcom. Check out the trailer for details on how to be part of the live studio audience.

Bean Counter

If you find yourself overqualified for your current job, you just might be working for the U.S. Census.

Keep Saving That Aisle Seat

The latest incarnation of "At the Movies," featuring the Trib's Michael Phillips and NYTimes' A.O. Scott, is going off the air in August. Meanwhile, Roger Ebert and his wife continue to develop their own film review show.

Chicago on C-SPAN

C-SPAN has opened up video archives stretching back into the '80s and earlier. Here's what they have featuring Mayor Daley, Studs Terkel, the 1989 Chicago mayoral race, and the 1996 championship Chicago Bulls.

From the Governor's Mansion to Trump Tower

Joshua Alston of Newsweek considers former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's performance on the season premiere of "Celebrity Apprentice" and how it might affect his image and future prospects. No mention is made of how Rod's hair did, though. In case you missed it, you can watch this week's episode on-line at NBC.com.

Local Biz in the News

Busy Beaver Button Co. was profiled by WCIU this week, and Threadless founder Jake Nickell was interviewed for Fox Business Channel.

In Other News, Stay Tuned

"Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" producer Ian Chillag fits all of WGN's banned words and phrases into one epic sentence.

119 Things You Can't Say on Radio

Not on WGN-AM, anyway. Robert Feder has the list, handed down to the station from Tribune CEO Randy Michaels. With so many clichés rendered off-limits, I'm guessing there will be a lot more ums and uhs on the radio today.

Chicago's Worst Drivers

Soon we will be able to experience the joy of observing Chicago's worst drivers in their natural habit while we're safe inside.

This (New) American Life

This American Life just unveiled a new website with the primary goal of making it easier to access older episodes.

A Chat Over Lunch

Today at noon, Chicago Public Radio launches a new online show, dubbed "The Lunchbox." It's an hour-long talk show in a chat window, featuring Justin Kaufmann, Eric Zorn, Anna Tarkov, Scott Smith, Brian Babylon, Mark Bazer, Robert Feder, Jen Sabella and myself -- and special guest Richard Roeper, who we'll grill on his Oscar picks.

South Side Snooki?

A casting call is out for folks interested in starring in a new reality show set on Chicago's South Side. Please, make us proud.

Two Must-see Videos

1. Roger Ebert's new voice. (More.)
2. OK Go's incredible machine.

Calling all Gleeks

The cast from Fox's hit "Glee" is coming to Chicago to perform the television show's biggest hits.

Ebert Speaks to Oprah

Roger Ebert will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" next Tuesday -- and will be heard using his own voice thanks to remarkable new text-to-speech software.

White Sox' Dirty (and Clean) Laundry Aired

Ozzie Guillen, Kenny Williams and Jerry Reinsdorf have signed on for a reality TV series called "The Club" on the MLB Network. The show will follow the Sox from spring training into the regular season.

Never Say "No Comment"

Love this: What to do if Pam Zeckman comes calling.

Feel Free to Disagree...

Chicago music critic and "Sound Opinions" host Jim DeRogatis explains his picks for the worst rock movies. I stand by Heavy Metal Parking Lot.

9 Seconds of Fame

Did you catch Tim of Tim's Baseball Card Shop in that Super Bowl commercial? The store was hopping all weekend.

Cohen on "Chicago Tonight"

In case you missed it last night, here's Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Scott Lee Cohen and his ex-wife's appearance on "Chicago Tonight" answering questions about his domestic battery charge and other allegations. Steve Rhodes has some thoughts on the scandal.

TAL in Graphic, iPhone Form

This American Infographic is a collection of graphic representations of data from episodes of "This American Life." A good companion to the new TAL iPhone app launched this week.

Success in the Cards

Lincoln Square's Tim's Baseball Card Shop will be featured in a Miller High Life commercial during the Super Bowl.

A&E is Obsessed with OCD Chicagoans

Seeing as 1 in 40 people are OCD, A&E shouldn't have any trouble casting for its second season of Obsessed. The documentary style program follows the treatment of patients battling the disorder and is currently seeking Chicago participants who "really need help and are seeking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to assist them in regaining control of their lives". If you're interested in 12 weeks of free expert treatment, email the casting producer. Season One saw 18 of 22 participants successful with their treatment.

While the Body's Still Warm

Conan fans might not appreciate it, but local actor and comedian Bill Stoneking is throwing his hat in the ring to fill the vacancy behind the desk on "The Tonight Show."

Pump Up the Volume

The Chicago Independent Radio Project will be open for business starting at noon today.

You Damn Dirty Apps

Doejo's Texthog was featured last night on CNBC's special "Planet of the Apps: A Handheld Revolution" about smartphone apps. The episode runs again Sunday, Jan. 10 at 11pm.

City of Big Shoulders, Biggest Losers?

A Chicago mother and son made their debut last night on NBC's reality show "The Biggest Loser."

Nearer, My Don Draper, to Thee

Design Sponge interviews SIU and UIUC grad Adam Rowe about his work as an art assistant for the production crew of the AMC drama "Mad Men."

Eight Forty-Eight's Year in Review

The Reader's Mick Dumke, Chicago Reporter's Kimbriell Kelly and our own Ramsin Canon joined Alison Cuddy this morning for a look back on the year that was. Listen here.

Lights, Camera...Lockup

Cook County Jail is pretty popular these days, and not just for the reasons that may first come to mind. First, there was the three-part series on the Discovery Channel and now MSNBC is going inside the Greybar Hotel with their new series, "The Squeeze."

Behind "Wait Wait..."

Chicago Public Radio's very own "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" is profiled on CNN.com, complete with some background about how the show is assembled, as well as an audio slideshow that is significantly different from the article text. Also, have you noticed that Peter Segal still has some hair up top in the WBEZ banner for the show?

The Beat Chirps On

In anticipation of the station's January 17 launch, the Chicago edition of the NYT profiled the Chicago Independent Radio Project.

Logan Loves Ira

Apparently Nightcrawler and Wolverine are fans of "This American Life" -- or at least they are in a new X-Men comic written by ex-Chicago comedian and playwright James Asmus. UPDATE: Asmus confirms: Nightcrawler turned on the radio.

BBChicago

If you missed the BBC's broadcast from WBEZ, you can check it out on the BBC website, along with photographs and other material.

Quinn Keeps Media Out of Juvie

WBEZ is trying to do an investigation of the state's juvenile prisons, created three years ago to separate children from adult prisoners, but the Quinn administration won't grant them access.

Sara Jindra Gives a Peek into the Traffic Center

In GB's early days, we got lots of inquiries about WBEZ's traffic reporter, Abby Ryan -- particularly as to what she looked like. We don't haven't seen the same requests regarding Sara Jindra, but if you were curious, here she is giving a video look into the traffic reporting center.

This AmeriLEGO Life

Speaking of Ira Glass, here he is in LEGO form. (A couple more Chicago/Illinois faces in the CubeDudes flickr pool, too.)

Text Your Support For Public Radio

If you enjoy National Public Radio shows and podcasts like This American Life (and all the others,) there's now a quick and easy way to support them: Text the word "LIFE" to 25383 to make a one-time donation of $5, which will be added to your mobile phone bill.

Listen to Radio in Person

The latest in the Third Coast Audio Festival's Listening Room series is tonight, and focuses on Chicago "Sound Drops." Author Stuart Dybek joins as co-host for the free event.

The Ebert-Roeper Fight that Never Was

Robert Feder inadvertently started a tiff between Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper thanks to vague comments from Roeper to Feder about his return to reviewing movies on his own site and Starz. The former "At the Movies" duo quickly made up, but not before Ebert penned a great post about TV film crit.

When Film Critics Ruled The Airwaves

On Roger Ebert's blog: a bunch of old Siskel and Ebert episodes going as far back as 1980.

From "Newsman" to "Rock Star"

NPR legend Carl Kasell is retiring from NPR News after 34 years, but don't worry, he'll still appear on "Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me."

TV's Hot News

Michigan Avenue magazine's semi-controversial photoshoot of some of Chicago's hottest TV news personalities in last month's issue is finally online. You can get a closer look at Packer Schopf Gallery starting this Friday.

...and Speaking of Prisons in Illinois

The Discovery Channel will air a three-part reality series about the Cook County Jail starting this Thursday. Scariest line in show's description from Discovery's website: "Every day is a battle for control." Uff da.

Bill and Walter...Together Again

If you lived in Chicago in the late '70s and early '80s, the news that Bill Kurtis and Walter Jacobson are reuniting tonight to host the Ch. 2 news at 10 will surely get your attention. If you weren't here during that time, it's sorta like Loggins and Messina getting back together. What?...You don't get that reference either?

Lupe Fiasco on Eight Forty Eight

Check out this podcast of Chicago superstar Lupe Fiasco's interview on Chicago Public Radio about the The People Speak, a new documentary spinoff of sorts from The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn. An excerpt preview of the film will show at 8 tonight along with live readings by Fiasco and others at Northwestern University's Leverone Auditorium.

A-Ha!™

Apparently, Mutual of Omaha and Oprah are no longer sparring over the use of the phrase "a-ha."

Chicag

Will the O go?

Recycling is a Dirty Job

The West Chicago branch of Sims Recycling Solutions is featured on tonight's episode of "Dirty Jobs" on Discovery Channel. UPDATE: Chicagoist points out that Ghost Lab visits The Metro tonight, right after "Dirty Jobs."

Daley on the Radio

Eight Forty-Eight's Alison Cuddy interviewed Mayor Daley on jobs, TIFs, schools and more. His responses ranged from optimistic to delusional -- listen for yourself.

Sagal's Halloween Spirit

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me host Peter Sagal is sure to spook the neighbors (or give them a good laugh) with his "traditional" Halloween display.

Fill Your Headphones with the Best

The Third Coast International Audio Festival announced its 2009 award winners over the weekend -- great stuff to track down and listen to.

Liar's Club is Spoooky

Last night's "Ghost Lab" on the Discovery Channel featured the (alcoholic?) ghosts of Liar's Club.

Feder Joins Vocalo

Robert Feder, former Sun-Times media columnist, is joining Vocalo.org as a featured blogger.

A Baby Named Ike

ABC7 anchor Judy Hsu delivered her fourth baby in the front seat of a car on I-55 I-290 early this morning. And yes, she's naming it Ike. (Yeesh, you'd think we'd know which route the Ike was.)

Wait Wait ... Don't Steal That Bike!

Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!'s Peter Sagal is among the most recent victims of bike theft in Chicago.

TV Tiff on the Internet

WGN-TV has asked The Museum of Classic Chicago Television to pull all its WGN content -- videos of "Bozo's Circus," "Garfield Goose and Friends" and others -- due to an exclusivity agreement the station signed with the Museum of Broadcast Communications. MBC's videos are all behind a (free) passworded firewall, while MCCT's are freely viewable... could that have been an issue, too?

Teaching Day

Free this afternoon? Learn something new or teach other folks something you know at the How-To-A-Thon at Vocalo.org's Navy Pier studios from 3pm to 8pm.

Listen to the Tapes

WGN-TV takes a page from AutoTune the News and gives Rod Blagojevich an opportunity to defend himself in song.

Cowell Approved

Chicagoan Ethan Boroian is hoping to make it big on Britain's version of American Idol, The X Factor. Based on the reactions of the judges, he may have a pretty good shot. (Thanks, Matt!)

Ira Glass is a New Yorker Now

Ira Glass confirmed that "This American Life" won't be returning to Chicago, despite Showtime canceling the TV show. Then again, considering how baffled he was by the reaction when he left, I guess it's not a surprise.

That American Life

The television version of This American Life has been taken off the air by Showtime, according to Ira Glass. Whether that means the radio version will return to Chicago is not yet known.

Obama on Letterman Monday

Ready for a full hour of Chicago's president on late night TV? Obama will be David Letterman's sole guest on Monday, Sept. 21. (He's also be on the weekend political talk shows while you're at brunch.)

From Radio Reporter to Radio Dispatched

Former Chicago Public Radio reporter Jay Field hasn't been able to find work in the industry, so he's now driving a cab. Read about his experiences at Recession Taxi.

Kanye's Rant at VMAs a Stunt?

In case Twitter didn't tell you already, hometown boy Kanye West made headlines again at the VMAs last night -- this time for stealing the limelight from Taylor Swift as she accepted the "Best Female Video" award. Of course, conspiracy theories abound in the harsh light of day and apologies from the West camp came and went.

Back at the Movies

Our own Steve Prokopy, aka Capone on Ain't it Cool News, interviewed Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and the New York Times' A.O. Scott about taking over "At the Movies," Siskel and Ebert's seminal film review show, after a year of poorly chosen replacements.

Chicago Sells Bud To Ireland

The Trib reports on a new ad for Budweiser made with shots from Chicago L trains, set to the Beatles song "All Together Now". The ad is airing only in Ireland, but of course it's on YouTube as well. (Of course, GB and Sun-Times readers knew about this a week ago.)

You Stole My Bike!

A risky plan ends happily as Evanston graphic designer Gabriel Silverman discovers his stolen bike listed on Craigslist and shows up at the seller's house.

All Your Michigan Avenue Are Belong to Oprah

Speaking of shopping, if you're thinking about spending time on Michigan Avenue from Wacker Drive to Ohio Street anytime between Monday and Wednesday morning, the street will be closed to vehicular traffic in order to tape Oprah's new season kickoff. If you want to get in on the O action, the show will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday and will be free and open to all. You can scope out the best seats ahead of time by reviewing this map [pdf] of the event.

NYC Pigeons Beware!

Yet another Chicago comedian has been plucked to write for Saturday Night Live in only a few weeks. This time, it's standup comedian Hannibal Buress. If you're wondering about the title of this post, it refers to this. (Language may not be SFW.)

What's Your Chicago Look Like?

CBS2Chicago's Capture My Chicago is an effort to, well, capture "your" Chicago in pictures. The project starts online, but will be turned into a book.

Active Teens

What were you doing as a teenager during the summer? I bet you weren't making hard-hitting documentaries on serious topics like the teens at Community TV Network are for their CAN TV 19 show "Hard Cover." They have several movies as well several shorter videos on YouTube dealing with topics like rape culture, Hip Hop, media literacy, as well as the trailer for Trauma, their upcoming feature-length film about gun violence in Chicago. Who says journalism is dying?

6 Ring Circus TV

Apparently the US Olympic Committee was contemplating creating an Olympics TV channel. And it may have been hurting Chicago's 2016 bid. But fear not, they've scrapped the network.

The New Face of Justice?

A TV judge based in Chicago is hearing a case involving a man who displays disfigured animals and a woman who didn't sell him her five legged Chihuahua-terrier mix. So this is what I'm missing on daytime television...

Phillips is "At the Movies"

If you read our own Steve at the Movies today, you'd know Tribune film critic Michael Phillips and the New York Times' AO Scott are replacing the two Bens on the post-Ebert "At the Movies" show.

City Colleges Producing More than Students

The Chi-Town Daily News reports that the City Colleges' television station, WYCC, produced "free videos of powerful politicians and friends of the chancellor" and allegedly fired the station manager when she complained.

GB on the Radio

Catch our political editor Ramsin Canon on Chicago Public Radio's "Eight Fort-Eight" this morning, discussing July's news on the Month in Review segment.

Wal-Mart Gets Applause

"We believe strongly that everyone should have access to affordable health insurance. Everyone." That line from a Wal-Mart executive at the National Council of La Raza convention here last weekend got big applause. And WBEZ is getting calls from Wal-Mart trying to stop the clapping.

Chicago Ed Gets the Rose

Chicagoan Ed Swiderski won "The Bachelorette" last night. (Thanks, Dee!)

Rotisserie TV

A new sit-com on FX will be set in suburban Chicago -- and revolve around a fantasy football league? [via]

Surprise Caller, Line 1

Ex-Smashing Pumpkins bassist D'Arcy called into Q101 on a whim last week to chat about Davy Jones, her current life on a horse farm in Michigan, how much she misses Chicago and a few other gems that you really have to hear to believe.

Mechanics on the Radio (No, not "Car Talk")

Ramsin Canon, editor of Gapers Block's Mechanics section, joins Josh Kalven of Progress Illinois every Wednesday morning at 8am on journalist and comedian Ray Hanania's Radio Chicagoland talk show on WJJG-AM. Tune in!

TV Imitates Art

Bravo TV is casting for a new reality show a la "Project Runway," and you're invited to try out -- assuming you're a contemporary artist with the skills to produce great art in a limited time. The as-yet unnamed show auditions in Chicago on July 16, so get your portfolio ready.

"My Dutch Grandpa"

Local actor Lesley Bevan tells NPR's "The Story" about the Dutch man who adopted her as his "American granddaughter" while she was studying abroad 20 years ago, who managed to find her again just recently.

Get Her Out of Here

In case you missed it, our favorite effin' ex-governor's wife was finally voted out of the jungle last night, after lasting a surprising 23 days and making a few new friends along the way.

John Callaway Dead

Journalist and WTTW personality John Callaway died Tuesday night in Racine.

Bozo Could Be Back

Robert Smigel and Dino Stamatopoulos showed their Bozo parody at the Lake Shore Theater this week in conjunction with Just for Laughs. The pilot, which has been leaked to the internets, spoofs Bob Bell's version of the character he did on WGN and features the original TV Funhouse cartoons. Fox rejected it years ago, but last night, Smigel said Comedy Central is interested in doing the show.

Idol Fantasy

An anonymous blogger is writing about her quest to get on "American Idol," starting with the auditions here in Chicago this weekend. [via]

Bouncing Webio

It's interesting times at ChicagoSportsWebio: founding on air personality Mike North was fired after questioning bounced checks, and the FBI is investigating a possible embezzlement case.

The Future of News

Speaking of journalism and how to pay for it, if you're interested in that sort of thing you should come to the Chicago Media Future Conference this Saturday afternoon, featuring panelists from Chicago Tribune, EbonyJet, EveryBlock, Gapers Block and more.

Digital Kills the Analog Star

If you'll be wondering why your TV doesn't work after the clock hits noon today, here's why.

The House That Urkel Built

Was "Family Matters" your favorite sit-com located in Chicago? Then you may be interested in this video made during a visit to the Winslow house. [via]

Free to Wait Wait

Chicago Public Radio's "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me" will be taping live in the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park this Thursday at 6:30pm, and you're invited. Come watch Peter Sagal, Carl Kastle, Mo Rocca, Paula Poundstone and Charlie Pierce yuck it up, then see if you can pick yourself out of the audience noise when it airs Saturday morning.

Ah-One, Ah-Two, Ah-Three...

Harry Caray's famous "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" singing didn't start at Wrigley Field, even if North Siders have made it their own. FuzzyMemories.TV digs up video of Harry leading the 7th Inning Stretch at a Sox game in 1980

Get Hitched by a DJ

Vocalo wants to marry you, on the radio, on Navy Pier.

Primetime Housewives

The Sun-Times is looking forward to a Chicago edition of "The Real Housewives" television franchise. They've even got some ideas for potential cast members. [via]

Fake Waterboarding is Still Torture, Right?

Did you hear how Mancow had himself waterboarded and declared it was torture? Turns out it might not have been so torturous for him after all.

"Housewives" Take On Chicago

If you think you could be one of "The Real Hot Messes Housewives of Chicago", the casting folks at Towers Productions would love to hear from you.

Analog City

Apparently Chicagoans are a little slow on the uptake. The FCC has fielded more calls about the upcoming digital transition from our area than anywhere in the country.

The Girlfriends Say Good-Bye

Another big radio shakeup today: WGN is bidding adios to their resident girlfriends Kathy & Judy. Their last show is airing live now.

I'll Miss the Station ID

WNUA, Chicago's pioneering "smooth jazz" station, goes off the air Friday morning at 9am, followed by a retrospective of the stations that have occupied 95.5 FM over the years. After that, the new Mega 95.5, a "Spanish hot adult contemporary" format, takes over. WNUA fans can still get their fix at yoursmoothjazz.com.

Meanwhile, at Vocalo.org...

...you could be selling something on their on-air flea market.

What Does $20 Buy for WBEZ?

A lot, apparently.

Scavenging on the Radio

WBEZ's The Annoying Music Show got mixed up with the U of C's annual Scavenger Hunt this weekend when teams submitted songs for broadcast. Though Team Ragnarok won the challenge, Mendicant Cingulata came in first in the hunt.

Media's Future

The Chicago Media Future Conference picks up the thread dropped by this winter's Chicago Journalism Town Hall, discussing where the media is headed and how it'll be paid for. Mark your calendar for June 13.

The Power of AM Radio

Ever wonder how much any given commercial radio station in Chicago earns in a year? If so, here's the rundown for the top 50.

Colbert vs. Glass

Tonight on the Colbert Report, This American Life's Ira Glass will be a guest. Rumor has it he'll be talking about public radio fund drives and tomorrow's TAL live-by-satellite performances in movie theaters. (Thanks, Jesse!)

He's Not a Celebrity, Don't Let Him Out of Here

That trip to Costa Rica for a reality show that Blagojevich wanted to take? The judge said it's not going to happen.

An "Amazing" Opportunity

Like to travel? Long for the opportunity to argue with your best friend/spouse/parent in a foreign land? Maybe promote the image of the loud, pushy "ugly American" while competing for big bucks. Then you might be "Amazing Race" material. The reality show is holding auditions this Friday in Joliet.

Pothole Election

Vote for the worst pothole in Chicago Public Radio's Adopt-a-Side-Street project. The winning pothole will be the subject of a news story.

Queen of All Social Media

Oprah Winfrey is now on Twitter. She shall tweet for the first time live on her show tomorrow. What about Oprah's BFF Gayle King? Already on it.

Blago is Searching for a New Low

As mentioned in Mechanics, our esteemed former governor is considering filming a Survivor-style reality TV show in Costa Rica. Even better was he was approached by someone to do it.

WGN America Closes Its Eyes

The superstation version of "Chicago's Own" WGN has gotten a new logo, replacing the godawful wall-eyed Nagel version unveiled last year.

Lisagor Finalists Announced

The Chicago Headline Club announced finalists for its Lisagor Awards; ceremony's April 24, if you're interested.

What is This, the PGA?

Bravo has announced that its new show, "Top Chef Masters," which debuts June 10, will feature three Chicago chefs -- Rick Bayless, Graham Elliot Bowles and Art Smith.

Roland Rolls On

Say the words "Roland" and "Chicago" and a certain overly eager Illinois senator may come to mind. But the Roland in question here is Roland Martin, former editor for the Chicago Defender, former morning host on WVON-AM and now temporary host on CNN's "No Bias, No Bull." The Washinton Post profiles the political commentator and his running feud with a certain Sun-Times columnist.

This Foreclosed-upon Life

If you missed it this weekend, it's worth listening to the most recent episode of This American Life, which offers "scenes from a recession" and includes a look at the limbo some Rogers Park condo owners are in, with half their building in foreclosure and the developer nowhere to be found.

Closing County General Hospital

As ER says "goodbye" to Chicago on Thursday, all sorts of interesting background stories are emerging.

Sven Wins A Rondo

Congratulations to Chicago's very own Svengoolie, who picked up a Rondo Hatton award for Favorite Horror Host. The Rondos will be given out in May at Wonderfest.

Movies on the Radio

WGN's Nick Digilio Show is hosting a double feature at the Brew & View tonight. Watch Hot Fuzz at 8pm and Die Hard at 10pm, with Snuggie and Lou Malnati's giveaways in between. $5 to get in.

Blago Radio

Wednesday from 7am to 9am, former governor Rod Blagojevich will host a two-hour talk show on WLS-AM, as a fill-in for the "Don Wade & Roma Morning Show," which is on break this week. The station says it's a one-time deal, but you never know.

BSC

Decider Chicago wonders if our own Mayor Daley is the inspiration for Battlestar Galactica's Admiral Adama.

Bloodshot's 15th

WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight program featured Bloodshot Records owners Nan and Rob this morning as they prepare to celebrate the label's quinceanera in Austin at SXSW.

Beyond the Burnham Plan

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Burnham Plan, Chicago Public Radio launched a new section, Chicago Matters: Beyond Burnham. Among other features, don't miss the regional population growth timeline and fact list.

Our President is Cooler Than Your President

"The President released his 2009 NCAA College Basketball Tournament bracket today." He posted it on his blog. And if that's not cool enough for you, he will be a guest on "The Tonight Show" tomorrow.

No Sigh of Relief Yet

It looks like plans for the Jerry Springer Show's departure aren't going as smoothly as hoped. The move is being challenged by Stamford residents.

Could The Fridge Fit in the Lincoln Bedroom?

Obama's love of Chicago sports reared its head again recently, as The Daily Show's John Stewart pointed out on last night's show (it comes at about the 2:00 mark). Let's just say the Bulls get a little spanking from Stewart and even the '85 Bears come under scrutiny.

Achatz on Oprah

Chef Grant Achatz appeared on Oprah this morning, talking about his cancer diagnosis and recovery. Chicago Celebrity Examiner has a couple quotes from the show; catch it again on ABC-7 tonight at 11:05.

U2's Day in Chicago

U2 will be all over the city tomorrow -- particularly on WXRT, who will feature a day of U2 programming leading up to members of the band guest DJing the station from 8 to 9pm from an "undisclosed location."

Colbert Spotted in the Wild

Stephen Colbert and Paul Dinello showed up on a 1990 episode of "Wild Chicago" for about 10 seconds. Watch it on YouTube! (Tip from No Fact Zone.)

Obit: Richard Pegue

Richard "Doctor Dusty" Pegue, the Chicago DJ who most recently worked at WKKC (but who had also been heard on WVON AND WCGI), died yesterday. Those not familiar with Pegue's legacy can read Ben Joravsky's profile from 1998 to find out about the man.

RIP Paul Harvey

In what's been a tough week in terms of local legends passing on, radioman Paul Harvey passed away last night at age 90. He's known for his popular segment "The Rest of the Story," but he also coined or popularized the terms "Reaganomics" and "guesstimate."

Throwing Chairs in Stamford

Speaking of blowing up Chicago, Jerry Springer's television program of destruction may soon move to Connecticut, along with some other NBC programs.

The TV Generation

How many of these Chicagoland TV ads do you remember? [via]

Republishing Without Attribution

NBCChicago.com wrote a nice piece pointing to Chicago Public Radio's great "Hard Working" series about jobs and joblessness. Then, MSNBC republished NBCChicago's story -- but stripped out all links to the original series, effectively killing any utility the article had. CPR is crying foul.

The Odds on Oscar

U of C grad Nate Silver and his website FiveThirtyEight has all your Oscar picks here.

Digital Killed the Analog Star

While the deadline for the analog-to-digital conversion was moved to June 12 several weeks ago, many television stations are sticking to today's initial deadline. Chicago's TV remains unchanged, but several stations all over the state have joined the early switch.

Days Of Our Knives

Want to be on the next season of Top Chef? Helen Rosner of MenuPages has got the scoop for aspiring cheftestants in Chicago.

Radio, Live Transmission

This American Life will be recording all new live shows for audiences in Chicago and New York this April. Tickets, which have a tendency to disappear quickly for TAL events, go on sale tomorrow at 10am.

Back On Track

The Chicago Defender reports on one of Chicago's original dance shows, Soul Train, getting a long-overdue salute from one of the city's newest dance shows, Chic-A-Go-Go.

Back in the Kitchen

Anxious to get a taste of what "Top Chef" alum Dale Levitski may be cooking up at his new restaurant? Well, Relax and eat up every Thursday (if you can get a reservation). [via]

WLUW, Live from the Gold Coast

Avant/Chicago reports that WLUW will be moving its studio to Loyola's downtown student center later this spring. The move means upgraded equipment and a digital archive. The tower is staying in Rogers Park at the same wattage, though, so don't expect to hear the station any better in the Loop.

Bourdain's Chicago Photo Journal

The Chicago episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations aired on Monday, and ever since I've been in withdrawl. But never fear! The Chicago photo journal is up on the show's site. [Vegetarians note: After the jump, there are serious photos of sausages.] Update: And note the episode's Google map of dining locations along with video of missing scenes/locations (Ramova Grill, a tour of the Tom Tom Tamales Factory) here.

RIP Eddie Schwartz

Eddie Schwartz, a longtime DJ on WGN's overnight shift, has passed away.

"Eastbound & Down" Screening and Contest

As if one contest wasn't enough, we also have 10 VIP tickets to give away to a screening of HBO's new series "Eastbound & Down" tomorrow night. Details in Tailgate.

Contest with No Reservations

As mentioned yesterday, we're running a contest in Drive-Thru -- if you caught last night's episode of "No Reservations," answer our trivia question for a chance to win!

Talkin' to Tito

Tito Jackson will be in the Vocalo studios at noon tomorrow (Friday) -- talking about the Jackson Five and answering listener questions. Call 888-635-1112 or hit the website with questions.

It's The F*&!@#$ Blago Show!...

...with Rod and Patti. WGN Radio has reportedly offered the media-crazy governor and his wife a radio show. The station's program director claims they're serious. Don Wade and Roma, you've been put on notice.

Hands Off The Coif

Mystery solved - Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich did his own hair for his appearance yesterday on "The View". [via]

Bottles at the Ready

You're going to need a lot of booze if you play along with Chicagoist's Blagojevich drinking game during his appearance on "Larry King Live" tonight.

Documenting the City's Front Yard

In A/C, Carl Giometti talks with documentarian Geoffrey Baer about his latest work, "Chicago's Lakefront," which you can watch on WTTW's website.

Not Massachusetts General Hospital

The Sun-Times gives us the backstory on why "ER" is set in Chicago.

Eating with Obama

Steve Johnson gets more of the backstory about the "lost" Obama episode of "Check, Please!", which airs tomorrow night.

Q101: Eye Witness News

The police stopped a Metra train in Lisle, searching car to car for a reported guy with a gun -- who turned out to be a Secret Service agent on his way to work. Q101's Sherman and Tingle talked live with a station colleague who happened to be on the train.

Wonkette on the Radio

UC alum Ana Marie Cox (aka Wonkette) has joined Air America radio as a national correspondent.

Another Saturday Night Burn

Saturday Night Live, which has already given us their frank opinion on the Rod Blagojevich scandal, went for both Roland Burris and Blago, hair and all, in their opening sketch last night.

What Anchors Do During Commercials

Apparently Robert Jordan and Jackie Bange have a little dance that they do.

588-2300

Empire Today has collected videos of its classic carpet commercials at EmpireCarpet.tv. Sing along!

More Radio Layoffs

Steve Dahl's not the only one off the radio today: Chicago Public Radio laid off several staffers from WBEZ and Vocalo, WSCR let Fred Huebner go, and WBBM eliminated half of Debra Dale's job.

Dahl Signs Off

Chicago radio legend (yeah, it's pretty safe to call him that) Steve Dahl signed off on his WJMK morning show. Dahl has been a fixture on the fickle Chicago radio scene for more than 30 years.

She's Got The Power

Oprah Winfrey is number 1 on The Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 list for 2008. No doubt her recent appearance on "30 Rock" helped her nab the spot. This ranking is an improvement over her 2007 standing, when she came in at sixth place.

Ms. Winfrey Goes to Washington

Oprah Winfrey will be taking her eponymous talk show to Washington, D.C., broadasting from the Opera House at the Kennedy Center during the week of the inauguration. The show reservation line is closed for the month of January, making this as difficult a get as tickets for the inauguration itself.

The Future Sound of...

What is the future of the music? Record stores and labels are folding, bands are connecting directly with fans... what will the industry look like in the coming years? Join Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis, music critics and hosts of "Sound Opinions," tonight at Columbia College's Conaway Center for a discussion of that topic and more, from 6pm to 7:30pm. It's free, but space is limited so get there early.

Theater of the Mind(less)

A Joliet native who stars on a "Doctor Who" spinoff show does something weird on the radio.

Terkel and Dybek and You

WBEZ's Studs Terkel archive keeps growing, this time with an hour-long discussion with Terkel and Dybek from the 2006 StoryWeek Festival of Writers.

Piven Had to Be Behind This

If you TIVOd the newest (season finale) episode of "Entourage" this past Sunday, pay attention to scene change footage between minutes eleven and twelve...what is supposed to be a quick shot of gritty New York is actually a pre-construction view of the CTA station at Belmont and Wilton. Good work, film editor.

Set Your TiVo for the Lake

On Dec. 1 at 7:30pm, WTTW debuts a new documentary on Chicago's lakefront.

Give Thanks for Radio

On Thanksgiving -- and throughout next weekend -- Chicago Public Radio will be airing a lot of "best of" programs, including the winners from this year's Third Coast International Audio Festival.

Lake Forest Lovely Wins 'Model'

McKey Sullivan of Lake Forest is the winner of "America's Next Top Model". Check out her Top Model portfolio here.

Fresh Ayers

NPR's "Fresh Air" today will feature an interview with former Weatherman, current professor William Ayers about the election and his relationship with Obama. Tune in on WBEZ at 11am or 10pm, or catch the podcast later.

Tune In at 89.5FM

Since Vocalo launched, it's been available online, but its broadcast listening area has been pretty limited. Today is the one week anniversary of the launch of its 593 foot broadcast tower, Valmont #60, and its broadcasting throughout the Chicago area and beyond.

Oprah, Again

Don't forget to watch "30 Rock" tonight; Oprah will be making a guest appearance. And if you're awake for the 11pm rebroadcast of the "Oprah" show, former Chicagoan Tina Fey will be making an appearance.

Say Goodbye to Allison Payne

Popular Ch. 9 anchor Allison Payne suffered a series of mini-strokes earlier this year, and has decided to take an indefinite leave of absence. Send your regards here.

The Singing Weathermen

Don't ever say Tom Freakin' Skilling and the city's other meteorologists don't have a sense of humor.

The Truth Is Out There...In Tinley Park

The History Channel devotes a whole hour Wednesday to UFO sightings in Illinois, including some weird glowing orbs in the Tinley Park skies.

William Murray: One Bitter Cubs Fan

Courting the National League vote on SNL's Thursday Night special.

Another Frightening Show About The Economy

With Halloween fast-approaching, This American Life has attempted once again to tackle the most terrifying of all subjects these days: the economy. How bad is it and how much worse can it get? Prepare to be scared!

Another Chicago Chef Could Be "Top"

Competing in the next season of Bravo's "Top Chef" is Chicagoan Radhika Desai, executive chef of Between Boutique Café & Lounge. Let's hope she can bring home the title, just like Stephanie Izard did last spring.

Explaining Wall Street

Considering the ongoing financial industry crisis, now seems like a good time to point to This American Life's episode, "The Giant Pool of Money." And here's a perspective on whether the bail-out will affect the city's foreclosure rate.

The Breast Cancer Gene

There is a genetic mutation that puts its carriers at much higher risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer. Chicago filmmaker Joanna Rudnick tested positive for it at age 27. Her new documentary, "In the Family," debuts on PBS this week; WTTW will air it at 9pm on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Tune in.

Political Parties

Wondering where to watch the vice-presidential debates on Thursday? Time Out has a list of viewing parties for you.

And the Winners Are...

The Third Coast International Audio Festival has just announced the winners of its 8th Annual TCF/ Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition. Click here to listen to excerpts from the winning audio documentaries.

Further Frank Lloyd Wright

...this time courtesy of Jason Fried: The Mike Wallace Interview.

World Famous Architect

Edward Lifson digs up a video of Frank Lloyd Wright on the game show "What's My Line?" in 1956. [via]

Won't You Be My Neighb-arrr!?

Mister Roger's Neighborhood may be going off the air, but his cousin Jolly Roger is back for today.

TAL Takes Home Emmys

Congratulations to everybody at This American Life: the TV version of the radio show won two Emmys at this weekend's Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The ceremony will be broadcast on Saturday, September 20 on E!

R. Kelly Speaks

BET airs "R. Kelly Speaks," his first televised interview since the ending of his trial for, well, you know. Tuesday, September 16 at 10pm ET/9pm CT. [via]

The School's the Thing

Noble School Charter Prep gets a spotlight from NPR this weekend for its successes and 100% graduation rate (which is more than New Trier's, ahem).

Goodbye, Abby

Abby Ryan, one of the few traffic reporters ever to have a cult following, leaves the air today, a result of Shadow Traffic eliminating live traffic reports. Read her own brief goodbye on her MySpace page. You can still catch her final reports this evening on WBEZ.

Chicago's Female Founding 'Fathers'

It wasn't just the Marshall Fields and the Potter Palmers who rebuilt Chicago after the Great Fire. WBEZ-FM reports on the women who helped raise the city from the ashes.

Steve Dahl on Twitter?

I enjoy Steve Dahl on the radio (or for those with lots of time, on a podcast), but I find his tweets are delightful too if you're short on time and want a few chuckles.

Tag Team Baking

If you're setting your Tivo for the weekend, don't neglect to catch the Chicago chef Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery compete in the Food Network Challenge: Tag Team Cakes on Sunday at 8pm. The chefs didn't know who they'd be paired with for the competition, but if this snapshot of the final product is any indicator, I say it was a productive (and likely, delicious) pairing.

Michelle O. to cook with Paula D.

Michelle Obama will be a guest at "Paula's Party" on the Food Network. Besides sharing details about life on the campaign trail, Michelle will learn how to make host Paula Deen's Fried Shrimp and Creole French Fries. Put on your eating pants and tune in on Saturday, September 20 at 7:00 pm ET/CT.

Oprah in Talks with Peacock

Well, "Peacock Network," anyway. E!'s Kristin Dos Santos reports that Oprah is thisclose to appearing as herself on NBC's 30 Rock this fall.

Perpendicular Lines

Those "America's Next Top Model" auditions are at the Congress Hotel -- which has been under a strike for the last five years. UNITE HERE! let us know it's planning an extra special protest against the crossing of the picket line. Head on down at 10am to watch the fun. UPDATE: The auditions have been moved to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place.

Wanna Be On Top (Model)?

The newest cycle of America's Next Top Model is just getting started and they're already scoping out the locals for the next season. ANTM is holding an open call for Chicago beauties this Saturday. To see what sort of stunning creatures the scouts will be looking for, check out this season's contestants.

Lettuce Entertain You ...Differently

Restaurant empire Lettuce Entertain You is branching out beyond food with a two-hour internet radio show featuring Mike North, who left WSCR in June. The show debuts Monday, Sept. 8, from 9 to 11am on WildfireRestaurant.com, and will be available as a podcast on iTunes and North's website later in the day.

150 Olympians, Oprah and You

We've all missed out on getting seat tickets for Oprah's 10am Wednesday taping in Millennium Park, but show up at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion that morning and get a shot at lawn seats.

Coming Soon to a Pledge Drive Near You

The winners of the recent design-a-T-shirt contest for This American Life have been chosen.

This Guy's Insaaaaaaannnnnneeee!!!

Today, Wikipedia is featuring former Elgin native Earl "Madman" Muntz -- engineer, entrepreneur, grandfather of the 8-track tape player (among other inventions), and the original television saleslunatic.

Think Back to '68

You may not have any memories of the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, but your parents might. Tell them that Chicago Public Radio wants to hear their stories. (In the meantime, Vocalo.org really wants to hear from you.)

There Goes the Neighborhood?

In June, PBS determined that, starting in September, they would cease daily broadcasts of Mister Roger's Neighborhood and provide member stations with single episodes, to be shown only on weekends. Naturally, many fans are up in arms, including local cartoonist Chris Ware, who wrote a very thoughtful letter of protest to PBS.

Watering the City

Chicago Public Radio's Chicago Matters series takes a look at our water system, and how it gets from Lake Michigan to our faucet.

WCR To Rock Fox

Chicago's favorite women on wheels, the Windy City Rollers, will be giving you a wake-up call when they appear on Fox News Good Day Chicago (Ch. 32) tomorrow at 8:10 and 8:30 a.m. They'll be skating around the newsroom promoting their upcoming match as well as "some other exciting news" according to their release. If you miss it, you can check it out on the Fox-32 website.

Gigglesnort, Bozo & More

Do you remember Chicago's Kids TV?

Saving an Aisle Seat No Longer Necessary

"The balcony is closed." Roger Ebert comments further on the end of "At the Movies."

Trash to Fashion

GB's own Lauri Apple is interviewed in a piece about found and recycled clothing for Chicago Public Radio's "Chicago Matters: Growing Forward" series.

Ebert's Out Too

Roger Ebert announced his departure from the Disney-owned "At the Movies" film review show, following Richard Roeper's announcement yesterday. Ebert and Gene Siskel's estate own the "two thumbs up" trademark, and Ebert vows "the thumbs will return." Stay tuned.

TAL Up For Emmys

Congratulations to This American Life: the TV version of the award-winning radio program garnered 5 Emmy nominations yesterday. Tune in this September to see how many the program wins...

TAL T-Shirt Contest Details

The official rules for the This American Life T-shirt contest are up. Start designing, because your deadline is July 28.

Listening to the City

What does your neighborhood sound like? Share it with Chicago Public Radio's Soundmarks project.

10 Reasons Chicago Is Not On a Roll

Brad Flora of WindyCitizen posts a counterpoint to his own recent boosterism on "Chicago Tonight."

This American T-Shirt

Got an idea for a shirt befitting "This American Life?" You could win $1000 and see it up for sale in TAL's webstore.

Get a Piece of the Pie

Got the Genus Edition of Trivial Pursuit memorized? Test yourself this weekend by trying out to be on "Trivial Pursuit: America," a new TV game show. (Thanks, Mitchell!)

Flash Interview

Whether you're headed to the show tonight or not, tune into Vocalo.org at noon today to catch a live interview with hip hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash.

Adjust that Dial

Step back in time on the charmingly old-school Chicago Television History website.

Watching What The Watcher Wants You To

This must have been in one of those auto messages that I ignore, but the venerable ad-skipping recording device, Tivo announced late last month that it will partner with the Chicago Tribune to bring subscribers the recommendations of Trib TV Columnist Maureen "The Watcher" Ryan.

Talking to Stephanie

Chicago's own Chef Stephanie Izard is a finalist on "Top Chef," and she's going to be answering reader questions on the Tribune's website starting at 1pm tomorrow. Here's an interview with her to get your interrogation juices flowing.

That's Hedley!

Funnyman Harvey Korman, originally a Chicago boy, Carol Burnett Show performer, Mel Brooks troupe member, and voice of the Great Gazoo has passed away at the age of 81.

WGN America

Our local superstation rebrands, now symbolized by a walleyed Nagel girl.

A Different Kind of Kids Show

The Center on Halsted will host a screening for "Dottie's Magic Pockets," billed as the first children's program for kids in gay and lesbian families. The show features puppets as well as real-life families. Bert and Ernie approve.

Commercial Wedding Reality TV Voting Fun Zone

A Chicago couple is competing in the Today show's Race to the Altar contest. Check out their website and decide if you want to vote for them.

Embed A Radio In Your Blog

I'm not sure what this would be useful for, but if you'd like to have a list of the most recent Chicago Public Radio stories on your blog, they now have a widget you can add to your blogroll, one for news and one for arts stories.

Cruise to Receive Harsh Welcome Outside Harpo

Tom Cruise will be visiting Harpo Studios May 5, and a group of anti-Scientologists will be waiting for him.

Fireworks, Horses and an Iraqi

Teaser for Season 2 of This American Life, which premieres May 4 on Showtime.

Ellen is Coming, Too.

Ellen DeGeneres is bringing her show to Chicago May 3, and the suggestions of what she should do while she's here are, so far, pretty suburban. Cheesecake Factory!? Give her some better ideas, somebody. (Thanks, Veronica!)

Major Media Mix-Up

Just under 10% of WBBM's staff has been cut, including anchor Diann Burns, other prominent on-air personalities and support staff members.

Radio on TV in Theaters

This American Life fans rejoice: May 1st is the date when you will be able to see the live stage show in NYC beamed to movie theaters across the country. Chicago fans will get to choose between two different theaters carrying the satellite feed of the show: City North 14; and River East 21. Tickets for the event will go on sale April 4.

Taped in Front of a Live Studio Audience

WTTW is developing a new show, called "IL-informed," starring sketch comedy troupe Schadenfreude, and its pilot is being shot tomorrow. If you've got the day off, you should head over and be a part of the audience! They're taping from noon to 4pm at the WTTW studios, 5400 N. St. Louis Ave. Contact producer (and ex-GB staffer) Paris Shutz to reserve your spot: pschutz@wttw.com or 773-509-5443.

The Trials and Tribulations of a TV Host

Padma Lakshmi, host of everyone's favorite reality television chef competition, apparently has a dangerous job. Also, "out of principle," she won't say "pack your knives and go" to people on the street. So, um, don't ask her to say that when you see her walking around town.

Sonic Booming in Aurora

Those ubiquitous Sonic hamburger commericals may finally have some relevance to the Chicago area when the company opens their first regional outlet in Aurora. All of which mean the two guys in the commercials, Chicago improv giants TJ Jagodowski and Peter Grosz, may finally be able to purchase some of the food they've been shilling.

Top Chef Seen Through Drive-Thru Eyes

If you missed tonight's premiere of the Chicago edition of Top Chef, we have your recap ready in Drive-Thru.

Deep Dish in the Lime Light

Featured on Top Chef tonight: Chicago's "great food tradition!!" And...molecular gastronomy.

Peter Sagal, Blogger

Peter Sagal now has a blog in case you don't get enough when listening to his radio show. It's on his own site. (And Peter, the sound-on-rollovers is just tacky. I'm not sure what your marketing people told you, but they lied.)

Chicagoan Gladiators

The male winner of the "American Gladiators" final battle is from Chicago.

Mr. Bike, Meet Mr. Radio

Chicagoan Dave Glowacz is best known as Mr. Bike, but he's breaking new ground as Mr. Radio. Of particular note are his health care section and interviews with the Reader's Ben Joravsky, in which he asks for "The Rest of the Story" about "The Works."

Date Your Way Onto TV

Male, single and shameless? Bravo wants you for its latest reality show, "The Dating Project." Show up at Chaise Lounge Feb. 16 for your chance to date an unspecified celebrity.

ShOprah

The Oprah Store officially opened over the weekend. No word yet if her bra is available there.

John Smith, I Presume?

If your name is John Smith, This American Life would like you to email them at johnsmith@thislife.org with a few words about yourself. They may include you in an upcoming show about people with your name.

Late Night Sounds

Sound Opinions hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis are scheduled to be on Monday night's "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," no doubt talking about Sunday night's Grammy winners.

Ira Glass Live Via Satellite

As This American Life prepares to release the DVD of its Showtime series this week (and as Ira Glass prepares to show up at Borders on Tuesday night), there comes word that the show is considering putting on a live stage show, which would be beamed across the country to movie theaters. Interested in seeing such a show? Then please consider taking a short survey about the event.

Randy Salerno, RIP

Channel 2 morning anchor (and former reporter and anchor at WGN) Randy Salerno died last night in a snowmobile accident in Wisconsin.

What Can They Do With Hot Dogs?

It's official: The next incarnation of "Top Chef", which was based in Chicago this time, will debut on Bravo on March 12. Three of the contestants have Chicago ties (as it should be).

From "Chicago Tonight" to WLUP Tomorrow

Gapers Block contributor and FoundClothing head findatrix Lauri Apple will appear tomorrow, Jan. 24, on Jonathon Brandmeier's 97.9 FM morning show between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Apple will discuss her website, which was recently featured on WTTW's nightly news magazine.

What Would You Do to Date Drew?

Proving that he has possibly the biggest pair around, Drew Peterson (along with his lawyer) has proposed holding a "Win A Date With Drew" contest with longtime Chicago radio personality Steve Dahl. Guess Peterson's not waiting until the ... ahem... divorce to missing wife Stacy becomes final to start dating again.

In the General's North Chamber, the Future is Revealed...and it's Boring

If you've seen that odd, Blair Witch Project-ish TV commercial for SeeItNext.com that is running on the local television stations, you may have visited the website and found a lone prompt to leave your email address for a February 4th reveal of the mystery behind the commercial. What's really going on here? The most popular theory suggests that the commercial is a viral advertisement for General Motors' presentation at the upcoming February 7-18 Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place. And If the future is a GM car, I'm sure it won't be a much-needed reprise of the EV1.

Found Television

GB staffer Lauri will be on "Chicago Tonight" er, tonight to discuss her website, Found Clothing. UPDATE: Oops, looks like it's been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 21.

Been Nice Knowin' Ya, "Whad'Ya Know?"

WBEZ has given quiz show "Whad'Ya Know?" its walking papers. The Madison, Wis.-based show aired on Chicago Public Radio for 22 years.

Ivy League Meets MTV

Local hip-hop artists The Ivy League will be rockin' your television during a commercial break on MTV's new year's extravaganza ... if you have Comcast. Check out other NYE music news in Transmission.

The Year in Review

Our own David Schalliol joined Steve Rhodes from the Beachwood Reporter and Margaret Lyons from Chicagoist on Outside the Loop Radio's 2007 "year in review" episode. Have a listen!

Santa vs. El Diablo!

A venerable holiday tradition returns: the Sound Opinions holiday music mix. Over at the Sound Opinions Website they've posted both the complete mix by contributor Andy Cirzan (aka DJ lo-fi) and this weekend's program where hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis discuss the mix.

Calling All Hot Moms & Daughters

Yikes. WGN is looking for hot mom-daughter combos to publicize the new CW reality nightmare "Crowned." So if you and your totally hot mom want to with $1,000, tell them in 50 words or less why you deserve to win.

You Say Tomato...

So is it Channukah or Hanukkah or...? You'd better figure it out fast because it starts tonight. WBEZ has a brief interview with a local rabbi who tries to bring you up to speed. His description of how to pronounce the word is also worth a listen.

Thanks for the Memories

FuzzyMemories.tv is a treasure trove of vintage Chicago television clips. Until Dec. 25, they're featuring a holiday-themed clip every day -- lots of Christmas parades from the '80s so far!

"Everyone Gets a __________!"

It comes around every year, and even though it might annoy you, you know you're going to watch it: the "Favorite Things" episode of Oprah airs tomorrow, and this year's recipient of the coveted gifts is a group of people from Macon, Georgia, as that city reportedly has the nation's highest percentage of viewers tuned in to her show.

Q101.1?

While Q101 has always been 101.1 FM, the station recently added the ".1" to their logo.

Undead Undead Undead

Berwyn, rubber chickens and B-movies. Chicago's very own Svengoolie (aka Rich Koz) has a blog. I know somewhere down there Jerry G Bishop is smiling.

Tis the (Pre)Season...

Eager to cram The Little Drummer Boy down our throats as early as possible, WLIT-FM has lit the Yule log and started their all-Christmas music format NOW, instead of their previously planned Nov. 9 kickoff. They beat WCKG-FM, which is set to switch to an all-Christmas music format later today, to the (Holiday) punch by a few hours. Among the first songs played on WLIT: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow … indeed.

GB on TV

Tune in to WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" er, tonight at 7pm to catch representatives from Gapers Block, Chicagoist and the CTA Tattler discuss blogs and current events.

Kickin' It Old School

Fans of Chicago House music should be excited to see this trove of mix sets from WBMX in the '80s.

NPR as Vice

In celebration of Tuesday's release of Peter Sagal's The Book of Vice, Chicago Magazine has a profile of the author and public radio persona that includes an inside look at the production of "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me."

TV Around the Clock

24/7 Chicago is a new TV show telling us about the "secrets of the city." No network yet, but sign up for their mailing list to hear it first.

Live-blogging "Top Chef"

Hey, if you're watching the finale of Bravo's "Top Chef" tonight, tune in to Drive-Thru too, where Shylo will be live-blogging with plenty of snarky commentary.

A Drunk Billionaire in a Starbucks in Siberia

Did you catch Homer and Mr. Burns in Chicago? (Thanks, Dubi!)

Obit: Kenneth Weisner, Victory Auto Wreckers

The Tribune notes the passing of Kenneth Weisner, who owned Victory Auto Wreckers and came up with the much-remembered TV commercial where the car door falls off.

Dybek and Welch on the Radio

Chicago Public Radio's "Hello Beautiful" interviews lawyer, author and MacArthur Grant recipient Stuart Dybek on this weekend's show; last week they talked with Patrick Welch, founder of the "micromentalist" art movement (whom we profiled earlier this year).

Hello Again, Everybody

Sad that Harry Carey wasn't around to watch another Cubs race to the playoffs, but you can still bring a little of him into your home. (Sad also that Stoney's not in the booth for this, but wait 'til next year, maybe.)

A Chicago Kid in Project Runway4!

The fourth season of the Bravo TV show Project Runway, which premieres November 14, will have a Chicagoan among its competitors. Click here for Steven's biography. He works for the Museum of Science and Industry and is fearlessly wearing a lavender knit polo shirt in his bio picture. Make it work!

Bet the Emmys

Chicago-based Inkling Markets, the creator of prediction market software, has started a partnership with Viacom to launch Bet The Emmys-- your chance to trade contracts on who will win each category. The Office is the current pick in Outstanding Comedy Series.

Wanna Be the Next Nitro or Lace?

That's right: "American Gladiators" is returning to TV after an 11-year hiatus. And they're looking for both gladiators and contestants here in Chicago. Show up at the Windy City Fieldhouse Sept. 16 for your chance.

DO'Hare

The upcoming season premiere of The Simpsons centers around Homer, trying to land a job that lets him travel in luxury jets. Along with guest stars Stephen Colbert (Homer's "life coach") and Lionel Richie, one of the cities they'll be visiting is Chicago (or, as Mr. Burns calls it, "The Miami of Canada").

Sunrise Tonight

With a whopping $2.3M budget, WTTW11's most expensive production to date showcases musician David Broza, performing atop an Israeli fortress at dawn. The show (which also features Jackson Browne and Shawn Colvin) airs tonight at 7:55PM in Chicago only (everyone else sees it in December).

This American Wiener's Circle

An interesting look behind the scenes at The Wiener's Circle, courtesy of This American Life. Audio is most definitely NSFW, so throw on those headphones!

A Revolt Against "Quirk"?

This American Life and the "avatar of contemporary quirk," Ira Glass, take center stage in Atlantic Monthly's recent critique of the quirky side of pop culture. [via]

Audition Mania!

This Saturday afternoon, open auditions for two reality shows that actually still hold my attention for more than three minutes will be held in the city. If you and a family member, coworker or friend are looking to lose weight, The Biggest Loser will be holding auditions at the NBC building (although if you can't make it, you can send in a tape by 9/4). If you are attractive and prone to rage, tears, or both, America's Next Top Model will be at the Crowne Plaza looking for their next contestants. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire will also be looking for fresh meat at Medieval Times this Friday.

Word Jazz Online

Movie trailer watchers and late night WBEZ listeners familiar with Ken Nordine may want to check out his website Word Jazz, which includes a blog with unusual poems starting with "Maybe the moment" and a podcast of his late night stylings.

Vocalo Launches

Vocalo.org, the new radio station from Chicago Public Radio, just launched on the web and the dial at 89.5 FM. Vocalo is "a gathering place, on-air, on the web, and in the community. It’s also a new broadcast format that celebrates the cultures and communities of the Chicago region." Here's an inside-baseball look at what WBEZ is looking to do.

Welcome to Oceanville, Illinois

Chicago the Lion invites you to visit the Muppet Wiki page for Illinois. That's right: the Muppet Wiki.

Fitzgerald Quizzed on NPR Show

Last night's free taping of "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" included a rare public appearance by U.S. Attorney extraordinaire Patrick Fitzgerald. He was pretty circumspect about his involvement in high-profile cases such as the Libby trial, but Fitzgerald did confirm rumors that he accidentally left a lasagna in the oven for several months.

TAL TV Gets 3 Emmy Nominations

Congratulations to Chicago Public Radio and This American Life; the television version of everybody's favorite radio program has received three Emmy nominations! Since they got nominated for Creative Arts Emmys, not Primetime Emmys, their big night will be Saturday, September 8. Mark your calendars...

Looking for Laughs

This weekend, the Music Box is being invaded by that other form of moving pictures: TV. The first-ever Chicago TV Pilot Competition showcases comedy television pilots based on ideas from Chicagoans. It even comes with its own commercial, by FoGB Steve Delahoyde.

Fists of Fury

Human Weapon is a new History Channel series, featuring MMA fighter and Chicago native Jason Chambers. Along with cohost Bill Duff (a former pro football player/wrestler) the two travel the world to train and fight with masters from a myriad of disciplines like Muay Thai, Stick-fighting, and Savate street-fighting. Lots of videos and images on the site. Series premieres this Friday, July 20 at 10PM.

More Chicago Reality, Rock Style

Seems that it's against the laws of television to have a reality TV show without a Chicago entrant, but VH1's Rock of Love is taking it to the max, where lots of natives are vying for the attention of Bret Michaels from 80s hair band, Poison. Meet Tiffany and Kelly of Chicago, Jes of Naperville, and Jessica of Elk Grove. Bonus: Erin, former Miss Hooters of Illinois.

Illinoisans Make Great NPR Hosts

After receiving over 1,000 submissions, the Public Radio Talent Quest, a nationwide search for a new voice in NPR programming, has been whittled down to ten lucky semi-finalists, three of whom are from Illinois! You have until Monday, July 2 to vote for who of this bunch will advance to the next stage of the five-part contest, so visit the website and listen to their promising submissions.

Queue Up or...Pledge.

Technofiles rejoice, here's your chance to both contribute to something good and avoid waiting in line overnight. Chicago Public Radio is giving away a free 4GB iPhone every hour between 6am and 7pm tomorrow, Friday the 29th. Pledge any amount and you're automatically entered into the drawing all day.

Reporting in a City of Neighborhoods

Why does Chicago Public Radio need a satellite bureau a few miles from their home base? It's vital in part because Humboldt Park and Navy Pier can often seem like different planets. Last January reporter Chip Mitchell was set up in a mini office/studio at Division and Campbell, and the stories on his CPR bio page showcase the station's push toward community based reporting.

The first satellite bureau was opened in Chesterton Indiana in February of last year where Michael Puente reports and mans the controls. This summer a third was established in the Englewood neighborhood staffed by journalist Natalie Moore and plans for three more bureaus are in the works. Keep an ear on WBEZ for their reports and an eye here for upcoming open houses and other events.

Goodbye, Beautiful

Fans of Chicago Public Radio's program Hello Beautiful! will no doubt be saddened by the news that host Edward Lifson has left the station. At least it's for a good reason: according to his blog, he was accepted as a Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. And you thought he was just a radio host!

Radio On!

Radio Free Chicago alerts us to the fact that Hyde Park radio station WHPK has recently started Webcasting. Tune in to their audio stream for your daily dose of classical music, rock, folk, international, and public affairs programming.

Intersecting Cultures

Theatre, meet Radio: Chicago Public Radio's Sylvia Ewing has joined Steppenwolf as producer of "cultural intersections." The new position will oversee such projects as the CPR-Steppenwolf "Traffic" series of live performances recorded for radio, for which Ewing was one of the producers.

Whitey Strikes Back

On Wednesday, Q101 became the first radio station to play the new White Stripes album. Two hours later, a very displeased Jack White called the station.

Listen to Something New

Chicago Public Radio's new station, Vocalo.org, is semi-live. DJs are streaming periodically on the site, and you can sign up to submit your audio clips.

Pimp Bike Commuting Tomorrow!

The Mayor's Office of Special Events is looking for a few enthusiastic bike commuters to be rah-rah on camera during the NBC morning show. Show up at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning at NBC Plaza at Michigan and the River. Stick around for a couple hours or segments. Dress bikey and bring your bike, of course. RSVP to Anne Davis.

Jaslene Supreme on "Top Model"

A big, diva-esque mea culpa for not reporting on the news that Jaslene Gonzalez from Chicago is "America's Next Top Model." Jaslene beat out a mail-order Russian bride from Texas who repeatedly made out with her husband via telephone. For the ultimate in catty commentary on this Chi-town gal's big win, you've gotta check out Television Without Pity's recaplet.

The Influence of Chicago Dollars

Chicago Public Radio documents a town with more than 50% of its residents in the United States, many of whom are in Chicago. With the help of a Hometown Club (founded by a Chicago immigrant), for every migrant dollar donated, local, state and federal governments donate a dollar each. In this way, dollars from the United States fund town projects and are hoped to curb out-migration.

Ira Glass Not Moving Back Anytime Soon

On the This American Life Website they report the good news that Showtime has picked up the TV version of the radio program for a second season. Production on Season 2 starts at the end of summer, and episodes will show up late next year.

Dollar Store on the Radio

The Third Coast Audio Festival has teamed up with the Dollar Store for this year's Shortdocs series: create a two- to three-minute audio story about one of three items found at a dollar store and send it in by Aug. 30. (I'm working on one for that sweet mug.)

C-O-Y-O-T-E!

Last Thursday, the Max Weinberg's band on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" performed an "improvised" song about the coyote who wandered into the Loop Quizno's. [via]

Congrats, Ira!

Speaking of public radio (which we were, see below), we've got to give a shout out to Ira Glass and the crew at This American Life for their Peabody Award win. The lauded episode, "Habeas Schmabeas" explored life for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and what it meant for prisoners there to be denied the right of habeas corpus. You can download the episode on TAL's site or snag it off TiVo Podcasts.

A-Hem

Would you like to be snarked at by Nina Garcia and Michael Kors? Cool. Then you should totally try out for Bravo's Project Runway. Auditions will be held at the Westin Hotel next Tuesday.

Vote for the Worst

Who knew that Vote For the Worst, the subversive element in the American Idol universe, has a Chicago connection?

I Can Fly Twice As High

Reading Rainbow is still at it, LeVar Burton is still the host, and they're having a contest...with prizes! WTTW is calling for storybook submissions for the Reading Rainbow Young Writers & Illustrators Contest. Kindergarteners through third graders have all the fun.

For Once, It's Not About The TV Show

This American Life debuts a site redesign.

"This American Life" Viewing Party

The first episode of everyone's fave public radio-based storytelling hour airs tomorrow night on Showtime. But if you don't have SHO, what are you gonna do? Write in and tell us if you know of any public viewing parties, 'kay?

Jimmy Corrigan makes a TV show

Can you feel the excitement? The TV version of This American Life debuts Thursday night on Showtime. Can't wait? Check out some Chris Ware animation (Flash video player link) from the show.

So Green Architecture isn't a Passing Fad

Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.

Apprentice Alert

As if the Trump Tower wasn't bad enough by itself, now Chicagoans may soon have to deal with the possibility of seeing its namesake hanging out around town. The Sun-Times is reporting that The Donald and crew will probably be shooting the next season of The Apprentice here. This latest report has The Wind gearing up for its impending showdown with The Hair.

Andy Sidaris, Pioneer of the Honey Shot, is Dead

If you ever watched a televised sporting event and saw the camera linger over an attractive female attendee in the crowd, you have Chicago native Andy Sidaris to thank. He died at 76 in Los Angeles. Later in life he specialized in making action films with Playboy Playmates under the "Bullets, Bombs, and Babes" label. Take a look at his nsfw website, YouTube profile, and MySpace.

WBEZ2.0

Chicago Public Radio debuted a clean new website design this evening.

Spot Ira

If you're taking the Kennedy north from Downtown, make sure you look to your left near the Diversey exit. You'll see the one and only billboard in America for This American Life: The TV Show. This long-time public radio staple makes its debut for cable on March 22.

New Ol' Lonely

Repeat after me: "I'm the loneliest man in town." Sad, huh? Well, it could be your ticket to Tony-the-Tiger-esque fame as the newest incarnation of the Maytag Man. You may have missed your chance here in Chicago, but it's not too late to hop a plane to New York and give it a shot. You, yes you, could be the next Gordon Jump!

Preview of Act One

This American Life, the TV Show, debuts in a month (March 22, specifically) on Showtime. Check out the trailer here. (Still tickets available for the live performance at the Chicago Theatre March 1, btw.)

Penn & Sagal

Friend of GB Greg writes, "Peter Sagal of Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me was a lively guest on the Penn Jillette radio show yesterday, talking about the foie gras ban, Jack & Jeri Ryan, his own show, and other things of Chicago interest. For those who missed it, it's now up on the podcast."

Red Eye Rage

The Tribune is suing Fox News over the network's use of the name "Red Eye" for its late-night talk show — which is currently called "Gary Gutfield's Show" on Fox News' website, although the URL hasn't changed.

Chicago 2106

Remember the "City of the Future" competition? The entry from local architecture and design firm UrbanLab won! One summary video is posted, and another is to be posted shortly.

Did DDB Rip Off The Whitest Kids?

Remember the Bud Light Super Bowl ad in which the fist bump is replaced by the face slap as "the new thing?" NYC sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U'Know cried foul, claiming a remarkable similarity between the commercial and a sketch of theirs titled, um, "The New Thing" that had been submitted to Bud.TV. Commenters at NYC comedy blog the Apiary figured out that Bud's ad agency, DDB Chicago, also runs Bud.TV; yesterday the Apiary's Chicago sister site the Bastion posted a purported statement from DDB denying any connection. View the videos side by side at Gawker and draw your own conclusion.

ABC Brings World News to Chicago

Further evidence that Todd Stroger's hirings/firings are making national news, ABC will broadcast World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson from Chicago next Monday and Tuesday. Actually, as Rosenthal writes in the Tribune, Evanston native Gibson is in town for other reasons. Oh yeah, and there's that Senator Whatsisname announcing his presidential bid this weekend.

TV Version of Radio, Live On Stage

This American Life embarks on a short cross-country live show tour in a few weeks, and they've included a stop at the Chicago Theatre in their schedule. The show will be their first Chicago show in 4 years, and will include a screening of behind-the-scenes footage from their upcoming TV show. Tickets go on sale tomorrow; full details on the event are in Slowdown.

TAL TV Coming in the Spring

The producers of the upcoming TV version of Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life" were at the Sundance Film Festival this past weekend, showing some clips of the program and talking about the TV adaptation of the radio series. (The Sundance Channel posted an interview with the producers on YouTube which includes some short clips.) A brief note posted at the TAL Website gives us a date for the debut of the series: Thursday, March 22. Mark your calendars!

Disappointed Fans and Blocked Media

The Mount Prospect Costco turned away disappointed fans and at least one camera crew after it stipulated that William "Refrigerator" Perry could only sign Costco-bought items. (Video has additional details.)

Radio Rollover

Who says the days of frenzied media consolidation are on the wane? Clear Channel was recently sold to a consortium that has also been poised to purchase TribCo. While the deals and the numbers have yet to be finalized, it appears that 2006 was a record year for radio ownership shifts in Chicago.

All About the Allstate Ad

If you haven't yet seen the Leo Burnett-created Allstate ad with the car that plunges into the Chicago River from the Marina City parking deck, the companies have posted both the 30-second and 60-second versions and a behind-the-scenes video at YouTube. YouTube blocked at work? The videos and a "how'd they do that?" FAQ get their own mini-site at Allstate.com, too.

Double Your Chair-Throwing Fun!

Feder reports that Jerry Springer "bodyguard" Steve Wilkos, a former Chicago cop, will be getting his own show on NBC later this year. It will be filmed in the NBC Tower studios, like Springer, and will feature Wilkos "offering advice and doling out his version of justice," i.e., headlocks.

"Rome"-an Wine Hits Town

If you come across a bottle of this stuff in the next few days, be a sport and add a photo to the GB flickr pool. [via]

Chicago of the Future

The History Channel recently asked designers to submit concepts of their cities 100 years in the future. Teams from Chicago, New York and Los Angeles are now facing off for the grand prize. Check out and possibly vote for Chicago's entry from UrbanLab today.

Still Champion, But Not a Record

Well, so much for that. Jason Pisarik made it 33 hours and 5 minutes in the ESPN Zone Couch Potato Contest, long enough to solidly beat the competition, but far short of the world record of 69 hours and 48 minutes.

Couch Potatoes Go for the Record

Over at the ESPN Zone, four guys -- including defending champ Jason Pisarik of Lombard -- settled into black leather recliners and got ready for some serious vegging. Their mission is to sit and stare at a television for as long as they can, getting up only for 15 minute breaks every eight hours. If one can last until 8am Thursday, he'll set a new world record.

Home-town Representin' -- and Not

Trib TV critic Maureen Ryan names Shawn Ryan (no relation) "Chicagoan of the year in television" for his role on "The Shield." In the meantime, Keep Going's Geary Yonker would like Jim Belushi to quit playing The Face of Chicago on TV.

Chuck's Tree

Evanston-based Pop Matters has a great story about the making of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

WBEZ's 2007 Schedule

After much controversy, WBEZ released its 2007 schedule last month. It's important to note that music, the focus of most of the debate, was not eliminated. The Tribune provides an opinionated but informative summary.

Obama Makes with the Funny

If you were watching that killer Bears v. Rams game last night on ESPN's Monday Night Football. Your heart might have jumped a bit when Senator Barack Obama came on to address viewers. It was just a tease of course, which ended with the donning of a Bears cap and a big smile. Catch it [YouTube].

Eating on Someone Else's Dime

Chicagoist did some investigating into the Channel 5's LeeAnn Trotter departure from the station "Good Eats" segments and ethical concerns regarding her restaurant "reviews." [Correction/Update: Trotter's not leaving the station, and Chicagoist has a follow-up story up now.]

NEA to NPR: Don't Dump Music

Just in time for the impending format overhaul at WBEZ, the National Endowment of the Arts has issued a harsh rebuke of National Public Radio. With their growing tendency to sideline music programming, a report by the agency charges, NPR stations are effectively shrugging off their cultural mission.

Oprah's Pizza Club?

Oprah may do for pizza what she's done for so many novels, with a little help from Chicago Magazine food writers Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby: on yesterday's show, her friend Gayle King began a quest for the best pies in the country, based on Pollack and Ruby's book, Everybody Loves Pizza. (Read our review and interview with the authors here.)

Talk of the City

Starting in January, local listeners will finally get to hear the Talk of the Nation as Chicago Public Radio adds the NPR call-in show to its daily line-up. Evenings will be spent encoring programs possibly missed during the day -- Eight Forty-Eight and Fresh Air, for example -- while late nights will be dedicated to news from around the globe: national radio from Australia, Poland, China and elsewhere, alongside the venerable World Service. See the new schedule here, and consider supporting the fall membership campaign while you're at it.

Travel Outside the Loop

Local radio guys Mike Stephen and Andy Hermann (you may know them as "Broham" and "The Count" from The Nick Digilio Show on WGN) have teamed up to bring us Outside the Loop: Chicago's Almost Above-Ground Audio Magazine, a weekly podcast every Thursday highlighting local newsmakers, artists, musicians, and other folks doing great stuff in Chicago. And it's free -- wee!

You can put it on the ratings board, yes!

Or as Crain's puts it, Holy cow! For the first time in recent memory, the Sox beat the Cubs in overall TV ratings on WGN, WCIU and Comcast Sports Net. The Cubs still sold more tickets than the Sox; of course that was mostly at the beginning of the season...

Free TAL downloads

After some previous conflicts with people setting up their own podcasts of This American Life, the radio program has decided to start making shows freely downloadable for one week after they air. Visit the TAL site to subscribe to the program's official podcast; the free downloads start next Monday.

MTV on Chicago's Block

MTV's "My Block," a show that takes viewers through the neighborhoods where artists came from, not just their nouveau-riche cribs, takes a tour through Chicago today. Here's a video preview of the episode.

Podcast addicts, rejoice!

insideChicago can provide you with another fix. It currently produces two programs: STOP! Police, a weekly news of the weird podcast, and insideChicago, an offbeat arts and entertainment video podcast that is published twice a week.

Worst Music Video Ever, part 2

My hero for the day is the person who posted this video excerpt of one of the strangest shows on CAN TV, "Beauty of Fashion with Malia".

Not Exactly Flying Wallenda

Right now (at 9am) Mario Wallenda is attempting to cross the Chicago River on a high wire near the Merchandise Mart. A member of the famous Flying Wallendas circus troupe, Mario was paralyzed from the waist down in an accident in 1972, so he's crossing in a specially made motorized wheelchair. It's all a stunt for The Loop's Brandemeier show. UPDATE: Felix Jung has lots of photos and commentary from the behind the scenes.

What's Wrong is Nothing New

Its post-Mancow marketing campaign suggested that Q101 was going to fix "what's wrong in Chicago." Never mind endless corruption, a Red Line that barely moves or other social ills; by their estimation, the biggest challenge we face as a city is that morning radio stinks. Like Katie Couric's recent CBS debut, today was to be the day that everything changed. Well, maybe. Color Metblogs unconvinced.

The Underwhelming Answer

Spotted the taxi ads asking What's Wrong With Chicago? Turns out it's Q101 doing the asking, and their answer is there's no good morning radio show. That the radio station would present their replacement for Mancow as the answer to all the city's ills is mildly disheartening, especially when the audio clips provided, ostensibly as previews, are the same tired song parodies and flaming-Lance-Bass jokes found on every morning show in America. The show premieres Monday the 18th.

Chicago: Present at the Creation

NPR's Present at the Creation provides unique insight to some Chicago-related icons. Our fair city pops up in some obvious place like Animal House, A Raisin in the Sun , and Nighthawks, but it's also there for Cracker Jacks!

Goings-On At Pledge Central

It's Pledge Drive time again at Chicago Public Radio, and while no one likes having their Morning Edition interrupted, you've got to admire the good humor and energy of the staff. Ever wonder what that call center (and the donated, oft-referenced breakfast pastry) looks like? Check out the Pledge Blog.

Writing Out Loud

Starting today, our Slowdown partner Eight Forty-Eight will begin airing "Writers' Block Party," a monthly "multimedia variety show." Hosted by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, the radio- and web-based program will feature words, music, audio, video, art from various contributors. If the show were an animal, we understand it'd be a baby penguin, and who doesn't love a baby penguin? (Speaking of Chicago Public Radio, Wendy Turner is blogging the pledge drive. The station's fiscal year ends this week; help 'em out, yeah?)

More Wolfman, less Lawnmower Man

I admit it: I'm a Svengoolie fan. But I haven't kept up with his show as his movies have strayed away from classic horror/sci-fi and gone more towards, say, Witchouse 2: Blood Coven. That's why I was pleased to see today's announcement, posted in the Video section of WCIU's revamped Website, that Sven will start showing some classic horror films this fall. Get ready to see the classic versions of Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolfman and The Bride of Frankenstein starting in October.

Shh, It's a Secret

What's Chicago Public Radio's secret radio project? Can't tell you, but there's a nice big hint in this week's issue of Time Out.

Public Radio As Chosen by the Public

As it plans to replace music with more news and documentary shows, WBEZ has been the subject of some controversy. Which may be why it's soliciting opinions of a very specific sort: if you could act as Chicago Public Radio programming director, what would you put on the weekday schedule? And when? Throw in your $.02 with the Build Your Own Program Guide.

Toots Got Talent

Last fall, Shylo profiled "the ass that goes POW," otherwise known as local burlesque performer Michelle "Toots" L'Amour. After starting out with a cast of, well, lots, she's now a semi-finalist on NBC's America's Got Talent, vying to win some prize or the other. Check out last night's performance (although maybe not at work?), and vote to send her on to the finals here.

Show WLUW some LUV

Remember when you donated items to independent community radio station WLUW in June? Well, those items are now for sale to raise money for the station. Some particularly interesting finds are an autographed Mekons guitar, a drawing by Archer Prewitt, and a Fugazi/Shellac/The Ex ticket printing plate.

Become the Media

Do you dream about sitting side-by-side with Edward Lifson or "identifying and researching mid-level and major donor prospects"? If so, become a Chicago Public Radio intern! WBEZ extended its fall deadline, but you don't have much time: applications are due on the 28th.

Ponce, Marin, Mancow?

Two weeks after Mancow was unceremoniously dropped by Q101, he's resurfaced in a couple places. He's temporarily taping his syndicated radio show at WLS-AM studios, and in a somewhat bizarre twist, he's going to be appearing on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight," doing occasional commentaries alongside such high minds as John Callahan and Carol Marin.

The Love that Dare not Broadcast its Name

One last Gay Games controversy before they go: hometown girl Jody Watley was here to perform at the event's opening ceremonies last week, and she stopped by R&B station V103. Before her on-air interview, Watley was told she couldn't mention the reason she was in Chicago, only that she was appearing at a Virgin Megastore to do a signing. Talk about the down-low. [via]

Dead Mancow Walking

Did you listen to Mancow yesterday morning on Q101? Me neither. But what we missed was the shock jock's last broadcast on the station. "Best of" shows started running today, and James VanOsdol fills in with "on shuffle" alt rock starting Monday. "I wish my old station luck, but no looking back. I have huge plans and huge ideas," Mancow said -- the first of which is finding a new studio to broadcast from.

Thinking Allowed in Chicago

In 2002, BBC Radio 4's Thinking Allowed visited Chicago to do a five-part series about the city in the spirit of early Chicago School sociologists. With interviews from prominent Chicago academics, musicians, and public thinkers, the programs are surprisingly fresh four years later.

Ooh la la, L'amour

Missed local burlesque legend Michelle "Toots" L'amour's appearence on "America's Got Talent" last week? YouTube's got you covered. Warning: excessive and gratuitous leering by David Hasselhoff.

This Life Now in MP3

It appears that This American Life has switched to a slightly more open format to publish their older episodes, streaming mp3. This allowed some people to link to the site and create an unofficial podcast of the show. WBEZ didn't dig this. While they won points for being polite and nicely asking for the offending bits to be taken down, more than one TAL fan (one, two) was asked to stop linking to the feeds. We're happy with the new format, but still want it on our iPods. Shouldn't subscribers be able to do that without paying $4 an episode?

Radiohead on the Radio

Another place to catch Radiohead is on Sound Opinions on Chicago Public Radio this weekend. They scored an interview with Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood this week, complete with some songs played on the studio piano. Catch it at 7pm Saturday or online later.

WLUW seeks donations

You like independent music. You like independent radio. But maybe you're a little broke and wish you had money to support something like WLUW but you don't. But you do have a great t-shirt signed by The Pogues that you don't want anymore. Or maybe you make bags suitable for carrying your records home from the record store in. If you've got something of value that you're willing to donate to WLUW so they can auction it off on eBay to raise money during the first week of July, send a description of the item as well as the expected value to Nicole Burnham.

Download This

According to the New York Times, Chicago Public Radio's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me podcast is "among the Top 20 most popular downloads ranked by iTunes."

Sounds of the City

Chicago Public Radio's website now features "Chicago Amplified," a service that provides audio material from a variety of partner organizations, like the Illinois Humanities Council, the Field Museum and the Community Media Council. Stream or download usual suspects like Studs Terkel and Ira Glass, as well as more esoteric fare like authors on Auschwitz or the Underground Railroad. (Also new on the site, GB's Slowdown keeps Eight Forty-Eight listeners busy.)

Revisiting StoryCorps

Last August, StoryCorps visited Chicago, and Dave and I stopped by to chat with a few of the first local participants. Today, a year after the project sent Airstream trailers on the road, founder Dave Isay appeared on NPR's Talk of the Nation, discussing the program and noting its roots in Chicago-based radio documentary "Ghetto Life 101."

Flaunt Your Knife Skills

Think you've got what it takes to be a superstar chef? Prove it on Monday, May 22, when Bravo's "Top Chef" reality TV show brings its casting call to the Rock Bottom Brewery at State and Grand. Show up with your resume and be prepared to whip up something tasty.

99 (or More) Documentaries Wanted

The Third Coast International Audio Festival has announced its 2006 ShortDocs Radio Experiment: "99 Ways to Tell a Radio Story." Short (two and a half minutes is the limit) audio documentaries are due by September 8, and the gimmick is that all submissions must start with the same sentence, incorporate a rhythmic noise, and include an exclamation. The idea for this comes from France. Hmmm. Aspiring radio documentarians can find out more here.

John Malkovich, Bus Driver

NPR's All Things Considered yesterday included an interview with John Malkovich, in which he discussed simultaneously acting in and producing Art School Confidential, being perceived as a movie villain and more. But most interesting was his description of jobs he had before he became a famous actor, including bus driver for a North Shore day school and "head cabbage cutter" at a fast food restaurant in Northbrook Court. (Speaking of Art School Confidential, our own Steve at the Movies, aka Capone, interviewed director Terry Zwigoff for Ain't It Cool News.)

Conan's Chicago Connections

In advance of this week's tapings at the Chicago Theater Tuesday-Friday, there's lots of coverage of Conan O'Brien's local connections. The Sun-Times runs down "Late Night's" Chicago chops for us, while the Trib reminisces about the short-lived comedy review Conan starred in at Victory Gardens back in 1988 (here's their review from back then.) And Maureen Ryan has a lengthy interview.

South African AIDS Diarist in Person

"It's only something that is inside my blood. Outside, I'll be the boss." Thembi Ngubane is a 19-year old South African with AIDS. You may have heard her moving AIDS Diary on NPR's All Things Considered last month. As part of her 5-city US tour, you can see her tonight at HotHouse. Details in Slowdown.

Fox News Shakeup

Wow, Fox News Chicago is going through some changes. Channel 32 didn't renew the contracts of veteran anchor Walter Jacobson or weatherwoman Michelle Leigh. Walter doesn't mind the break (mp3), but Michelle is less happy. And fans have set up a petition to hopefully save her job. (Thanks, Stephe!)

And To You, A Golden Rat

If you missed tonight's special broadcast of the first episode of Chic-A-Go-Go, catch (or TiVo) it tomorrow at 3:30pm. The show is looking back as it looks forward; this is the start of its 10th season, during which it will present a Chic-A-Go-Go Heritage Award each week "to an artist or group that has made our city such a cultural goldmine." Check out the first few winners online, illustrated by Derek Erdman.

Obama: O'Brien, O'Brien: Obama

If you're lucky enough to get tickets to the Chicago taping of the Late Night with Conan O'Brien show on May 12, you'll hopefully be in for a political treat. Barack Obama has just been added to the show's guest list (still subject to change). The week's other guests include local rap star Common, local band Wilco and Chicago movie star John C. Reilly. Join the thousands already vying for tickets at the show's Chicago info. page.

Can You Talk a Beautiful Game?

Public radio program Worldview is recruiting a commentator for its 2006 World Cup coverage. Is it in you? Read the application details at the show's website, and let the footy begin.

Chicago's Most Wanted

A Chicago police officer is a finalist in an "all star first responder" contest on "America's Most Wanted." Alphonsus O'Connor saved a railroad police officer's life after a man pulled a gun and started shooting. Help him win the award (and $10,000 prize) by voting before May 8.

The Life has Landed

New York Magazine on This American Life's arrival in the Big Apple. Gapers Block on its departure from the Windy City.

The People v. Public Radio

In the wake of the Tribune's article over the weekend and other expressions of exasperation, Daniel Ash, a vice president at Chicago Public Radio, reached out to explain his organization's plans for the future. Read him interviewed at Chicagoist. [One listener who's not disappointed: Trib blogger Steve Johnson.]

This American Stream

Just got the weekly email update from This American Life, which includes the very interesting fact that they've gotten rid of the site's RealAudio archive streams in favor of streaming MP3 format. So if you've been having problems with playing RealAudio, check out the new streaming MP3 goodness!

A Little More Talk and a Lot Less Tunage

Chicago Public Radio recently announced plans to move all of its frequencies toward "conversation;" as the Tribune reports, that's got jazz fans singing the blues. Have your say in CPR's listener forum.

Local Webbies

The Webby Awards nominations are out, and there are a couple local contenders: Congratulations to AccuRadio (Radio), Freakonomics (Best Copy/Writing), CareerBuilder (Employmment), NowWhat.com (Insurance, by Tribal DDB Chicago) and 4178° - Chicago Architecture (Student). They're all up against stiff competition, so register and vote for the home team.

Did we miss any? Let us know at inbox@gapersblock.com.

Local News, Backdropped by Tourists

A year after construction began, ABC 7 opened its State Street studio yesterday. Metblogs has a photo of the gawkers, along with an observation that made me laugh out loud: "by the way, in case you forgot, the local news is the worst thing of all time" (!). (Disagree? Today's Fuel is the place to say so.)

Studs vs. Stewart

Tonight on the Daily Show: Studs Terkel. And since Studs is nearly deaf, it should be quite a show. Tune in!

You Can't Trump Those Humps

Seems that some folks headed to audition for The Apprentice, season 5 downtown this morning made a big impression, but not on who they wanted. The fact that the auditions took place next to a television studio wasn't enough of a clue to those wrapping a line around the building, and some of them got a little too comfortable. Filmed through the windows of NBC5 studios, early morning news viewers got an eyefull of Apprentice hopefulls doing everything from changing clothes to scratching at their rears...often -- all behind the smiling head of NBC5 News Today's LeeAnn Trotter.

Conan Tickets

Want to get tickets for the "Late Show with Conan O'Brien" tapings here May 9-12? Here's how.

The Kiss Off

Chicago's 103.5 (KISS FM) has named an interim Programs Director, following the departure of PD Rod Phillips. KISS FM is accepting applicants for a permanent PD, so R. Kelly and Kelly Clarkson fans, please apply.

CC the Talking Cat

I hope you This American Life fans were listening to this morning's pledge drive over at Chicago Public Radio, because they were offering a really sweet limited-edition premium: a coffee mug celebrating the first 100 years of TAL (sure, it's early by 90 years, but how many programs ever get to celebrate their 100th anniversary?). A picture of the artwork has been posted over at the Chicago Public Radio pledge blog, where you can see that the host for TAL's 100th year will be WarTron 3000. (If they haven't run out yet, you might be able to pick up the 100-year anniversary mug, along with the 10-year anniversary mug, during This American Life tonight at 7:00 PM.)

Make It Work!

Project Runway is in town at the W Hotel Lakeshore tomorrow for its Season 3 casting call. Tim Gunn, Nick Verreos and Lilah Shechner will be judging who's in and who's out from 8am to 5pm, so fill out the app[PDF], load up your garment bags and sketchbooks and get there early. And don't say we didn't warn you!

So You Think You Can . . .

Fox's other hit competition show, "So You Think You Can Dance," is holding open auditions in a number of US cities for season number two. Producers will be on hand at The Chicago Theater this Friday, March 24 to check out the talent.

In the Year Two-Thousand ...Six

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien" will be coming to Chicago to tape four episodes in May, reports Maureen Ryan. Tune in March 28 to find out how to get tickets.

Another Day, Another Podcast

Two, actually. The Third Coast International Audio Festival offers "Re:sound" and "Featurecast"; both are available here.

CPR@SXSW

In another instance of local folks reppin' the 312 in Austin, we hear that some of our friends at Chicago Public Radio are down that way, and, you guessed it, they're keeping a blog.

Home in Chicago, Home in Durango

Weekend Edition aired an extended story this weekend that followed 19-year-old Lizandra Nevarez from her home in Chicago to her family's home of origin in Durango, Mexico, and chronicled the struggles Nevarez faced as she juggled competing identities of insider and outsider. The story was produced in conjunction with the OchoTEEN project, which is catching up on the lives of a local class of Mexican-American fourth graders as they enter adulthood.

Gitmo Life 101

Chicago Public Radio's stellar program This American Life does a special show this weekend: the entire program will be devoted to interviews with two former Guantanamo Bay detainees about their experiences there. Tune in tomorrow night at 7:00 PM, or Saturday at 1:00 PM, for what's sure to be an hour-long driveway moment.

Make it Work, Chicago

Tonight may have been the end of Project Runway's second season, but the program is already gearing up for round 3. If you're interested in being the next Chloe or Daniel V. (or you just want to meet Tim Gunn), mark your calendars for March 23, when the show hosts an open casting for next year's designers -- details are here.

Live-Blogging the Oscars

Watching the Academy Awards tonight? Follow along on as Edward Champion and a vast and varied cast of characters live-blog the pseudo-event on the Oscar 2006 Blog.

Oscar-Nominated Radio

Tune in to Sound Opinions this Saturday at 7pm, when Greg Kot and Jim DiRogatis talk with Roger Ebert about the best and worst music movies ever made.

Is that legit?

In the aftermath of his recent hee-larious appearance on Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Gov. Blagojevich said in an interview published today that he didn't realize The Daily Show was a comedy program. Note to the Gov: hire a staffer with cable TV. Perhaps tonight's guest from Chicago, Roger Ebert, will fare better. (tip from Metroblogging)

Radio Conspiracy Redux

Our post about WBEZ potentially using WLUW for its northern repeater frequency drew swift response from WBEZ and WLUW's program director, Shawn Campbell (whom we interviewed awhile back), as well as a reader. The short answer? "No way." Much, much more after the jump...

From WBEZ: "As Chicago Public Radio prepares to launch a new broadcast service in 2007, WLUW is not being considered part of the plan for locating a signal to extend coverage to the Northwest Chicagoland area. We respect WLUW's long-standing relationship with its audience members, and we will help WLUW in their efforts to continue providing quality radio programming to the community."

From Shawn Campbell: "There's absolutely no truth to this rumor, believe me! The WLUW signal is only 100 watts, and gets Chicago Public Radio nowhere near the coverage they need to extend north (they need to get up to Lake County, up the north shore, etc. Our reach gets to Skokie and Evanston, and not too far beyond). We've had discussions with them about this, because we've been aware of the fact that they are looking for a signal to the north, and we talked to them about the issue so we could reassure our staff. Further, any such move would be a violation of the agreement between Loyola and Chicago Public Radio. Third, the question of CPR "buying" WLUW, which is also mentioned in the post, was never an issue -- it wasn't for sale."

And this from GB reader Michael: "The website www.radio-locator.com is a fantastic resource for things like this. Among its many features, it generates maps of the predicted coverage area of every radio station in the country. Here's WLUW's. As you can see, WBEZ's music service would be abandoning much of suburban Cook County and almost the entirety of Lake and McHenry County if it were to carry out the plan outlined in the WLUW Watch blog. They may have a plan to boost signal. So far as I understand them, FCC rules force broadcasters with overlapping coverage to be at frequencies that are at least second adjacent, i.e. WLUW has to avoid conflict with existing broadcasts from 88.3 to 89.1. That could bring them into conflict with Lake Forest College's station, WMXM, and W206AI, a repeater for religious station KAWZ. WBEZ could, of course, purchase another station in the northern suburbs. I doubt that they would abandon such a wealthy part of their service area entirely."

Following the links on the WLUW Watch page, it appears it's connected in some way to a former WLUW DJ who was fired a couple years ago. Take that bit of information, and his description of the circumstances, as you wish.

So there you have it. Conspiracy squashed. Incidentally, WLUW is currently holding its funding drive right now — contribute if you can!

Low-End Of The Dial Conspiracy

This entry on the blog WLUW Watch gives voice to what many of us have been thinking. WBEZ has been discussing swtiching to a split music and talk format, and the missing piece for this is a radio station with a coverage area that extends North. Which is just what WLUW happens to be. And since WLUW is in the red... (Thanks, Craig)

Feist-y Opinions

If you hadn't heard "Mushaboom" before, now that the Postal Service remix has shown up among Waxy.org's links, it'll likely be unavoidable on the interweb for the next few days. Hear more as Feist appears on Sound Opinions this weekend (7pm, Saturday, on Chicago Public Radio).

Governor Smith vs. the Drug Teases

Brian mentioned it on this week's "Party Line," and here it is: the governor on The Daily Show.

What was that about Torino?

The XXth Olympics start tomorrow night (opposite the last four episodes of Arrested Development, harumph). You can set up your TiVos for the next 16 days by consulting the vast broadcast schedule of all the events on the "networks of NBC". Watch video of local Olympic athletes on NBC5's Olympics site.

More Oprah Available SOon

XM Satellite Radio has signed a 3-year deal with Oprah to launch the channel "Oprah & Friends" in September. Oprah's signature channel will feature a weekly show with Oprah and her BFF Gayle King and be broadcast from a new XM studio at Harpo Studios.

All Things Chicago

Two items about Chicago crackdowns on this afternoon's All Things Considered: the crime camera controversy and the silence of the buskers.

Commercial Memories

Apropos of the current Fuel question, here are some classic commercials from local TV: EagleMan, Victory Auto Wreckers and Bud Man (first two via Coudal). Let us know if you find any more.

TAL NYC redux

This week's Chicago Reader includes a story about the move to New York by the This American Life team, and includes a couple paragraphs on the discussion about the show that was on GB last week. One detail in the Reader story that was omitted from the original Robert Feder column: the NY move is apparently may only be a temporary one while the staff works on the upcoming TV version of the show. TAL could be back in Chicago next winter, moving to new studio space in WBEZ's building.

I Love the Quizzes!

Are you a master of pop culture trivia? Do you have two friends who complement your areas of expertise? Then here's your early warning: VH1 is coming to Chicago March 11 and 12 to audition three-person teams for the World Series of Pop Culture. (Thanks, Mitchell!)

Bo Diddley and Ed Sullivan, Elvis and Steve Allen

If you missed the TV-A-Go-Go panel discussion a couple of weeks ago, you can now hear an interview with author Jake Austen on radio station WFMU, talking about his new book that traces the history of rock'n'roll on TV.

Hello Teatro!

Would you look at that: Edward Lifson, host of WBEZ's Hello Beautiful!, has begun a blog.

Tru and Moto on TV

Coming next month (or possibly the month after) to the Food Network: separate appearances by chefs from Tru and Moto on Iron Chef America. The competitors have kept quiet about how they fared, but today's Sun-Times offers a little preview of what to look for. Namely secret ingredients like fennel and beets.

A Million Little Tonguelashings

Oprah Winfrey reunited with "memoirist" James Frey on today's Oprah show. Gawker has a live-blogged recap of the show; tune in to Channel 7 tonight at 11pm for the rebroadcast. (Our pop critic Dee Stiffler has some thoughts, too.)

This American NYC Life

That sucks: Because of the new TV show, This American Life the radio show is moving to New York.

Clark Kent, meet Veronica Mars

In what's sure to be a supremely weird reshuffling of the television landscape, The WB and UPN are merging to become the "CW Television Network." What's this have to do with Chicago? The Tribune Company was a minority owner in the WB, and it'll be a major player in the new net as well. "Tribune Broadcasting is expected to be the primary station group for the new network," says the Hollywood Reporter, with 16 Tribune stations becoming CW affiliates, including WGN, natch. Here's the Tribune's spin.

TV American Life

It's official: This American Life is coming to television. The one-hour show will be on Showtime, hosted by Ira Glass, and following the same format of the radio program (i.e., each week a theme, with stories based on that theme). The radio show continues unchanged.

Ex-Idol to be a Dreamgirl

Chicago's favorite Idol finalist, Jennifer Hudson, will star as Effie in the movie version of fabulous Tony Award-winning '80s musical Dreamgirls. A teaser trailer debuted on the official movie website today, but don't get too geeked out just yet about our hometown girl on the big screen-- the movie won't be released until December 2006.

Chicagoan Idol

"American Idol" focused on Chicago auditions last night. Missed it? See what they thought at TWOP, and TV Fodder. The Red Eye's Phillip Thompson had some things to say, too. UPDATE: Lots of discussion of the show (and whether it's cool to watch it) on Chicagoist.

Like Bridget Jones, but Prettier

When in doubt, send Rebecca Romijn to Chi-town. That, at least, seems to be the WB's philosophy, as it tries to jump-start its ratings with a show that features the former model as a local news reporter who will do anything for a story. In other words, expect "hijinks."

What, Nobody Tried the Mead?

If anyone's looking for me at 8pm on Friday, I'll be on the couch, nachos in hand, checking out what may well prove to be the best Check, Please! of all time. All three guests are children (around 10 years old, from the looks of 'em), and two of the three restaurants they went to were---wait for it---Ed Debevic's and Medieval Times. The mind boggles.

Maxwell Street Tonight

MondayWednesday night at 7pm, Channel 11's "Chicago Tonight" is running a story about Maxwell Street as a destination for photographers over the years. In addition to lots of photos, of course, the segment will include interviews with noted photographers Art Shay, Marc PoKempner and others. On Thursday, JC Gabel, editor of Stop Smiling, will be on the show to talk about the magazine's 10th anniversary issue, which is devoted to our fair city. (Studs Turkel fans may be interested in these excerpts from an interview in the upcoming issue.)

Chocolate on the Airwaves

Public radio's Marketplace aired a story last night about the EPA ruling against Blommer's Chocolate we told you about last year. Apparently, even the regulators like the smell, but their hands are tied.

Squirrels on TV

Fire up the TiVo: Coudal informs us that Jay Ryan, silkscreen artist extraordinaire, will be on Channel 11's Chicago Tonight this evening at 7pm to discuss his book, 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels.

He Shot the Sheriff

Tonight at 10pm on Channel 11, catch the premier of Sheriff, an independent documentary of a small-town North Carolina sheriff by Chicago filmmaker Daniel Kraus. Here's a profile from the Associated Press.

Dillinger on Discovery Channel

You would think that whether gangster John Dillinger was killed in front of the Biograph was a settled matter, but an upcoming Discovery Channel special is putting it back up for debate. I guess we could keep our eye out for his ghost and ask him.

iLog

WGN, home of Chicagoland's video yule log, has posted on its site an MP4 of the log, suitable for carrying around on your video iPod. (tip from Boing Boing)

Talk of This Life

If you know Chicago Public Radio's This American Life, you know the show recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary. Today, host Ira Glass marked the occasion by returning to his old NPR stomping grounds, Talk of the Nation, for a lengthy conversation about (what else?) telling stories on the radio.

Close your mouth (it's Christmas)

On this week's Sound Opinions, Chicago music critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis welcome Andy Cirzan (aka dj lo-fi), who will be bringing in a mix of odd and obscure Christmas tunes for the holidays. Fortunately for you, Andy's mix has already been posted at the Sound Opinions Website, where you can get the complete mix in all its vinyl-scratching glory. Download it and then listen to the accompanying show Saturday night at 7:00 on Chicago Public Radio.

The Artist Formerly Known as Barack

As you know, Senator Obama has been nominated for a Grammy. He and fellow nominee Al Franken sat down for a confab about that and some other stuff on Franken's Air America show yesterday, recorded with a live studio audience at the Steppenwolf. Hear the proceedings -- hilarious and otherwise -- here.

Listen Now, or Be Stuck with an Excerpt

If youve been meaning to listen to the Third Coast Festivals prizewinning audio documentaries online, you've got a month to hear them in their entirety. After January 8, some will only be available as excerpts.

Everybody Loves Nathan

What a difference a year makes. Last fall, Oprah-backed designer Nate Berkus had just lost his partner in South Asia's devastating tsunami. As USA Today learns, these days, with a new book and a line of products for Linens 'N' Things, life's going a bit better.

Bake Sale Gone Luxe

According to the latest WBEZ newsletter, the opportunity to host Charlie Trotter in your own kitchen to prepare a full tasting menu along with 11-13 of your closest friends is still available, in exchange for a generous donation to our local NPR station. The privilege will set you back, oh, $25,000. If anyone can spot me a few bucks, I can guarantee an evening of Chef!-like hilarity as Trotter sorts through my drawer of novelty shot glasses looking for cheesecloth. Call WBEZ's Jeff Dunlap at 312-948-4686 to seal the deal.

Downloadable sound, opinions

This Saturday night is the date for fans of the rock talk show Sound Opinions to tune into Chicago Public Radio, to hear the program's debut in its new gigs. If you can't wait till then, check out the Sound Opinions site, where hosts Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot have recorded a handful of podcasts in preparation for the new show.

The River Revisited

Ten years after the initial airing of Chicago by Boat on WTTW, Architecture Foundation docent Geoffrey Baer revisits the Chicago River on a new boat tour that explores how the waterway helped shape the city's development. The documentary will be encored several times over the next weeks, but set the recorder to catch it on the first broadcast: tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Details here.

Stuff Yourself With Unique Cable TV Programming

Beginning tomorrow, this next week is bursting with engaging literary programming on Chicago Access Network Television (CAN TV). Supplement your growing Laguna Beach and Being Bobby Brown obsession with Poetry Center events like MacArthur "genius grant" winner Aleksandar Hemon and cowboy poet Baxter Black. Other CAN TV don't misses include Illinois Creates: Art Education in Public Schools and Los Ninos del Vallenato. CAN TV's Community Partners Project "provides Chicagoans with access to information they may not otherwise have through commercial television."

Talk to an Artist

Here's a reason to get up early on Sunday: WBEZ's Hello Beautiful!, which starts at 10am, will feature Laurie Anderson, artist and musician. She's in town to perform "The End of the Moon," a new work created for NASA, at the Art Institute, and she'll be answering caller's questions live on the air.

Wal-Mart Watch Radio Ad

Activist group Wal-Mart Watch has released a new radio ad and a delightful holiday parody. You can get the mp3 here. I happened to hear it on WBBM, which has a pretty decent selection of podcasts if you want to download some Chicago radio.

This Chicago program

The Tribune carries a story today on the 10-year anniversary of Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life", outlining the possible future venues for TAL stories (there's the TV show, of course, but TAL host Ira Glass is also working on a movie script). The Trib article also points out the influence TAL has on other radio shows and reporters, and includes this warning to Ira's imitators from NPR host Terry Gross: "The real message isn't to copy his voice or his style of writing; the real lesson is that there's room to create something new."

Tony Danza In Chicago

Today through Wednesday, former Taxi and Who's The Boss star turned talk show host, Tony Danza, will be taping his show from the NBC tower. Guests and segments include Roger Ebert and Richard Roeper, an interview with Chicago actor Gary Sinise, a tour of the city (get ready Pizzeria Uno and Rock & Roll McDonalds) and cooking with various local chefs such as Rick Bayless, Mindy Segal and Chris Rook. Pinch me.

Your Daily dose of Obama news

Tonight on Comedy Central's The Daily Show: Senator Barack Obama! Set the VCR...

Education Matters

Throughout November and starting tomorrow night, Chicago Public Radio will be hosting community meetings to solicit input for next year's Chicago Matters series. Producers are curious what local citizens believe constitutes a quality public education. Renaissance 2010 has recently unveiled some ideas; what are yours? For the meeting schedule and other information on how you can be involved, there are all manner of details on the web.

Rawk!

Sound Opinions, the rock-n-roll talk show hosted by rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis that's been running on XRT, will be moving next month to Chicago Public Radio, a station known more for its jazz programming than its rock blocks. The Sound Opinions home page lists some reasons why the show is moving: a larger budget for the program, the use of Chicago Public Radio's performance spaces, and the chance to take the show to a national audience with podcasting and syndication.

Americathon

Chicago Public Radio is in the throes of another pledge drive, but there's good news for fans of their acclaimed program This American Life: host Ira Glass will be on the radio tomorrow from noon to 3:00 PM, presenting a three-hour marathon of stories from the long-running radio program, and undoubtedly giving TAL fans a number of tasty pledge premiums to choose from. Tune in tomorrow for the marathon. (And while you're thinking of it, check out the newly-redesigned Chicago Public Radio Website, which was unveiled at the beginning of this current pledge drive a couple days ago.)

I'll Take "Chicago Weather" for a Million

The Sun-Times presents "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Tom Skilling (But Wouldn't Think To Ask)." And, yes, that includes the names of his cats.

New Format, Johnny B. Is Back

When Infinity Radio announced today that they had figured out who was going to replace Howard Stern (Adam Carolla and David Lee Roth, depending upon where you live), local Howard-outlet WCKG decided to switch to a new format called "FreeFM", a talk-radio format that blends entertainment and politics. No word on their site on who the Stern replacement would be, though I'm gunning for Carolla. (Oh, and Johnny B., for those who remember him, is coming back to the Loop.)

Ana, Mi' Amorcita

Every morning, bleary eyed, half asleep, I stumble to the TV and flip on WGN-TV's Morning News. A few sips of coffee and a shower later, there she is; my numero uno new news babe, Ana Belaval. She is new to WGN as of June but they didn't put a bio page up until recently. Ana formerly worked for Univision in Chicago and New York and was nominated for an Emmy. She has a pretty infectious style of reporting and is muy active in the Hispanic women's community. Welcome to Chicago, Ana.

Stay Tuned to the Third Coast Festival

The Third Coast Festival annual conference has kicked off, and, like any good media event, it's being blogged. Transom.org has dispatched a team of four to cover the goings on, and they'll be posting here over the next few days. For conference happenings, visit the website, or check out a couple of related events in Slowdown: One Ring Zero on Friday night and the ever-lovin' Ira G. on Sunday.

The Writers and Readers Ball

Perhaps on the heels of last spring's hot Printers Ball, WLUW 88.7 announces The Writers and Readers Ball: Celebrating Literature on WLUW. Meet the hosts of Wordslingers, The Drinking and Writing Brewery, and Open Books. Poets Steve Schroeder, Alex Shakar and Dan Beachy-Quick will read, the Neo-Futurists will provide comedic entertainment, and Bumpus will play funk. Slowdown has the details you need to get there.

The Great Bra Experiment of 2005

I love checking Oprah's last minute reservations page. Love it. If only because it so breathlessly asks the big questions like "Are you Ricky Martin's biggest fan?" (but with more capital letters, natch). Now, spirits are great, but sometimes a woman has to remember her bosom, and that's where the current casting call comes in. Looking for women interested in joining the, um, "Bra Revolution," the show wants local ladies "who are NOT modest." So, if you're up to the challenge, then go for yours and apply. If, however, you're one of those Sun-Times guys, maybe best to avert your gaze.

Aspiring Radio Journalists, Take Note

If youve long imagined yourself on the air, now is a good time to pursue that dream. Chicago Public Radio is taking applications for its 2006 Ear to the Ground training program, as part of an effort to open up the Chicago Matters series to new voices. Five Chicago-area residents will be selected. Also, Chicago Public Radio is hiring.

Boystown on $40 a Day?

Are you a fan of Rachael Ray? Yeah, neither are we really, but we suppose somebody must be or she wouldn't have four shows on the Food Network, a new magazine, and a development deal with Oprah. If you're one of those fans, you should know that Ms. Ray will allegedly be taping $40 a Day in Boystown Friday. We met her advance team last night, who told us that plans include breakfast at Nookie's Tree and late night drinks at the Closet. No, really.

Thanks, Donald

Chicagoans should write Donald Trump a thank you letter this morning. In addition to not building this tulip-shaped hotel on the Chicago River, he also kept U of C Alum Rebecca in the running to be the Apprentice 4. In other apprentice news NBC5 Chicago is holding auditions for a morning news traffic apprentice.

Chicagoans Get Real

CBS' Amazing Race 8 features two families from Chicago: The Bransens and The Godlewskis. The 2nd city is no stranger to reality-tv stars. Other local celebs include Jennifer Hudson (American Idol), Bill Rancic (The Apprentice), Marty Casey (INXS: Rock Star), and Hearty Boys Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh (The Next Food Network Star). Want in on the action? Spike TV will hold auditions for a new reality show: "King of Vegas" on October 23. DIY's new show "From Junky to Funky" is looking for Chicagoans who want their digs madeover. Interested? E-mail j2f@theaflaum.com or call 312-733-3700, ext 210.

The End of an Odyssey

Today at noon, WBEZ's "Odyssey" begins its last show. The show is about the 10 films you must see before you die -- call 888-859-1800 to chime in. Senior Producer Joshua Andrews comments on his blog.

Listen Up!

The Third Coast Audio Festival has just announced the results of its 2005 audio documentary competition. The awards ceremony will be held at the Third Coast Festivals 2005 conference. Check Slowdown for details. Click here to listen to excerpts from the winning entries.

The Bell Tolls for the Zone

Chicago radio has been without oldies since the demise of Magic 104.3, but no longer. Metroblogging's Tankboy documents 94.7's rather abrupt midday switcheroo.

Tweedy 'Tweens on TV

There's a new Quaker Oats commercial out that features a pre-teen rock band called the Blisters. Which wouldn't be a big deal, except the band is real, and two of its members are the sons of Wilco's Jeff Tweedy. Here's more about the taping. And a little bit more. (And here's a post from Eric Zorn back in May, talking about a name controversy surrounding the Blisters.) (Thanks, Heather)

Feed Your Ears

Yesterday's Chicago Public Radio program Eight Forty-Eight featured interviews with two Gapers Block favorites, back-to-back (scroll down to the end of the day's programming). First, a chat with Adam Langer about his follow-up to (past GB Book Club choice) Crossing California, The Washington Story, made me want to dash out to the bookstore, pronto. Next, current Detour feature Michelle "Toots" L'amour and her partner Franky Vivid discussed more saucy details of the local burlesque scene. Nice to put some voices with some great stories.

Really?

When MTV's The Reality Show came to Chicago for casting, they met two 20-something chicks with this show idea: follow them around Chicago as they dig for gold from rich men. MTV didn't bite their trixie shtick , but Chicago-centric reality fans need not dismay. This week, VH1 premiered My Fair Brady, starring Joliet's very own Adrianne Curry as she explores her "relationship" with Christopher "Peter Brady" Knight. The America's Next Top Model winner and the middle Brady met while filming The Surreal Life 4. Think you have what it takes to be a reality star? Check out what shows are casting in Chicago at AOL's city guide.

Vote Bus!

Schadenfreude's radio show may be gone, but the sketch comedy group hasn't. Their satirical coverage of 53rd Alderman Ed Bus' 2006 reëlection bid will run during the second half of today's 848 show on WBEZ. Tune in to 91.5 FM or listen to it here (RAM).

Second City Radio Is On The Air. Earlier.

Second City Radio, which airs on 105.9 WCKG, has moved into the 5pm to 7pm time slot on Saturdays. The show is hosted by Second City alum Jim Zulevic. Each week, Jim is joined by other Second City alum and together they skewer the week's headlines. Those Second City folks are pretty good at that comedy stuff and the new time slot is much better than the old 10pm to midnight slot, so maybe you should check it out, huh?

Chicagoland on TV

It's been in plenty of movies, including Blues Brothers and Natural Born Killers. For its next act, the Joliet Correctional Center will be the setting for a new series on FOX; Trib columnist Maureen Ryan spent a day on the set of Prison Break and talks about it on her blog. And speaking of locals on TV, foodies should mark their calendars: Angel Food Bakery, 1636 W. Montrose Ave., will appear on Food Network's "Recipe For Success" Next Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 8:30pm.

Maybe Brandmeier, Definitely not Mancow

Phil Rosenthal reports that The Loop is trying to re-hire Jonathan Brandmeier as its morning DJ, nearly 10 years after the station fired him. Unfortunately, Infiniti Broadcasting isn't letting him out of the last year of his contract. Meanwhile, Q101's Mancow has been confirmed not to be Howard Stern's replacement on WCKG next year, to the likely relief of thousands.

Catching up with Ira

Following up on the NYT interview a few weeks back and another big interview in the LA Times over the weekend, CJR Daily chats at length with Ira Glass about the state of public radio, the future of his show, and how the wedding is "off the record."

Help Support Indie Radio

WLUW starts its annual fundraiser today; isn't it time you helped support one of the only independent radio stations in the city? (Related: our profile of the station and program director Shawn Campbell.)

Wait Wait: The True Hollywood Story

The Trib gives us a look backstage at NPR's hit quiz show "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!" now being recorded in front of a live studio audience at the Bank One Auditorium on Thursday nights. "This is the NPR version of `Saturday Night Live' when they were doing lines of coke," says Mo Rocca of the cast's caffeine consumption.

Last week, host Peter Sagal quoted our own Ramsin Canon talking about the break-up of the AFL-CIO during the "lightning fill-in-the-blank" round. Listen here (RAM).

Talk about the Spire

It's clear GB readers have an opinion or two about the proposed Fordham Spire. Here's another chance to be heard: This Sunday at 10am, WBEZ's Hello Beautiful! show will be taking calls live to discuss Santiago Calatrava's design. The number to call (then, not now) is 312-832-3124.

Transitioning TAL to TV (or not)

We learned in May that, after ten years, This American Life was set to go ahead as a television program. Or, at least, a pilot. Now, according to the Times, that much has happened: there's an episode in the can. Showtime has a few months to decide whether to commission a full season; likewise, Ira Glass has the option of walking away. Stay tuned.

The Long Haul down to Arkansas

Chicago-based radio team Long Haul Productions recently worked with indie buzz boy Sufjan Stevens to produce a segment for NPR's All Things Considered, and they've just posted it on their website. Beyond the Stevens collaboration, though, the husband and wife team makes ten years of archives available, including many stories about Chicago like this recent one on Our Lady of the Underpass. (And, while we're on the topic, we may as well mention that Stevens will be performing songs from Illinois tomorrow on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, accessible here.)

INXS of Reality

We know you'll be watching tonight anyway, but now you have another reason to tune in to "Rock Star: INXS" -- Lovehammers singer Marty Casey will be one of the contestants trying to become INXS's new lead singer.

Foreshortened Odyssey, Schadenfreude

In today's Reader, Hot Type reveals that WBEZ's board has canceled Odyssey and Schadenfreude and put Stories On Stage on a year's hiatus. "I feel like we knew this day would come even before we started the project, but for Gretchen [Helfrich, host of Odyssey] it's a bit more shocking," said Justin Kaufmann, producer of Schadenfreude, who has more to say on his blog. The shows will go off the air this fall. If you're interested in trying to sway the board's decision, these email addresses and phone numbers might be of use, or hit the listener comment board.

Beyond Illinois

WBEZ is going to open a bureau in Chesterton, expanding its coverage of Northwest Indiana. And continuing the Sufjan Stevens onslaught, 848 aired an interview with him today.

Fixie (and me) on the radio

A while ago, I was interviewed for a radio piece about fixed gear bikes for Studio 360, a WNYC/Public Radio show that gets aired everywhere across the nation in cities except Chicago. Funny since it was produced here. Fortunately, there's online radio and while thousands across the nation will hear me wax poetic about bikes, we in Chicago can listen online (lower right, Design for the Real World).

SCKG

Newcity alerts us to the fact that the Second City is starting a new radio program this weekend on WCKG. Called "Second City Radio", the program will run Saturday nights at 10pm for the next 6 weeks, with the eventual hope of syndicating the program. The show's host will be Second City alumnus Jim Zulevic, and will feature a number of former Second City actors and celebrity guests, with (of course) many more surprises in store.

I want my HBTV

Dan Smith and Steve McDonagh, owners of Hearty Boys Catering and Boystown's HB cafe, were voted the winners by viewers of The Next Food Network Star last night. (That the show's finale fell on Pride must have been a good omen.) The Boys now get their own Food Network show, to premiere September 18.

Huff on 848

If you're interested, you can listen to me babble on Chicago Public Radio's Eight Forty-Eight news magazine this morning. I'll be part of the panel discussing the month in review, which runs between 9:35am and 10am. Listen online (RAM) or at 91.5 FM.

Better get to know Jack

As we noted yesterday, WJMK ditched its oldies format over the weekend. Opinions on the change appear somewhat polarized, with various folks at the Trib, for example, sounding off to entirely different ends. Turns out that Infinity Broadcasting made a simultaneous move in New York, and today's Billboard Radio Monitor has a story about the immediate aftermath in both cities. (See also: this morning's discussion about media consolidation on Eight Forty-Eight.)

Bye-Bye, Miss American Pie

WJMK, aka Magic 104.3, suddenly switched formats from oldies to the one called "Jack," featuring a huge playlist similar in feel to NineFM, which debuted last year with its "we play anything" edict. Seems like the Nine has a lot of stations on the run -- witness Q101's "shuffle," XRT's recent touting of its deep library, and even The Mix claiming to play "today's hits and whatever we want." Fans of the oldies can still listen to the old 104.3 online... for now.

Can you CAN TV?

Have you always wanted to be a television producer but just never had the chance to learn the skills? Well now is your chance: CAN TV is holding video production orientation sessions over the next few months. All you need is a photo ID and proof that you're working with a nonprofit organization. Once you make it through their orientation class you can then begin taking their classes, which cost between $25 and $200 -- so much more affordable than moving to Hollywood.

Money Matters

Chicago Public Radio's "Money Matters" series is finished for this year, but it's worth perusing the archives for some interesting looks at how Chicagoans interact with money. A couple of highlights (all in .RAM format) include interviews with street hustlers of various types, the goings on at a pawn shop and a sort of local radio version of the Where's George? website.

BER-wyn?!

Good news for Svengoolie fans! (I know you're out there, somewhere...) Not only has Chicago's long-lived late night TV horror movie show host produced a new T-shirt design for fans of the program, but he'll also be appearing at the Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles at 2 PM this Saturday. (He won't be permitted to sell the new shirts there, but there will be some giveaways, so you might want to warm up your swag-grabbing arm.) And then tune into Channel 26 Saturday night at 11 for Svengoolie's take on the rap/voodoo flick Ragdoll.

Happy birthday, Studs

Today is the 93rd birthday of Chicago author, historian, and all-around living legend Studs Terkel. Studs is still doing regular work, in part for Chicago Public Radio's program Eight Forty-Eight; in 2002, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, they assembled a huge list of interviews that Studs has done for the station, from poet Langston Hughes to actor John Mahoney.

Don't wait

Fans of the locally-produced NPR program Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me probably already know that, starting tonight, the show will be recorded here in Chicago at the Bank One Auditorium. What you might not know is that tickets are still available for tonight's premiere show! Go to the Chicago Public Radio Website for a link to purchase tickets. Many upcoming dates have the show's panelists listed, so you can pick a night when, for example, hometown celeb Richard Roeper will be on the show.

News to go

Even as local radio personalities have their podcasts shut down, local news channels are embracing them. NBC5 claims to be "the first major market TV station in the country" to be getting in the game, and they're offering three flavors: news, as well as health and entertainment segments.

This American TV Life

Showtime Networks has picked up a pilot for a TV version of Chicago Public Radio's popular "This American Life." The show will be hosted by Ira Glass, who says the radio show will continue even if the TV show moves beyond pilot. (Apparently a TV show has been in the works for quite some time, if this 2001 article is any indication or you can read his Salon Diaries from 1999 chronicling his trip out west for just that.)

Steve Dahl's Foray in Podcasting

In other radio news, it appears that WCKG afternoon host Steve Dahl tried to launch a podcasting service only to have it shut down due to intellectual property issues. I, for one, would love to be able to have professional-quality radio in my iPod, and I'll pay for it too. (Note to the Steve Dahl show: Add RSS to your blog. And if you don't know how - inbox at gapersblock dot com)

Return of Air America

Air America, the "progressive talk radio" network that briefly broadcast here before payment disputes took it down, returns to Chicago tomorrow on WCPT, 850 on your AM dial. Eric Zorn wonders if this is a good thing. (Thanks, Robin!)

Steven Levitt on The Daily Show

If you missed it last week, tonight's your chance to see it again. At 10:30pm, University of Chicago professor Steven Levitt sits down on The Daily Show couch to discuss his book Freakonomics with Jon Stewart. Sigh...someday that will be me.

Blue Ribbon Radio

WPBR is on the air! Well, online at least. Wicker Park's pirate radio station (which uses call letters that technically belong to an AM station in Palm Beach) is available to stream at lumpen.com:8000/listen.pls from 4pm until "late at night." Anyone know if they've got an actual radio signal as well? Email inbox[at]gapersblock.com.

TV-Turnoff Week

Today kicks off National TV-Turnoff Week and while I won't be participating because, hey, I loves me some TV, Oak Park resident Jean Lotus probably will. An antitelevisionist and founder of White Dot, Lotus was recently profiled in the April issue of Chicago Magazine (p. 30). She also has an anti-TV guidebook called Get a Life! Hey, man...I do have a life. Gilmore Girls just happens to be a part of it. (Thanks, Heather!)

But will there be background music during the ceremony?

Sorry, ladies, he's taken; Ira Glass, host of the long-running "This American Life" from Chicago Public Radio, is getting married this summer to Chicago writer Anaheed Alani, according to this interview in the Boston Globe. Just in time for TAL's 10-year anniversary! (According to the show's site, the show premiered on WBEZ on November 17, 1995.)

Road Trip Nation, U of C

Three University of Chicago students joined PBS for their new documentary show Road Trip Nation, slated to begin airing this summer. The U of C Maroon reports on miles traveled, interviews conducted and lessons learned on the students' trip. Among the lessons learned: that contrary to the U of C mindset, apparently, you don't have to have it all planned out yet. Wish someone had told me that when I was in undergrad.

Wait Wait In Person

Hey, for $20 bucks a person, you can go view a live taping of National Public Radio's fabulous quiz show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me. If you can't catch the local taping, maybe you can make it to the tapings in glamorous places like San Diego and Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Cheesy beading technique

For all of you with a Tivo or a day off tomorrow, you might want to tune in to Home and Garden Television's Crafters Coast to Coast at either 11 am or 4 pm CST. GB staffer Cinnamon Cooper (me) will be showing off her cheesy sense of humor (it's more akin to spray cheese than a fine smoked gouda) while she demonstrates how to make this purse. She's also continuing to donate 25% of all her profits to Naz's Brainfund cause even though he's feeling better, the bills just keep on coming. You can also see her purses in person at this weekend's WLUW Record Fair. Note: There are several other Chicago crafters who will be popping up over the next few months. Keep an eye on the schedule to see them keeping it real! Or at least keeping it real cheesy.

Talk Radio Shake-Up

It seems that Q101 isn't the only station that shook things up recently. Kevin Matthews left 105.9 WCKG recently over an argument about money apparently (according to Steve Dahl's new blog). Good riddance - despite his many fans, I was tired of Kev's Clinton jokes in 2005. Pete McMurray (though not on at the same time) is much better.

Chicago Goes to Pilot

Starting Over may have started over in LA, but Chicago has a shot at another reality series. A Showtime pilot about couples therapy is currently in the works. It's produced by the creators of HBO's Taxicab Confessions and sex therapist/Sun-Times columnist Laura Berman. In other pilot-season news, Freddie Prinze Jr. has sunk to the self-titled sitcom; in the pilot for Freddie he plays a Chicago chef. When asked if the show might actually shoot here, producers said, "Of course not! Don't be ridiculous!"

2055 on 848

Tune your radio to WBEZ (91.5 FM) tomorrow morning around 9:50-ish am and catch GB contributor Craig Berman on Eight Forty-Eight discussing his CTA Map for 2055, which appeared in Detour last week.

Re:sound Returns

The Third Coast Audio Festival's weekly radio documentary show, "Re:sound," returns to the air this Sunday after an extended hiatus. Catch the new episode at 5pm Sunday on WBEZ.

Air America: The Return?

Give them 90 days, and Air America Radio may just be back on the airwaves in Chicago. The network's new CEO, Danny Goldberg (of Artemis Records fame), wants to make a return to Chi-town a priority. Hopefully, all parties involved can avoid that nasty billing dispute that happened last time. For now, you can always stream it online.

D is for Dumb

Dude, how dumb can you get? On 103.5's Drex in the Morning show, a man called in to boast about an $81,000 bank robbery. Someone working at that bank was listening to the show and called the cops who were able to get a phone number from the radio station. The caller and another man were charged for the crime which had gone unsolved, with no leads, for five months. Way to go Braggy McBrags-a-lot.

Fifteen Minutes Starting...Now!

So I'm watching my Must See TV and I see a banner scrolling across the top, advertising an open casting call for The Apprentice 4 on Saturday. Really? Fourth season? People not only still watch this show, but they actually want to be on it? Hey, I guess there could be worse ways of getting your fifteen minutes of fame. Slowdown has all the info.

Roger Ebert: a star and a silver circle

Congratulations to Roger Ebert, who's getting (according to Feder's column) a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and an induction into the Silver Circle of the Midwest chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. What's his next move? Well, he likes taking pictures, so why not a submission to Rearview? (Thanks to none other than Rich "Svengoolie" Koz for the tip!)

Tsunami Media Relief

Chicago TV and radio stations are participating in a collective "Chicago Media Tsunami Relief Drive" for the Red Cross today. By 10am they had already raised nearly $200,000. Call 866/278-8354 to donate, or go to their special online donation page. Channel 2 also has a list of other organizations you could donate to.

Soundtrack to Our Lines

If you're heading to the airport over the next few days, you'll probably have wee bit of downtime while you're there. Lucky for you Chicago Public Radio will be serenading your ears. The station has an agreement with O'hare and Midway to be the official piped in tunes for your listening pleasure as a part of the Chicago Airport Music Program. Each featured album celebrates Chicago's great musical heritage and the current playlist features some holiday favorites. And if you hear something you'd like to know better, you can check out their featured artists online.

Sing Along to the Radio

Looking for something to do tonight? Head to the Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave., for WLUW's 4th annual Holiday Sing-Along! Join the Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Lesser Birds of Paradise, Clyde Federal, Canasta, Tijuana Hercules and the Astronomer featuring Charles Kim will perform "seasonal favorites," and host Elizabeth Conant will lead the crowd in holiday songs between acts. The merriment starts at 9pm. Admission is $10, 21 and over.

Twentyseven FM

NineFM, the "we play anything" station, has expanded onto two additional frequencies: 92.7 in the north and 92.5 in the west in addition to its original south suburban 99.9, which barely reached the North Side. There's a write-up in yesterday's Trib, and the station is getting slammed on the Radio-Info message boards.

A Christmas (Tree Ship) Story

The Weather Channel will feature Chicago in a holiday edition of its Storm Stories premiering this weekend. It's the story of the wreck of the Rouse Simmons, the "Christmas Tree ship" that brought trees across Lake Michigan to Chicago and was lost in a storm in 1912. (Incidentally, Storm Stories is produced in Chicago.) "The Christmas Tree Ship: A Holiday Storm Story" premieres Sunday at 8:00pm (CT).

Third Coast Turkey Day

Those uninterested in the marathon of football on Thanksgiving might want to turn on the radio and listen to the Third Coast Audio Festival's presentation of the 2004's winning programs. The show runs 9-11am on WBEZ -- check here for stations and times outside of Chicago.

Is Wal-Mart Good For America?

We have discussed whether Wal-Mart is right for Chicago many times on Gapers Block. Read columnist Ramsin Canon's Kill the Juggermart and his Part 2 follow-up for an overview. Then, watch Frontline tonight on PBS as the program asks "Is Wal-Mart Good for America?"

WGN Weather Blog

I was excited when I read that WGN's new Weather Blog would give a "behind the scenes" view of the weather. But so far the majority of entries seem to just be lifted from the Trib's weather page -- and not a single picture of Tom Skilling's cat! But hey, it's on MT and has RSS.

The controversial Judge

The Reader and I are thinking alike today. We both wrote about a Cook County election issue that's been getting an underground push lately: judicial retention and circuit court Judge Susan McDunn. Since the Reader's story isn't online, you can check out my summary of the issues to see why you might want to consider voting "no" on Judge McDunn. As we told you a few weeks ago, you can go to VoteForJudges.org for more information on judicial retention candidates and evaluations in Cook County.

Clout-Heavy Schadenfreude

Chicago Public Radio's sketch comedy show, Schadenfreude, will feature some interesting guests for their election special: The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Congresspeople Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Jan Schakowsky. Tune in at 8pm Sunday to see what goofy things Jan and the Jacksons say!

Rest in Peace, John

Arguably the world's most influential radio DJ, John Peel has sadly passed away while on vacation in Peru. Redefining the medium for an incredible four decades, Peel consistently championed new music from up-and-coming Chicago bands — such as Shellac, Tortoise, Braniac, and Labradford — and gave them an outlet on his now seminal Radio 1 program. Pulling from a variety of genres, both new and old, Peel's uncompromising, independent aesthetic served as an inspiration to music fans everywhere. Tributes are being compiled here; you can also submit a request for the BBC to air your favorite Peel Session.

Muslims Take to the Airwaves

Radio Islam is a one-hour Muslim talk show broadcast at 6pm on 1450 AM. The show, which debuted Oct. 1, has been very popular, and plans are afoot to take it national. Listen to a profile of the program on NPR's "All Things Considered," or check out the show's archives online (Windows Media Player required).

Chicago's Sound Experiment

Despite being located in Evanston, Northwestern University's student-run radio station, WNUR 89.3 FM, holds a unique spot in Chicago's musical history. Not only does it compete with many of the big boys in terms of physical range, but it provides an honest alternative to the drab, commercial options that populate much of the FM dial. Weekdays are a perfect showcase of WNUR's genre diversity, featuring everything from Jazz and Blues to Experimental and World Music. After 9:30 PM, a nearly 20 year old portion of programming begins, focusing on electronic, hip hop, and dance-oriented music. Be sure to tune into Clinically Inclined and Subsystence Radio, two of the city's most tenured house and techno broadcasts.

CBS wipes Chicago off the map

Chicago is the setting for a new CBS disaster movie that airs next month. "Category 6: Day of Destruction" depicts the Windy City getting hit with a "perfect storm" caused by a number of smaller storms meeting in Chicago (no doubt at a convention at McCormick Place). And yes, of course it wasn't filmed in Chicago (Winnipeg stands in for us), so don't expect to see your own house or apartment building being blown away. The movie airs on Sunday, November 14 and Wednesday, November 17. (Because a Chicago disaster can't be contained to just ONE evening!)

Batching It at Crobar

So, you want to be on reality TV? Here's your chance: ABC's "The Bachelor" is looking for the next bachelor and 25 bachelorettes tonight at Crobar, 1543 North Kingsbury. If you RSVP to info@exactevents.com right away, you can get on the list for free admission before midnight and an audition to be on the show. Show up between 9pm and 11pm -- good luck!

It Started With A Curse

Did you know that WLS's first ever broadcast started with a curse from actress Ethel Barrymore? Or that Sears once sold WLS brand tubes for your radio? I did thanks to WLS History, a site filled with hardcore trivia and loads of photos lovingly maintained by radio guy Scott Childers. (Note: old-school navigation.)

Late Night with Found Magazine

Crank up the ole Zenith, Found Magazine's Davy Rothbart will be on "the Late Show with David Letterman" again tonight. And speaking of Found, they're going to be at the Hideout this Sunday for two shows presenting their wonderful collection of found items, at 7pm and 9:30pm.

"Check, Please!" Goes Franchise

Crain's Chicago Business reports [log-in available at BugMeNot] that the creators of Channel 11's hit show "Check, Please!" are planning to launch the show in other cities, including San Francisco and New York. "There's no reason why we can't be in a half-dozen markets," said creator David Manilow. There are apparently more than 9,000 people on the waiting list to be on the show.

What Artists Listen To

Ever wonder what music art students listen to? Well, even if you haven't, check out Radio Free SAIC, the School of the Art Institute's student-run Internet radio station. (Of course, you'll have to wait till you get home; the station mostly airs in the evening.)

Oprah shares the wealth

One good reason to go to an Oprah Winfrey show taping: you might get some free stuff. The audience for the premiere show of her 19th season, for example, was surprised when Oprah handed out a new car to everyone. The cars were donated by Pontiac.

Last Chance to Pledge

Tonight at midnight the final bell tolls for the fiscal year at Chicago Public Radio. So you only have a handful of hours left to pledge them some dough, and help them balance the books while providing excellent programming this year. Oh, you can also win a trip to Hawaii to see David Sedaris read from his latest book. If you don't win, at least you'll have that warm fuzzy "helpful" feeling all winter long.

New Shows Set in Chicago

The entertainment world is buzzing today that Chicago could play host to two new police dramas being developed by the executive producer of "Third Watch." Edward Allen Bernero, a former Chicago police officer, wants to tape both shows in the city, and pilots for the dramas may film here in the spring.

Support Your Indie Radio

If you listen to Chicago Public Radio, you've probably heard their requests for donations to help meet their budget for fiscal 2004, which ends August 31. But little WLUW is also desperate for dough -- their pledge drive is on now. This year's premiums include a full line of... bath products?

Radio Free Chicago

Fans of WLUW probably remember Radio Free Chicago, a show about the local music scene that ran on Thursday nights for six years. RFC has returned, albeit in a very different form: as a blog. They've kicked it off with a closer look at WRZA, aka "Nine FM."

Be On TV!

Though the timeless Jenny Jones is no longer on the air, if you want to be in the audience in Chicago, you still have a few options. The Oprah Winfrey Show gives free tickets to tapings. And nothing is a better than the cultural heights reached by the Jerry Springer Show, also filmed in Chicago. If you'd rather be at the front of the stage with Jerry, here's a list of their upcoming topics.

More Oprah

Oprah Winfrey has signed a contract to continue her Chicago-based talk show through the year 2011, which would be the show's 25th year in syndication.

The Wall on PBS

In 1990, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd and a host of others staged a live performance of The Wall in Berlin. This Sunday, Channel 11 will be airing the concert - incredibly the first time the performance has been broadcast in the U.S. The Wall - Berlin 90 will also be simulcast on the Loop 97.9 FM. The event begins at 9pm.

Hi Bob!

Furthering the tradition of littering the Boule Mich with pop culture, TV Land is erecting a statue of Bob Newhart outside 430 N. Michigan, the setting of the popular '70s sitcom that bore his name, at the end of this month. Perhaps in a few years we'll get statues of Bozo and Dr. Mark Greene, too. [Thanks, Dee]

25 years of Svengoolie

The Tribune has a write-up today on Rich Koz, who has been dressing up as horror movie show host Svengoolie since 1979. Today Koz is honored with the Silver Circle Award from the Chicago chapter of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and tomorrow night on Channel 26, a Svengoolie 25th anniversary special will air, with plenty of clips from past years and a classic horror film (The Screaming Skull) to show as the main feature.

"We Play Anything"

WRZA-FM, 99.9 on your radio dial, changed formats yesterday. It's now known as Nine FM, and is playing a mix of rock, pop, hip-hop and soul. We'll have to see if WXRT, who used to play "everything in no particular order." (No word on whether RZA will have anything to do with the station.)

Obit: journalist Vernon Jarrett

About a week after veteran Chicago anchorman Floyd Kalber died, veteran journalist Vernon Jarrett died on Sunday. Jarrett worked in TV, in radio and for three separate Chicago newspapers, but he was most proud of his work with young people, particularly the annual intellectual competition he founded for African-American high school students, ACT-SO.

Hello Beautiful

WBEZ has just introduced an onslought of excellent new programming for their revised Sunday line up. Three new shows will be airing on Sundays, including Hello Beautiful, an hour long arts and culture program hosted by Edward Lifson. The show will compile stories about local architecture, theater, poetry, painting, sculpture, literature, and more. Also a special feature that will be airing Sundays through June 6th, produced in conjunction with the chicago Blues Festival, is The Blues, The Radio Series. The series highlights special connections to Chicago Blues and this years lineup of Festival artists. All of that AND jazz with Dick Buckley from 12-3! There's really no reason to turn the radio off.

Did you say "utes"?

Next on the reality TV circuit: Who wants to be a lawyer? For the next few Sundays, from noon to 6 p.m., FOX will be holding auditions for contestants for their new "courtroom showdown" show at the Allerton Crowne Plaza, 701 N. Michigan Ave. Clean off your resume, dress sharp, brush up on your best Ally McBeal tactics, and you should be good to go.

Mancow's least favorite listener

The Wall Street Journal reports on Chicagoan David Smith, who's been listening to Mancow's show since 1999 ... and has sent more than 70 complaints to the FCC, resulting in a number of fines against Mancow and Q-101. Worth checking out the article just to see a Wall-Street-Journal-type stipple portrait of Mancow.

When Anchormen Go Wild

Walter Jacobson, Channel 32's anchor and commentator, was arrested for DUI over the weekend. A cop warned him not to get into his car after he was seen stumbling out of a pizza joint; he did anyway, with predictable results. (Thanks, Claire and Jennifer.)

Funding Fishiness

Crain's reports that the budget outlook for WTTW isn't nearly as bleak as they've been leading donors to believe. Solicitation letters claimed a $1 million shortfall that needs to be plugged by the end of June, but Ch. 11's CFO says there's no shortfall at all.

Found on Late Night

Here's a reason to stay up late: The Late Show with David Letterman tonight features an interview with Davy Rothbart, one of the founders of Found Magazine (which is co-based here and in Ann Arbor, MI). Davy will be showing Dave some of the bizarre and interesting things people have found and sent in to the magazine.

Air America off AGAIN?

As part of the settlement stemming from Air America being kicked off the air in Chicago last week, it appears that the network will cease broadcasting on WNTD-950 AM in Chicago on April 30th. So now the network is looking for a new home in the city. Radio insiders pick WONX-1590 AM as a likely next home for Air America. Time to change your preset radio settings...

The Futon Critic

There are plenty of places to read pithy recaps of your favorite TV shows, but for hard data on how the networks are doing and whether that dumb sitcom will make it through the season, head to The Futon Critic. This Chicago-based site gathers programming news, provides DVD release dates for your favorite shows and offers network-by-network analysis. Everything the serious TV watcher needs.

Air America back!

The Tribune reports that Air America radio has won a temporary rerstraining order, allowing them to be broadcast on WNTD-950 AM in Chicago once again. The network expects to resume broadcasting on Friday.

Air America gone already?

If you've been listening to the newly-formed Air America Radio network here in Chicago, you might have noticed that the network's programming wasn't running on the Chicago affiliate station this morning. The Tribune reports that Air America is already having trouble covering its bills, and owes more than $1 million to the owner of affiliates WNTD-950 AM in Chicago and KBLA-1580 AM in Los Angeles. (Update: Air America tells its side of the story.)

Chicago Might Be Hired

It's down to two contestants on "The Apprentice" -- Kwame from New York and Bill from Chicago. Regardless of who you pulled for early on, it's time to support the home-town boy. Catch the finale next Thursday.

SCTV by Any Other Name

The Tribune reports that a soon-to-debut cable network, Stand-up Comedy Television, is in trouble with Second City over the acronym SCTV. The locally produced network uses the acronym, which Second City holds a trademark on for the Canadian sketch comedy show of the same name.

This week in talk radio

In today's Sun-Times, Robert Feder reports that the Rev. Jesse Jackson is starting a talk show hosting gig on various Clear Channel station's including WGCI (1930 AM) in Chicago. The show, called "Keep Hope Alive," will focus on "issues of cultural, political and religious significance." And in other talk show radio news, the liberal talk radio network Air America Radio, featuring Al Franken, starts broadcasting today at noon. Chicago's WNTD (950 AM) is one of the five radio stations broadcasting the programming; it'll also be broadcast on XM satellite radio.

Art on the Radio

WBEZ is looking for local artists for an upcoming series on 848 and Arts. In particular, they're looking for people in their early 20s who are "pushing the boundaries of music, theater, art, and previously unheard of new forms of culture." Get the full details by clicking on

Friends, colleagues,

Are you hip? If not, do you know anyone who can help us?

We're looking for people creating a fresh and original buzz in the local cultural scene. Folks around 20-24 years old.

We're looking for young, talented, trailblazing artists and others in the process of redefining an art form -- or inventing new forms of expression. People pushing the boundaries of music, theater, art, and previously unheard of new forms of culture.

Why? To complement Julia McEvoy's 'Next Generation - Chicago Matters' series, Arts and 848 will air a week of programming on Local Artists: The Next Generation.

The 5 days of programming are scheduled to air May 10 to 14, from 10:06 to 10:30.

We want to present a diverse group of people who have made at least one mark on the scene, but who are at the beginning of their output, and who will bring us fresh perspectives.

We want to hear from them about culture - what culture is to them, what it means to them, where they encounter or experience or create it, how they create or experience it, what the obstacles are, what the satisfactions and joys are; what they think of previous generations etc.

First we'll convene the group of young people who fit the above description, and hear from them at the outset of our planning.

That will help us shape our series.

So, we need your help. If you know anyone who could give us interesting thoughts on how and what we should present in our series, please have them e-mail me at Elifson@chicagopublicradio.org.

We expect our series to be recorded roundtable discussions, full of music, produced profiles, theater scenes, essays, writing passages, visits to cultural venues and studios and a lot more.

Thank you,

Edward

Edward Lifson
Editor
Arts, Architecture and Culture
Chicago Public Radio
91.5 FM WBEZ
Tel. 312.948.4731

190 North

This past Sunday's episode of 190 North, the show where Janet Davies and her friends take you to all the 'cool' places around Chicago, featured a tour of the Chicago Pedway. Um, yeah. The episode will re-air on Sunday, February 29 at 11:00 am.

Buy Some Broadcast History

Have you always wanted a framed production still of a "Cagney and Lacey" episode? How 'bout a large wall graphic of Fibber McGee and Molly? Now's your chance, friend! The Museum of Broadcast Communications is having a garage sale to raise money for its new building, scheduled to open in 2005. The sale will be held March 6 at the MBC's previous home, The Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, from noon to 8 pm.

Pledge Time

It's pledge time again for your favorite independent radio station, WLUW. Donate $35 or more and get the basic member package; give $60+ and get an Archer Prewitt-designed t-shirt (etc. -- you know how it works).

Marin Returning to NBC?

Carol Marin may return to Channel 5, according to Crain's. She's in negotiations with the station to come back as a special correspondent (her old co-anchor Ron Majers joined WLS Ch.7 as a "special correspondent" and ended up anchoring again a couple years later, so for fans, this is pretty good news.

School-time Radio

Chicago has one of the most interesting radio spectrums in the country, ranging from religious broadcasts to Spanish language sports coverage to such narrow musical niches as "smooth jazz." Several schools, at both the university and high school level, also compete with the commercial stations for your attention. For a list, click on...

A note about frequencies: Many of these stations overlap; because they're so low-frequency (usually 100 Watts or less) they don't cover much ground -- chances are you won't hear them if you're more than a couple miles from the transmitter -- so more than one station can easily share the same spot on the radio dial.

On the high school front:
• Elgin Public Schools: WEPS, 88.9 FM
• Evanston Township HS: WKR, (cable/Internet only)
• Glenbrook North & South: WGBK, 88.5 FM
• Hinsdale South: WHSD, 88.5 FM
• Homewood-Flossmoor HS: WHFH, 88.5 FM
• Lyons Township HS (LaGrange): WLTL, 88.1 FM
• Maine Township HS (Park Ridge): WMTH, 90.5 FM (8 Watts strong!)
• New Trier: WNTH, 88.1 FM
• Downers Grove HS: WDGC, 88.3 FM
Colleges:
• Columbia College: WCRX, 88.1 FM
• College of DuPage: WDCB, 90.9 FM
• Elmhurst College: WRSE, 88.7 FM
• Illinois Institute of Technology: WIIT, 88.9 FM
• Lake Forest College: WLFC, 88.9 FM (formerly WMXM)
• Lewis University: WLRA, 88.1 FM (no site)
• Loyola University: WLUW, 88.7 FM
• Kennedy-King College: WKKC, 89.3 FM
• Moody Bible Institute: WMBI, 90.1 FM / 1110 AM
• Northeastern Illinois University: WZRD, 88.3 FM
• Northwestern University: WNUR 89.3 FM
• North Central College: WONC, 89.1 FM
• St. Xavier University: WXAV, 88.3 FM
• Triton College: WRRG, 88.9 FM
• University of Chicago: WHPK, 88.5 FM
• UIC: WUIC, 89.5 FM
• University of St. Francis (Joliet): WCSF, 88.7 FM
• Wheaton College: WETN, 88.1 FM
Also of interest is Radio Arte, WRTE 90.5 FM, run by the Mexican Fine Arts Museum.

Liberal Air Waves

Al Franken's much anticipated liberal radio program for Progress Media will air on Chicago's WNTD-AM 950, sources say. It is the company's first confirmed radio distribution deal. No launch date was disclosed. Franken said in an interview that he will have a co-host, whom he declined to identify, and that the show will include a mix of guests, produced comedy and listener calls. Get those dials ready, folks!

What Are You, A Comedian?

Think you're funny, do ya? Here's your opportunity to show America just how funny you are: NBC's "Last Comic Standing" reality show/contest will hold open auditions at 10am on Thursday, January 29, at Zanies Comedy Club, 1548 N. Wells. For more information, call Zanies at 312/337-4027.

The Votes are In

...and tonight is WXRT's Listener Poll special on the best music from 2003. Listen in from 7-9pm at 93.1 FM. Or, you know, don't.

Chic-a-go-go!

You have to go-go to Chic-a-go-go. Why? It's Chicago's very own fantastic cable access dance show and the next taping is January 24th, 2004 from 3pm-6pm. You can dress casual, but why? Clearly this is an event for costumes. Dancers in both costumes and casual wear bust moves your grandma couldn't do to the likes of Tribe Called Quest and cheesy Lawerence Welk polkas and it's all good fun. You have to see it to believe it, check out the schedule. The show tapes at 322 S. Green Street, one block west of Halsted.

Bigger Share of a Smaller Pie

Channel 2, long the last-place finisher in the 10 o'clock news race, was the only station to gain audience in 2003. The Chicago Media Examiner takes a look at the numbers behind that gain and finds some interesting trends. In other news, the Chicago Red Face, a parody of the other Reds pubished by the brains behind CME, is going on hiatus after this week.

Gigglesnort Hotel

Chicagoans who watched Saturday morning cartoons in the mid-Seventies may recall Gigglesnort Hotel, a puppet show featuring dragons, gorillas, a blob and the Lemon Joke Kid. Bill Jackson, the creator of the show, runs DirtyDragon.com, where copies of the episodes are available (on VHS only, unfortunately.) Local blogger Michael of RealLans.com was a puppeteer on the show for two seasons, as well as for many other projects, and has memories and photos on his site.

...and was he looking sharp!

Chicago author and Neo-Futurist theater member David Kodeski was featured on today's broadcast of NPR's "All Things Considered," with a condensed version of his 1999 play "Another Lousy Day." This documentary was produced by the Chicago-based group Long Haul Productions, a spiffy bunch of producers and editors that has made stories for NPR and other broadcast outlets for over 10 years.

Star Wars holiday cheer

What can you get a Wookie for Christmas, when he already owns a comb? Find out the answer to this and other disturbing questions this Sunday night at 6:00, when Delilah's screens the almost completely unbelievable Star Wars Holiday Special (review, screenshots). Probably the only holiday special ever to star Bea Arthur, Art Carney, Jefferson Starship, and Chewbacca.

Sitcom for Former Chicago Waitresses

Two former Chicago comics / waitresses, Dana Goodman and Julia Wolov, are in discussions with the WB to appear in a sitcom pilot set in Chicago, reportedly in the vein of "Laverne & Shirley" crossed with "Absolutely Fabulous". The ladies trained at ImprovOlympic and the Annoyance Theatre before shipping out to LA to work with Adam Sandler's production company, Happy Madison.

Chicago Emmys?

Did you know there were regional Emmy awards? I sure didn't. Anyway, Robert Feder's column has the rundown of the winners, including a breakdown by TV station (not surprisingly, the big network-owned stations won the most), and the somewhat surprising news that Winsconsin stations racked up some wins (apparently it's actually the Chicago/Midwest Emmy awards, which covers territory outside the city and state limits).

Another Lousy Day

Chicago playwright David Kodeski's "Another Lousy Day" gets the public radio treatment with a premiere event Dec. 10 at Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood Ave., 7:30 pm. (Call 312-948-4800 for reservations.) In the much-acclaimed monologue, Kodeski investigates the life a South Side woman whose diaries he found in an Andersonville thrift store. Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ, 91.5) will broadcast the play on Dec. 11, at 6 pm and again on the program Eight Forty-Eighton Dec. 16, at 9:30 am. Ding!

DIY on WLUW

GB staffers Cinnamon and Amy will be on WLUW from 4pm to 6pm today talking about the DIY Trunk Show on the "Full On Friday" show. Listen in at 88.7 FM or online.

Whose democracy?

All next week, WBEZ will be airing a series of NPR programs under the title Whose Democracy Is It? This series of programs will cover a series of topics related to the political process, from the various voting machines used in elections, to various tapes recorded by US Presidents throughout history, to the daunting task of taking on Chicago's "political machine" to fight for one's cause. The programs will air Monday through Friday mornings at 11:00.

Sound Opinions on TV

Sound Opinions, "the world's only rock'n'roll talk show," airs every Tuesday night at 11pm on WXRT (93.1 FM), but did you know it's now also on TV? Catch hosts Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis (rock critics for the Trib and Sun-Times, respectively) on WTTW Channel 11 Sunday nights at 10:30pm.

Steve Scott on NPR

Steve Scott's work isn't just reconfiguring our understanding of technocratic culture and the gray market in water in La Paz - he is quite possibly the cutest hombre ever to grace the halls of the anthropology department at the University of Chicago. And now you can hear him being interviewed on NPR about political turmoil in Bolivia. Good luck Steve - every one in Chicago hopes you are doing well and keeping yourself safe in La Paz.

Two words: Squirrel Cop.

This American Life: Crimebusters and Crossed Wires, the second volume of selected stories from WBEZ's award-winning radio program This American Life, will be in stores November 11th (although public radio stations will be using the CD as a pledge premium in October, so start saving your ducats). Along with the much celebrated "Squirrel Cop" story, the double-CD collection will include the "Greatest Phone Message of All Time" story, which ranks right up there as one of the funniest and most talked about stories that TAL has broadcast. Highly recommended.

Coupling Contoversy

Apparently, NBC's new show "Coupling," an Americanized version of a hit BBC show, is too racy for Salt Lake City and Terre Haute: stations in those religious towns canceled the show before it even aired. The show, which is set in Chicago, premiers tomorrow night; Channel 11 is running the original Coupling on Sundays at 10pm.

Fab Five in Chicago

The cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, also known as the "Fab Five", are in Chicago today taping an Oprah show. Keep your eye out for the guys. Incidentally, the food & wine guy, Ted Allen, is from Rogers Park here in Chicago.

Monkee Mania!

There's nothing quite like turning on WLUW 88.7 and finding not just Monkees songs, but entire Monkees episodes being broadcast. It's still going on, so check it out if you enjoy the non-Beatles. Dig!

Svengoolie after dark!

Robert Feder reports that Chicago's very own horror movie TV host, Svengoolie, will be moving his program from Saturday afternoons to Saturday nights, where a horror movie host belongs.

Local, Independent Radio

If you're like me, you get tired of hearing the same forty songs over and over so you probably don't listen to the radio very often. But, there are two radio stations which provide hours of commercial-free, varied programming. WLUW located on the Loyola University campus in Rogers Park, pumps out hours of music that isn't overplayed, commercial rock. WBEZ is located on Navy Pier and is the only Chicago station that provides National Public Radio programming. Both stations fiscal year ends on Sunday. WLUW needs to raise $25,000 and WBEZ needs to raise $346,000. Go give them a hand and a couple bucks.

Radiohead DJ Q101!

While you're listening to your favorite band, have you ever wondered what they listen to? This afternoon from 5 to 6pm, Radiohead will play DJ on Q101 (101.1 FM on your radio dial), spinning whatever they want off their mp3 players.

Nude Hippo

Nude Hippo, "Your Chicago Show," broadcasts its 100th episode Thursday night. Catch the special 2-hour episode of the magazine-style show from 7-9pm on Cable Channel 25.

WTTW Chapter 11?

WTTW, our beloved public TV station, is in dire financial straits as the recent "Network Chicago" rebranding has failed, Jim Kirk reported in yesterday's Tribune Magazine. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

My inside connection tells me that Ted Allen of Bravo's new makeover show for guys Queer Eye for the Straight Guy happens to live in Rogers Park with his longtime partner.

Chicago's Traffic Diva's

Chicago's Traffic Divas is a group of traffic reporters for area radio and TV stations who have gotten together to create a calendar to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It's a little late in the year, but you can still make your mechanic happy and give to charity, too.

Capone's Furniture

In this edition of old school Cribs, we present you with a small 7-piece set of art deco furniture that Mae and Al Capone owned back in the day. I can imagine Al telling Mae in that dresser mirror, "Doll, you're my moll."

Gold Coast NIMBYs beat reality TV

The producers of the reality show "Starting Over" have bowed to pressure from Gold Coast residents and moved to another neighborhood on the North Side, according to BackStage.

Top Model

So that trashy UPN show, "America's Next Top Model?" The winner's from around here -- Joliet, to be exact.

TAL Copies TMLMTBGB

This American Life, our public radio powerhouse, is taking a page from the Neo-Futurists' ongoing theatre experiment, "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind," and attempts to present 30 stories in 60 minutes. Tune in at 7pm Friday or 1pm Saturday (or visit their site next week for RealAudio) to see if they succeed.

They want YOU!

Ever wanted to be part of a "live studio audience?" Many television shows filmed in Chicago are looking for a viewing audience. For details, visit Metromix's site.

Twilight Zone in Chicago

Don't adjust your dial: Bob Feder reports that Chicago will be entering the Twilight Zone once again with the debut at midnight July 5 of the Twilight Zone Radio Dramas on WGN. Oddly enough, the show is produced by Schaumburg-based Falcon Picture Group, but other than a small AM station in Harvard they've had no pick-up in their home market until now.

"Starting Over" Off to Bad Start

The new reality TV show "Starting Over," from the producers of The Real World, will follow six down-on-their-luck women try to straighten out their lives. However, the producers may have to start over themselves: some of the neighbors of the Gold Coast greystone the show will be filmed in have filed suit, claiming violations of zoning laws and renovation beyond what has been licensed. (In related news, Palatine native Mallory Snyder is one of the inmates cast members of Real World Paris, which debuted this week on MTV.)

Winnetka Teen on ABC Family

The Brendan Leonard Show is debuting Monday, May 26th on the ABC Family cable network, airing at 5:30pm. Brendan Leonard, a 19-year-old Winnetka resident, is the creator, executive producer and star of the cult show he originally created as a high school sophomore for Chicago cable access Channel 19. It is being described as the first show to be produced, directed and written entirely by teens. Read more in the Evanston Review.

Real World vs. Chicago, part deux

If you think you're too cool for Elimidate (see below), the Reader reports that The Real World is holding an open casting call on Tuesday the 27th, at White Star. Only open to those between 18 and 24, because if you're 25 or older, you are dead to MTV. The new city hasn't been announced yet, but they're most likely never coming back here after people were so nice last time. If you want to audition, you masochist you, there's more info at Bunim-Murray Productions.

Bachelor picks a Chicagoan

Andrew Firestone chose Chicagoan Jen over Tampa-based Kristen in the finale of The Bachelor. The Sun-Times' Paige Wiser says, "Of course, the real winner is Andrew, who now has an excuse to spend more time in Chicago."
[Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Architecture & Sex

Look out your window. Towards the Loop. Is that skyline getting... sexier? WBEZ says yeah, maybe it is. The report is part of 'BEZ's ongoing series, Speaking of Sex.

Poundy on Radio

Chicago blogger Wendy McClure of Poundy.com fame will be on the "Read 'Em and Weep with Bronwyn C." show on WFMU, 91.1 FM in the NYC listening area, next Wednesday, May 14th from 7pm - 8pm, to talk about her ever-popular 1970s Weight Watchers recipe cards. Expect hilarity. Set your dials or catch it online.

Dave Elfving, Alicia Frantz on NPR

Our very own Dave Elfving as well as our friend Alicia Frantz appeared on NPR's Morning Edition. The online version is here. Dave's audio entries are here. There used to be much more but he's taken most of them down and left you with a selection of "The best of". Alicia's sounds are at Audible Frequency. Don't be fooled by the props that I got, I'm still, I'm still Chicago from the block.

TAL paint-by-numbers

If you ask nicely, you might still be able to get a set of This American Life paint-by-numbers kits depicting the classic Squirrel Cop story and 24 Hours At The Golden Apple, for a pledge of $150 or more to WBEZ. Hurry!

 

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