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June 12, 2009

VAN PRAAGH-DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE

You may recall we interviewed James Van Praagh on the show last week. His appearance always generates a lot of feedback. The "behind the scenes story" is that he asked the make-up artist "Is that &*%$# Potash going to interview me?"
"Why do you call him that?" the make-up artist inquired.
"Because he's not a believer!" said Van Praagh.
(How spiritual of him.)
There's an old saying: "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."
No "psychic has ever passed scientific scrutiny."
Van P claims his "ability" is beyond scientific scrutiny.
Oh really?
I suppose that's fine if there are no consequences to his predictions...but would you get on a plane built on "intuition?" Would you let someone who didn't go to heart-surgery school to perform heart surgery on you based on the info he was channeling from the greatest heart surgeons in heaven?

The Center for Inquiry West in California offers $50,000 to anyone who can prove paranormal ability. Chicago native Jim Underdown, of the CFI would welcome Van Praagh to take a short drive to Hollywood and win the money.
"If he says he doesn't need it or do that for money," said Underdown, "ask him how much he charges for a reading."

People like to pass of "intuition" as supernatural. It's not.

"Intuition can be explained scientifically in terms of thoughts, experiences and memories that may give subconcious clues to a person about another person or situation," Underdown said. "If Van Praagh is hearing info from an alleged other realm, that info should be accurate all the time."


Below is what the CFI hands out to audience members when psychics come to town:

James Van Praagh’s "powers" may not be what they seem. Here are some simple hints you can use to evaluate his performance.
1. Demand Specifics
a. Mary is not Margaret, Marie, or Maria

2. Count the Missed Guesses
a. The correct guesses pale when compared to the wrong answers

3. Beware of Generalities
a. Most people in a given culture experience fairly similar lives

4. Be Conscious of Giving Information When Being Read
a. If a psychic asks questions, you are giving the answers, not him or her

5. Watch for a Shift in Direction
a. Do they jump to another subject when they hit a dead end?

6. Ask for Last Names
a. Everyone knows a John, a Mike, a Sue, a Mary or a Pat

7. Don’t React!
a. Psychics use your visual clues to assess if they’re on the right track

8. Who, Specifically, is the Guess Aimed at?
a. A guess directed at couples or groups is more likely to be correct

9. Remember Why People Go to Psychics
a. Psychics are like police stations, psychiatry offices and hospitals – most people go there with a problem. Love, money, job, health, grief are the most common reasons, and psychics know this.


Here's THE CFI fake test which reveals some tricks...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6911186994223979328

May 14, 2009

WE'VE MOVED!

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After a couple months of work, WGN has finally upgraded all of our blogs! Woo hoo!

You can now visit our new and improved Morning News Blog here: http://weblogs.wgntv.com/wgn-morning-news-blog/

You can also get to our blog from the wgntv.com website at www.wgntv.com/morningnews.

Q. But what about your old posts? I love watching Pat's crazy antics.

A. Not to worry. If you can't get enough of our old posts, you can still view them here on the old blog. It won't go anywhere. But to get all our latest posts, you'll want to visit our new blogs.

Thanks for watching WGN!

May 1, 2009

COMPLAINTS ABOUT SWINE FLU COVERAGE

To all those who complained on FACEBOOK that we are sensationalizing swine flu I would say the sense of panic is simply up to the media consumer. If you watch news for 3 hours on five different channels---yes---you will see a lot of swine flu coverage. But we feel like most people catch a half-hour of news, and in that half-hour we'll give you as much info and perspective as possible. It never fails. If we did very little... and this mysterious strain suddenly became more severe, than people would light up our phone lines complaining "why didn't anyone tell me."
Remember--you could live in China where everything is rainbows and candy canes because the government controlled media can't tell you when there is something wrong.
In the end, you can always shut the TV off.

April 24, 2009

WHAT THE OTHER SHOWS DON'T SHOW

You've probably seen WMAQ's pathetic attempt at a Friday Dance, a segment we started here more than a decade ago. Where we incorporate humorous clips from our show, MAQ simply has their staff stand around and dance for the longest two minutes you've ever experienced.
Sadly, they're doing what other stations are doing in Cincinatti and even smaller markets. It is forced. It's lame. It is nothing like what we do and the reason they don't show a montage of fun clips is because they have none to show. There show is void of anything fun or suprising.
Here is a sample of my running list of actual clips from the last month.
It gives you an idea of what you might miss if you tune into channels 7, 5, or Fox (I dont' include 2 because I already know you are not watching them.)

Man in funny hat swigs liquor in demo set
Producer dressed as leprechaun
Senior citizens dancing
Robin’s magic balls drop
Negovan grabbing woman’s breast
Larry rides motorcycle
Robin& Larry dressed in pink leotard, dancing and waving banner
People trying to kill Pat
Gopher rides car
Xanadu
Wink Winkle gets knee in crotch
Ronny Woo Woo
Jerry lewis spits water
Skilling in drag

April 17, 2009

CUBSMOBILE

Viewer Mike Larmon was nice enough to help us with our famous Weather in a Minute stunt Thursday morning. His Cubmobile used to be a taxi in the Philippines or something like that. I nearly took out one of the WGN salespeople’s BMW with the side car.

It’s available for block parties, or bar mitvahs. You can contact him at his office, at Action Ozone Inc. 847-683-7505.

larrydriving.jpg
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September 26, 2008

A COLLECTION OF CUBS WEIRDNESS

This week we featured HOODOO, a book about Cubs curses, bad luck and general weirdness. With the tenacity of an investigative reporter, Grant Deporter sifts through an archive of material to find stories of superstition that add color to the story of the Cubs last championship season, and some insight to what might be the foundation of Cubs culture. This treasured collection of artistic newspaper cartoon sketches give us a unique perspective on Chicago baseball history.



September 19, 2008

THIS WEEK

In case you missed it...
We had a woman on Thursday who does everything Oprah tells her to---buys her books, clothes, etc.
As were going to break, I asked her, "What overall grade would you give Oprah's advice?"
We went to commercial before she could answer.
Her grade?
"C."
Who says mediocrity doesn't pay?

Also....at the end of our KNOW YOUR PLAYMATE game show, we had a group hug finale with Hugh Hefner's main squeeze, Holly Madison. What you may have missed, is that in our group hug, someone lost something out of their shirt. I'm not sure if you'll be able to tell in the clip posted on our morning show site.

-Next week's game show: Know Your Latin Lovers
-A new book about the Cubs
-and Paul and I are on a mission to win one viewer at a time when we meet a young woman in the grocery store, who doesn't watch our show


August 15, 2008

TOP 5 MOMENTS OF THE WEEK

In case you missed it...here are the top 5 moments from THIS WEEK ON WGN MORNING NEWS.

5//Through the magic of television, Bob Jordan and Tom Negovan climbed ''Mount Everest''.

4//ANA pretended to play giddy-up on a fake horse.

3//In our Olympic Reenactment segment, one of our senior engineers gave us a peek at Michael Phelps accomplishments.

2//In a death-defying stunt, meteorologist Tim McGill leaped over a chair wearing tight shorts.

1//Dean hugged and kissed Florence Henderson


July 11, 2008

FRIDAY MORNING

If you missed today's show---you didn't miss much. Another dull day.
But, if you have any complaints, please feel free to post them here.
It's cheaper than market research.

Continue reading "FRIDAY MORNING" »

Happens to the best of us

May 31, 2008

Is James Van Praagh for real?

I received emails in response to James Van Praagh’s appearance Thursday at 8. He’s the guy who claims he can talk to your deceased grandmother. You may remember he had a show on WGN a few years back. I can see it now. Van Praagh asking the audience, "My sixth sense tells me there’s a John here? There is? A-ha!"
There is no shortage of people trying to make a fortune reading your fortune.

You might think that with the cameras rolling on a “psychic” TV show, we’d finally find out once and for all whether this legendary power exists. But don’t be fooled.

Jim Underdown of the Center for Inquiry-West and hsi team of investigators did an expose of Van Praagh’s and John Edward’s syndicated TV shows a few years ago.

"We recorded everything in studio and compared it to what aired. They were substantially different in the accuracy. They’re getting rid of the wrong guesses," Underdown said. "Once you pull back the curtain and see how it’s done, it’s not impressive at all."

While some psychics are clearly frauds, there are many others who believe they have some power—though they never have been tested under controlled conditions.

If self-proclaimed psychics have any real ability, they should contact Underdown. His organization will award $50,000 to anyone who can demonstrate psychic ability under scientific testing.

Psychics don’t seem to rely on their "powers" to detect their own cancer--they go to the doctor, like the rest of us. They don’t predict when the train will arrive--they look at the train schedule. And even psychics (along with everyone else) can guess correctly now and then. But under scientific scrutiny, and incorporating statistical probability, no psychic has met the test.

In the end, the psychic phenomenon you see on TV will only be an illusion, much like it is in real life.


May 2, 2008

FRIDAY DANCE

As reported earlier, stations across the country have stolen our Friday Dance segment (even though we’ve been doing it for 10 years.) Now it’s getting out of hand. Today, Fox32 is doing a Friday Dance. Recently, WMAQ added a live version, joining the trend across the country. All of these versions are incredibly lame, because they have no funny clips to use in their segments. They’re doing the typical stories about carjackings, and interviews about osteoperosis.

It’s flattering that our competitors watch us to see what they should be doing. But, if you want to see the real thing, tune to the old number 9 Monday through Friday 5-9am. As long as they’re spying on us, I hope they don’t steal our ideas for May:

-The state budget director’s analysis of office supplies expenditures

-Julian Crews’ Fast-Food Run to Kankakee

-Bunyons: Deadly Killer?


April 4, 2008

NATIONAL HUG A NEWS ANCHOR DAY

April 4th marks the annual Hug a News Anchor Day.

You can view last year's celebration here:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=HPMJpXlfico
Today, if you hang out around State Street after lunch, you may get lucky with Ron Magers, who has very large, but soft hands.

March 28, 2008

WGN: HOME OF THE STARS

Whenever I’m speaking to high schools, or the Moose Lodge, people always ask about what it's like to interview celebrities. Interviewing Jim Carrey or Brad Pitt is fun but what’s more of a thrill for me is to interview people like Robert Hegyes and David Newall. Who???
That's Juan Epstein (Welcome Back Kotter) and Speedy McFeeley (Mr. Rogers;) two recent guests on WGN Morning News. A-list Hollywood stars impress me less than the TV friends of my childhood. Recently, Cheryl Ladd of Charlie's Angels was here and we always enjoy meeting the challenge of trying to do the interview differently than your typical Channel 7. We suprised Cheryl with a slow-motion montage of her performing different activities from Battle of the Network Stars. She hadn't seen it in years.

In the past, we’ve interviewed Mr. Kotter (Gabe Kaplan,) most members of the Brady Bunch, and my favorite, Adam West from the Batman TV series.

Still on my Most Wanted list:

Martin Milner and Kent McCord of Adam 12.

Robert Clary (LeBeau) Richard Dawson (Newkirk) of Hogan’s Heroes

Max Gail: “Wojciehowicz” of Barney Miller.

Bruce Weitz: Belker of Hill Street Blues

Larry Storch, Corp.Agarn of F-Troop

Do you have a favorite you'd like us to track down? Shoot us a message.

Thanks
Larry


:

February 21, 2008

Anchor's "Old School" Photos

Check out these "OLD SCHOOL" photos of your very own Morning News anchors!

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Larry Potash

rbaum.jpg
Robin Baumgarten

drichards.jpg
Dean Richards

pkonrad.jpg
Paul Konrad

February 14, 2008

Get in shape and raise money for charity

Many of us have dreamed of running a marathon, or completing a triathlon, or biking 100 miles.

I have not. I don't even like driving 100 miles.

But for those of you who are more self-motivated, or better yet, for those of you who are not, there's actually an organization that will train you for one of these events, offer you coaching along the way, and help you with travel accommodations if you choose a race far away.

For free.

The organization is called "Team in Training." Many Chicagoans are familiar with it, and have utilized its services. The only thing Team In Training asks for in exchange for its services, is that you help raise money for blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. And just like training for your event, Team in Training makes this easy. They'll set up a personal fund-raising website just for you.

Viewers of our show should be familiar with Team in Training. Every spring we hold our "Morning Show Showdown," where we annually get destroyed in a 4-person relay race by the other stations in town (we need to let them win SOMETHING).

While marathons and bike races aren't as prestigious as this event, they're a good place to start. Visit Team in Training's website for more information.

Thanks!

team%20in%20training.jpg


http://www.teamintraining.org/

February 13, 2008

Tomorrow on WGN Morning News . . .

Promos are some of the most effective tools we use to attract viewers in this business. Most of the promos for this show run during WGN's prime-time programming (which helps explain the high ratings we're currently enjoying), but we're always looking for other ways to promote it. So, we came up with an idea that's inexpensive and doesn't require a whole lot of work, and the bosses signed off on it immediately.

A blog-exclusive promo!

Now everyday when you log on to our blog, you will find a poorly produced, grainy home movie of Pat Tomasulo and Paul Konrad giving you a preview of the next day's show. Enjoy our first promo, and remember to check back tomorrow, as well as the day after, and the day after that, and the day after that . . .

February 11, 2008

COMING UP THIS WEEK

A few things we're working on....a woman who thinks she's Underdog.

Michael Jackson talks about the 25th anniversary of the Thriller Video (Tuesday.)

'Christopher Walken' stops by to tell you how you can help him win an award. (Wednesday)

WGN's Stagehand Dave reads love poetry for Valentine's Day (Thursday)

NIRVANA (tribute band) (Friday.)

February 1, 2008

NEXT WEEK:SUPER THURSDAY

On the board for next week....

Super Tuesday will be the big story through Wednesday.

But stay tuned for Super Thursday.

Josh Kelley will perform in our studio.

And, Paul's Mom has been part of an ongoing experiment that involves looking younger without surgery. Paul and I are putting a product to the test.


Josh Kelley

October 17, 2007

OUR PRODUCER'S TAKE ON TUESDAY'S VAN HALEN CONCERT

Concert: Great performance by the band, despite Dave forgetting the words and his voice cracking. The sound was bad, way overmodulated, couldn’t understand a lot of the lyrics drowned out by the music, perhaps to mask Dave’s loss of range? Could have been the venue, I’ve never seen a concert at the Allstate. Hopefully it’s better at the UC Thursday night. Biggest crowd pleasers seemed to be Hot for Teacher, Jamie’s Cryin’, Panama and the encore, Jump (with piped in synthesizer). I've been to four Stones concerts and saw the Police over the summer, and this is the first one where I didn't notice anyone sitting down during any part of the show.

Van Halen Mike
During Alex Van Halen’s drum solo, the rest of the band left the stage, and Alex continued for several minutes, it occurred to me that they may have just broken up again, given the way things change from minute to minute with the band, and that Sammy Hagar just might come out to finish the show.

Dave and Eddie: Seemed to enjoy themselves, gave each other a hug at the beginning to establish that "yes, we *are* getting along." Danced around each other a bit. I think Dave would act the same goofy way at Eddie’s funeral. People may make fun of how old they look, but I thought they looked like they were in great shape for 50-year-old guys. Most of us could only hope we look so good at that age.

Dave: He’s the ultimate showman: Part rock star, part circus ringmaster and part jazzercise instructor.

-This is the big stage he’s wanted for the last twenty years and you could tell he was just giddy by the permanent smile on his face – almost like the Joker on Batman.

-Nobody has worn a top hat as well as him since Abraham Lincoln, and no guy can pull off wearing a silk scarf like he can.

-He forgot the words a couple of times, most notably in Dance the Night Away – he blatantly admitted in the middle of the song "I forgot the (expletive) words."

Eddie: In case we had forgotten, this tour will re-establish Eddie as the top guitarist of our generation. He can do amazing things with a guitar.

However, his solo was excruciatingly long, about ten minutes of "indulge the genius that is me." Earlier in the show, he and Wolfgang did one of those obligatory guitar player "slide on the knees" moves. But it seemed like it was in slow motion, like Eddie may have been a bit tentative, concerned about coming up with a torn ACL or something. He had a lot of energy, was running around the stage like a teenager and seemed to be so proud that his son was up there playing with him.

Wolfgang: He seemed to do a competent job on bass. Apparently Valerie Bertinelli isn’t sharing her Jenny Craig with him. While his dad was shirtless, he looked somewhat goth with his dark clothes and hooded sweat shirt, sweating profusely perhaps trying shed that baby fat.

Alex: He’s looking more like Keith Richards these days, but kicked butt on drums.

Crowd: Average age: 43.7 (that’s the kind of in-depth research I do for this show).

The mullet was back and I spotted a *guy* with feathered hair. My wife suggested I was jealous.

Extras: T-shirts cost $35, bumper stickers that said "I can barely see the road" $10. Beer $7.25, lines way too long, so buy two at a time. Parking $15.

MIKE

September 7, 2007

DANNY DEVITO

We received some feedback about Thursday's interview with Danny DeVito and his unfamous co-star. They were pitching a DVD release of DeVito's "ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA."
The interview was awkward, to say the least.
Behind the scenes, we were promised Danny DeVito but when it was showtime, DeVito told his peeps that he would not do the interview unless his co-star was involved in the interview.
We reluctantly agreed, but intended to focus on Devito.
Right out of the box, the unfamous co-star starts babbling and won't stop talking, while he and DeVito wave their DVD's in the air and read endorsements about how great it is. I think most people in our line of work resent when guests turn our show into the celebreties own personal home shopping network.
So Dean, Robin and I sat there staring, and wondering when they'd stop telling people to buy their DVD, and instead, explain why this production, which few people have heard of, is worthy of our $29.95.
You think DeVito would've pulled that stunt on The Today Show? I doubt it. Unlike other shows, we don't mind calling the stars out on their own red carpet.
"So if it's so great then why haven't we heard about it?" I asked. "I took an internal poll here in the studio and no one has heard of it."
I don't think Danny liked that question and implied maybe we're not that cool in Chicago. Through WGN, you invited Danny into your living room, and he came stomping through with the grace of Louie DePalma. Thanks Danny---thanks for nothin'.

August 10, 2007

Chicagoland All Star Classic Basketball Game

It's not an all-star break but it is an All Star Weekend in Chicago . Some of the best-of-the-best NBA superstars will be converging on the city this month as the highly-anticipated Chicagoland All-Star Classic basketball game returns for its 6th anniversary year.

A virtual Who's Who of the basketball worlds' elite current and past performers, such as greats Antoine Walker, Corey Maggette, Michael Finley, Dwayne Wade, Antoine Walker, Juwan Howard, Quinton Richardson, Shawn Marion, Bobby Simmons, Nazr Muhammad, Sam Cassell, Steve Francis, Josh Smith, Stephon Marbury have participated and are invited again this year.

The 2006 classic tips-off at 4:00 p.m. Sunday, August 12th at the United Center , 1901 W. Madison St . And, best of all, it's all for charity with hosts The Support Group and Antoine Walker's 8 Foundation the beneficiaries.

With the recent shooting of school age children the event this year will hold a special "Silence the Violence" Teen Summit on Friday, August 10 @ 9:00am - 1:00pm at Julian High School . Other highlights not to be missed are performances by the new ABA Chicago Rockets Cheerleaders, local mascots "Benny the Bull" and "Chicago Sky," plus several Chicago-area acrobatic teams and dance troupes.

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Shannon Brown (a Maywood native) stopped by to talk about the game.

For more information, log onto:
http://www.thesupportgroup.org

June 22, 2007

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

M-S-N-B-C took a look at whether journalists contribute to politicians or political parties.
It looked at contribution records from the FEC and identified 144 journalists who made contributions from 2004 through the current campaign.

Here's the breakdown:

125 jouranlists gave money to the democrats.

17 contributed to the republicans.

2 journalists gave to both parties.

It should be noted that this study represents about 1% of newsroom workers.

When it comes to credibility---perception is everything. If people see me riding a bicycle built for two, with Mayor Daley, or shooting marbles with President Bush, they might have the idea that I'm good friends with those politicians, and would slant my reporting to favor them.

Journalists should know better about contributing to political campaigns.

Having said that... it does not mean that these reporters/producers cannot be fair in writing stories about politicians. As humans, we all have our own way of looking at things, but when we put on the journalist hat, we are required to be fair and balanced.

If I am covering a Hitler youth rally, I don't feel the need to slant the story so viewers don't hear the horrible ramblings of these little Nazis. Every story has two sides----and that always makes for a better story.

May 25, 2007

WHY ARE WE ALL LAUGHING TODAY?

The WGN Morning staff is laughing at page 7 of the Sun-Times, a huge add featuring our former lovers Randy Salerno and Roseanne Tellez. The ad reports "ratings up 67%*."
Note the asterisk. They're up in the 25-54 demo compared to a year ago.
It sounds impressive, until you put it in context.
They went up from a 0.2 to a 0.4 at 5am. I know you have no perspective on rating numbers but a "zero" is about as bad as it looks. When you are starting with a 0.2, you could put my divorced parents on the set reading news, and hope to get a 0.4.
Randy and Roseanne are not to blame. Not only are they are beautiful and talented, but they are dear friends and we care a great deal about both of them. Part of the problem is that you cannot just turn the Titanic like Steve McQueen spinning a Mustang during a chase scene.

Now that the May ratings book is over, let me show you the charts and graphs to give you the full perspective. Newspapers are fond of reporting the overall viewership, but well-manicured TV executives care about the advertising demos, and in those two demo categories WGN is #1 from 5am to 9am.

Here is part of the breakdown:

6AM ADULTS 25-54

WGN 2.1
WLS 2.0
MAQ 1.5
FOX 1.5

6AM OVERALL VIEWERSHIP FROM A YEAR AGO

WGN +51%
WLS -5%
MAQ -22%
FOX -31%

7-9AM ADULT DEMOS 25-54

WGN 1.8
WLS 1.5
MAQ 1.3
FOX 1.1

7-9AM OVERALL VIEWERSHIP FROM A YEAR AGO

WGN +27%
WLS -18%
MAQ +1%
FOX -13%


Furthermore, WLS was down 58% at 5am. So we call all this an ol' fashion (butt) kickin'.

I don't suspect WGN will buy an ad, give us a cake, or throw us a ticker-tape parade...but I am considering an inter-office memo.

Don't get me wrong---I don't blame Channel 2 General Manager Joe Ahern for blowing it our or proportion. You have to act like winners, even when you are losing, and I respect his competitiveness. But I just wanted to place this blog as an asterisk on the Channel 2 ad's asterisk to give loyal morning show viewers a better understanding of the competitive morning show race.

So we have won the May book and we are quite happy---at least for six more days, until the June ratings book begins and we'll go back to worrying about slipping back to being a comfortable #2 to the highly paid staff at Channel 7.

May 18, 2007

THANK YOU FOR WATCHING

An update on May viewership is in.

In the two main demographics, more people watch WGN Morning News 6-9am than any other station.

Let's look at one of those demos.

18-49 year olds:

We had 29% more viewers than channel 7 at 6am.

We had 125% more viewers than WMAQ and FOX.

(Channel 2 is way way far behind)

From 7-9am:

We had 33% more viewers than Good Morning America and The Today Show.

We had 78% more viewers than Fox.


Thank you for watching!

THE STORIES WE COULDN'T FIT TODAY

DAYCARE HIDES KIDS IN CLOSETWBIR in Tennessee reports that three crying infants were found in a utility closet next to a water heater and electrical box. It happened during a suprise inspection by the state.
The Department of Human Services reported that there was "an immediate threat to the health, safety and welfare of the children."
www.wbir.com


RIGHTS FOR SHORT AND FAT PEOPLE

Lawmakers in Massachusetts are considering complaints from people that they are being discriminated against, based on their height and weight. Massachusetts could be just the second state to bar discrimination based on height or weight.


DEEP SEA TREASURE
Deep-sea explorers said Friday they have mined what could be the richest shipwreck treasure in history, bringing home 17 tons of colonial-era silver and gold coins from an undisclosed site in the Atlantic Ocean. Estimated value: $500 million.

Court records indicate the coins might come from a 400-year-old ship found off England.

Citing security concerns, the company declined to release any details about the ship or the wreck site Friday.


May 11, 2007

WHY PEOPLE WATCH US

It was a great week for us, in terms of guests. Unlike the B-level celebrities
like Kim Fields who don't want to talk about the role that made them famous (Tootie from Facts of Life,) Eddie Money was an old-school pro Thursday. He did not insist on singing his 60's remake songs for the main segments. He was gracious enough to sing his big hits from the 70's, Baby Hold On and Two Tickets to Paradise. Not only did he sing two full segments, but he also played along in our little game show.

Today, Jane Seymour gave me a shoulder rub.

It is the unpredictability that keeps people coming back to the ol' Number 9. I mean, how many interviews on osteoperosis can you watch on The Today Show? How awkward is the phony banter on Good Morning America? The networks have become unwatchable.

This is all a way for me to back into our steady increase in viewership.
We thank you for watching. We continue to beat the Today Show and have now overtaken Good Morning America in the demographics. Fox and CBS are so far behind I cannot see them in the rear view mirror.

Just as an example... In women 25-54, we are up 107% at 6am, compared to last May.
From 6-9am, our rating is triple that of Fox.

Thanks again.

Our message of the day, comes from Chicago native Mr. T who said in a music video we played today: TREAT YOUR MOTHER RIGHT!

Happy Mother's Day

Larry Potash


ANCHORS' MOMS: GAME SHOW

In case you missed, Dean's mom, Paul's mom and my mom competed in a game show Monday called "Know Your Famous TV Mothers."

Some complained it was too difficult.

Decide for yourself and play along.


April 27, 2007

WGN PRODUCER INTERVIEW SUNDAY

An interview with morning show producer Jeff Hoover will appear Sunday on a media blog:

http://medianotebook.blogspot.com.

Jeff has played everything from Jerry Lewis to Whiting Indiana resident Cletus T. Hognut on the morning show, and used to produce for Jonathan Brandmeier.



March 9, 2007

Disney World vacation tips

WGN-MS.jpg Bruce Pecho of Niles has been to Disney World more than 40 times. Here are his top six tips to get through efficiently. He emailed me this photo and added a couple of ideas if you can't get to Disney in the spring:
Epcot Flower and Garden Show in April and May, and Epcot Food and Wine Festival in October.

Bruce’s WDW Spring Break Tips

1. Always get a park hopper pass. That way, you won’t be confined to a single theme park on any one day. If one theme park is extremely crowded, you can always hop to another park.

2. If you are a Disney hotel guest: Take advantage of the Extra Magic Mornings and Extra Magic Evenings. Only Disney resort guests get an extra hour in the morning or up to three extra hours in the evening each day in one of the theme parks. Resort guests can beat the crowds by using that exclusive time to their advantage. And since a theme park can be especially busy on an Extra Magic Day, you can leave the park during the day once it really crowds up and go to a less crowded park.

3. Get a FASTPASS very early in the day for really popular attractions, such as Expedition Everest, Splash Mountain or Soarin’. During peak season, FASTPASS tickets can run out early in the day, sometimes before noon, and then you’ll have to wait in extremely long lines in order to ride them.

4. If you want to dine in a nice, sit-down restaurant during your stay, make dining reservations now via 407-W-DISNEY. By the time you get to WDW during spring break, you may not be able to get into these restaurants because they may already be booked up.

5. Once in WDW, eat your counter service meals (fast food) at times other than during normal meal hours. Lines in these restaurants can become horrendous during normal meal times and you may waste a lot of valuable time standing in line waiting for food. During off-peak eating times, the lines will be much shorter and the eating area will be less congested and much easier to navigate.

6. Try to hit the busier attractions during a theme park’s special events (such as parades, fireworks). Lines often thin down during these special events which are viewed each day/night by thousands of guests.

-- Larry Potash

February 8, 2007

DO YOU HAVE RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONS?

Send us your love and relationship questions and perhaps we'll present them to Dr. Laura Berman Friday between 7:45 and 8am. feedback@wgntv.com or leave us a message at 773/883-3161... leave a first name and where you're calling from...

January 31, 2007

CHICAGO NUN PREDICTS SUPERBOWL

In case you missed it.... Chicago Nun, Sister Jean Kenney, who has an accuracy rate of about 80% in Superbowl predictions, says Bears 30, Colts 27. She debuted her annual poem on WGN Morning News this morning.

December 19, 2006

ENTREPENEURS SEGMENT


1.) Leslie Berkowitz (847) 509-7769 kidoodlesinc.com
She hand paints and embroiders personalized gifts.

2.) Michelle O’Conner (847) 604-9167

She creates and paints vintage pieces. Find what she needs from thrift stores.


3.) Melissa Laurenson (773) 975-7836

“Little Dears”- name of business
Makes Hair accessories for little girls along with tutu’s.

Melissa_laurenson@yahoo.com

4.) Whitney Keller (847) 337-7472
Makes belt buckles


5.) Elizabeth Kole
“The Paper Doll Store”
http://www.thepaperdollstore.com



November 9, 2006

ORIGINAL MUNCHKINS FROM WIZARD OF OZ

In case you missed....we had four of the original Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.

VIDEO: At 8:40 we had a game show featuring questions like:

1//WHY DID BUDDY EBSEN, OF THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, LOSE THE ROLE OF THE TINMAN?A . HE'S WAS A COMMUNIST
B. ALLERGIC TO POWDERED ALUMINUM
C. HE HAD A DRINKING PROBLEM


2//WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THE WITCH'S ARMY?A. WITCH'S BRIGADE
B. ORKS
C. WINKIES.

((see answers below))

One of them did a soft-shoe in the weather center, believed to be the first time in broadcast history that a Munchkin has danced during a weather forcast. Mickey Carroll At age 7, he began dance lessons at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO. It was at the Fox that he met entertainer Jack Haley. Haley took him to Hollywood, where one of his first jobs was as "Mickey" in approximately seven of the Spanky and Our Gang series.
At 17 he was one of six bellhops in the 'Call for Phillip Morris' live television ads, and at 18 was appearing in shows with Mae West. While under contract to MGM, he went to school with Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. It was Judy Garland who offered him a part in 'The Wizard of Oz'. Soon after, he left show business, realizing that his height would prevent him from having any long-term success as an actor.

Little known facts: Mickey's actual god-father was mobster, Al Capone and he has worked with Hollywood greats George Burns, Jack Benny, Al Jolsen, and Gracie Allen during his radio career.

Meinhardt Rabbe, who played the coronor, has a book about his life's adventures. He is 80 years old--- the oldest surviving Munchkin. When he was a boy in the early 20's, his lack of growth was a mystery, he writes in his memoir "Memories of a Munchkin." There were no computers or websites to find comfort with other little people; he had never heard of the word "midget" until he was 17, when he took a trip from the family farm in Wisconsin to the Chicago World's Fair Midget Village in 1933. A man puffing a cigar asked if he was looking for a job.

"I was stunned by his instant acceptance. Someone was actually interested in me because I was small," he wrote.

He eventually took a job in the village, but only as a way to pay for college. Many of those "little people" as they now prefer to be called, ended up as munchkins. Raabe said the production was the first opportunity for little people to "act independently as people, not freaks."

1//b
2//c

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