Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Mystery Snacks


It wasn't me.

I walked in to work at 2 am Tuesday, and looked down in to the waste paper basket near my desk.  In it was an empty bag of Funyuns.  You know what they are.  According to the label, they are an onion "flavored" snack.  You know what that means.  If something is followed by the word "flavored," you can translate that in to there was no real onions in sight.

I've been on this planet a long, long time, and I have never seen someone eat a Funyun.  Perhaps, I'm here in the building at the wrong time.

The same goes for Bugles.  It's a roasted corn "flavored" snack that comes in the shape of a tiny cone.  I've made many a trip down the snack aisle of supermarkets and discount stores.  Bugles now come in many different varieties.  Yet, I've never someone eat one.

While we are in the snack mode today, a friend and I were recently discussing Pringles.  We like them, but because they are not a traditional potato chip, they are disrespected in the consumer and snack food world.  Pringles have been around for a long time.  They are molded from a potato flake mash, and it's become something you don't readily admit that you like.

No matter how you look at it, they are all salt delivery devices.  Bad for you but oh so good.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021



It is one of my usual early weekday morning activities-- buying a newspaper and a soda at the mini mart.

No one was behind me in line.  The store was empty, so I decided to empty my pockets and pay for my purchase with as many coins as possible.  I remarked to the clerk, who has become a friend over the years, that the quarters and nickels change designs so often, it's difficult to quickly tell them apart.

I also had a question.  Does anyone use those gold colored dollar coins?

Her answer surprised me, but upon further review, it made perfect sense.

The clerk told me she gets one on rare occasion, and usually when people are broke.  Think about it.   No one uses the dollar coins.  Americans love their paper dollar bills, so when you get one of the coins, you toss it in a jar or a desk drawer.  Don't ask me why.  They will never be worth more than a dollar.  There will always be plenty of them around, so there is no need to save them for the kids and/or grandkids.  When you need a fast extra couple of bucks, you fish them out of the drawer and grab that Snickers bar, Coke, scratcher, and pack of Lucky Strikes.

I have to admit that I have a few in a drawer.  I should put them in to circulation.  I'll save them for when I'm broke.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Loose Monday


Conan O'Brien gave up his TBS show last week.  He's headed for the HBO streaming service.  I can't say I was ever a huge Conan fan, although I did feel NBC hosed him eleven years ago.  He was never really given a chance to make the "Tonight" show work.  I do think Conan matured in to a decent host,  improving markedly when he stopped trying to be funnier than his guests.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Conan's sidekick, Andy Richter-- a very talented guy.  Andy hosted the pilot for a "$100,000 Pyramid" revival.  I saw the video.  He was great.  I hope better things are ahead.

Speaking of Pyramid, "Blacklist" had its season finale last week, and was crushed in the ratings by "$100,000 Pyramid" on ABC.  It was also Megan Boone's last "Blacklist" episode.  Boone is one of the prettiest women on television, but I stopped watching "Blacklist" years ago.  It became too bizarre, too dark, too gory, too convoluted and too confusing-- and I am a huge James Spader fan.

The Miami building collapse looked a lot like Oklahoma City, but without the truck bomb.  Both induced a sick feeling in the stomach.  My heart goes out to the victims and their families, plus the search crews and first responders.

Two thoughts on the Britney Spears saga.  First, it received way too much TV time.  Second, it was just sad to see an adult treated like a child.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Andy's Angles: Old


I always enjoy my trips to Steamtown in Scranton, but there are things here that make me sad.

First, there isn't much steam.

Second, there are so many great pieces here, but there will never be the money and manpower to restore them.  It breaks my heart to se them rust away.

On the other hand, the place wasn't very busy during my last visit.  There were plenty of out of state license plates and it made me happy that the park has become a destination, a nice place to visit.

I just wish they had more to see.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Andy's Angles: Big Boy


I had the itch to play with the camera a couple of weeks ago, and not a lot of time.  That usually adds up to one thing:  a trip to Steamtown in Scranton.

This was my first experience with the newly refurbished Union Pacific 4012, also known as "Big Boy."

The paint job looks spectacular and the engine appears as if it just rolled out of the manufacturing shop.  Unfortunately, it doesn't run, but there is a similar model traveling about the west.

Friday, June 25, 2021



This week marks the 49th anniversary of the Tropical Storm Agnes flood-- the one that swamped areas up and down the Susquehanna River, including the Wyoming Valley.

I'll save most of my thoughts for next year and the 50th anniversary.  I am really looking forward to seeing a documentary currently in production.

A couple of quick notes...

There are sleepless times, spent staring at the ceiling, wondering how I became what I became.  Radio really stepped up during that horrible week and I was glued to every appliance we had.  It likely played a role in how I became what I became.

People around here are very weather conscious, and I think Agnes clearly is a factor.  Hurricanes and tropical storms always have a place in newscasts I produce, even if they will not affect our area.  People have a curiosity about big storms.  Tracking them fascinates me, and I think most viewers are the same way.

I saw an interview with friend and former coworker David DeCosmo the other day.  He had a front row seat to Agnes.  David noted that some people moved away and never came back after the flood, but a lot of people stayed, cleaned up and rebuilt.  That, in and of itself, tells you about the strength of the people here in our area.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Now My Empty Cup Tastes As Sweet As the Punch


I had to go for blood work on a recent morning.   Fear not.  It's routine, part of a long overdue check up.

Picture perfect.  I fasted.  I avoided my morning diet cola, which was much more difficult than it sounds.

The lab opened at 6:30 AM, and I was first in line.

So far, so good.

Paperwork was done in a flash.

I got poked, the blood flowed in to the tube.  That is also more difficult than it sounds.  I have tiny, girly veins and giving blood, even a vial, can be an adventure.

After a sigh of relief with the completion of the blood part, I was handed a urine specimin cup.

Huh?  I must have missed that part on the paperwork from the doctor that I produced for the people at the lab.  I went before I left the house!  The tank was on E.  The well was dry.  Sahara.  Gobi.  Mojave.  Death Valley.  Dust Bowl.

The people at the lab were cool.  I was told to take the cup home.  Fill it when I feel the urge, and bring it back.  If I couldn't make the return trip quickly, keep it in the refrigerator until it was convenient to come back.

Luckily, I chose a lab just two miles from home, so returning with the magic cargo was not a big deal.

Moral of the story?  Always read the fine print,  and stay hydrated.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021



I admire loyalty and I always have.  Some friends have stuck by me, in good times and bad.  I like to think I've returned the favor.

Loyalty in the corporate and business world can be elusive.  For the most part, I've been exceptionally lucky.  I've worked for some really good people and they always received 100 per cent from me.

That brings us to Eli Manning.  The retired NFL quarterback is returning to the Giants in a non playing role.  He'll be doing things like corporate relations and marketing.  I'm not a Giants fan, but I'm glad the team found a place for him.  Eli Manning wasn't among the league's greatest talents.  However, he did step up when it was on the line, beating the legendary Tom Brady in two Super Bowls.

Manning could have hooked on with another team after his Giant days were done.  He didn't.  The team rewarded Manning's years of loyalty with a really great job.  He's earned it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dogging It


I was going to include this in yesterday's Media Notes entry, but I decided it needed a day of its own.

When Red Dog beer was introduced several years ago, the advertising slogan was "Be Your Own Dog."

Why can't the cable news networks follow that?

CNN, FOX and MSNBC now spend considerable time attacking each other.  Isn't there enough news going on to analyze and report on?

FOX leans right.  CNN and MSNBC lean left.  We know that.  Let's get on with our lives.

No organization, news or otherwise, is above criticism and scrutiny.  Unfortunately, these cable skirmishes have reached the point of excess, and then some.  It's tiresome and it's childish.

Just stop it!  Be your own dog.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Media Monday


CNN is airing a multi part documentary series on the history of the television sitcom.  I can already tell you how this is going.  Lucy, All in the Family, Seinfeld.  Two out of the three deserve recognition.

FOX and ESPN are said to be interested in the services of Robert Griffin III.  Published reports say there was an outstanding audition.  I'm intrigued.

I'd really like to get interested in the Tokyo Olympics.  It's just not there.  Maybe I'll be interested if some good stories develop and NBC manipulates its coverage less.

I'm sorry FOX has given up on golf.  Last week's US Open was on NBC.  FOX got hammered but it was nice seeing something beyond the tried and true.

Colbert and Fallon saw slight ratings boosts with the return of live audiences.  Now, only if they had better content...

Prompted by last week's passing of Frank Bonner, who played Herb Tarlek on "WKRP in Cincinnati..."  It really was an underrated series.

Kudos to "The Price is Right" and "Let's Make a Deal" for continuing to produce shows in this age of the pandemic and social distancing.  It will be nice to see audiences again.

They are horrible events, but I have problems taking my eyes off the screen when I see forest fire and tropical storm video.

They are on after my bed time, but it tickles me how ABC has found success with game shows in prime time during the summer.

I've been watching some "WKRP in Cincinnati" clips following the death of Frank Bonner, who played salesman Herb Tarlek.  It's tough to be the schlub in an ensemble comedy.  Bonner did a great job with the Herb character and his contributions to the show are vastly underrated.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Andy's Angles: Self Portrait


I was out Wednesday morning, doing a little celebrating of the next day's 23rd anniversary at WNEP, when the opportunity for a self portrait presented itself.

Yes, not the greatest form.  My arms should be closer to my body.  Hard habit to break.

Guess where I was!

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Andy's Angles: A Good Thing


This space was recently dedicated to disappointment over the borough of Olyphant tearing down an historic old fire house in favor of a few more parking spaces.

The fire house is long gone.  I'm still sad that even though it lost its value as a fire house, it couldn't be repurposed.

Reason has prevailed in the Queen City.  All of the old fire house space won't be used for parking.  Part will be dedicated to a park, home to the long awated Freedom Fighter statue.  A major plus is the small park will be within walking distance of plenty of homes and apartments.  I am concerned visitors and people passing through might have problems finding it.  It's on a side street and tucked between a few buildings.  However, it's nothing a few signs can't cure.

Friday, June 18, 2021



Frank Bonner died Wednesday.  79.  He is best known for playing salesman Herb Tarlek on "WKRP in Cincinnati."

Friends, let me tell you something.  I was in radio for more than eleven years.   I've been in broadcasting for more than two-thirds of my life.  Frank Bonner nailed that character.  I've known a lot of Herbs over the years.  The clothes, the attitude, the patter-- the writers got it right and Frank Bonner brought it all to life.

Before and after WKRP, Bonner didn't have the greatest acting career, but he did direct several sitcoms in the post-WKRP days.

When you think of "WKRP in Cincinnati," Herb isn't the first character that comes to mind, but he did bring quite a bit to the table.

Thursday, June 17, 2021


 June 1998

The Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup.  The Chicago Bulls captured their third straight NBA championship.  They were still counting the money from "Comic Relief."  "Sex and the City" premiered.  General Motors workers began a seven week strike.  "The Truman Show" was in theaters.  "Victory Gallop" won the Belmont Stakes.  "The Lion King" won a Tony.  Lee Janzen won the U.S Open, overcoming a seven stroke deficit.  Microsoft released Windows 98.  Out area was recovering from tornadoes.  Sears and Kaufmann's were still in our malls.  92.1 FM was playing oldies.  Quint's Army/Navy in downtown Scranton was having a shoe and boot sale.  LA Bank, Core States, Mellon, and First Union had our money.  Adelphia was offering new cable channels.  A federal bill contained money for the Nittany Parkway in central Pennsylvania.  We shopped for food  at Mr Z's, and when we were sick, we went to Mercy Hospital.  Fresno's had dinner specials, and Whistle's had live entertainment.  "Primary Colors" was playing at the Ritz.  The Red Barons were playing at Lackawanna County Stadium.  Jennings, Brokaw, and Rather were the network nightly news anchors.

And on the 17th, I started at WNEP.

I now work with people who were not alive when I started.

All in all, good days and bad days.  I cannot complain with how things turned out, not even remotely.

I will repeat what I say every year, on anniversary day.  It's still fun.  I still get up in the morning (or late at night) and look forward to the things I will learn that day.  In many ways, I'm still terrified as I was back on that first day 23 years ago, and I am luckier than I deserve to be.

Most importantly, thank you for watching. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Loose Ends

 I finally summoned up the courage to listen to myself on the Prospector's podcast.  He's the morning man on Rock 107.  There is a link on  I talked about a few things never publicly discussed before, and it wasn't as hideous as it felt at the time.

CNN recently wrapped up its multi part series on late night television.  Grade: C+, and I'm being kind.  It needed more on Tom Snyder's NBC "Tomorrow" show, which really was groundbreaking.  Also, not enough Craig Ferguson.  Too much time spent on mediocre talents and lightweights.

My recent blog entry on the song "MacArthur Park" touched off quite the discussion with a few friends.  First, the Richard Harris original is still very much disliked.  The version that aired on David Letterman's "Late Show" several years ago received good reviews.  I think it was mainly because of the rock treatment Paul Shaffer gave it, and part of the schmaltzy section in the middle was cut for time.

There was also a recent blog entry about the passing of a former radio coworker.  That one triggered a social media discussion of old radio.  While I was sorry to learn a friend died, it was nice to talk about the old days, good and bad.   There were some pretty rough days in there, but I would never regret all that experience, the successes and failures, personally and professionally.  With each year that passes, the radio days become a smaller part of my life and that makes me sad.

I recently wrote how Entercom's new name and audio platform, Audacy, is a confusing name.  Tony Kornheiser agreed on his podcast last week, saying Audacity would better.  Sorry, Mr. Tony, I think that one is taken.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Gym Rat


I waited a long time for this.

My gym closed when the pandemic hit last year.

After the lock down, it re-opened, but with limited hours.  10 pm closing.  Overnights, when I attended, were out.

It finally happened.  Earlier this month, 24 hours, at least during the week, returned.  There was much rejoicing.

The occasional bike ride offered some physical activity, but the bike was mothballed for the winter and this spring hasn't been the greatest.  It was either too cold or too wet.

Not much has changed during my sixteen months away.  Same mediocre wi fi.  Same lousy audio on the televisions.  The place was always spotless, and that hasn't changed.  Some staffers remain.  There are new faces.    I forget the combination to my padlock.  Luckily, I had it written down and found it in a desk drawer.  Some of the overnight crowd gave up their memberships during the lock down, and they told me they are not coming back.  I get that.

Me?  My endurance isn't what it was when the pandemic hit.  However, it is better than I thought.  So far, I've been splitting my time between the ellipticals and the bikes.  I've been staying a little longer with each visit.  I haven't done the weight lifting machines yet.  I'll get there.

Since this sorry situation started, we've been hearing a lot about a return to "normalcy."  I don't think things will ever totally be the way they used to be.  The ability to go to a gym at 1 am is an important step.

Monday, June 14, 2021

STEMming the Tide


I had to stop by the car dealer on a recent morning.  Burned out headlight.  Second one in a few months!

Be that as it may, it was an in and out trip.  I arrived, gave my keys to the mechanics and took a seat in the waiting room.  Ten minutes later, I was done.  My quick arrival and departure apparently caught the rest of the people in the full waiting room by surprise.

As I was leaving, I said "Hey, it was just a burned out headlight bulb."  One of my fellow waiting room compadres said "You could have done that yourself."  I replied "I have a liberal arts degree."

STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math is great.  It nudges young people to some rewarding educational opportunities and the jobs that follow.  STEM also has a component that shows females that this is not just a male oriented thing.  Also great.

On the other hand, I have no regrets about being an artist rather than a scientist.  Could I have made more money doing something else?  Possibly.  Would I work normal hours in another field?  Most certainly.  Would I be just as happy?  Of course not.

The sciences are fantastic.  Following your heart and doing what you enjoy is much more important, even if it means you don't have the skills to replace your own headlight bulb.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Andy's Angles: SCC


To people of my age, this building on North Washington Avenue in Scranton will always be the Masonic Temple.  The rest of the population knows it as the Scranton Cultural Center.

This is a shot from a recent early morning.  The front is always lit nicely, making a beautiful statement to people traveling through the downtown.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Andy's Angles: Light Trail Saturday II


Today's shot comes from the same area as the one you saw here a few weeks ago.  The difference is the camera is pointed in the opposite direction-- up Mulberry Street and toward the University of Scranton.

This shot offers a nice mix-- headlights coming at me, but not directly in to the camera so I didn't get blasted.  The tail lights offer some nice trails as they temporarily crest at North Washington Avenue and head up the hill.

Friday, June 11, 2021



We tend to engage in bizarre conversations at work, with topics that have nothing to do with news and broadcasting.

Case in point:  a recent debate about the potato and food snobbery.  

The question was:  "Are you willing to readily accept a potato "baked" in the microwave?

The consensus was "yes."  My co workers and I are willing to give up a little flavor in exchange for speed and convenience.

I will agree that potatoes baked in a traditional oven are superior, but a potato makes a great snack, and I don't want to fire up the oven for an hour, especially in summer heat.

By the way, I like them plain, with a little butter, a little salt, and a lot of black pepper.  "Loaded" potatoes tend to obliterate the potato flavor and I like to taste the spud.  I can do without the cheese and broccoli, even though I like them both, separately.  

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Business Thursday


Burger King went back to its old logo several months ago.  How did I miss that?  Having said that, no one chooses fast food based on the logo.

Speaking of logos, the fast food chain with the little red haired girl seems to be closing earlier than usual, at least the store near me is.  Can't get enough workers?  Late night business doesn't support staying open?

The fast food joints are fighting over chicken sandwiches again.  It's become tiresome.

The same goes for crypto currency.  I can do without the daily updates.

WalMart will be closed on Thanksgiving.  Does anyone really think that's a bad idea?  Target and Best Buy have joined the list.

The New York Post reports Subway management is fighting with its franchise holders.  Again.  Why is this still an issue?  Improve the food.  Cut the prices just a little bit.  And, a good time was had by all.

Apple is making tons of changes to its iPhones and operating system.  There is a new one for you.  I'll level with you, kids.  Android has Apple beat in many areas.

Can Jeopardy! pick a host, already?

Looks like I'm not alone.  The New York Times just did a story about complaints of auto headlights becoming too bright.  My beef is with the nimrods who use high beams, all the time.

I'm oversimplifying here, but a bunch of web sites went down Tuesday because a cloud crashed, and the Russians seem to have free will in our information systems.  The technological superhighway is much more fragile than we think.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Hot, Hot, Hot


The heat wave is over, and I feel better.

There is something new going on out there:  heat shaming.

I know the winters around here are long, dark and cold.

I know we just came through a year of lock downs and restrictions.

I know the fresh air is nice.

If you like the heat and humidity, more power to you.  I'm actually a little envious.

But you just have to realize there are people who don't like the heat.

Respect it.  Deal with it.  Move on.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Clay & Buck


A big radio syndication company called Premiere, has chosen its replacement for the late Rush Limbaugh.

Clay Travis and Buck Sexton take over June 21.

Travis has been doing a rather forgettable morning show on FOX Sports Radio for the past several years.  Travis knows his stuff, but it was a tough listen.  It just wasn't fun, and I couldn't take more than a half hour at a time.  I found the tone far too dour and serious for morning radio.

Sexton has been doing a conservative radio show for the past several years.  I admit I've never heard him.

The combination should be interesting and I'll give it a listen.

Many Limbaugh stations have turned over the noon to 3 time slot to local hosts.  Some have picked up a syndicated show by Dan Bongino.  I have to admit I haven't heard that one, either.

There's an old saying that cemeteries are full of people who thought they were irreplaceable.    This one is going to be tough.

Monday, June 7, 2021

Strung Along


WorldWide Pants

There is a video I watch on a fairly frequent basis.  It's from a "Late Show" with David Letterman episode from 2014.  It's Will Lee singing "MacArthur Park."  The CBS Orchestra is bolstered by 23 musicians, and I'll get to that in a moment.  Paul Shaffer and the song's composer, Jimmy Webb are on keyboards.

First, Lee does a magnificent job on vocals.  The music is outstanding.  They blew the roof off the Ed Sullivan Theater.  I remember watching the original broadcast that night, not believing what I was seeing and hearing.  It might have been the best musical performance ever on network late night television.

Regular readers know I spent my junior high years in the school band, and even though I was horrible, I do know a little about music.  Emphasis on "a little."

The thing that impresses me most any time I view the video is the string section.  There is something magical about watching the bows of the violinists move in perfect synchronization.  I think the only instrument that can come close is the trombone, and it's really not all that close.  The strings really set this performance apart, along with Felicia Collins' guitar work.

The video is on YouTube.  Watch it.  Yes, I know MacArthur Park is on the list of the most disliked songs of all time.  Paul Shaffer, the CBS Orchestra, and Will Lee, plus those superb strings will change your mind.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Andy's Angles: Train and Crane


There is no major raison d'etre for today's photo.  I just like the shot.  It was taken last month at the Von Storch shop in Scranton-- the massive crane and a big Lehigh Valley engine.

The sun was my friend on this camera phone shot and the colors really popped.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

About the Cover: CNJ


Yes, I know there have been a lot of trains here so far this year.  A couple more this weekend won't hurt.

I frequently pass the Von Storch yard in Scranton, and it's always the usual suspects.

Imagine my glee a couple of weeks ago when there was a new visitor-- a Central New Jersey engine!

I couldn't resist, so enjoy it for the month of June.

Friday, June 4, 2021

The Numbers Game


Submitted for your approval...

At a recent meeting of the Scranton school board, it was revealed that it will cost more than $ 300 million to fix all of the city's schools.  The number came from a feasibility study.

There are many questions here.  How were things allowed to slide for so long?  Clearly, some schools have to be closed, but which ones?  Does the board have the guts to do it?  If not, where does the money come from?  This is a district already suffering from money problems.

Fasten your seat belts.  It's going to be a long and bumpy ride.  And, no one is going to be happy with the destination.

More money and numbers...

Guy Fieri just signed a new, three year contract with the Food Network.  $ 80 million.  My first reaction is "Are you kidding me?"  Fieri's food is average, at best.  Every edition of "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives" looks exactly the same.  He has a couple of other shows on the network that border on unwatchable.

But, consider this.  Published reports say Fieri is responsible for more than $ 200 million of the Food Network's income.  Therefore, his new contract is a bargain for the network.  He deserves every penny-- and more.

I'm happy for him.  Guy, enjoy the bonanza!

Thursday, June 3, 2021



When I arrived at WARM in 1981, Jim Gannon was doing noon to three.  It's true what they say.  The face and body rarely match the voice.  Jim had a rich, deep voice, and it came out of a rather small body.  That first handshake was a surprise.

Jim was moved to nights, and that's where we worked together quite often.  I'd stop at a mini mart to grab a giant coffee for him on my way to work, and it would make his night.  And then there were those evenings when we would be on the air after some horrendous college basketball games.  We wondered if we had any audience at all after that dismal lead-in.  We did.  It was simple.  People liked Jim.

If memory serves, Jim was an Army veteran who worked for the phone company.  In those days, a phone company job was the gravy train with biscuit wheels.  He gave up a good job to follow his dream and work in radio.  I'm sorry if I have the chronology wrong, but I think there was a job in Levittown, some New Jersey stops, and then WBAX in Edwardsville, where he used the name Dale Denver.  It was then on to WARM as Jim Gannon.

The 80's were a rough time at WARM.  We had a succession of managers with a succession of philosophies.  Each was worse than the one that preceded it.  It was a mess and I am being kind.  Jim spent some time in morning drive, as the sidekick for a morning man, Harry West, who did best as a solo act.  It was then back to nights.  Jim and WARM eventually went their separate ways.  That, dear readers, was simply a sad day.  Like a lot of people who came through Avoca, Jim deserved better.  A lot better.

Jim and I kept in touch for a little while after the departure.  I would make copies of the want ads in "Radio & Records" and drop them off at Jim's house, sometimes in person, sometimes, I would leave them in the mail box out front.   I was happy to help a friend, even though it really wasn't much.

Jim eventually found other radio work, and he bounced around quite a bit.  That is no reflection on Jim.  It was a time of great upheaval in local radio.  Ownership and formats seemed to change on a daily basis.  It was always a treat when I would spin the dial and come across Jim's voice.

I am very sorry to say we lost touch in recent years.  I remember the last time I saw him.  By then, I was at WNEP.  It was a Saturday afternoon and I was driving down Wyoming Avenue after an assignment.  I think it might have been Gov. Casey's funeral.  Be that as it may, Jim was walking out of a downtown office building.  I waved.  Today, I am kicking myself for not stopping.  You know how the TV business is.  We are always in a hurry.  I'm sorry I was too rushed to stop for a friend.  Yes, it's a poor excuse.

Jim died last week.  According to the newspaper obituary, there will be no viewing and no service.  That's Jim.  He was always a low key guy.  I'd like to offer my sympathy to Jim's wife, Carol.

Before I hit "enter" for the day, it's a trip down memory lane.  Below are a couple of pages from a mailer WARM put out in the early 80's.  Take a look at the talent I had the privilege of working with.

I was lucky to work with those people.  I was lucky to work with Jim.  He will be missed.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Wednesday Scrapple


Am I the last person in America without a podacst?

Words cannot express my disinterest in a "Friends" reunion.

Raw mushrooms in a salad?  Fine.  Cook them, and I hate them.

I can watch massive amounts of dominoes tumble, but I have no interest in watching a TV show about people making Lego sculptures.

I understand I received one write-in vote for mayor of Scranton in the recent primary.  I am humbled and honored.  On to November!

It's amazing how many high school, college, and minor league baseball teams wear uniforms based on White Sox and Astros designs from the 70's.  No complaints.  It's a good look.

I dread the approach of fireworks season.

My days as a rabid baseball fan ended long ago, but it still troubles me that the Orioles and Pirates are so awful this season.

Cicada hype.  Stop.  They're just bugs.

When you work all night and sleep all day, a chilly rainy day in the late spring isn't necessarily a bad thing.  for the rest of you, I'm sorry it fell on a holiday weekend.

Congratulations to friend and former co-worker Cassie Semyon, who has added weekend evening anchor to her duties at her station in Maryland.

I rarely mail things, but 58 cents to send a card, letter, or bill payment from coast to coast still seems like a bargain.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Losing Two

 Actor Gavin MacLeod and singer BJ Thomas died over the weekend.

If you look at MacLeod's resume on, you will see the history of American television comedy and drama.

Murray Slaughter, the news writer at Mary Tyler Moore's WJM was a great character.  Trivia:  MacLeod auditioned for the news director role, which went to Ed Asner.  Murray was a consolation price and MacLeod hit it out of the park.  The scenes where MacLeod and Betty White traded insults are classics.  There is a MacLeod interview on YouTube.  There is a great section on how he tried to bring "heart" to the Murray character.  He succeeded.

"Love Boat" wasn't my cup of tea, but you cannot diminish the series' staying power-- nearly 250 episodes.  A series like that needs and anchor, pardon the pun, and MacLeod was it.

Gavin MacLeod appeared in four "Hogan's Heroes" episodes, playing a different German officer in each one.

He was funny and funny isn't easy.

BJ Thomas had a smooth voice and he was a success on both the pop and country charts.  Even though "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" was everywhere, all the time, on radio in 1970, it was a song what had staying power.  You never got sick of it.  "Raindrops" is one of those songs where you instantly recall the words, even if you haven't heard it in years.

There were several other hits, all easy on the ears, all can make you happy, and make you think a little.

Do the old man a favor.  Listen to "Rock and Roll Lullaby" for me.  Thank you.

MacLeod was 90.  Thomas was 78.  It was extra sad to lose both on the same weekend.