Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wednesday talkin'

A few tidbits to get you through your day...

Collins joins the campaign

A few weeks after hanging up his headphones, Peter B. Collins has a new job. Lt. Governor and gubernatorial hopeful John Garamendi has hired Collins to act as a new "messaging and communications consultant."

The Garamendi for Governor 2010 replaced his top campaign advisor, Jude Barry, with Collins, 55, who started in radio in Chicago in the 1970s, went on to host Bay Area talk programs on ABC-owned KGO-AM and CBS-owned KRQR. For the past several years, he hosted a syndicated talk radio effort based at KRXA in Monterey.

Collins has served as board president of the Freedom Foundation, a non-profit group that provides legal assistance to inmates and investigates suspected wrongful convictions. He has worked on political campaigns for Nancy Pelosi, Pete McCloskey and the American Nurses Association.

More "Crap" in Montana

After its inaugural show on April 4th, KMPT Missoula program director Pete Deneault sends word that a local weekly show, "Anti-Crap Radio - Talk That Doesn’t Suck" has extended from one to two hours. This Saturday’s episode (4/11) will features musician, Huey Lewis, and Native American activist, Elouise Cobell.

The show's official mission statement: Rise above bias games to trans-partisanship and wear red and/or blue and other seasonal favorites…being Anti-crap is color blind.

The show airs Saturdays from 4 – 6P on 930 AM, KMPT. They also stream via the station's website. A Podcast is also available.

In appreciation of "The Mess"

Thought I'd mention the passing of what many conisder to be a talk radio legend. He never had a syndicated show, and wasn't all that well-known outside of the upper midwest. But he was still a legend.

Steve Cannon, a longtime radio personality in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, passed away Monday night after a long battle with cancer at the age of 81.

Cannon was most remembered as the long-running afternoon voice at WCCO radio, where he worked from 1971 until his retirement in 1997. He had worked at other area radio and TV stations as well.

"The Cannon Mess" was as old-school as one could get. Like most WCCO fare, it was rather tame and lighthearted, focusing on friendly banter and tame humor. Like many radio personalities of days gone by, the cantankerous Cannon surrounded himself with a cast of 'characters' - though he did the voices of them himself. Backlash LaRue, Ma Linger and Morgan Mundane were participants in the festivities with Cannon. Sure, he was a bit corny by today's standards, and he wasn't the greatest character voice. But Cannon entertained people. He made them laugh. And he kept company with afternoon commuters stuck in I-94 and I-35W gridlock.

His approach no doubt left an impression on similar-minded people like Phil Hendrie, who worked at WCCO in the early 1990s, while Cannon was still there.

And unlike many of his contemporaries who have seemingly gone nuts after so many years talking to themselves in a padded room (a.k.a. radio studio), Cannon enjoyed a long career and a long, healthy, normal life. And he left the game on his own terms.

You can hear some of the work of Cannon at and WCCO.

Kumar goes to White House

I receive some peculiar news stories in my email box, and I'm still wrapping my brain around this one.

You might be familiar with actor Kal Penn. Fans of the TV show "House" are probably still reeling over the tragic loss of his character the other night. So why is he leaving a hit show and a good acting career (many probably remember him from the "Harold and Kumar" movies)? To work in the White House. Seriously.

Penn no doubt made a strong impression last year while campaigning for Barack Obama. So much that he was offered a job by the man himself. In an interview with, he explains what happened:

Penn: I was incredibly honored a couple of months ago to get the opportunity to go work in the White House. I got to know the president and some of the staff during the campaign and had expressed interest in working there, so I'm going to be the associate director in the White House office of public liaison. They do outreach with the American public and with different organizations. They're basically the front door of the White House. They take out all of the red tape that falls between the general public and the White House. It's similar to what I was doing on the campaign.

Money can buy me Beatles again

I've been bitching about this for months now. Why on earth hasn't the Beatles' official CD catalog been re-released?

For over two decades, all there's been is the same crappy quality CDs mastered with ancient technology. Then they sounded good. In comparison to similar stuff available today (and Apple reissues such as "Yellow Submarine Songtrack", "1" and "Love", they sound flat and lifeless.

Now, Beatles fans can rejoice (hopefully). Apple Corps., the holding company representing the band's interests, and EMI, their longtime label, have finally resolved their differences enoughbt to start rolling out the reissues on September 9. Whoo hoo!

The deluxe edition releases will coincide with another Beatles' product, a special edition of the Rock Band video game featuring their music.

Each album, remastered painstakingly from the original sources, will include a mini-documentary. And their first four albums, originally released only in mono, will be issued in stereo.

For fans of the band's mono mixes, a new box set will collect the mono editions of ten of their albums. And if you've never heard the mono version of "Sgt. Pepper", well, you're missing out.

A few box sets will also see the light, including the previously-available "Past Masters" catch-all collection of non-album releases.

Check your store shelves come September 9.


pureprairie said...

KMPT shows us that progressive talk can work well in a western mid-to-small market. I wish my mid-market college town (arbitron #66) could find a wealthy, motivated Liberal to purchase one of the 10-or-so basically unused towers and make progressive talk work here. I would love to help whoever that might be in any way I could - for free.

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