• The Siege (1998) presaged 9/11. • One of its writers has a new novel due out that predicts a pandemic and quarantine • How life imitates art . . and can make prophets out of artists The Siege was a box office bomb, if you’ll pardon the expression. But -- as one of its … Continue reading New York Locked Down
• No, not this blog. My career, pretty much • How it sputtered, as journalism atrophied and news organizations crumbled beneath me • Few photos here . . I wasn’t around some of these places long enough The first media outlet to shut down and leave me (and other newsies) out of work was Air … Continue reading It’s a Wrap
• Danny Schecter, the News Dissector • In 1973, I wanted to work for him. In 1997, I focused CNN on him • In 2020, I miss him I was driving a cab in Boston in 1973, after my first taste of doing radio news in Toledo, Ohio, ended abruptly. I listened to WBCN-FM, as … Continue reading Missing a Role Model
• Two months of soap opera in a ‘90s Manhattan courtroom • A thicket of therapists weighed in on the most intimate details of the tabloid couple • A wacky trial gave way to a Waco siege I don’t know if Woody Allen molested his 7-year-old daughter. You’d think I might have some idea. I … Continue reading Throwing the Book at Woody Allen
• This one goes out to the band I love • My date for an early R.E.M. concert has a Rapid Evaluation Mishap • I finally get to interview them . . after they lose their drummer The first time I saw R.E.M. perform live, my date pronounced them D.O.A. My arrival at network radio … Continue reading R.E.M.embered
• Random photos cluttering my desktop • Some seen elsewhere but never on this blog . . until now! • Some worthy of the Hall of Shameless Posing, some not Some will say I have a big head. Hell, I will say that. At least if we're talking in terms of physical size. I thought … Continue reading Insta(matic)gram
• Can you believe it was 40 years ago? • Revisit The Miracle on Ice this week • Here’s a complimentary Miracle Media Guide I often claim I can turn anyone into a hockey fan by taking them to a college or pro game, sitting them in the right place – where they can see, … Continue reading Do You Believe?
• New photos of Muhammad Ali unearthed, prompted by HBO documentary • Thrill to The Champ wolfing down his salad while I sit by, snapping photos • The Tale of the Table I can't say enough about the HBO documentary, Ali & Cavett - The Tale of the Tapes. In the Sixties, The Champ and … Continue reading Rare Slides: The Greatest
• 40 years ago, ballplayers saw a strike coming without being tipped off • Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt and Dallas Green talked to me about unemployment and gardening • Come the World Series and I’m unemployed The drumbeat in the spring of 1980 – louder than a Houston Astro banging on a trash can – … Continue reading A Striking Baseball Story
• Like caption contests? So did ABC PR in the Eighties • Marketing Mark with Mild Snark • Try this at home! In every newsroom I ran, I would post random news photos or headlines of an odd nature and invite my fellow radio colleagues to contribute funny captions. So I was pleased and surprised … Continue reading Thanks, Caption Obvious
• Lies and the lying liars who launched Air America • You can call me Al and Rachel and Marc’s radio colleague once upon a time • The slow-motion train wreck that was supposed to take down Rush Limbaugh They were among the luckiest documentary filmmakers ever. The photos and clips in this post are … Continue reading What’s Left of the Dial
• From Christian Rock to Porn Rock . . . whatever that is. • Radio News: Little podcasts sent wirelessly to your AM-FM device. • Ozzy Osbourne, Blackie Lawless, Stryper, Public Enemy, Kool Moe Dee and Yoko Ono One thing I liked a lot about my broadcast career was that I spent a lot of … Continue reading Rock On Radio
• Maybe if by "rock" you mean something else entirely • In a 1998 interview, the heat was on • A gorgeous visage . . . revealing what? This is not about Whitney Houston's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It's just triggered by it; it reminded me I have a CNN … Continue reading Whitney Houston, Rock Star?
• Remembering Pete Seeger and Aretha Franklin • Sometimes memories come in a color • They come flooding back with the passing of people I was fortunate to meet When Pete Seeger died in 2014 and Aretha Franklin passed away in 2018, I hadn’t yet created this blog. On those sad days I put down … Continue reading The Color of Memory
• Fresh new evidence shows the Billy Joel trip was no Russia hoax. • Good Morning America introduces a new – and “special” – correspondent • Some really awful music, through some really awful transmissions When I wrote about The Piano, Man, in Russia last year, the blog post was mostly words and photos; just … Continue reading Back in the USSR
• Interviewing myself again? (I'm an easy “get”) • The first time I did a Q & A with myself, I was rattled by the tough line of questioning. • I’ll try to do better this time. The following has been edited for clarity and brevity. Mark, was there ever a story that you’ve completely … Continue reading More Q and A
• The Irishman and the Dalai Lama – the director’s dualism • Talking peace and love with the guy who brought us Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino • In 1997, Hollywood and China were engaged in a moral trade war If you’ve seen Martin Scorsese’s latest, The Irishman, you know he’s still at the … Continue reading Shadow and Light: Marty Scorsese
Mob guys don’t “sing” – but Cousin Vinny did “The Irishman’s” standout performer – or one of them – releases an LP He’s funny. “I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?” I was concerned Joe Pesci might shoot me in the foot. He was making a record store appearance … Continue reading Joe Pesci, Pop Singer
• How we covered it in Philadelphia, where the promoters of the concert were based • The coincidental involvement of Harvey Weinstein . . yes, that Harvey Weinstein • A week later, the Who played Philly; I talked to Roger Daltrey about the horror It was probably the biggest – and saddest – news story … Continue reading 40 Years Ago: the Who Tragedy in Cincinnati
• Was I too hard on George Harrison in a 1987 Good Morning America interview? • He didn’t have to invite Paul McCartney onto Cloud Nine . . but I had to ask about it • Watch him give me the stink-eye I’ve told the stories of my Beatles encounters already, but I recently unearthed … Continue reading Badgering a Beatle
• I went to my father's 50th college reunion . . . and stuck my mic in everybody's business. • College life in 1934 compared to 1984 • Lionel Richie and gin & tonics vs. prohibition bootleg booze My dad was born and raised on a farm outside of Ft. Dodge, Iowa. (That's me above, … Continue reading Off to College with Dad – and Mic
• Predicting the future . . . and getting it wrong • How’s your home CD maker deck performing? • The drawbacks of analog crystal balls In the early 1990s the music industry was on the verge of an existential crisis. And not everybody knew it. Analog recording had given way to digital and while … Continue reading What the Hell is Interactive Music?
• 32 years ago, news conferences were different. Or not • You can tell it’s 1987 by the big hair • Alert: This is a thumb-sucker. A think-piece. Deep, very deep In 1987, an executive producer at CNN was frequently calling in ABC Radio News’ Reporter-on-the-Road (me) to hold forth on TV about such matters … Continue reading Deconstructing the News Conference
• Why don’t we do it on the road? • Yes, I’m going to go there • From the sacred to the profane and everywhere in between . . . the sheets I was interviewing Leonard Cohen in the studio at CNN’s New York bureau. It was around 1993. He was a personal favorite; I … Continue reading Sex and the Single Reporter
• Ballers, shot callers and boldface names • A field study in celebrity culture • Finally, something not about hockey The last time I really cared about NBA basketball was probably the day Michael Jordan retired for good. It’s not my favorite sport (can you guess which is?) although I do enjoy the March madness … Continue reading Courtside with P. Diddy and MJ
• Happy Anniversary, Reporter on the Road blog • No, I wasn’t present at the birth of television. The photo above just makes it seem so. • What’s next? A year ago this week I began this blog. This is the 70th post. A heartfelt “thank you” goes out to everyone who has read some … Continue reading The Year of Blogging Aimlessly
Fear & Loathing in J-School. Or how I began as an ink-stained wretch.
• If you build it, they will come: Allman Brothers, Ike & Tina Turner, Canned Heat, Chuck Berry, Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper • When Woodstock Nation annexed North Baltimore, Ohio • Was it all just a front for laundering pot dealers’ money? I’ll never tell The idea started as a pipe dream, probably. A handful … Continue reading The Park — ‘Weekend Woodstocks’ in NW Ohio Cornfield
I wanted to be a radio newsman but had to spin some platters at first, and the bookstore was out of “Radio News for Dummies.” I’ve cued up that story here.
• Watch! As Seals and Crofts and I bore a very small audience to death in 1974 • Took 13 years before anybody would let me on TV again • The gatekeepers of Public Television must have been stoned that week This is the 60th post on this blog since I began chronicling the professional … Continue reading Straight Up – Mondays on UHF Ch. 30