• Not an ideal time to interview an idol of mine • Under the spell of a quack, Brian Wilson visits CNN • This piece was no fun . . fun . . fun It’s most unfortunate for me that the two times I was in the close presence of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, … Continue reading A Beach Boy’s Life
• 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
• 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
• My lunch with Muhammad Ali • He ate, I took his picture. • Call me crazy, but. . .that’s what Ali did in 1996 I get the question sometimes: “Who was the first famous person you interviewed?” Or, “Who was the most famous person you interviewed?” They were one and the same: Muhammad Ali. … Continue reading The Greatest
Evel Knievel, Jerry Springer, Larry Flynt, Pete Rose... A lost episode of Celebrity Big Brother? No, just some of the people who crossed my path at (Not) WKRP in Cincinnati. A two-parter set in the Queen City.
Evel Knievel, Jerry Springer, Larry Flynt, Pete Rose... A lost episode of Celebrity Big Brother? No, just some of the people who crossed my path at (Not) WKRP in Cincinnati. A two-parter set in the Queen City
In 1978, Ohio State and Clemsen met each other in the Gator Bowl and Jimi Hendrix immortalized it in song. Sort of. A 20-second audio flashback:
“I spent a week in Philadelphia one day” – Old joke often attributed to W.C. Fields but not likely his. I spent four years there, and tell about it in this first of 3 posts. After three years at Cincinnati’s WEBN-FM, in the fall of 1978 I received a call from a radio program director … Continue reading Philadelphia, Pt. 1 – Muhammad Ali, Tommy Lasorda, Anita, Mark Goodman
Of Popes, miracles (on ice) and nuclear meltdowns. All in Part 2 of the Philadelphia story. Among the stories I covered in Philly was Three Mile Island, the nuke plant that nearly melted down just a hundred miles upwind from the radio station. It was a scary night when I had to come into the … Continue reading Philadelphia, Pt. 2 – Jane Fonda, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, Graham Nash, Pope John Paul II
• Space is the Place. So was a rooftop in West Philly • An Introduction to filmmaking in the 1970’s. • Behind the scenes of Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise Picking up a part-time gig here and there was a part of my budding career in radio in the 1970’s. The pay for newscasters at … Continue reading Sun Ra – I Invaded His Space
Philadelphia sports fans booed and pelted Santa Claus with snowballs. I don’t judge them; they used to pay 50 cents a phone call to help keep me employed. If you’re keeping score, here’s how it was done in 1981. I was in Philly during good times for its pro sports teams. Sports, it turned out, … Continue reading Philadelphia, Pt. 3 – Dial Sports, Daryl Dawkins, Pete Rose, Doc Emrick