A behind-the-scenes look at Chicago radio personalities: how they view their careers, what they're like off the air, plus, what goes into the creation of a successful radio show.
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01:28Copy video clip URL Slate: Radio Faces, WPWR-TV and TWTV, Inc. TRT: 45 min 40 sec w/5 breaks. 07/06/95, IPA No 6622
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01:49Copy video clip URL opening titles, a montage of radio DJs.
02:09Copy video clip URL On-the-street interview with a variety of passersby who say the name of their favorite radio station: KKZ, 93.1, Q101, Howard Stern. Montage of ads for various radio stations.
03:10Copy video clip URL A man says he listens to Mancow. We cut to Erich “Mancow” Muller in studio at 103.5 FM on a live broadcast. Mancow jokes that all video people want to record are the VU meters and knobs on the control panel. He notes whatever the camera shows about a radio station will never live up to what a listener envisions in their mind.
04:08Copy video clip URL Wild Bill and TJ are running a live radio show at B-96. They are in the middle of a prank call, pretending to be a little old lady who can’t get a piece of toast out of a toaster. They play a call in game called 411 Operator random questions are asked and listeners have to guess what the answers will be.
04:56Copy video clip URL Jammin’ Dave at 106 JAMS is on the air delivering an urban limerick in one breath.
05:41Copy video clip URL B-roll of DJs in action: Samantha James at Q101, Bruce Wolf at WMVP imitating James Stewart for partner Steve Dahl.
06:15Copy video clip URL Wendy Rice at WXRT says what she likes about radio is the anonymity.
06:26Copy video clip URL Tribute to Yvonne Daniels, veteran radio DJ.
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07:11Copy video clip URL Radio Faces returns. A narrator notes that WGN and WGCI have lead Chicago in ratings for more than 20-years. Their most threatening competitors are stations targeting 18-34 age markets.
07:30Copy video clip URL Mancow on the air chatting with show co-host Irma Blanco asking her how many times she’s taken a pregnancy test. Once. It was negative. Mancow rants about home pregnancy test ads.
08:05Copy video clip URL Jim deCastro, President of Evergreen Media, said they needed to find a good morning show host and the best one out there was at their competitor in San Francisco. It was Mancow. I went out and courted him. Afterwards he sent a thank you note to Mancow and included a one-dollar bill. The note read: You can make a million more of these if you have dinner with me in two months.
08:44Copy video clip URL Mancow noted that this company could not beat him so they had to hire him away. DeCastro shows up wherever I go, and he’s handing me money. DeCastro said Mancow sent him back ten dollars and a photo of himself fooling around with a cow. This accompanying letter asked good questions: Why should I leave a top station to go to a station I’ve never heard of? Are you willing to give me the tools it takes to win? How much control will I have over my own show? I’ve been seriously thinking about our conversation. I hope to hear from you soon. So, I sent him back one hundred dollars.
10:05Copy video clip URL Mancow says he was born and raised in Kansas City. DeCastro said he didn’t want to hurt another station, he just wanted to hire a really good DJ and Mancow was young, talented and hungry. He’ll do anything to win.
10:29Copy video clip URL Mancow in studio on the air talking about the kind of woman he likes: voluptuous.
11:06Copy video clip URL Mancow says there is no plan. We have a variety of gags on the show. It changes every day. The driving force is life is hard now. We want to make people laugh, bring fun to their lives. Various b-roll of the morning show. A crazy staged call-in from a “listener”.
12:40Copy video clip URL The narrator notes that Evergreen Media is pushing FCC rules to the limit. It owns 6-stations in Chicago, and 16 around the country. DeCastro says the key to their success has been developing strong morning shows. They have three of the most powerful morning shows in their stable.
13:15Copy video clip URL Steve Dahl, host of one of those shows says that when he first came to Chicago there were none of these shows. Now there are three on the same floor! DeCastro says because they have the three top morning shows on three of their stations they literally own the market. Dahl says it’s radio socialism.
14:16Copy video clip URL Tribute to Dick Biondi, veteran radio DJ.
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15:01Copy video clip URL Back to Radio Faces. Man-on-the street interviews, people note their favorite radio station.
15:26Copy video clip URL B-roll in studio with Karen Hand, TJ and Wild Bill at B-96. TJ notes how many dozens or hundreds of people show up at an event Wild Bill is doing. Wild Bill says he’s never seen listeners committed to a station the way Chicago listeners are to this station. It’s unbelievable. They love the crazy stunts, like drinking a milkshake made of items you would normally never consume.
17:17Copy video clip URL Wild Bill prepares to concoct a gross milkshake for listeners to drink to win tickets. Wild Bill makes a seafood milkshake: milk, salmon, oysters. Dog food and cigarette tobacco. He gives them to listeners to drink for tickets. A young woman does and wins her tickets.
20:00Copy video clip URL Dahl says he never does stunts. He just showed up for a personal appearance one day and ended up slicing a bagel by laying on railroad tracks in front of a moving train.
20:39Copy video clip URL Tribute to Larry Lujack, veteran radio DJ.
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21:22Copy video clip URL Back to Radio Faces. Ed Schwartz says there’s a fine line between tastelessness and freedom of speech. Some people in our business cross that line very frequently. Mancow says there are no sacred cows. Nothing is sacred, except religion. Our show isn’t shock, it’s honest. When you don’t go along with the company, when you’re not politically correct, when you’re not willing to be an ass-kissing sheep people label you “shocking!”
22:35Copy video clip URL A man brings in a Kevin Matthews bus board. Mancow pulls his pants down and wipes himself on the advertisement. “That’s what I think of you, you punk!”
23:39Copy video clip URL Interview with Kevin Matthews, DJ at a competing station. He says Mancow is a little nat. Life’s too short. Larry Lujack once said, “Eagles don’t hunt flies.” It makes a lot of sense. I have fun. While everyone else complains, I’m having a good time. B-roll of Matthews on the air talking to a caller, Todd, complaining that his girlfriend was calling his mother nasty names. But it was a lie the mother made up so her son would stop dating the girl. Now the girlfriend won’t talk to the boy because his mother doesn’t like her. He has Matthews call his girlfriend and pretends to be Todd’s mother. “Leave my son alone!”
26:05Copy video clip URL Matthews says unlike Mancow his show isn’t fake. Dahl says the hardest thing for him is to go up against Matthews. Mancow says he doesn’t care if other stations don’t like him. It’s when they don’t know his name he gets worried.
27:06Copy video clip URL More man-on-street interviews people saying what their favorite radio stations are. One says: Howard Stern
27:51Copy video clip URL The narrator notes that when Stern was fired from a Chicago station he sued Evergreen Media. He refused to appear on this program. We instead have a tape of his June 2 1995 program. “Chicago, you’re on the air.
28:10Copy video clip URL Mike Disney, General Manager at WCKG-FM says they’ve spent ten years trying to go against top morning shows. The only way to beat them is to bring in the best: Howard Stern. DeCastro says WCKG will live to regret having Howard Stern. He says Stern is innovative and talented, but everything he did for Evergreen had been done before.
29:55Copy video clip URL Matthews chastises Stern. “Anyone who says ‘I hope you get cancer and die.’ – what is that!? If that’s what beats me, fine. I don’t want to be in it. I’m not going to stoop down to that.”
30:43Copy video clip URL DeCastro says his company had several FCC fines with Dahl’s show and Matthew’s show. We were not allowed to keep Stern on the air because our license was in jeopardy.
31:55Copy video clip URL Tribute to Howard Miller, veteran radio DJ.
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32:39Copy video clip URL Back to Radio Faces. More man on the street interviews. People share their favorite stations.
32:52Copy video clip URL AJ Parker at 106 JAMS says she loves working in radio. Jammin’ Dave works the morning show. Parker says he have a jock, an announcer, then a personality. “I’m a personality. You’ll catch me like this anywhere.” She shows Michael Jackson’s new CD, “History: The One.” People don’t have this yet. Radio stations get it first.
35:09 Harriet Whitmore and Carrie Clark, principals at Carver Middle School say that Parker came to their school for career day and talked to the kids. We’ve invited her back for the graduation. B-roll of the graduation. Parker says her station plays records other stations won’t.
36:57Copy video clip URL Kirkland Burke, music consultant at 106 JAMS, says his station defines the cutting edge. We expose products not normally heard on other stations. It influences other stations.
37:30Copy video clip URL Jammin’ Dave says rap is poetry from another level. It’s come a long way since the mid-70s. A lot of artists are crossing over.
38:15Copy video clip URL Samantha James on air at Q101, rock alternative. She notes her accent confuses people. Her family in England think she sounds American. She says when she listens to the radio she’s not interested in the DJs, just music. She thinks retro is important because it takes her back to her teen years. Being a DJ, she says, is getting paid to do your hobby.
41:16Copy video clip URL Jammin’ Dave says he was from North Carolina. Whitmore says her father worked in radio: Al Benson.
41:55Copy video clip URL Tribute to Al Benson, veteran radio DJ.
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42:36Copy video clip URL Back to Radio Faces. Wild Bill and TJ reflect on how they are remembered for a billboard ad that spotlit their backsides.
43:27Copy video clip URL Karen Hands says she’s the News Director at B-96, and the side kick.
43:37Copy video clip URL B-roll of Irma Blanco at 103.5 FM on air reading news. She notes that people approach her on the street and compliment her on her work, saying the Mancow show should be her show. “No,” she responds. “It’s shouldn’t be that way. It’s a pretty good balance the way it is. When it’s time for a woman to say what a woman should say, that’s when I come in. You can’t take everything he says seriously.”
45:05Copy video clip URL Jones notes that radio is prominently male, but women are breaking through.
45:34Copy video clip URL Wendy Rice at WXRT says she’s worked at the station 13 years. B-roll of her on the air.
46:48Copy video clip URL Mancow on the air talking to a sidekick on location with fans who are going to play football with a real pigs head.
49:30Copy video clip URL End credits roll.
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