Crusading novelist and lawyer Andrew Vachss in 1996

Thursday, December 1, 2016
Vachss' autograph echoed
his since-abandoned campaign
to boycott Thailand in protest
of its failure to fight child abuse.
Author and lawyer Andrew Vachss talks about his use of "hard-boiled" fiction—like his then-latest, False Allegations, and his Batman novel, The Ultimate Evil—to expose the horror of child abuse around the world.

Note: Vachss was briefly a Chicagoan, as he explains in this interview from the archives, aired Dec. 1, 1996.

The sideburns that almost got me suspended

Monday, November 28, 2016
Menace to society, 1971
I've told this story many times over the years, but never in this detail.

Seems an appropriate moment to revisit it.

Here's my essay on Medium.

The voices behind 'Rocky and Bullwinkle'

Friday, November 18, 2016
Nov. 19, 1959, brought the debut of one of the greatest cartoon shows of all time: "Rocky and His Friends."

Bill Scott, Bullwinkle, June Foray
Click for audio.
Later known as "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" and "The Bullwinkle Show," it had everything a little kid could want: A protagonist who could fly (Rocket J. Squirrel), a sidekick who was funny (Bullwinkle J. Moose) and parental approval—because it was layered with cultural and political humor a lot of us would only come to understand much later. (Wait: There's an opera called "Boris Gudunov"? Really?)

So what a cool thing to meet the people who brought those characters to life, as I did when June Foray and Bill Scott visited the WXRT-FM studios in 1983.

Here are four audio segments, presented in reverse chronological order:
  • Dec. 2, 1985: Bill Scott obituary by Charlie Meyerson on WXRT-FM, Chicago.
  • Nov. 10, 1983: Full interview on WXRT with Bill Scott and June Foray, in town for an appearance at the Chicago Film Festival; host: Frank E. Lee.
  • Nov. 4, 1983: Meyerson's report for WXRT on Scott and Foray's then-forthcoming visit to Chicago.
  • Nov. 4, 1983: Unedited Meyerson telephone interview with Scott.

Bonus: "Rocky and His Friends" Golden Record audio.

 (My autographed copy. Hear the audio from this record on YouTube here.)

If you enjoyed this audio, check out my interview with TV cartoon pioneer Joe Barbera.

Win a free Social Media Week Chicago pass

Monday, November 7, 2016
The organizers of
Social Media Week Chicago (Nov. 14-18) have invited me to speak Thursday, Nov. 17, on one of my favorite topics: "The art of the headline"—where "headline" broadly represents things like subject lines, Facebook posts, tweets and so on.

Part of the deal: I get an extra HQ pass, which grants you access to the conference's keynote speeches, mainstage sessions like this one, masterclasses like this one, livestream events, happy hours and—ta-dah!—The Official Party.

This pass would cost $645 at the door, but you have a chance to win my spare, free.

If you're certain you'll use it (it's non-transferable), please LikeLove, or Laugh, Express Amazement, Sadness or Anger at this post on the Meyerson Strategy Facebook page, where I share professional insight on matters of content strategy, audience engagement, journalism and more.

Deadline: 6 p.m. CST Thursday, Nov. 10, when I'll pick a winner* who'll be notified by Facebook Messenger.

* Winner to be selected by copying the names of all Like (etc.) respondents to this post on Facebook, then randomizing the list at The name that emerges as No. 1 is the winner. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook.

We were warned of 'underground prejudice'

Wednesday, November 2, 2016
In his 1997 book A Country of Strangers: Blacks and Whites in America,
Pulitzer Prize winner David K. Shipler documented a major split among Americans: "the divide between those who see racism and those who do not."

And he sounded an alarm about what many then might not have perceived: "how much prejudice has gone underground since the civil rights movement."

Here's my 1997 interview with Shipler, aired 19 years ago today.

Sadly, it doesn't sound dated.

Related listening: A panel discussion I led in July on the future of integration.

Last call for podcast training Wednesday

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
For the second and final time this year, I'll be visiting Public Narrative tomorrow to train people in how to create great podcasts.

Read more about it here.

Deadline for signing up: Today (Tuesday, Nov. 1) at 2 p.m. Do that here.

Hope to see you then and there.

Cubs' 1st night under Wrigley Field lights? I was there.

Friday, October 28, 2016
8-8-88. Aug. 8, 1988.

The Chicago Cubs set out to play their first night game under the then-new lights of Wrigley Field.

But heavy rain disrupted the festivities after 3 1/2 innings, and the game was called after two hours and 10 minutes.

I got soaked covering the ceremonies for WXRT-FM, but I dried out enough to file three reports the next day. Here they are.

Listen to "Chicago Cubs 1st night game: 8-8-88" on Spreaker.