Potent quotables of 2011

Sound bites of a memorable year on the media beat:

  • “Seeing the door open, the guard stepped out onto the terrace and later reported to his superiors that he had stumbled onto [Randy] Michaels, standing with his arms extended as if on a cross, receiving fellatio from a young female Tribune employee.” — Jim O’Shea, author of The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers, recounting a Tribune Tower security guard’s discovery of the company’s CEO.

  • “The paper and the company have never been put up for sale.” — Jeremy Halbreich, CEO of Sun-Times Media Holdings, denying rumors of a sale. Two weeks later, the company was sold.

  • “New York has always called the shots. CBS has owned this place since the transmitter went on.” — Bruno Cohen, president and general manager of CBS 2, on who makes decisions about local news and programming.

  • “He is also quite familiar with our company.” — Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, on the hiring of new weekend anchor Stefan Holt, son of NBC News anchor Lester Holt.

  • “It’s been an honor covering you.” — CBS 2’s Rob Johnson, among six local news anchors in a commercial for Walter E. Smithe Furniture saluting outgoing Mayor Richard M. Daley.

  • “I just want to know: Do you [have to answer] five questions before you get your water? I feel like I’m in Guantanamo.” — Mayor Rahm Emanuel on the premiere of Windy City Live, ABC 7’s replacement for The Oprah Winfrey Show.

  • “Should have gotten an extra two years for bad radio.” — WLS weekend host Jake Hartford on the 14-year prison sentence for ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich, a former WLS weekend host.

  • “I was kind of going stir crazy. . . .  I just kind of stumbled into it out of boredom — and not wanting to start drinking again — because I had nothing else to do.” — Steve Dahl on why he started podcasting from his basement.

  • “When Steve farts — and Steve knows this — even when it’s a silencer, people will write about it. I have an announcement to make, and if I fart and it’s not a silencer, maybe nobody will write about it. That’s what makes Steve Dahl what he is.” — Mike North on the media coverage he gets compared to Steve Dahl.

  • “I have great respect for the call letters, but I am what I am. You’re always going to hear the essence of me.” — Jonathon Brandmeier on joining WGN as morning personality.

  • “I found it repulsive. . . . I don’t understand why anyone cares.” — Mancow Muller on the outpouring of nostalgia after the demise of Q101, where he hosted mornings for eight years.

  • “The show has been a success.” — Roger Ebert announcing that Ebert Presents At the Movies was unable to secure funding and would be going “on hiatus.”

  • “I will take credit for surviving, and that’s not always an easy trick in this business.” — Ron Magers on his 30th year as a Chicago news anchor.

  • “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” — Robert Murphy on his return to radio as morning personality at Rewind 100.3.

  • “You will be talking to another guy a year from now if it doesn’t. You won’t have to ask. You will know.” — Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, on whether the simulcast of Newsradio 780 on FM will result in higher revenues.

  • “These two stations have always made a lot of money — regardless of what some idiot journalists have to say in this marketplace who will go unnamed at this point in time. They’re so stupid it amazes me.” — Marv Nyren in his farewell as general manager of the Loop and Q101.

  • “If you search the trades and all other reports locally and nationally, it is only Robert Feder, and those quoting him as the source, that call it ‘all news.’ From what I know, the new station doesn’t easily fall into any previously known format category.” — Larry Horwitz, the blogger known as ”Larz,” two weeks before Merlin Media switched Q101 to all news.

  • “To God be the glory." — Oprah Winfrey’s final words on her last show.

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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)