5 Questions with... WIND AM 560's Amy Jacobson

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5 Questions with... WIND AM 560's Amy Jacobson

Wednesday, June 16, 2010
By Jeff Nuich
CSN Chicago Senior Director of CommunicationsCSNChicago.com Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? CSNChicago.com has your fix as we put the citys most popular personalities on the spot with everyones favorite weekly local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

Every Wednesday, exclusively on CSNChicago.com, its our turn to grill the local media and other local VIPs with five random sports and non-sports related questions that will definitely be of interest to old and new fans alike.

This weeks guest one of the most popular Chicago media personalities over the past several years her aggressive journalistic style has earned her multiple ChicagoMidwest Emmys in her career, plus -- shes never been afraid to let her political opinions be known she can be heard weekdays with co-host Big John Howell Monday-Friday from 5-9 a.m. on AM 560 WIND here are 5 Questions withAMY JACOBSON!

BIO: Amy Jacobson is a veteran Chicago broadcasternews journalist who, since this past March, is the popular morning co-host on AM 560 WIND. Previously, she was a general assignment reporter for 11 years at NBC 5 in Chicago (1996-2007). Her career was marred in controversy in the summer of 2007 as she was part of a scandal involving a rival Chicago TV station's news cameras capturing footage of Jacobson with her children at the home of the husband of a missing woman. The story received national attention with Jacobson making numerous TVradio appearances, including four appearances on NBCs Today Show. Following her tenure at NBC 5, Jacobson worked as a traffic and news reporter at WLS AM 890 from 2008-10. Her long career saw Jacobson working her way up in the TV industry with reporting positions in Detroit; El Paso; Tucson; Alexandria, Minn.; and Cedar Rapids. A native of Mt. Prospect, Jacobson graduated from John Hersey High School in 1987 and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa with a bachelors degree in broadcasting and film in 1991.

1) CSNChicago.com: Amy, youre a proud Republican in a city predominantly filled with citizens who would categorize themselves as Democrats. What challenges does that present to you and your AM 560 WIND morning show co-host Big John Howell on a daily basis as you continue your goal of gaining listenership for your show?

Jacobson: Our audience consists of conservatives and liberals, and while I consider myself a Republican, more than ever, most issues aren't as cut and dried as right versus left, Democrat versus Republican. John and I often find ourselves on different sides of issues, which means that we butt heads every day, but it's never predictable. But we know the audience is growing because we welcome all opinions and viewpoints. I hear it in the phone calls we get each every day from listeners who refuse to be put in a partisan box.

2) CSNChicago.com: The recent news of the Highland Park High School girls basketball teams trip to Arizona being canceled for political reasons has spurred much controversy to say the least. Its been such a big story that former Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin reached out to you to help her raise moneyawareness and simply find a way to get these girls to Arizona. Whats the latest on this situation and how did you feel when Palin contacted you personally for help?

Jacobson: AM 560 WIND sponsored "An Evening with Sarah Palin" at the Rosemont Theatre. Big John and I introduced Gov. Palin and moderated a question-and-answer session with her. While in the green room, she asked me about the situation in Highland Park, which was just coming to public light. I told her that, as a former basketball player and someone who once lived in Arizona, I was outraged and that I thought it was a disgrace how female athletes were being used as political pawns. We began talking about our mutual love of basketball, the friendships that we both forged, and how we learned the important lessons of life on the basketball court.

We bonded instantly. Then, as she was leaving, she looked at me and said, "Amy, let's make this happen. I want to work together with you and raise awareness and raise funds for those girls to travel to Arizona." The next day we exchanged e-mails and set up a Facebook page. We also had a savvy businessman from Tucson all set to pay for the ENTIRE trip. Then, as the school board members met to render a decision, I was warned by a parent that it wasn't "safe" for me to go to the meeting and that many parents didn't like me or Gov. Palin. I immediately e-mailed Gov. Palin and she told me not to back down and go to the meeting. I did.

However, much to our dismay, the Board would not budge. They already planned a trip to Florida. But if the school board changes their mind, we still have that business man in Tucson waiting to help. You betcha!

3) CSNChicago.com: Being a Chicago-area native and a longtime sports fan, what single moment during this Stanley Cup championship Blackhawks season will you remember for the rest of your life?

Jacobson: The most memorable moment for me was when Duncan Keith got seven teeth knocked out by a puck and returned later in the game! It symbolized the "never say die" spirit of the Hawks that helped bring the Cup back to Chicago for the first time in nearly half a century.

4) CSNChicago.com: Youve overcome plenty of professional and personal challenges in recent years, most of which were unfortunately made public. How are you doing today and, in regards to what occurred during that dark period, did it strengthen you or do you still go through some tough moments dealing with all of it to this day?

Jacobson: I have stated my thoughts in the past about what was done to me and the impact that it had on my career and my family. I grew up in a blue collar town, Mt. Prospect, and I felt I could always relate to anyone whether they lived in a mansion or in a cardboard box like some did while I was a reporter near Ciudad Juarez. I had passion, which is something you can NOT teach an intern. What was done cost me everything that I had spent my entire my life building. At the end of the day, I was fortunate to have the love and support of my family and friends. Without that and my faith in God, I wouldn't have survived.

These days, I prefer to focus my energy on moving forward with my life, my career, and on raising my two young sons. And the outpouring of public support that I continue to receive to this day helps make that task somewhat easier. At least once a week, someone will come up and say to me, "Amy, you got screwed."

The lowest moments came when I was without a home, husband and my unemployment support ended. Then even worse news came. My 5-year-old son had to have his kidney removed at Children's Memorial Hospital. I got on my knees and had a long talk with God. I was never cocky or took a day for granted while being a reporter. But that day was poignant because I gave my heart, which was full of anger, over to God. When the operation was a success and tears of joy ran down my face, an inner voice said, "Amy, it's going to be okay. You will survive." Your family's health is everything!

5) CSNChicago.com: On to a more fun topic... your annual presence at Chicagos News-a-Palooza, featuring many of our citys top media personalities singing and performing live on stage to help raise money for a great cause (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation), always seems to be a big hit. In fact, youre stellar performance of Stevie Nicks mega-hit Stand Back was beyond impressive... and even has over 10,000 hits on YouTube (click here to see Amys performance). Where did you learn how to sing so well and what songs are you working on for this years event?

Jacobson: I learned to sing in music class at Indian Grove Elementary School. Mrs. Vanderwheel was my music teacher and she had a passion and an ability to teach like no other. Fortunately, she moved with us to River Trails Junior High where I joined the choir.

At John Hersey High School, I was blessed with another wonderful instructor, Richard Turasky. He was in charge of choir and show choir. He taught us all to stand up straight, project and sing through your eyes. It helped as I became a reporter to always be confident. You can't be shy and be an assertive reporter. You can't be quiet and do talk radio! I also was in two rock bands during my college years. I'm glad no one has video of that.

As for News-a-Palooza, I enjoyed my two years participating in the event. Working with Roe Conn and Richard Marx to raise money and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation meant the world to me. Marion Brooks, Ginger Zee, Natalie Martinez and I teamed up last year and we got our groove on. If anything else, it was at least entertaining or maybe just campy. Almost ONE MILLION people viewed the "Single Ladies Video," which you can still see if you go to roeconn.com.

I do not know if an event is scheduled for this year but if asked to do so, I would help out in anyway possible.

BONUS QUESTION... CSNChicago.com: Anything you want to promote Amy? Please share it with us...

Jacobson: This Saturday, I will be on "247" on NBC 5. I helped out for a "Sex and the City" segment with reporter Kati Kehoe (yes, another campy segment). But we had a fun time at the photo shoot and watching the movie. Kati Kehoe is hysterically brilliant. It will air at midnight Saturday night.

As for charities, I would love for people to donate to "Bear Necessities." It is a pediatric cancer foundation run out of Children's Memorial Hospital. They are dedicated to eliminating pediatric cancer and to providing hope and support to those who are touched by it. They can be reached through their website.

I am also a board member on Allie and Friends. Chicago native and Indianapolis Colts player Ryan Diem is in charge of the event which benefits children and their families effected by Neuroblastoma. For more information on that, please visit their website.

Jacobson LINKS:

Official Amy Jacobson website

WIND AM 560 Big John & Amy home page
Amy Jacobson on Facebook

Amy Jacobson on Twitter

Cubs ready to activate Joe Nathan, but is that enough for this bullpen?

Cubs ready to activate Joe Nathan, but is that enough for this bullpen?

MILWAUKEE – It takes some imagination to picture the Cubs surviving three playoff rounds and winning a World Series Game 7 with this bullpen.  

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel looks at rookie right-hander Carl Edwards Jr. and says: “He’s definitely not afraid. He weighs probably 140 pounds and he can attack a ton worth of weight.”

President of baseball operations Theo Epstein trades for lefty Mike Montgomery and looks back on how Andrew Miller reinvented himself with the Boston Red Sox, transforming into an All-Star reliever for the New York Yankees.  

Now the Cubs are banking on a 41-year-old dude who hasn’t pitched in The Show in almost 16 months, trying to make a comeback from a second Tommy John procedure on his right elbow.  

The Cubs will activate Joe Nathan off the 60-day disabled list before Sunday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park, adding a six-time All-Star closer who ranks eighth all-time with 377 career saves.

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“I do like the names,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Is it enough? I think it is. But you have to consider that with both Edwards and Joe, you would not really push, push, push, either. 

“So you talk about consecutive appearances – or three-out-of-fours – that would be kind of tough to do with these guys. There are different little caveats attached that I have to be careful with (and) not push them too hard.  

“I don’t know if there is enough yet – just based on the ability to use guys based on where they’re coming from physically.”

Epstein made it clear that the Cubs didn’t cut themselves off from bigger deals leading up to the Aug. 1 deadline by packaging two lower-profile minor-league prospects (first baseman Dan Vogelbach and pitcher Paul Blackburn) in the Montgomery deal with the Seattle Mariners.

Epstein has also pointed out that the Cubs won 97 games and two playoff rounds last year while rebuilding their bullpen on the fly, relying on guys like Clayton Richard and Trevor Cahill (who’s rehabbing a knee injury at Triple-A Iowa).

And that you don’t really need an eight-man bullpen for October, because Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester should be pitching deep into games, leaving the high-leverage situations for Pedro Strop, Hector Rondon and whoever else emerges across the next two-plus months.

[RELATED: The next Andrew Miller? Mike Montgomery wants to show what he can do for Cubs bullpen]

Maddon sees the potential for Edwards – who has a 1.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts against four walks through 14 innings – to grow into an even bigger role out of the bullpen. Maybe the Cubs find another grab-bag surprise or two (Brian Matusz, Jack Leathersich) from a minor-league system that lacks premium pitching talent.

“You just don’t know,” Maddon said. “It looks good on paper, but you got to get them out there and play it. From my perspective, for them to be good, I think you can’t push their button too often. You got to hold back.”

Whether or not the Cubs have the trade chips and the appetite to deal with the Yankees or trade for another high-octane reliever, they need to find out what they have in Nathan, who made 11 appearances combined with Iowa and Double-A Tennessee. 

“It sounds like he’s ready to rock and roll,” Maddon said. “We have to see what he looks like, first of all. You hear different things. But I would bet that whatever he’s been throwing, it’s going to be even a little bit more once he gets here with the adrenaline pumping back in the big leagues.”
 

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale scratched from start due to 'clubhouse incident'

Chris Sale has not been traded, but he was scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to a "clubhouse incident."

White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement about 25 minutes before the scheduled start of Saturday's game against the Detroit Tigers that Sale was sent home from the park after a "non-physical" incident that is being investigated by the team. 

Here's Hahn's statement in full:

“Chris Sale has been scratched from tonight’s scheduled start and sent home from the ballpark by the White Sox due to a clubhouse incident before the game.  The incident, which was non-physical in nature, currently is under further investigation by the club.

“The White Sox will have no additional comment until the investigation is completed.”

Multiple reports, which CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes confirmed, have the incident stemming from Sale not wanting to wear a 1976 throwback jersey for Saturday's game. The White Sox announced in March they would wear those uniforms on July 23, instead, the White Sox wore their 1983-style uniforms for Saturday's game. 

Matt Albers instead started for the White Sox on Saturday.

CSN Chicago's Chuck Garfien reported the incident started over something "stupid," while ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported the incident wasn't with any of Sale's teammates. 

The news of Sale’s scratching set Twitter ablaze with questions about if this year’s American League All-Star starting pitcher was on the move. On Friday, rumors circulated that the Texas Rangers were pushing to acquire Sale, but the White Sox reportedly were asking for a hefty return. 

On Saturday, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant reported the Rangers had moved on from talks with the White Sox and were focusing on acquiring a starting pitcher from the Tampa Bay Rays.

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MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Saturday the cost to acquire Sale would be “five top prospects.”

Earlier this week, general manager Rick Hahn said the White Sox were open to anything (except acquiring a second-half rental) but added that it might be “extreme” to undergo a full rebuild with Sale and fellow All-Star left-hander Jose Quintana under team control through 2019 and 2020, respectively. 

“We certainly have desirable players that people would want to help them win a championship,” Hahn said Thursday.” But at the same time, we’re aware of the fact that we have a lot of high-quality talent under control for years beyond 2016.”

White Sox expect Brett Lawrie back soon, Alex Avila needs 2-4 more weeks

White Sox expect Brett Lawrie back soon, Alex Avila needs 2-4 more weeks

White Sox second baseman Brett Lawrie was out of the lineup for the second consecutive day with a tight left hamstring, and while he won’t require a stint on the 15-day disabled list, his injury has left manager Robin Ventura a little shorthanded. 

The White Sox are carrying 13 pitchers, so with Tyler Saladino filling in for Lawrie at second base, they’ve been left with only three players on the bench for this weekend’s series against the Detroit Tigers. Ventura said he expects Lawrie to be ready to return to the lineup in the next couple of days. 

Had outfielder Adam Eaton, who left Friday’s 7-5 loss after fouling a ball off his foot, needed to miss Saturday’s game, Ventura said the White Sox might’ve had to make a move to bring up another position player. Eaton is back leading off and playing right field on Saturday. 

“It's a little tight having enough players on the bench,” Ventura said.

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The White Sox position player depth has already been tested by injuries to outfielder Austin Jackson (knee) and catcher Alex Avila (hamstring), with both players unlikely to come off the disabled list for at least another month. 

Avila, who re-aggravated his strained right hamstring Wednesday during a rehab game with Triple-A Charlotte, said he probably tried to return too quickly the White Sox. The 29-year-old Avila leads White Sox regulars with a .362 on-base percentage and said he’ll need at least two to four weeks to heal up. 

“I probably tried to rush back a little too quick and wasn’t ready,” Avila said. “It's frustrating. I’d like to be back, but you have to let nature take its course."