5 Questions with...FM News 101.1's Ed Curran

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5 Questions with...FM News 101.1's Ed Curran

CSN Chicago Senior Director of Communications
CSNChicago.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 local celeb feature entitled 5 Questions with...

On Wednesdays, 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 guesta Chicago broadcasting veteran whos been major presence on the local media scene since the late-70s believe it or notthis guy has done just about everything in the biz from hosting radio talk shows to being a TV weatherman (sorrymeteorologist!) but hes probably best known as being one the nations premier technology reportersplus - you can now hear him every weekday afternoon on the new FM News 101.1hes also one of the most likable media personalities aroundlets get to it already, its "5 Questions withED CURRAN!

BIO: Ed Curran has a varied background in broadcasting and is comfortable covering a news story, doing a talk show or forecasting the weather.A native Chicagoan, Eds entire career has been right here in his home town. Although hes done a wide range of stories for radio and TV, Eds specialties are science and technology. A meteorologist, hes been awarded the American Meteorological Societys Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation.

Ed is honored to be the afternoon drive news anchor on FM News 101.1, Chicagos exciting new station for news and information. He joined the station in July of 2011. Ed brings his long background of Chicago news and talk experience to WIQI, 101.1 FM, and more than 20 years of experience covering technology along with 15 years of weather expertise.

Eds technology reporting began while he was at WGN Radio, coining and trademarking the term Technogadgets. For more than two decades, hes covered the high-tech lifestyle beat and has been featured on television and radio stations nationwide. Eds humorous approach and unpredictable style make his segments entertaining for techno-wizards and the techno-clueless alike. Among his accomplishments at WGN Radio, Ed Curran was the first host to combine a live radio broadcast with an AOL chatroom. Digital lifestyle author Howard Rheingold, who wrote The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, called Ed a pioneer on the electronic frontier the hippest guy in radioland!

Along with many successful years in radio at WIND, WGN, WLS and WGCI, Ed has also been a versatile television broadcaster. His high-tech reports were seen on WGN-TVs Morning News, where he also filled in as weather forecaster. He later served as CNNs high-tech correspondent and joined NBC-owned station in Chicago as a meteorologist. In 2002, Ed joined the CBS-owned and operated station in Chicago, WBBM, as a meteorologist and tech reporter.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Ed graduated from Columbia College with a BA in Broadcast Communications. He earned a certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 1996 and hes been awarded the American Meteorological Societys Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) seal. To earn the CBM, broadcasters must hold a degree in meteorology or equivalent from an accredited college or university, pass a rigorous written exam and have their on-air work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value and communication skills.

Ed lives in the northwest suburbs with his wife Monica, daughter Jessica, son Jeff and their dogs, Ricky and Shelby.

1) CSNChicago.com: Ed, your 30 career in the Chicago media landscape and continuous fan following certainly speaks for itselfto use Sally Fields line from the Oscars: they like you, they really like you! Since this summer, fans can now hear you weekday afternoons on the new FM News 101.1. As a primary personality for the new all-news station, did you have to make any adjustments to your on-air style to fit the stations format and, a follow-up questiondo you see FM News 101.1 as a viable competitor to WBBM News Radio or as more of an alternative in your opinion?

Curran: Anyone who's listened in the past few weeks knows that FM News 101.1 is a great way to get a news update. Ten minutes of non-stop news at :00, :20 and :40 really sets us apart. It's a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, non-stop news station with outstanding local coverage.

When I joined the station in July, they were still building the physical newsroom. I'm surrounded by a group of passionate radio professionals who have literally built this station from the ground up! Chicago is a big place and there's room for more than one excellent all-news radio station. As for your question about adjusting my on-air style, I always say that the best thing you can do in this business is to just "be yourself." That's all I can ever be, a kid from the west side of Chicago who's been lucky to enjoy a broadcasting career right here at home.

2) CSNChicago.com: As everyones favorite Technogadgets guru, youre naturally very familiar with arguably THE hottest item on the market this holiday season: Apples iPhone 4S. To help out those consumers looking to plunk down at least 200 for this latest model of the revolutionary communications tool, give us your reasons why we should buy the 4Sandor your advice on why we should steer clear (at least for now) of this enticing purchase.

Curran: I've been an iPhone user from Day 1. Mine was the third one out the door at the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue. I gave CASH to two guys who were first in line. They went in to buy theirs and I nervously waited for them to come out with mine. So, I'm sold on the iPhone. I've covered technology since 1988 and it's one of the finest items I've laid my hands on. As for the iPhone 4S, I think it's a great item that I'd step up to without hesitation. The speed is improved, the antenna technology is better, the camera is improved and the video quality is amazing. But, I expect the iPhone 5 to be a huge step up - if you can wait. I think it'll have a lot of stuff that's on my iPhone wish list and it'll be cosmetically improved as well.

I'm still using an iPhone 3GS because it works better than the iPhone 4 with some custom built accessories I use for audio and video recording. I've been recording and editing on the iPhone since January of 2009. However, I'll move up to the 4S this week and the iPhone 5 when it appears.

3) CSNChicago.com: Speaking of Apple, the world lost the face of modern technology with the passing of Steve Jobs this past October. As you well know, Jobs was not only a tech genius, but a marketing genius as well. How much will the loss of his vision for the company affect Apples future in the short and long term?

Curran: I was doing a TV interview in the Apple store one day. I tried to stray a bit from what was planned and the store manager stopped me. They had to call Cupertino to get the OK. I was told by one staffer, "Ed, you have to understand, Apple is one man...and nobody wants to get his attention." Steve Jobs was a smart guy, a marketing whiz, and a genius when it came to knowing what people wanted. He was sick for a long time and I think he put the people and plans in place to carry Apple for quite some time. I've been using Apple machines since 1987. I have both platforms in the house, but I use my MacBook Pro 99.5 of the time.

4) CSNChicago.com: Youve been blogging extensively lately about the growing popularity of electric automobiles. We are a stubborn society that is just so used to filling up our cars at the pump, while maybe not truly knowing the financial benefits of owning an electric vehicle in the long run. Do you think the entire auto industry will realistically head in this direction one day?

Curran: I'm a car enthusiast and an electric car is a great choice for commuting. I recently spent some time driving a Nissan LEAF, which is 100 electric, did a radio piece and wrote about it in my test drive blog at http:fmnewschicago.comtestdrive. I also spent some time with a Chevy Volt and will report on it soon. I was impressed by both cars and look forward to driving the Ford Focus EV. There's something really wonderful about passing by gas stations in a zero emissions vehicle. You can plug into your garage and, while at work, I plug into the 240 volt public charger in the parking garage. The cool thing is that most of these public chargers are currently free because they're new. I even get a text message on my phone that tells me when the car finishes charging. With better battery technology, improved battery management, faster charging, longer range and a decrease in price, electric cars will be a great alternative. I also find natural gas a very interesting alternative as well. We have to embrace these alternates so we're not so dependent on foreign oil.Does this mean gas powered cars will disappear? Not anytime soon.

5) CSNChicago.com: Lets close with a sports-related question hereas a long-time Cubs fan and season ticket holder, are you optimistic about the future of the franchise now that Chairman Tom Ricketts has brought in a brilliant, young baseball mind a la Theo Epstein?

Curran: I started going to Wrigley Field in 1969...and what a year I picked to start. Since then, I've had my heart broken many times. I sat there the night of the Bartman ball and the night after for the Game 7 loss. All Tom Ricketts can do is bring in the best people to make magic happen. He's showing a commitment to that and I'm quite optimistic about the Cubs' future.

BONUS QUESTIONCSNChicago.com: Anything youd like to promote Ed? Tell us, CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it

Curran: It's an exciting time for me. The Consumer Electronics Show is coming up in Las Vegas and I'll be there, for about the 20th year in a row! Follow me on Twitter (@edcurran) to learn about new technology as I roam the floor of CES. I'll be reporting on FM News 101.1 and posting at technogadgets.com as well. I'll begin with pre-CES coverage Jan. 9, 2012, so start following me on Twitter now!

Curran LINKS:

Official Ed Curran website

Ed Currans Technogadgets.com official site

FM News 101.1 Chicago website

Ed Curran on Facebook

Ed Curran on Twitter

The consummate pro: How Taj Gibson has become the Bulls' version of Udonis Haslem

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USA TODAY

The consummate pro: How Taj Gibson has become the Bulls' version of Udonis Haslem

The 2011 Eastern Conference Finals between the Bulls and Miami Heat featured three future Hall of Famers in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Derrick Rose had been named the youngest league MVP in league history weeks earlier. Luol Deng was blossoming and would earn All-Star nods in each of the following two seasons. $82 million man Carlos Boozer had averaged 17.5 points and 9.6 rebounds in his first season with the Bulls. The series was loaded with star power.

But buried deep in that series was a matchup of unsung reserves that influenced the series far greater than their numbers in the box score indicated. Udonis Haslem averaged just 4.6 points and 4.6 rebounds in 22 minutes in the series – the Heat won in five games – but his impact was felt nonetheless, in part because of the physicality he brought against an energetic second-year forward named Taj Gibson.

“When we played them in the Eastern Conference Finals, Gibson had an incredible impact on that series, and (Haslem) was just coming back from an injury,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said before Saturday’s tilt between the Bulls and Heat. “And we thought that was probably the missing component in that series early on, was having a player like UD to match up against (Gibson). And that really helped us close that series.”

Five years later Haslem is on the final leg of his NBA career. He’s only appeared sparingly in seven games for the Heat in this his 14th NBA season. But the two-time NBA champion has had a lasting impact on the Heat organization – so much so that they allowed him to miss Friday’s game to attend his son’s state-title football game in Florida – and has etched himself in Heat lore, despite never averaging more than 12 points or nine rebounds in a season.

It’s not unlike the career path Gibson has taken in his eight seasons in Chicago. The now-31-year-old Gibson has spent the majority of his career playing behind the likes of Carlos Boozer, Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah. And while he’s been an integral part of the Bulls’ rotation since joining the team in 2009, his role has never matched his ability or production. It’s why Haslem said he sees so much of himself in Gibson, an unselfish, care-free teammate, yet also someone who is willing to work every day despite the lack of accolades.

“Taj plays hard, man. He’s a guy that gets all the dirty work done. The banging down in the paint, he knocks down that 15-footer, (he) rebounds,” Haslem told CSNChicago.com. “A lot of similarities to myself when I was a little younger. Like you said, unsung. Doesn’t look for any attention, doesn’t look for any glory. Just goes out there, is professional, and does his job every night.”

And in his eighth NBA season, Gibson has done his job every night incredibly well. Through 23 games he’s posted career-best numbers in field goal percentage, rebounds, assists and steals, and isn’t far off in points and blocks per game. His 16.9 PER would be a career-high.

He’s done all this with little real estate in the spotlight. Jimmy Butler has cemented himself as a legitimate MVP candidate, and free-agent acquisitions Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo have earned headlines.

But Gibson has been as reliable and consistent a frontcourt player as the Bulls have – he’s one of three players to have appeared in all 23 games this season – and he’s playing some of his best basketball while the Bulls are mired in a mini-slump.

“He’s a rock for us on this team,” Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s going to go out and do his job. He’s never going to complain about his role. He’s going to put on his hard hat and make the little plays that may not show up in the box score, but help you win.”

Including Gibson’s 13-point, seven-rebound effort in Saturday’s win over the Heat, he’s averaging 12.6 points on 58 percent shooting and 7.3 rebounds in the Bulls’ last 11 games. He’s corralled 16 offensive rebounds in that span – including two on Saturday that he put back for layups – and is the main reason the Bulls entered as the league’s top offensive rebounding team in the league (and second in total rebound percentage). The Bulls are also nearly six points per 100 possessions better defensively with Gibson on the floor.

Gibson’s and Haslem’s career numbers are eerily similar – Gibson has averaged 9.3 points on 49 percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds, compared to Haslem’s 7.9 points on 49 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds, with this year excluded. And both players accomplished their numbers while acting as the third scoring option, at best, on their respective teams. Wade, who spent 13 seasons with Haslem, also sees similarities in the two forward’s games and personalities.

“Taj does his job. He doesn’t try to do too much. Some nights he’s featured a lot. Some nights he’s not. He’s out there to do his job, wants to win,” he said. “(Haslem and Gibson) are very similar. He has that mentality where he’s a workhorse and he’s going to do whatever it takes.”

Added Spoelstra: “Incredible amount of similar qualities. In my mind both those guys are winning players and have all the intangibles and toughness. Doing the little things, the dirty work, both those guys embody all those qualities. We’ve always respected Gibson because of that.”

Gibson is third on the Bulls in field goal attempts per game, the first time in his career he’s been higher than fifth in that category. The Bulls are using him more than ever before, and it’s paying off. He's in the final year of his four-year contract with the Bulls, and is looking at a significant pay raise in free agency this coming summer. Whether his future is in Chicago or elsewhere, don’t expect him to change his persona or mentality anytime soon. Much like Haslem did for years in Miami, Gibson has defined being a consummate professional, teammate and player.

“When you’re on championship teams, competing for a championship, trying to go deep in the playoffs, trying to do special things, guys are doing to have to sacrifice their game. Everybody can’t play big minutes; everybody can’t take the shots,” he said after the Bulls’ win over the Cavs on Thursday. “I’m one of the guys that sacrificed my game for the good of the team. Whatever the coach wants me to do, I’m going to go out and do (it).

“If a coach wants me to set 100 screens and not take a shot, I’m gonna do that because I’m about helping the team. And that’s what I’ve been doing all these years. As long as I’m out there enjoying myself, having fun and playing with great teammates, I’m blessed.”

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USA TODAY

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