5 Questions with ... Melissa McGurren

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5 Questions with ... Melissa McGurren

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 city's most popular personalities on the spot with everyone's 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 guest ... a standout cast member of the enormously popular Eric and Kathy Show on 101.9 FM THE MIX ... shes a Northwest Indiana native whose love of media and personal drive to make it in the crazy world of radio broadcasting landed her at just about the best place one can hope to be at in the biz ... plus, she's pretty damn funny too ... here are 5 Questions with ... MELISSA McGURREN!

 

BIO: Moving to Chicago wasn't a far trip for Melissa McGurren, who grew up in Portage, Ind. At the age of 8, Melissa was already writing and creating radio shows on cassette tapes to play for her mom. Although the shows needed some work (come on, she was only 8 years old), she decided to pursue a career in radio. Melissa started her radio career in the Hoosier State in Hammond and Merrillville before becoming the sidekick/traffic reporter at THE MIX. She consistently strives to be the best Melissa she can be and says there is always more to learn through new experiences in life. The new love of her life is her son Porter, who was born in December 2010. "With a twinkle in his eye, he stole my heart. Ok, so that's super cheesy," she says, but it's completely true.

 

1) CSNChicago.com: Melissa, first off, congrats to you and your fellow cast of characters on the massive success of the Eric and Kathy Show. The shows popularity seems limitless right now. There's no doubt you've attained a solid fan base over the years thanks in part to your great sense of humor and ability to put your male counterparts in their place if needed! As the aforementioned primary sidekick to E & K, do you have any aspirations to one day soon have your own radio show? Do tell.

McGurren: Well, I'll say this ... I don't know what the future holds for me. I love my job, I love radio and I can't imagine not being on the air. I think my future is radio. Likely in the capacity of on-air, but as long as there is growth with the Eric and Kathy Show, both on the air and in the studio, I'll be there. If the show ever ends (let's say, 30 years from now), I'll probably just retire. All kidding aside, who knows what path the future holds, but when something "feels right", I just go with it. Right now, the Eric and Kathy Show "feels right."

 

2) CSNChicago.com: Being a public figure as a radio personality naturally opens up your personal life to your listeners (i.e. the trials and tribulations of motherhood, relationships, etc.). Was/is that particular aspect of your job difficult for you or do you feel that it is just an absolute requirement in order to further connect to your audience?

McGurren: When I first started, I didn't mind talking about some aspects of my life. This was when I was on another morning show. Yeah that's right. I did a different show (for a short time). Anyone remember Tim and Willy, on Kick's Country? Actually, I loved those guys but you probably don't remember. They weren't around very long. When the popularity of the Eric and Kathy Show increased, so did the information about our personal lives. I must admit, it was a HUGE adjustment, but there's something about sharing some parts of your life with the audience that not only makes them relate more to you, but you relate more to them. This comes in the form of e-mails (mostly). People share their stories with me. They introduce themselves when we're out and they attend our functions. I love it. I actually feel like I'm friends with them as much as they are with me.

 

3) CSNChicago.com: You've stated that you don't know that much about sports ... not sure if I can believe that. Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp, for example, regularly appears on the show as do other athletes from time to time. Simple question: do you ever get nervous when an athlete is on the show in fear of your self-proclaimed lack of sports knowledge?

McGurren: Well you can believe it. I don't know much about sports. I definitely know more now that we talk about it on the show, but I don't really follow it. I get why people love sports. I've gone to some games myself and have thoroughly enjoyed all that goes on, be it the tailgating, the camaraderie, etc. As far as being nervous when pro athletes come in, nah...not really. Typically they listen to the show anyway and already know the dynamics. We talk about a lot of things non-sports related so I'm fine in that aspect.

 

4) CSNChicago.com: If you could be one celebrity for one week, who would it be and why?

McGurren: Just one? There are at least 11 that I would pick, but if I can only pick one ... Chelsea Handler. She says what she wants, does what she wants, is very funny and I still think deep down she is a pretty nice lady. I know I worry too much about saying the wrong thing to people or hurting their feelings.

 

5) CSNChicago.com: Name your Top 3 favorite songs/artists that would NEVER be played on The Mix?

McGurren: Ok, first up, give me some old Dixie Chicks and I'm pretty much in heaven. There's something appealing about a song that speaks to a lot of women who aren't ready to settle down and want to have fun instead of the stereotype ... a woman that just wants to find a man and have babies. I went through a time of just wanting to have fun myself and so have my girlfriends. So boys, don't just jump to conclusions on the ladies. Also, I'd have to go with Foo Fighters -- I may not always be in the mood for them, but when I am ... look out! Besides, David Grohl is dreamy. Michael Jackson -- Like most people, I started listening to his music again after his sad death. His music will forever be timeless to me. Can I add a fourth? ANY Frank Sinatra song is fantastic!

 

BONUS QUESTION! CSNChicago.com: Anything you'd like to promote Melissa? Tell us ... CSNChicago.com readers want to hear about it!

McGurren: I have StyleFile events that start every spring and last all summer. We get hundreds of people coming. I love hosting them, I love the people that come and it's just "a good ol' time." Listen on the show for upcoming events starting soon! Plus -- I'm looking for a charity that I can really be involved in that deals with animals. I don't want to donate money (I already do that). I want to be involved in the creative solutions to stop animal cruelty. If YOU know how to get me in there to help, email me (Melissa@wtmx.com)! I'm not looking to host events. I want to do more than that. I want to bust the bad guys!

 

McGurren LINKS:

Official WTMX Eric and Kathy Show home page

Melissa McGurren on Faceboo

Huskers, Spartans mourn the deaths of Sam Foltz, Mike Sadler

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Huskers, Spartans mourn the deaths of Sam Foltz, Mike Sadler

Nebraska punter Sam Foltz and former Michigan State punter Mike Sadler were killed in a car accident Saturday night in Wisconsin.

Both players were working at a kicking camp near Waukesha, Wisc.

Foltz, 22, was the Big Ten Punter of the Year last season and earned All-Big Ten First Team honors.

Sadler, 24, was an All-Big Ten First Team selection in both 2012 and 2013. He was the first student-athlete at Michigan State to earn Academic All-America honors four times.

Both schools mourned the losses of their respective family members.

"Last night, we lost one of the best young men who I have ever had the honor to coach and who has ever worn the Nebraska uniform," Nebraska head coach Mike Riley said in a statement. "Sam was universally loved and respected by everyone he touched and on whom he had a positive influence each and every day. His tragic loss is immeasurable to his family, his friends, his classmates, his teammates and his coaches, and our thoughts and prayers are with all of them. The young men in our football program are hurting, but I know that their strength of character and resolve will bring us together and we will honor Sam every day moving forward."

"Our prayers of love and support go out to Sam’s family during this difficult time, and we will do all that we can to help comfort them in this time of sadness," Nebraska athletics director Shawn Eichorst said in a statement. "Sam was truly a tremendous young man who represented everything that a Nebraska student, athlete, teammate and friend should strive to be. While his loss is devastating, his impact will be felt forever. Along with coach Riley, our focus is on providing Sam’s family, teammates and friends with the critical support and love that they need at this time."

"We are deeply shocked and saddened to hear the extremely tragic news about Mike Sadler's death," Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sadler family, his teammates, friends, coaches and Spartan Nation. We also express our deepest sympathies to the family of Sam Foltz and the Nebraska program for their loss. Mike impacted so many people not only as a football player but also from an academic standpoint and in the community, as well. The world has lost a rising star who dreamed big and was accomplishing those dreams, one after another. He was one of those people that brightened your day. I always say to try and be a light, and he truly was a light in this world. We will all miss him dearly. Once again, we find out that life is so fragile. The world will be a sadder and lonelier place without Mike Sadler in it. May he rest in peace."

"Today is a sad day for Michigan State, Nebraska and all of college football as we mourn the loss of two exceptional young men in Mike Sadler and Sam Foltz," Michigan State athletics director Mark Hollis said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends in this time of sorrow. Mike was the epitome of a student-athlete, excelling in the classroom and on the field, while his quick wit brought a smile to everyone's face. Most importantly, he represented Spartan Nation with great class, embracing his place as a role model for both kids and adults alike. On a personal note, he was more than just a student-athlete to me; he was a friend. His ability to make everyone feel special was but just one of his many special qualities. And that's the reason his impact will be felt by everyone who knew him for years to come. By all indications, Sam was the exact same role model for the Nebraska football family. While today is filled with sadness and reminders of the fragility of life, we can take solace in knowing that we are all better for having known Mike and Sam."

After Foltz's passing, Nebraska will not participate in Big Ten Media Days this week in Chicago.

Cubs closing in on Aroldis Chapman deal with Yankees

Cubs closing in on Aroldis Chapman deal with Yankees

MILWAUKEE – The Cubs are in the final stages of a blockbuster deal that could bring superstar closer Aroldis Chapman to Chicago and would involve sending elite shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres to the New York Yankees, a source familiar with the situation said Sunday night.

The exact details aren’t clear, but the talks reached a point where the Cubs pulled Torres from the lineup at advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach, at least sensing the strong possibility of a trade that would add a 105-mph closer to a first-place team that entered the year as World Series favorites.

Chapman began this season serving a 30-game suspension covered by Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy after a dispute with his girlfriend in South Florida last fall. In absorbing a supremely talented player with real baggage, the Cubs would have to believe in manager Joe Maddon’s personality and a strong clubhouse culture, figuring it might only be a two-month-plus rental before Chapman cashes in as a free agent. 

That incident scared the Cubs away during the offseason, when a Chapman trade between the Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers collapsed at the winter meetings as those police reports surfaced. The Yankees waited for the price to drop and acquired the flame-throwing closer at a discount. Chapman didn’t mind the spotlight in New York, converting 20-of-21 save opportunities and striking out 44 batters in 31-plus innings.

Torres is only 19 years old and a consensus top prospect, showing up in the midseason rankings on ESPN (No. 26), Baseball America (No. 27) and Baseball Prospectus (No. 34). The Cubs had signed Torres out of Venezuela during the summer of 2013, giving him a $1.7 million bonus and trying to stockpile enough assets to build a perennial contender. It sounds like it’s almost time to cash in one of those huge trade chips. 

Cubs score five runs in seventh to power past Brewers

Cubs score five runs in seventh to power past Brewers

MILWAUKEE – The franchise sensitive to being the other team in town is catching the Cubs at the worst possible time, another you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up story coming out of the White Sox clubhouse.

While Chris Sale serves a five-game suspension for playing with scissors, the Cubs will start Jake Arrieta, the National League’s reigning Cy Young Award winner, on Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

The perception will be hot-seat manager Robin Ventura has lost control over this White Sox season, while Manager of the Year Joe Maddon actually answered a question this weekend about how the Cubs might align their playoff rotation.

One week out from the Aug. 1 trade deadline, the debates will be which players White Sox executives Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn should sell off, and which Cubs prospects Theo Epstein’s front office should put down to buy the big-ticket item for a World Series run.

Optics, marketing and promotional throwback jerseys aside, the Cubs also appear to be hitting their stride again after a much-needed vacation, winning their third straight series out of the All-Star break with Sunday afternoon’s 6-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.  

The Cubs did it with their $155 million ace (Jon Lester) throwing only four innings, getting charged with four runs and giving up five walks and five stolen bases. The Cubs could also absorb one quarter of their All-Star infield (Addison Russell) leaving in the middle of the game with a left heel contusion.

[SHOP: Buy an Anthony Rizzo jersey]

The Cubs stormed back with five runs in the seventh inning as MVP candidate Anthony Rizzo delivered the biggest swing, a bases-loaded, three-run double into right-center field off lefty reliever Will Smith. 

Three sellout crowds here over the weekend watched the Cubs welcome back All-Star leadoff guy Dexter Fowler to the top of the order, give the ball to six-time All-Star closer Joe Nathan in his return from a second Tommy John surgery and keep the St. Louis Cardinals seven games out of first place heading into Sunday night and what should be a gut check for the entire White Sox organization.

“I anticipate that same wonderful crosstown rivalry kind of atmosphere, which I love,” Maddon said. “It’s great for the city. It’s great for the sport. I don’t think fans really care much about records at that particular moment. They just care about your team winning.”