Media Notebook: Dan Pompei leaves Tribune, Cutler Comedy Show, ESPN Car Wash

Media Notebook: Dan Pompei leaves Tribune, Cutler Comedy Show, ESPN Car Wash

I started hearing rumors last weekend that Dan Pompei was out at the Chicago Tribune.

It wasn’t until this morning that I got confirmation on Dan Pompei being gone, and that this was Dan Pompei leaving the Trib, it was his decision. Not the paper deciding to get rid of him. Dan Pompei is as an accomplished NFL writer as you will ever find. So this is a huge void for the Trib to fill as his leaving coincides with the start of football season.

No word yet on what he’s doing next or who his replacement will be.

-Jay Cutler being funny?

Well, he’s obviously not known for that, but we’re willing to give it a try. Cutty will be on a tv show about fantasy football called “The League” when the Chicago Bears quarterback guest stars in an upcoming episode this September. Jay Cutler flew to Los Angeles earlier this month to tape the sitcom set in Chicago and the posh upscale suburb of Winnetka.



-Interesting Beachwood Reporter link here, especially in the wake of Paul Sullivan leaving the Cubs beat to do MLB features at the Tribune. Here’s a really interesting story about the time Cubs management had major issues with something Sully wrote. And they told him to his face that they found him to be “too critical.”

  But the attitude not only of Cubs management but Tribune Company management appears to have changed little since the day the company bought the team.

“Being a corporate sibling of the famous baseball franchise became a nightmare,” former Tribune editor James Squires wrote in Read All About It! The Corporate Takeover of America’s Newspapers. “[It was] a constant source of tension within the sports staff, a political liability in the newspaper’s relationship with the public and a regular cause of corporate bickering.”

Ironically, Tribune Company honchos have always seemed to prefer the Sun-Times‘s coverage of the team.

Squires wrote that “Hardly a week passed without some complaint from the twenty-fourth floor about the ‘tone’ of Cubs coverage. Anything other than totally complimentary stories which portrayed the company as a paragon of both success and virtue had problems of ‘tone.’ These usually brought me a call or visit from one of the three executives who outranked me.


-A link to photos from the Big Ten Car Wash at ESPN today featuring Tim Beckman (Illini), Kirk Ferentz (Hawkeyes), Brady Hoke (Wolverines), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern) and Bill O’Brien (Penn State). The “Car Wash” gets its name from the fact that personalities get “the works” when they visit Bristol. They’re put “through the wash” being featured on all the ESPN platforms: tv, radio, online etc.

For all the publicists pitching me to hire them right now, I ask you this- can you get me a Car Wash? Yes, let’s talk. No, Uhm, I’ll pass.


 -Last night’s Inside College Football on CBS Sports Network saw Randy Cross predict Northwestern is the team to watch in the Big Ten this season. Cross mentioned how he thinks Kain Colter will be a rushing threat from the QB position, and if they perform to the level that they did against Army, they will be a very tough team to beat.  WOW! WAY TO GO OUT ON A LIMB THERE! Well, thanks Captain Obvious, uhm I mean Randy Cross for that bold, unique, outside-the-beltway insight there: .

-Fantastic must-read article by Wright Thompson of ESPN the magazine, the Johnny Manziel expose

As we get closer to college football season, I’ll be revealing more insights and tidbits from that ESPN the Magazine piece. IT’S LONG. It’s like “War and Peace” long and I stayed up until 3 am to finish it because it was like 150,000 words or something. Yet you can’t put it down. It’s that good. I know what you’re thinking: haven’t we heard enough about Johnny Manziel?

Absolutely not.


(Manziel claims the blunt in this photo is photo-shopped in. Who knows?)

He’s the first freshman Heisman trophy winner in history, who plays in the most FOOTBALL INSANE state in the country, comes from fourth generation Texas big oil money, “parties” a lot, gets in trouble for his “partying,” commits “party fouls” and then even takes to Twitter when he’s freshly completed “partying”…how can you not write about that? Oh and he’s been in therapy for his alcoholism and anger management to boot. And he likes telling complete strangers to f#$ of in public while throwing/breaking golf clubs in frustration at country clubs.

He’s J.D. McCoy from “Friday Night Lights” except more entitled, with a sharper tongue, more incendiary temper and worse at decision making. Here’s the reason he parted ways with his bikini model girlfriend


-Red Eye contributor Matt Lindner is doing some free-lance work for the Sun-Times. Here’s a piece he did on the market value of Alfonso Soriano Cubs jerseys these days; and players in general who have been traded. Hint: the market value is not high.

-Brittney Payton, host of “Chicago’s Best,” on WGN TV, brother to Chicagoland Sports Radio’s Jarrett Payton, and daughter of Sweetness himself got married over the weekend.

Listen on 95.7 The Fan for my weekly Chicago Bears reports.

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@paulmbanks)

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