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Tom Zagorski was one of the most popular morning radio personalities in Chicago for nearly twenty years, but the financial realities of the new corporate-owned media world make him obsolete. His boss is doing whatever he can (including public and private humiliation) to make Zagorski quit so he doesn’t have to pay the severance. Zagorski pushes back by passive-aggressively needling his boss into firing him—without ever crossing the line that could get him fired for cause.

When neither side budges after six months of battle, an exasperated Zagorski sends an e-mail to the CEO of the corporation, sarcastically suggesting a massive firing of anyone who doesn’t actually bring in money. Instead of firing Zagorski in a rage, CEO takes the e-mail at face value, eliminating thousands of jobs and sending the stock price soaring. To reward the genius who came up with the idea, the CEO makes Zagorski his new COO.

Getting fired suddenly becomes a monumental task: Zagorski has become the darling of Wall Street. In order to get fired, he has to get the stock price to go down and/or irritate his mercurial boss so much that he can’t take him any longer. Zagorski takes great glee in pursuing both of these options, and, along with his on-air partner Richard Lawrence, plunges headlong into the world of media finance, politics, and personalities.

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Watch Richard Kaempfer’s message of gratitude to the media giants

Read an interview with Richard Kaempfer here
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About the author

Readers’ reviews:

“I think it’s a great, funny, sarcastic, entertaining and thought-provoking book . . . that really shows how broadcasting has changed over the last few years.” — John Records Landecker, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, WZZN Radio, and Shore Magazine

“Brilliant satire! I got a paper cut from the sarcasm. I wish I could say it was great fiction, but having worked in radio, I think it’s just really funny non-fiction. The reality in between the laughs will scare the hell out of you.” — Spike Manton, longtime radio personality and playwright

“I began laughing almost immediately! The first paragraph alone made me feel like I was back at my first radio job trying to avoid doing anything remotely near the station’s break room! I absolutely LOVE the book! The plot twists and turns were totally unpredictable!” — Darren Marlar, Marlar in the Morning, 101-QFL

“[Kaempfer] cuts the modern media conglomerates to the quick in his alternately hilarious and disturbing $everance. Some readers will think his moguls and media personalities are exagerrated. I'm here to tell you they're pretty dead-on.” — Roe Conn, WLS 890 AM

“As funny as this book is, $everance is a must read for anyone who cares about the state of radio and the media in general. The more ridiculous the plot gets, the more one realizes that it’s probably the closest to the truth about what comes out of our radios, TVs and newspapers every day! Kaempfer has done his homework and manages to weave a delightful tale questioning the terrifying possibilities of truth for sale.” — Jeanne Ashley, Star 102 KCKC, Kansas City

$everance is a comical, suspenseful, thought-provoking novel about the frightening realities of corporate media in America. Kaempfer writes with ease, quickly drawing the reader in to the satirical — yet oddly realistic — world he’s created. This one is tough to put down — a delightful page-turner!” — Julia Perla, managing editor of Shore Magazine

“Too bad Zagorski is fictional. Today’s media could use someone like him to shake things up. He’s the personification of fairness with just enough wicked cynicism to make him completely irresistible. The thought that a team like Zagorski and Lawrence might actually exist should make some big bosses more than a little uneasy.” — Leslie Keiling, WGN Radio

“It’s a ripe satire that rips the media giants a new one. Kaempfer throws his rocks with a keen insight.” — Jeff Hoover, WGN-TV Morning News

“Richard Kaempfer has peeled the lid off your favorite radio station and shown what’s inside. $everance turns the radio business on its head and makes you laugh out loud, but it also asks some tough questions. A great read!” — Reed Pence, Media Tracks

“Got this book and read it in one sitting. Fantastic. I’m realizing that I worked with — and for — most of the characters in this book!” — Len O’Kelly, WFGR morning host

“I was with it the whole way, and I love the appended real life figures at the end. I enjoyed the hell out of $everance.” — Steve Rhodes, The Beachwood Reporter

“A hysterical critique of corporate morality.” — Larry Potash, Chicago Tribune’s RedEye columnist and WGN-TV morning news anchor

“It’s about time somebody told this story. $everance certainly captured the world of radio, warts and all.” — Clark Weber, Radio Hall of Famer

 

trade paperback
5.25" X 8.25"
254 pp.
list price $19
ISBN-13: 978-0-9752540-5-9
ISBN-10: 0-9752540-5-7