Bears

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

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

Bears notes: Was Trey Burton’s penalty justified?

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — In a game full of pivotal moments, one seemed to irk the Bears in particular following Sunday’s 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

Driving on the Dolphins three-yard line, the Bears lined up in a T formation with Jordan Howard, Trey Burton and Tarik Cohen lined up left to right in the backfield behind Mitch Trubisky, who was under center. Burton motioned out of the backfield and to the right, and ran his route into linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Trubisky threw a short pass to a wide open Cohen for a touchdown, with Alonso late getting to the running back after being hit by Burton. But that score was taken off the board for offensive pass interference, with officials ruling what Burton did amounted to an illegal pick play.

“Trey did everything I asked him to do,” Matt Nagy said, sharply.

On the next play, Trubisky forced a pass into double coverage in the end zone, which was easily picked off by Dolphins safety T.J. McDonald. Miami turned that interception into eight points on Albert Wilson’s 43-yard touchdown and an ensuing two-point conversion.

The way Burton understood the rule was that offensive pass interference was only assessed on a pick play if he intentionally ran into a defender without running a true route. That’s what Burton felt he did; the officiating crew disagreed.

“I thought I ran a route and the guy ran into me,” Burton said. “I thought they changed the rule this year or last year — if you run the route, it doesn’t matter if you pick the guy or not, you’re good. Obviously they called it.”

A Rough Return

The conversations surrounding the Bears Sunday into Monday would be awfully different had a number of things happened — Trubisky doesn’t throw that interception, the Bears’ defense gets a stop, Tarik Cohen doesn’t fumble near midfield, etc. In that same group: If Cody Parkey hits what would’ve been a game-winning 53-yard field goal in overtime.

Parkey, instead, missed that kick wide right. His career long is 54 yards, which he hit last year while with the Miami Dolphins (and that was a game-winner with about a minute left against the Los Angeles Chargers).

“I had the distance, I just didn’t kick it straight enough, bottom line,” Parkey said. “But you’ve got to move on. I’ve made game winners, I’ve missed game winners. As long as I keep playing, I’m just going to keep trying to kick my best.

“… I control what I can control, and unfortunately I missed a field goal. I’d like to have that one back, but it is what it is and I’m just going to focus on the next game. That’s all I can do.”

For an improving Bears offense vs. Dolphins, a day of maddening extremes

For an improving Bears offense vs. Dolphins, a day of maddening extremes

Their points production in the 31-28 overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday marked the fourth time in five games under coach Matt Nagy that the Bears have scored 23 or more points. All of the 28 were heaped on the Dolphins by the offense, which churned for 467 yards one game after amassing 483 and 48 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But the Bears did in fact lose, and not all of the reasons can be laid at the feet of the defense. Not nearly all of them.

In great position to put the game virtually out of reach for the struggling Dolphins, the Bears offense failed. The yardage total gave the Bears consecutive 400-yard games for the first time since games 14-15 in 2016, and well could have represented a statement that the offense of Nagy and coordinator Mark Helfrich was indeed hitting a potent stride.

It may be. But a combination of troubling factors gave Sunday’s output a hollow ring.

Against the Dolphins, 149 of the yards came on possessions ending in turnovers, including an interception thrown by quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and fumble by running back Jordan Howard both occurring in the red zone with points well within reach.

The offense hurt itself with a handful of pre-snap penalties, and the overarching sense is that the belief in Nagy and the overall offense is growing amid mistakes that clearly rest with players themselves.

“For sure, 100 percent trust in Coach Nagy and what he believes is best for this team,” Trubisky said. “What he believes is what I believe is best for this team. Whatever he calls, we're going to run it to the best of our ability. We put ourselves in a great chance, and I have faith in our guys that next time we get the opportunity we make it.”

Opportunities taken and opportunities missed

For Trubisky, the linchpin of the evolving offense, it was a day of extremes.

His production (316 yards) gave him consecutive 300-yard games for the first time in his 17-game career. His passer rating (122.5) was the seond-highest of his career, behind only the stratospheric 154.6 of the Tampa Bay game. His three TD passes are second only to his six against the Buccaneers. Trubisky’s yardage outputs this season are pointing in a decidedly upward arc: 171 at Green Bay, followed by 200-220-354-316.

But decision-making proved costly at tipping points against the Dolphins. From the Miami 13 with a 21-13 lead early in the fourth quarter, and holding a chance to create potentially decisive breathing room on the scoreboard, Trubisky forced a throw toward tight end Ben Braunecker, who was double-covered in the Miami end zone. The ball was intercepted by safety T.J. McDonald, and the Dolphins went from the touchback to a touchdown and subsequent game-tying two-point conversion.

“I just thought the safety went with the ‘over’ route,” Trubisky said. “He made a good play. I lost him when I was stepping up [in the pocket], and I forced one in the red zone when I shouldn't have… . I forced it and I put my team in a bad position, and I shouldn't have thrown that pass.”

The second-year quarterback started poorly, with an overthrow of a wide-open Anthony Miller on the third play from scrimmage, resulting in a three-and-out and a concerning start for what would be only scoreless Bears first half this season. A failed fourth-and-2 conversion gave Miami the football at its 41 later in the quarter.

Trubisky badly overthrew an open Miller in the second quarter, creating a third-and-long on which the Dolphins broke down his protection for a second sack in the span of just 11 plays. After a 47-yard completion to Taylor Gabriel, Trubisky threw an checkdown pass nowhere near running back Jordan Howard.

Fatigue factor overlooked?

Running back Tarik Cohen totaled 121 yards for the second straight game and the second time in his career. For the second straight week Cohen led or co-led the Bears with seven pass receptions.

But the last of the seven came with a disastrous finish. Cohen was hit by Miami linebacker Kiko Alonso after taking a swing pass and picking up 11 yards, fumbled and had the ball recovered by cornerback Xavien Howard at the Chicago 45. The defense did manage a stop, leading to the overtime, but the result was devastating.

“Personally for me, it’s [frustrating] because I know I took my team out of position to win the game late in the ball game,’ Cohen said. “So personally, that’s frustrating for me… . I feel like I had an opportunity to get ourselves down in scoring position. I let fatigue get the best of me, and I forgot about the fundamentals.”

That Cohen mentioned “fatigue” is perhaps noteworthy. A question was raised to Helfrich last week as to whether there was an optimal or max number of snaps for the diminutive Cohen, who had five carries and was targeted nine times – not including one punt return and plays on which he ran pass routes but was not thrown to in the south Florida heat.

“It was hot,” said defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. “It was hot out there.”

Weapons rising

Last offseason and millions in contracts were spent upgrading offensive weaponry. The investments produced in Miami.

Touchdown passes were caught by wide receivers Anthony Miller (drafted) and Allen Robinson (free agent) plus tight end Trey Burton (free agent). Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (free agent) caught the five passes thrown to him for a team-high 110 yards, his second straight 100-yard game after none in his previous four NFL seasons.

Five different players posted plays of 20 yards or longer, including pass plays of 54 and 47 yards by Gabriel and a run of 21 yards and reception of 59 yards by Cohen.

Uncharacteristically for the normally fast-starting Bears offense, the group followed the scoreless first half with 21 points in the third quarter and 343 yards of combined offense in the second half and overtime.

“We came out with more energy and had the attitude that we were going to go down and score the ball,” Trubisky said, “and we played a lot better the second half.”