5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl

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Posted by Grobstein the Kennedy comedian on February 12, 2011 at 09:11:22:

5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011

By Jeff Nuich
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, it’s 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 week’s guest…and back by popular demand…he’s a Chicago radio legend, pioneer, innovator, trendsetter, etc…that list can go on forever…fans can catch him hosting the “23rd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards” benefiting the March of Dimes on February 14 LIVE on Comcast SportsNet (coverage begins at 7:00 PM)…a man who’s truly one of a kind…here are “5 ‘MORE’ Questions with…STEVE DAHL!”

BIO: From Radio Legend to Podcasting Pioneer, Steve, in his 32nd year of broadcasting, has just as much to talk about today as he did on day one.

Steve Dahl is one of radio’s most successful and enduring talents, known for holding few topics off limits and allowing his listeners an intimate look into both his professional and private lives. He now invites listeners to experience an even more intimate glimpse of his life by doing his show in his own home studio where daily life and show boundaries collide. From Janet, to their dogs, Mable and Milly to their sump pumps, nothing is off limits.

Starting out his radio career in California and Detroit, respectively, Steve set his sights out for a career in Chicago radio, beginning with two stints at WLUP-FM (97.9, "The Loop") and the now- defunct WLUP-AM. He later spent five years at WLS-AM (890) and –FM. Closing an 11-year chapter in radio at WCKG-FM (105.9) in November 2007, Steve moved to mornings on sister station WJMK-FM (104.3), also known as Jack-FM. Steve is still a member of the CBS family and records a daily 1-hour podcast from his in him studio in the western suburbs. With countless shakeups in the radio world, Steve has remained a Chicago mainstay.

Steve’s expertise is not just limited to radio, but extends to television and music as well. He won a Chicago television Emmy in 1982 in the category "Outstanding Achievement for a Single Program" for his work on “Greetings From Graceland,” chronicling his tour of Elvis' estate. Since then, he has produced groundbreaking programs such as ABC’s story of the Beach Boys, “Summer Dreams,” and the shows “It's Too Early,” “New Year's Steve and Garry” and the CBS late-night show, “The Midnight Hour.” He also created and executive produced the PBS music series “Soundstage” in 2003.

Steve has hosted the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes in 2008, 2009, 2010 and will host again on February 14, 2011. The 2009 show was even up for a Local Emmy award.

Steve’s name is often synonymous with 1979’s Disco Demolition. Some even call it Steve’s most influential contribution to the national music scene. Initially crafted as a radio promotion, Steve lead a “Disco Sucks” chant as an estimated 90,000 fans and listeners showed up to storm the field, joining him in setting fire to thousands of disco records. The event put Steve on the map in Chicago and the rest of the country, and earned him the reputation of being one of the most influential DJs in rock history.

His 25th anniversary in Chicago was recognized with a party in February 2003 at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications. For his 20th anniversary, Illinois Governor Jim Edgar proclaimed February 28, 1998 "Steve Dahl Day" throughout the entire state.

Steve and his wife Janet reside in the western suburbs of Chicago. They have three grown sons: Pat, Mike and Matt.

1) CSNChicago.com: Steve, thanks for coming back for a second “5 Questions with…” interview. Truth be told, your first interview last year was one of our most popular to date so we had no choice but to ask you back for a second interview. On to the questions…first off, and this has to be asked right off the bat, with your existing radio contract ending this summer, which has kept you off the radio airwaves for the past two years, is it safe to assume your fans can expect to hear you back on the radio come this fall?

Dahl: I am really enjoying the freedom of podcasting, but the concept might be a little bit ahead of the curve technically/financially. Media buyers are still trying to understand the digital explosion and what it means to their agencies and their clients. In the meantime, recorded “podcasts” are extremely low on the advertising dollar food chain. It’s too bad too, because I have over 20,000 people a day who specifically seek out my show and then listen to it in its entirety. That would translate to extremely good radio ratings, if anybody would bother to do the math. That’s an audience that advertisers should be paying top dollar to reach. However, they tend to avoid what they don’t understand. So, the short answer is yes, I will be back on the radio, or possibly a satellite near you. I also really miss being on the radio when big events are happening in the city. As a broadcaster, I have a need to be there for people when there’s a giant snowstorm or a monumental Bears collapse.

2) CSNChicago.com: With the Oscar Awards season upon us and the fact that you’ve always been a big movie buff, any chance you went to see the more artsy Best Picture nominated films such as “The King’s Speech” or “Black Swan”? It’s just kind of tough to picture you sitting in a theater watching those movies. And a follow-up here…give us your picks for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture as well.

Dahl: You are imagining correctly. I have seen neither “The King’s Speech” nor “Black Swan,” and I will wait to see them in the privacy of my own home in case they make me weepy. Out of the 10 movies nominated for Best Picture, I have only seen “True Grit” and “The Social Network.” I plan on watching as many as I can via DVD or On Demand before the awards, because it’s always more fun to watch the ceremony with at least a few of the films under my belt. That said, AMPAS didn’t do me any favors by expanding the Best Picture list to 10. I bet it increased movie going somewhat, since I can’t be the only person who wants to see them all first. Based on what I have seen, I am giving all my awards to “True Grit.” I thought it was just a spectacular film from start to finish. I love the Coen Brothers when they are on their game. It should also win for best cinematography too. The scenery was some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

3) CSNChicago.com: Isn’t it time for everyone to just let go of the daily Jay Cutler bashing?…or do you think the current harsh stance by both the media and fans will change him for the better come next season?

Dahl: I have no doubt that Cutler was really hurt, and that he’s extremely tough, but I think he needed to be a little bit more dramatic about it. I think he was willing to go back in the game, but the Bears made the decision to keep him out. Pouting on the sidelines won’t get it done for him, since he’s always pouting, so you can’t tell that there’s anything actually wrong. Going on the exercycle to show the team that’s he’s okay sent a weird message to the fans, and Fox didn’t do anything to help by making it seem like he had a phantom injury. Joe Buck is in love with Aaron Rodgers though, so I guess that was to be expected.

I think the Bears should have handled the PR aspect of that whole situation a lot better too, by getting out in front of it and saying Cutler took a shot, tried to play, but the coaches chose to keep him out. They should have alerted the media to that during the second half of the game. Also, shopping in LA the next day with K-Cav wasn’t the smoothest PR move on Jay’s part either. At least get a pair of fake crutches just to shut people up. As for making the team better next year, as we know with Cutler, it could go either way.

4) CSNChicago.com: You recently participated in the White Sox Fantasy Camp in Arizona. What was your favorite moment from that experience and do you think you’ll ever do it again?

Dahl: My favorite moment from Fantasy Camp was when it was over and I could still walk. Seriously, I had no idea what do expect, and it had been some 40 years since I had played hardball. The camp was a blast. The White Sox run a first class operation out there in Glendale. The coaches were all great guys to hang out with, and by the end of the week, they had actually made me a better player. I don’t know what becoming a better baseball player really accomplishes, other than to make me feel better about myself, but I’ll take it. I would gladly do it again, and would love to take my three sons with me for the week sometime. I now also have a completely authentic 1959 White Sox uniform that should serve me well as a Halloween costume for the rest of my natural life.

5) CSNChicago.com: What body part of yours ached the most after you shoveled your way out of the “Blizzard of 2011?”

Dahl: I was in Florida for the storm, so mostly my butt ached from sitting around and watching it on TV. I did go across the street to the beach and shovel some sand just to stay in shape for future blizzards. I actually like to shovel snow. It’s an excellent workout. I wear a heart rate monitor, to be on the safe side, and when it get’s up into the 160’s, I take a break and let my heart slow down to a more doable 130 or so. Truth be told: I was kind of jealous to be missing out on such a big event, and as I mentioned earlier in this interview, I really missed being on the air before, during and after the storm. It’s what I do, and I feel like I’m letting people down when I’m not there to help them through it with a few laughs, and some fake school closings.

BONUS QUESTION…CSNChicago.com: We’re once again thrilled you’re back hosting the Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards benefiting the March of Dimes for the fourth-straight year and truly appreciate your support over all these years. As you know, Ozzie Guillen is this year’s “Lifetime Achievement” award winner. As a lifelong Sox fan and season-ticket holder, are there any game-related suggestions for the upcoming season that you plan on passing along to Ozzie that night?

Dahl: I love Ozzie, and I love the way he runs his ball club. My only advice to him would be to shut down Oney’s Twitter account. I’m all for family protecting family, but my kids would never do anything to affect my job in a negative way (even if they were standing up for me against attacks by Bobby Jenks), and if they did, I would make sure that it never happened again. Plus, where the heck is the “guy code” these days? What happens in the locker room stays in the locker room, even if you are mad at somebody. There’s plenty Oney could have said about Jenks like his losing velocity or his control, instead he went for the personal stuff. Not cool, little dude! I can tell you one thing, that’s not the way we rolled at fantasy camp. We keep a lot of secrets out there in the desert.

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