5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl


5 'More' Questions with...Steve Dahl

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011

By Jeff NuichCSN Chicago Senior Director of Contributor

Want to know more about your favorite Chicago media celebrities? 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, 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 guestand back by popular demandhes a Chicago radio legend, pioneer, innovator, trendsetter, etcthat list can go on foreverfans 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 whos truly one of a kindhere are 5 MORE Questions withSTEVE 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 radios 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.

Steves 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 ABCs 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.

Steves name is often synonymous with 1979s Disco Demolition. Some even call it Steves 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 Chicagos 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) 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 questionsfirst 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 technicallyfinancially. 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. Its 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. Thats an audience that advertisers should be paying top dollar to reach. However, they tend to avoid what they dont 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 theres a giant snowstorm or a monumental Bears collapse.

2) With the Oscar Awards season upon us and the fact that youve always been a big movie buff, any chance you went to see the more artsy Best Picture nominated films such as The Kings Speech or Black Swan? Its just kind of tough to picture you sitting in a theater watching those movies. And a follow-up heregive us your picks for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Picture as well.

Dahl: You are imagining correctly. I have seen neither The Kings 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 its always more fun to watch the ceremony with at least a few of the films under my belt. That said, AMPAS didnt do me any favors by expanding the Best Picture list to 10. I bet it increased movie going somewhat, since I cant 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) Isnt 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 hes 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 wont get it done for him, since hes always pouting, so you cant tell that theres anything actually wrong. Going on the exercycle to show the team thats hes okay sent a weird message to the fans, and Fox didnt 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 wasnt the smoothest PR move on Jays 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) You recently participated in the White Sox Fantasy Camp in Arizona. What was your favorite moment from that experience and do you think youll 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 dont know what becoming a better baseball player really accomplishes, other than to make me feel better about myself, but Ill 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) 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. Its an excellent workout. I wear a heart rate monitor, to be on the safe side, and when it gets up into the 160s, 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. Its what I do, and I feel like Im letting people down when Im not there to help them through it with a few laughs, and some fake school closings.

BONUS Were once again thrilled youre 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 years 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 Oneys Twitter account. Im 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. Theres 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, thats not the way we rolled at fantasy camp. We keep a lot of secrets out there in the desert.


Official Steve Dahl website

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Steve Dahl on Twitter

23rd annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards

Charles Leno, Jr. on Harry Hiestand: 'He's getting us better'

USA Today

Charles Leno, Jr. on Harry Hiestand: 'He's getting us better'

Chicago Bears left tackle Charle Leno, Jr. has outplayed expectations after joining the team as a seventh-round pick in 2014. General manager Ryan Pace rewarded Leno for his play with a four-year, $38 million extension last offseason, committing to the former Boise State product as the Bears' blindside protector for the immediate future.

Leno joined his teammates at the team's annual Bears Care Gala on Saturday and said new offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is going to make him and his linemates better.

"We love Harry, let's just get that out of the way," Leno told 670 the Score's Mark Grote. "Harry is a great coach. I saw what he did for guys that he coached in college and the guys that were before us here in Chicago. He's getting us better."

Hiestand's efforts at Notre Dame produced four first-round picks: Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley, Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey. He brings a no-nonsense coaching style back to Chicago, where he last served under Lovie Smith from 2005-2009. 

STANKEVITZ: In Harry Hiestand, Matt Nagy hits a home run on his first swing at Bears' coaching staff

Leno enjoyed the best season of his career in 2017. His 80.4 grade from Pro Football Focus was the best of all Bears linemen and his highest overall mark over the last four years. He finished 15th among all tackles graded by PFF last season.

Regardless, Leno still has to impress his new coach just like every other offensive lineman on the roster. The Bears haven't added any competition for Leno, but his fate as the team's long-term answer at left tackle could be decided by Hiestand.

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

USA Today Sports Images

Matt Nagy is winning over his players by being himself

Despite losing 34 of his 48 games as the Bears’ head coach, John Fox’s players generally liked him and were disappointed to see him fired on New Year’s Day. That’s not to say they were blindsided by it — losing leads to people losing their jobs, even if the culture at Halas Hall had changed for the better following the disastrous end of the Marc Trestman-Phil Emery era. 

It was with that backdrop that Matt Nagy was offered and accepted the position of Bears head coach a week after Fox’s firing. Four and a half months later, Nagy has seemingly made a strong first impression on his new team, with one reason standing out among many: He’s genuine in who he is and what he does.

“I would say Nagy can be stern, and he can be playful also,” cornerback Prince Amukamara said. “I think when you’re a first-year coach, you want to win (over) your guys, and you want to be firm, and he’s doing that. You can’t really tell he’s a rookie coach or whatever. I feel like he was born for this, and he’s doing a great job.”

Granted, no player is going to publicly blast their new boss — especially not before he’s even coached a game yet. But veteran players also aren’t oblivious to who can and cannot work out as a head coach, and there haven’t been any “damning with faint praise” types of comments that were more common five years ago at the beginning of the Trestman era.

Will this win Nagy any games come September? No. But consider this sort of like team chemistry: It won't win a team anything, but if a team doesn't have it, it can be costly. 

“He’s a cool coach, man,” linebacker Danny Trevathan — who played for Fox in both Denver and Chicago — said. “He’s always giving us little details and smiling but we know he’s a hard worker just like we are. He’s up there working just like we are. He’s always putting us in the right position and he takes care of us. On the back end, where I come from, you take care of coaches like that. You go out and make plays for those coaches.”

From an observational standpoint, Nagy comes across as genuinely excited not just to be a head coach, but the head coach of the Bears. Players respect that approach — he's not coming in acting like a hired gun, and he's shown through these OTAs and practices that he cares about them, even if they haven't spent much time together yet. And he's also not strutting into Halas Hall every day with an over-inflated ego based on his promotion. That resonates, too. 

“I like the way he came in,” Trevathan said. “He came in humble but he was hungry. He came anxious, moving around in the meetings. I like that. That gets me fired up. I feel like we’ve got a good leader up here in the head coach.”