5 Questions with...The Score's Dan Bernstein


Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011

By Jeff Nuich
CSN 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 guestone of the most popular sports talk radio personalities in Chicago todayoften controversial, but always witty, knowledgeable and downright hilarious, you can hear this guy weekday afternoons with his partner Terry Boers from 1:00-6:00 PM on WSCR 670 The Scorehold on to your seat, here are 5 Questions withDAN BERNSTEIN!

BIO: Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of the Boers and Bernstein show on WSCR AM 670 The Score since 1999. He joined the station as a reporteranchor in 1995.

Named Best Sports Talker by Chicago Magazine, he is the citys only three-category winner of the Achievement in Radio Award (Best Reporter, Best Play-by-Play and Best Talk Show).

His play-by-play experience includes five years calling DePaul basketball, and both radio and TV for the Arena Football Leagues Chicago Rush. He has appeared as a guest on MSNBC, CNN and other national television networks.

Before joining WSCR, he broadcast games for minor-league affiliates of the Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs, as well as the Raleigh Bullfrogs of the Global Basketball Association and the Rockford Lightning of the Continental Basketball Association.


Bernstein interned in the news department at WBBM-TV in Chicago and in the sports department of WTVD-TV in RaleighDurham, NC.

He is a Deerfield native and an honors graduate of Duke University, where he did four years of play-by-play for basketball and football and anchored Duke SportsCenter on Cable 13 TV.

He lives on the northwest side of Chicago with his wife and two children, and is actively involved in fundraising for such charities as Childrens Oncology Services, The Michael Rolfe Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Blind Services Association and many others.

1) Dan, it is a fact that the Boers & Bernstein show is now the longest-running local sports talk radio show in Chicago (since 99). Twelve years is an eternity in the ever-changing on-air talent landscape. Are you ever surprised with the success of your show and, a follow-up questionhow do you, Terry and your team plan on sustaining that success for at least another 12 years?

Bernstein: I'm thankful and bemused. We just do what we do, and what we have done -- minimal prep, keeping the on-air product real and fresh, and responding to what's going on in Chicago sports and beyond. Countless radio execs have overseen our station and our show, and they all have said pretty much the same thing, which is "Whatever the hell it is you're doing, keep doing it. Just don't get us sued or fined." That kind of confidence and trust is what separates us from other brands that manage from a position of fear.

We are trusted to be edgy and provocative because we work hard to keep up on the specifics of FCC regulations and civil law. We know how to say what we want to say, and our intelligent audience knows how to listen between the words.

Regarding the future, it's encouraging that our listeners have gotten younger as we have gotten older -- dramatically so when we compare today's demo with that of the early years. It must be due to the fact that we are irretrievably immature.

2) Naturally, it comes with the territory of being a sports talk radio host that fans will not only disagree with the things you say, but are often flat-out outraged by your comments. How do you handle the hate phone callse-mails you receivedo you ignore them, respond to them, a little of each? Do tell.

Bernstein: We are a mean show, so it would be silly and hypersensitive to be offended regularly by equally mean blowback. We can't be dish-it-out-can't-take-it guys, and the skirmishing is part of the entertainment for everybody.

But any direct, actionable threats are forwarded immediately through CBS Security and the proper law-enforcement channels, and we have found that authorities on all corporate, local and federal levels have acted with speed and real concern when anything has become serious.

When I have responded directly to a textere-mailertweeter, the response back is usually something like "Sorry for calling you a @. Love your show!"


3) Whos had a tougher year in your opinion: Jim Hendry or Adam Dunn?

Bernstein: Neither. It is I, for trumpeting Dunn's projectable metrics and pining for his acquisition.

Seriously, Hendry had a good run as one of the last old-guard baseball execs. He'll be properly put out to pasture as a chief scout, having presided over a memorable era for a heritage MLB franchise, though haunted by failure to win as the game passed him by. He needs to go, and is going.

Dunn is having one of the worst seasons ever, by anybody, given the plate-appearances to do so. We'll see if an increased commitment to the game salvages his career.

4) As a parent with two kids, what are your personal thoughts on Mayor Emanuels pursuit of having longer school days for CPS studentsa valiant effort to further encouragepromote the importance of education or a no-win scenario with the teachers union that could have negative ramifications for the students even if it does pass?

Bernstein: The longer school-day is cosmetic. A longer day with a bad teacher in a bad school is bad, but a longer day with a good teacher in a good school is good. My experience with two kids in neighborhood CPS is this: the quality of the teaching is determined by the quality of the parenting. If parents are involved -- truly so -- in fundraising, management and oversight, the education will reflect that.

We as parents must do our part in the home to accelerate education, challenging our kids to reach the best of their abilities, and we must monitor and manage teachers. Good teachers stay, while the lazy idiots must go, union notwithstanding.

Local CPS schools are as good as we want them to be, as good as we will work for them to be, as good as we insist they must be.

But it begins with our parenting, and, more significantly, our resources.

It's our kids' future: money talks and BS walks. Something the mayor understands.

5) This final question is probably the most important one in this interview: Do you think Jay Cutler will be tuning in to Dancing with the Stars this season to watch his ex-fiance do the Cha-Cha on live television?

Bernstein: Haall I care about is whatever makes him complete passes.

BONUS Anything youd like to promote Bernsie? Tell us, readers want to hear about it

Bernstein: If you want to help kids with cancer and leukemia, visit to see all our great programs. Even small donations add up to provide opportunities and experiences for kids who would never otherwise have the chance. Thanks for anything you can do.

Bernstein LINKS:

WSCR 670 The Score official website

Dan Bernstein official blog home page


Dan Bernstein on Twitter