Steve Dahl

I posted and quickly pulled down a post about Steve Dahl’s morning show on 10/28/08. I didn’t love the way it was written, so I made a mental note to edit and repost it at some point. Since Dahl got cut loose by JACK on Friday, so I decided to repost my original thoughts, revision-free:

In my current career role, I don’t have the need to meticulously observe radio ratings. I don’t know who’s up a tenth, down a tenth, or struggling with such things as “non-ethnic men over 18.”

As such, I don’t have a complete read on how Steve Dahl’s migration to JACK-FM has impacted the station.

(Lamentedly) former Sun-Times columnist Rob Feder spelled out a dark PPM world where Dahl occupies a subterranean spot normally reserved for brokered and college radio.

If that’s true, it’s a real shame. Dahl’s been doing consistently solid radio since jumping frequencies and dayparts. When he’s at his best, his humor and topics come across as natural and effortless, something other mic jockeys forcing yuks up and down the dial could (and should, really) learn from.

The real secret to Dahl is the very secret to radio’s survival–his show is hyperlocal. Dahl strikes a chord through shared regional experience. When he talks about walking down Michigan Avenue in shorts on a cold day or a candle shop in Bolingbrook, he’s relating in a way a syndicated host never can.

What’s more, the show’s been bare-bones when I’ve been listening. Without the morning show wacky whistles and bells that have become so tired and so cliche, Dahl’s show stands as authentic, intelligent, and appealingly local.

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