Published on Saturday, 23 July 2011 10:58
Chicago radio legend Steve Dahl debuted a brand new segment near the end of WFLD-TV's 9:00pm newscast last night. The segment, entitled "The News Remixed with Steve Dahl," is an approximate 2 minute commentary segment, where Dahl delivers his own unique take on a current news story. Last night's airing was a test run to see if this can become a regular feature of WFLD-TV's newscasts.
The segment last night had Steve Dahl talking about the news of a new Lifetime movie called "Lady Killer" being filmed about accused Chicago-area double wife-murder Drew Peterson and the interesting casting of handsome Rob Lowe to play the less-than-handsome Drew Peterson. Dahl, in his own witty way, offered other suggestions about how the movie should be cast.
As funny as Dahl's segment was, the real hilarity came after Dahl's segment ended. The two FOX Chicago News anchors seemed very much split over how they enjoyed the piece. Bob Sirott, who has worked with Dahl in the past on the radio, was sitting relaxed and had a large smile across his face. He seemed to have enjoyed the humorous bit. Conversely, Robin Robinson doesn't seem to share Sirott's sense of humor and her reaction on camera was one of complete shock. She had her right arm across her chest and her left hand over face. As soon as she could, she took her hand off of her face, turned to the camera and said "I'm apologizing to Stacy Peterson's family right now
You can watch the funny video from MyFOXChicago.com right here:
Since his long-term contract with CBS Radio finally came to an end at Midnight on July 9th, Dahl is now free to pursue other employment opportunities. These possible segments, delivering comedic commentaries periodically on WFLD-TV newscasts, is just one of many possibilities for the one-time radio superstar. Earlier this month, Dahl announced his plans
to begin charging a monthly fee to hear his daily shows, which are in podcast form on his website Dahl.com.
Steve Dahl had been working full-time in radio since he was 16 years old. He began his career in Chicago radio in February 1978 on WDAI-FM. Since then, he has worked for Chicago stations WLUP-FM, WLUP-AM, WLS-AM, WLS-FM, WMVP-AM, WCKG-FM and WJMK-FM. He has worked solo and with partners Buzz Kilman, Bruce Wolf, and most famously, Garry Meier.
Steve Dahl has been off the radio airwaves for about 2 and a half years. After CBS Radio decided to flip the talk station WCKG-FM to the adult/contemporary station WCFS-FM at the end of October 2007, CBS moved Dahl, WCKG-FM's afternoon star, to the jockless music formatted WJMK-FM as its morning show host in November 2007. Just over a year later, CBS Radio admitted that the experiment of placing an afternoon talk show in the mornings on a station that advertises having no DJs was a bad fit and a mistake. With nowhere else to place Dahl's show, CBS Radio canceled it in early December 2008.
Thanks to an iron-clad contract Dahl negotiated with CBS many years ago, CBS Radio was forced to continue to pay Dahl his full salary until it ended on July 9th, even though he was off the air. To stay connected to his fanbase, Dahl began podcasting in September 2009. CBS Radio partnered with him in this venture and promoted his podcasts on the CBS Chicago websites. The CBS Radio contract, paying an estimated $1 million per year to Dahl, also contained restrictions that did not allow Dahl to even do a guest appearance on a non-CBS Radio station, let alone consider starting a new radio job elsewhere.
This is far from the first time radioman Steve Dahl has worked on television. His 1981 TV special, "Greetings From Graceland," won a Midwest Emmy Award. In 1983, he had a short-lived local television show called "It's Too Early." He has guested numerous times on Chicago newscasts and interview shows. He was even a contestant on the syndicated TV game show "The Weakest Link" once.
It remains to be seen if Dahl's commentaries will become a regular feature on WFLD-TV's newscasts. With those newscasts being by far the lowest rated on Chicago television, Dahl's contributions, and abilities to rally his sizable fanbase to tune in and gain media exposure, could be one way to help the station increase its sagging ratings.