Published on Thursday, 29 March 2012 08:46
The Mac is back... or will be in just over a week. WSCR-AM's Dan McNeil has announced that he will return to the radio airwaves on April 9th. This will mark his first time on the radio since he left for personal reasons in well over a month.
The last time Dan McNeil did his show on 670 The Score was Friday, February 24th. The following Monday, February 27th, Danny Mac was no longer there. On-air partner Matt Spiegel then mentioned that McNeil would be out for a while for "health and wellness" reasons. Since then, McNeil has had his spot on "The McNeil and Spiegel Show" filled in by the station's deep roster of bench players. While talented, none of them have had the drawing potential and star power of Dan McNeil, making his return a very welcome one for the radio station.
Early this morning, Dan McNeil posted on his personal Facebook page
the words his fans have been waiting to hear: "could not be more grateful for the support I've received from family and friends, including this forum. Thank you. Feeling much better... and I'll be back on the air Monday, April 9.
Matt Spiegel said today: "It'll be great to have our guy back.
It is expected that McNeil will openly discuss some of the mental & physical reasons for the extended personal leave of absence upon his return.
Dan McNeil began in local radio at WGN-AM in 1985, first as an intern, and then as a producer for "Sports Central" and the station's Chicago Bears programming.
McNeil first came to be well known locally in 1988 on WLUP-AM as "Dangerous Dan McNeil," the executive producer of Chet Coppock's nightly sports talk show -- a direct predecessor to The Score's format. There, "The Dangerous One" would contribute his thoughts nightly, be Chet Coppock's main fill-in host, contribute to other WLUP-AM shows, such as Steve Dahl & Garry Meier's show, and be part of the station's Chicago Bulls programming.
In January 1992, he became one of the initial hosts of WSCR-AM, the new sports talk station in town, teaming up with Terry Boers. McNeil stayed with the station until October 2000, when he then left to join sports talk rival WMVP-AM. At ESPN1000, he co-hosted the "Mac, Jurko & Harry Show" (aka "The Afternoon Saloon") until being taken off the air in January 2009. The station informed McNeil that they could no longer afford his salary, and even though he still had four months left on his contract, felt it was best to part ways at that point. Soon after riding out his contract from WMVP-AM, Danny Mac rejoined WSCR-AM, pairing up with Matt Spiegel (aka "Speigs," aka "Meatpants") for a new midday show.
Originally titled "The Danny Mac Show," it later gave both hosts a billing, calling it "The McNeil and Spiegel Show." Regardless of the name, the Score's current midday show has consistently delivered the ratings for its owners. In the station's target demographic of Men 25-54, McNeil's popularity has placed the station at or very near the top of those ratings each month and a key reason the station is consistently in the Top 5 in that demographic overall.
In June of last year, after two years on the station, CBS Radio gave McNeil a multi-year contract to ensure he remains with The Score for years to come.
McNeil has also had a long sportswriting career locally. In the mid-80s, he began writing for The Times of Northwest Indiana. Since then, he has been a sports columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, and is now writing for the Chicago Tribune. Additionally, Danny Mac is a published author, co-writing a book with former Tribune/Crain's sportswriter Ed Sherman entitled "The Great Book of Chicago Sports Lists,"
which was released in paperback in September 2009.
Dan McNeil still lives in northwest Indiana, where he has his whole life, is happily married and has three sons.