Steve Dahl Biography, Age, Image, Married, illness, Net Worth, Rating

Steve Dahl Biography

Steven Robert Dahl (born November 20, 1954, in Pasadena, California) is an American radio personality and humorist. He is the owner and operator of the Steve Dahl Network, a subscription-based podcasting network.

Originally, Dahl broadcast with Detroit stations WABX and WWWW and later with Chicago stations WCKG, WDAI, WLUP, WMVP, and WLS. He also served as a columnist for the Chicago Tribune in their Live section as the resident “vice advisor” until November 2010. Additionally, Dahl has served on the Board of Trustees at Columbia College Chicago.

Dahl’s radio show takes an “every guy” approach to life in Chicago and Dahl often tells bucolic stories about his life and family on the air. Dahl is also well known in Chicago for his song parodies and his impressions. He is considered a pioneer in talk radio and has been influential for many other radio personalities.

He gained a measure of national attention after the Disco Demolition Night promotion at Comiskey Park, and he is also known in Chicago for his longstanding former role as one half of the “Steve and Garry” team (with Garry Meier).

In addition to his radio career, Dahl is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. His band, Teenage Radiation, recorded and performed a number of song parodies (which he often played on his show throughout the 1980s) and since 1990 he has performed and recorded as Steve Dahl and the Dahlfins. Dahl also is an occasional actor and has appeared in films such as Grandview, U.S.A., Outing Riley and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.

Steve Dahl Age

Steven Robert Dahl is an American radio personality and humorist. He was born on November 20, 1954, in Pasadena, CA. He is 64 years old as of 2018

Steve Dahl Image

Steve Dahl Photo

Steve Dahl Early life

Dahl grew up in La Cañada, California. He is the son of Roger and Carolyn Dahl, an electronics parts manufacturer’s representative and a homemaker.

Steve Dahl Musical career

In addition to recording parody songs for his radio show with his early band Teenage Radiation, Dahl began recording and playing live performance with a new band in 1990, called Steve Dahl and the Dahlfins. This band has recorded and released several albums, including 1992’s “Tropical Tides” and 1997’s “Mai Tai Roa Ae”.

In 2007, backed by Des Moines, Iowa band The Nadas, Dahl embarked on a tour of Chicago-area concert venues. In collaboration with record producer Joe Thomas, Dahl played a large role in the comeback of Beach Boy Brian Wilson.

The three co-wrote the song “Your Imagination” which appeared as a single and on Wilson’s 1998 album Imagination. Dahl provided backup vocals on the song as well.

Steve Dahl Personal life | Married | Wife

Currently, Dahl resides in the western suburbs of Chicago with his wife Janet, a non-practicing lawyer, whom he married in 1978. Before law school, she taught junior high for seven years in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. The couple has three sons.

Dahl has battled alcoholism throughout his adult life, which he has alluded to a number of times. He has been sober since 1995, the day after a drinking bout at the White Sox home opener, achieving it cold turkey.

It was sort of prompted by the fact that I realized that Patrick (eldest of his three sons) was 14 and I was rapidly approaching a ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ situation. I didn’t think I had a right to comment on [my sons’] behavior based on my behavior. Plus, once I turned 40 (in November 1994) some metabolic thing happened to me and I guess I just got old.

— Steve Dahl
In 1999, his wife filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Mancow Muller over lewd comments Muller made about her on his show. In 2001, the case was settled. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it was reportedly seven figures.

Also in 1999, Steve Dahl admitted secretly recording conversations among staffers at WCKG because he suspected they were talking about him behind his back. In snippets Dahl has played on his afternoon show, two station employees can be heard mocking him as “Steve Dull” and ridiculing his show.

Dahl said, “I did it within my organization to confirm my suspicions. This was in a studio filled with microphones and cameras. Legally, I don’t feel they had any expectation of privacy in that case.”

Steve Dahl Radio career

Early radio career

In the 9th grade, Dahl began hanging around a local underground radio station, KPCC-FM, in his home state of California. At the age of sixteen, after he started working at the radio station full-time, he unofficially dropped out of high school. Dahl later explained, “I convinced my parents and the school that I would do an independent work-study thing.

I never got around to it.” At the age of eighteen, he obtained his GED and briefly married a woman he met after she called him on-air to request Suzanne, a song by Leonard Cohen which told a tale of a troubled relationship. Dahl later explained his short-lived marriage by commenting, “I should have paid more attention to that song.”

Dahl was told by radio executives that he’d never make it in radio because his voice was too high. At one point, Dahl was so discouraged that he quit for about six months and attempted to pursue a career as a recording engineer. However, this never amounted to anything more than making mix tapes of popular songs for play on airplanes.

Throughout this time period, he was making efforts to reconcile with his ex-wife, who by then was dating the program director at the Los Angeles radio station where she worked. He later admitted to stalking her by sleeping in his Subaru outside her house.

In 1976, Dahl’s ex-wife told him about an opening for a morning show in Detroit, Michigan on WABX. He managed to secure the job, despite the fact that he did not think he was good enough for it (he later learned that the station was owned by the same company his ex-wife worked for).

At WABX, Dahl learned as much as he could about what constituted “good radio” and also began experimenting with his content. His popularity increased to the point that he achieved a 7.2 market share.

During his time at WABX, Dahl was introduced to Janet, a junior high school English and drama teacher in a Detroit suburb, who was casually dating a friend of his and was also a listener of his show. The two hit it off after Dahl invited her to a “hump day” broadcast he was doing from the camel area of the Detroit Zoo.

WDAI executives in Chicago, attracted by Dahl’s 7.1 shares, approached him and offered to double his salary to $50,000 a year. However, Janet did not want to leave her family in Detroit and he did not want to leave her. This prompted Dahl to ask his bosses for $35,000 a year to stay in Detroit.

They flatly refused by telling him to “Go fuck yourself. Go to Chicago. Fall on your fat face.” In 1978, after Janet accepted his marriage proposal, Dahl left Detroit for WDAI in Chicago.

Rude Awakening
Dahl began at WDAI Chicago on February 23, 1978, with his solo “Steve Dahl’s Rude Awakening” show, but it never achieved solid ratings despite media attention. Ten months later, on Christmas Eve, 1978, WDAI changed formats from rock to disco and fired Dahl.

Steve & Garry
In March 1979, after a few months without a job, Dahl was hired to do a morning show at WLUP where he met overnight DJ Garry Meier (who was then broadcasting under the pseudonym of “Matthew Meier”). Shortly thereafter, the two began a cross talk that eventually led to Meier being teamed up with Dahl as both sidekick and newsman.

Dahl effectively forced Meier to use his actual name by calling him “Garry” on-air accidentally. After openly discussing the subject, again, on-air, Meier officially dropped his pseudonym.

Disco Demolition Night

In response to Dahl’s firing from WDAI, Dahl and Meier mocked and heaped scorn on disco records and WDAI (calling it “Disco-D.I.E.” mocking the station’s slogan, “Disco-D.A.I.”) on the air. Dahl even recorded and started playing a parody of Rod Stewart’s “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?”, which he called “Do You Think I’m Disco?”. The song managed to crack the national charts to peak at No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received airplay across the country.

During this same time period, Dahl and Meier, along with Mike Veeck (son of the Chicago White Sox owner Bill Veeck), Jeff Schwartz of WLUP Sales and Dave Logan, the WLUP Promotions Director, came up with a radio promotion and tie-in to the White Sox called Disco Demolition Night which took place on Thursday, July 12, 1979.

The concept was to create an event to “end disco once and for all” in the center field of Comiskey Park that night by allowing people to get tickets at the box office if they brought $0.98 (for WLUP’s frequency) and at least one disco record. More than 50,000 fans showed up, the records were collected, piled up on the field and blown up.

Hundreds of rowdy fans stormed the field, refused to leave, and caused the second game of the doubleheader to be postponed. American League President Lee MacPhail later declared the second game of the doubleheader a forfeit victory for the visiting Detroit Tigers. Six people reported minor injuries, and thirty-nine were arrested for disorderly conduct.

Height of collaboration
As a result of Disco Demolition Night, Dahl attained national recognition and his popularity increased significantly. He established a syndicate and the Steve & Garry show began airing in Detroit and Milwaukee, where it performed well. However, in February 1981, WLUP fired Dahl, citing “continued assaults on community standards”. “It was going on in El Paso and Los Angeles, like, on Monday, and on Friday they fired me,” Dahl later said. Meier was offered the opportunity to continue the show by himself, but he refused.

“ I always used to get ticked off when I would get lumped in with Howard Stern as being a shock jock. I guess I did shock people, but I did it unintentionally. It comes out of who I am. ”
— Steve Dahl
During the Iranian Hostage Crisis, Dahl, along with his backing band “Teenage Radiation”, recorded and released a parody of The Knack’s song “My Sharona”, called “Ayatollah”. He also made on-the-air prank phone calls to the “Islamic Fried Chicken” (a play on Kentucky Fried Chicken), ordering buckets of chicken for the hostages in the US embassy, for which the State Department later reprimanded him.

Dahl also parodied the John Wayne Gacy murders with his song “Another Kid in the Crawl” (to the tune of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall”). The playing of the song was stopped after parents of the murdered children called to complain.

Dahl and Meier won a local Emmy award for a television special they did in 1981 called, Greetings from Graceland, which was a comedy spoof on the tourist shrine and featured Elvis Presley’s “Uncle Vester” selling Elvis cookbooks from the guardhouse. They briefly had a morning television show, called It’s Too Early on local Chicago station, WFBN-TV, which nationally syndicated columnist Bob Greene called “the best program on television”, “amazing”, and “hypnotic” in his June 20, 1983 column.

The show was canceled after four weeks on the air because it was deemed “unsuitable for general viewing… in particular for young children” after Dahl was shown fully clothed sitting on a toilet seat reading a newspaper.

In 1982, he stated on the air that motorists could allegedly substitute Necco Wafers for coins in automatic toll booths on Chicago’s tollways. The Illinois Tollway System later said that approximately a dozen toll machines broke down due to people trying to use the candy to pay tolls.

Dahl decided to get a vasectomy in March 1989, which was performed live on the air at a urologist’s office in Indiana. According to Arbitron ratings for that survey period, Dahl and Meier’s ratings jumped from a tie for seventh place in afternoons to a tie for third place.

According to Paul D. Colford, a former writer for Long Island Newsday, Howard Stern listened to tapes of Steve and Garry sent from Chicago by a friend of the chief engineer at WCCC Hartford. Colford claims Stern eventually developed his on-air style as a result of these tapes. Later, Stern was hired at WWWW Detroit (which Dahl had left when he moved to Chicago).

End of collaboration
Steve & Garry moved to WLS but ultimately returned to WLUP where they stayed until their split in 1993. The alleged reason for the break-up was Dahl’s on-the-air comments about Meier’s new wife, commercial real-estate broker Cynthia Fircak, while the new couple was on their honeymoon. Meier also blamed Dahl’s alcoholism and unpredictable behavior.

Dahl, for his part, blamed Fircak for the split, once saying on air “When I met her, I knew the rules had just changed.”

In 2003, Robert Feder, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, said, “It’s the divorce that just keeps on giving: A decade after Steve Dahl and Garry Meier severed their legendary radio partnership, their breakup remains a source of bitterness and anger for them — and continuing fascination for their fans.”

After the team broke up, Dahl went to Sports Talk WMVP AM and teamed with Chicago sportscaster Bruce Wolf.

WCKG years
Dahl ended up on WCKG, broadcasting an afternoon show on that station. He eventually teamed up with Buzz Kilman, who was Dahl’s newsman starting in 1980 on WLUP, and the show was available as a podcast at Dahl’s website and streamed live on WCKG’s website. Dahl’s afternoon show was rated fifth among men 25-54 in the winter 2006-2007 rating report. In 2007, Dahl was named one of the ‘100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts’ by Talkers Magazine.

On Friday, August 18, 2006, Dahl was doing a remote broadcast of his show at Oak Street Beachstro, a restaurant on Chicago’s Oak Street Beach. Coincidentally, Garry Meier was eating lunch there with friends. After Dahl learned of Meier’s presence there, he invited Meier to appear on the air with him, which Meier accepted. Meier wound up staying for the remainder of the show. This event was covered widely throughout the Chicago media that evening.

On April 2, 2007, Meier returned to Chicago radio, doing the 8 AM-11 AM show on WCKG. He appeared briefly on Dahl’s show that same day. They occasionally contributed to each other’s shows, and Meier spent the first hour and a half in the studio during Dahl’s show on the 28th year anniversary of Disco Demolition Night, recounting the events of that night.

Jack FM
Dahl announced on October 29, 2007, that he would move to mornings at WJMK on November 5, 2007, as WCKG changed formats. He was the only live personality at the Jack FM outlet as the rest of the station was pre-programmed and run by computer. Dahl’s son Matt was part of the regular WCKG lineup and hosted the show immediately following his father’s. However, the WCKG format change, from an FM talk station to an adult contemporary station meant the end of Matt’s show on WCKG.

Criminal suspect Drew Peterson and his lawyer, Joel Brodsky, called into Dahl’s show on January 23, 2008. Dahl had been lampooning Peterson since the start of the former police officer’s notoriety. Brodsky suggested that Dahl host an on-air “dating game” with Peterson the following day, but WJMK managers and Dahl later decided not to go through with it.”

On December 5, 2008, Dahl announced the end of his show on Jack FM due to low ratings.

“They were saying, ‘Well, do a couple of weeks, a farewell.'” Dahl said. “I said, ‘It’s not a farewell. You guys are taking me off the air. I’m not retiring.’ … “I still have two and a half years left on my deal so, quite frankly, I’m not letting them out of it.” Dahl also said he was prepared to stay off the air for the remainder of his contract, which was to end in mid-2011 and was said to be worth more than $1 million annually.

After the end of Dahl’s final broadcast, Howard Cogan, the normally sarcastic signature voice, Jack, heard on many Jack FM stations, delivered a sincere sendoff to Dahl followed by “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh, a long-time friend of Dahl.

Back to WLS
On October 7, 2014, media blogger Robert Feder reported that Dahl would be returning to terrestrial radio on WLS AM 890. Feder wrote: “Dahl, 59, will join the Cumulus Media news/talk station as afternoon personality, from 2 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

If all goes as planned, Dahl would start in early November. Sources familiar with the deal said Dahl will continue his subscription podcast venture, with Cumulus Media becoming a partner in the Steve Dahl Network. Under the agreement, Cumulus would provide financial, technical and marketing support, while Dahl would continue to host a separate, 90-minute daily podcast for his paid subscribers.” Dahl confirmed Feder’s report on October 8 saying “he’s eager to get back on the air to become ‘part of the daily conversation in Chicago'”.

Dahl’s first day back on WLS was November 3, 2014. His show included an appearance by Ron Magers and a phone interview with Bob Odenkirk. Prior to the show, Dahl said in an email, “My plan for the show is to be funny and get good ratings.” Dahl also said that he sees his return as not only a good opportunity to try and re-energize radio, but also as a way to turn people onto his podcast.

In October 2018, Dahl confirmed to Feder by email that he was leaving WLS after four years in December 2018, in advance of the major weekday lineup shakeup the station announced would take place in early 2019. Dahl also stated that he intends to continue to produce his daily podcasts in partnership with WLS’s owner Cumulus Media. His last day on WLS was December 21, 2018.

On September 8, 2009, Dahl began doing daily podcasts from a studio in the basement of his home. At the time, Dahl was still under contract with CBS, who had agreed in July 2009 to partner with him to produce a daily, hour-long podcast complete with a few commercials.

On August 1, 2011, Dahl, no longer under contract with CBS, began the Steve Dahl Network whose 11 unique weekly shows can be either downloaded or streamed via his official website and app or downloaded from iTunes. Originally, there was only just a daily podcast from Dahl; the network, however, has expanded and now includes podcasts by friends Kevin Matthews and Daniel Van Kirk among others.

In addition to podcasting, Steve has maintained a presence with his fans through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, occasional newspaper articles (he wrote a regular column for the Chicago Tribune up until 2011) as well as various television/radio appearances.

Acting career
Dahl had minor roles in the films Grandview, U.S.A., Outing Riley and I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With.

On November 9, 2013, Dahl and former partner Meier were both inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in recognition of their work together on the “Steve and Garry Show”.

Steve Dahl illness

Robservations: Steve Dahl ‘so glad’ to be home from the hospital

An upbeat and energetic Steve Dahl returned to his afternoon show on Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 Wednesday more than a week after he landed in the hospital for treatment of a perforated colon. Broadcasting from his home, the Chicago radio legend said he was diagnosed with diverticulitis.

“I’m on some kind of weird diet right now,” Dahl, 62, told listeners. “I really honestly am just so glad to not be in the hospital and not in pain. They can take away whatever they want from me in terms of eating. I can live with it.”

Two Chicago Cubs stars — National League MVP Kris Bryant and former Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta — will turn up this season as regular guests on CBS Radio sports/talk WSCR AM 670. Starting Monday, they’ll alternate appearing each week on the afternoon show hosted by Dan Bernstein and Jason Goff.

Calling it “beyond a grand slam for the Score brand,” program director Mitch Rosen said in a statement: “The content Kris and Jake will add to the ‘Bernstein and Goff Show’ will bring the audience into the clubhouse, on the field, and other places the average fan can’t experience.” The radio home of the Cubs also features Cubs manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Chris Bosio on its roster of weekly contributors.

Hernán Fratto, a reporter and news anchor at WLTV, the Univision station in Miami, has joined Telemundo WSNS-Channel 44 as a general assignment reporter. Starting Monday, he will appear on Noticiero Telemundo Chicago at 4, 4:30, 5 and 10 p.m. weekdays.

“Fratto’s professionalism and dedication to journalism will help us continue with our mission of connecting with our viewers and delivering the news and information that matters most to them,” Diana Maldonado, vice president of news for Telemundo Chicago, said in a statement.

“We couldn’t be happier to have Hernán in our newsroom.” A graduate of the University of El Salvador, Fratto previously worked as an anchor and reporter for America Noticias in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The remarkable career and groundbreaking music of Chicago blues legend Sam Lay will be highlighted this week on WTTW-Channel 11. “Sam Lay in Bluesland” will premiere at 10 p.m. Thursday on the Window to the World Communications station. Called by some the greatest drummer of all time, Lay, 82, has been an eminent presence on the Chicago blues scene for 60 years.

He’s also a member of the Blues, Jazz and Rock Halls of Fame. The must-see documentary, directed by John Anderson, features rare 8mm footage from Lay’s personal blues archive.

WTTW-Channel 11 and Univision Chicago WGBO-Channel 66 are teaming up to spotlight the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side. “My Neighborhood: Pilsen,” a yearlong television, digital, and community engagement initiative, will kick off April 27 with a one-hour documentary followed by a live town hall special on Channel 11.

“Chicago Tonight” correspondent Eddie Arruza will open the event at 7 p.m. with a short history of Pilsen. Produced by Daniel Andries, “My Neighborhood: Pilsen” also will air at 11 a.m. April 30 on Channel 66. “Univision Chicago is thrilled to join with WTTW to tell the story of one of the city’s most inspiring and close-knit communities — to shed light on how its residents are working together to make it a better place,” 

Teri Arvesu, vice president of content for Univision Chicago, said in a statement. “We remain committed to collaborating on efforts to raise awareness about Chicago’s diverse communities.” Dan Schmidt, president, and CEO of WTTW said he looked forward to working with Univision Chicago on future local initiatives.


On September 8, 2009, Dahl began doing daily podcasts from a studio in the basement of his home. At the time, Dahl was still under contract with CBS, who had agreed in July 2009 to partner with him to produce a daily, hour-long podcast complete with a few commercials.

On August 1, 2011, Dahl, no longer under contract with CBS, began the Steve Dahl Network whose 11 unique weekly shows can be either downloaded or streamed via his official website and app or downloaded from iTunes. Originally, there was only just a daily podcast from Dahl; the network, however, has expanded and now includes podcasts by friends Kevin Matthews and Daniel Van Kirk among others.

In addition to podcasting, Steve has maintained a presence with his fans through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, occasional newspaper articles (he wrote a regular column for the Chicago Tribune up until 2011) as well as various television/radio appearances.

Steve Dahl Twitter

Steve Dahl Net Worth

Steve Dahl is an American radio personality and humorist who has a net worth of $15 million dollars. Born November 20, 1954, in Pasadena, California, Steve Dahl is one of Chicago’s most outrageous radio personalities and has also proven to be equally successful as a vocalist and songwriter.

His band, Teenage Radiation, used a sharp sense of humor to turn such parodies as RTA and Do You Think I’m Disco into national hits. Do You Think I’m Disco reached the top position on a novelty records top ten, compiled by Dr. Demento in August 1979.

Dahl later collaborated with Brian Wilson and producer/keyboard player Joe Thomas to write the title song of Wilson’s 1998 album, Imagination. Dahl moved to Chicago in the mid-’70s to host the morning shift on WLUP. Dahl found a similar-minded collaborator when he met overnight DJ Garry Meier in 1978.

Dahl and Meier formed one of the most controversial duos in broadcasting. One of their first stunts was a Disco Demolition night at Comiskey Park in 1979. In 1981, they were fired for violating community language standards and moved on to take over the afternoon shift at WLS-FM.

Despite the change, Dahl and Meier continued to face opposition. When transferred to WLS-AM in 1984, the duo missed numerous shows and it took legal litigation and suspension before they agreed to finish out their contract. They returned to WLUP-FM in 1986.

Although he remained active in radio, Dahl experienced a low point in his career during the ’90s, but following a brief stint on a sports radio station, he bounced back as host of a popular radio talk show since 1996. Steve Dahl and Teenage Radiation performed their final concert on June 8, 1997.

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