Dahl exits, blames PPM


After 30 years on the air in Chicago, Steve Dahl told listeners to WJMK-FM “Jack FM” Friday that it was his last show, even though CBS Radio will still be paying him for another two and a half years. Dahl blamed PPM for the decision to cancel his show, saying all-music formats get better ratings under the new system. And despite the long period remaining on his contract during which he will not be on the air, Dahl insisted that he is not retiring.

“It turns out the music gets better ratings with this new ratings system. And guess which is cheaper? The music,” Dahl said as he informed listeners that Friday’s show would be his last until at least 2011. The Chicago radio icon complained that his employer had spent nothing to promote his show, which had been the only time period on the Oldies “Jack FM” station with a live host since CBS moved his show there in late 2006 from what had been FM Talker WCKG-FM.

Dahl told listeners that CBS had offered to let him stay on the air for a couple of more weeks to say farewell. “It’s not a farewell. You guys are taking me off the air,” Dahl said he told management. And he said he intends to hold the company to the remaining two and a half years of his contract. According to both the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, that contract calls for CBS to pay Dahl more than $1 million per year. RBR/TVBR sought comment from CBS Radio on Dahl’s departure, but none was forthcoming.

Making a pitch for other stations to hire his staffers, Dahl hailed them all as the best in the business. And he told sidekick Buzz Kilman that he was still invited to the CBS Radio Christmas party in two weeks. Dahl said he will find something to do over the next two and a half years, but just what he doesn’t know yet – except that he can’t do another radio show while he’s under contract to CBS. He will continue to keep in touch with fans via his website, www.dahl.com, which has an audio clip of his final show.