Chicago news: Dan McNeil talks about being in limbo; contract impasse with WSCR

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on Dan McNeil and his uncertain future at WSCR.

You also can access the column via my Twitter feed at @Sherman_Report.

From the column:


Dan McNeil has been on the radio host sidelines since the end of June and might remain there for a long time.

That’s OK with him.

He says the time off would allow him to work on his short game in golf, and more importantly, pursue writing a book about his son Patrick’s struggle with autism.

“I’ve been thinking about this for five years,” McNeil said Thursday. “I want to write about how autism has affected the journey through life for a family in Northwest Indiana. I’d like to leave a greater footprint in my career than just talking about point spreads and pucks.”

McNeil should get a definitive answer on whether he can start writing in the next couple of weeks. He has been off the air as co-host of WSCR-AM 670’s midday show with Matt Spiegel since the end of June when his contract expired. Negotiations are at impasse with McNeil seeking a substantial raise over a reported salary in the $275,000 range.

McNeil said he wants to remain with the station. But this could be the end of that road for him.

“Everything has been amicable,” McNeil said. “It just has taken a bit longer than either side would want it to.”

WSCR officials declined to comment on the situation.

McNeil said it was his desire to be out for most of July for family trips while he was in between contracts. However, he regrets he didn’t inform listeners of his plans.

“In retrospect, it could have been handled better,” McNeil said. “I apologize to my many loyal fans who were left in the dark.”

4 thoughts on “Chicago news: Dan McNeil talks about being in limbo; contract impasse with WSCR

  1. Dan McNeil, without question is a talent and I do miss his radio acumen, however, enough is enough. This guy has issues with practically everything in life. He has demons that he just can’t erase. He is weak “stock” and as much as I would miss his on air talent, he has let me down for the last time. Offer the shift full time to Matt Abattacola.

  2. Dan, I don’t believe you really want to remain at he Score, if so you would meet in the middle with your salary request. You are showing a sort of a greed attitude. If you want to take off for personal reasons so be it, just PLEASE let the listeners know we have earned that. I followed you when you were up the dial, with Mac Jurko and Harry. So please again man up and let us know the truth. Thank you. Mark J Walek

  3. Well done, Ed. I like Danny Mac very much as a person, and have enjoyed my many conversations with him about Cubs vs. Sox and learning the art of fishing from a true sportsman. That said, he came perilously close to losing his job last year as a result of falling off the wagon and needing to go back to rehab. Is now really the time to ask for a raise?

  4. It really pains me to say this, but I think it is time for the Score to part ways with Dan. Dan is one of my favorites in sports media and I have always appreciated his honesty and longtime hockey love. The Score has been very patient with his recovery and other work suspensions, but the extended absences are making things difficult for Matt Spiegel, who really deserves more consistent attendance from a co-host. There are several talented people who have been patiently waiting for a full-time opportunity. One of them really should replace Dan. I wish the best for my hockey pal. Addiction is a personal hell.

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