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WDRV Morning Host Steve Downes To Step Down

97.1 The Drive WDRV WWDV Chicago Steve Downes Master Chief The ClassicsHubbard Classic Rock “97.1 The Drive” WDRV Chicago/96.9 WWDV Zion morning host Steve Downes has announced he will step down from mornings in the very near future.

Downes has been in mornings at WDRV/WWDV since the format launched in 2001. He has also worked at WLUP Chicago, multiple stations in Los Angeles, Dayton, and Pittsburgh as well as a run hosting the syndicated Rockline during his 44 year radio career. His weekly syndicated “The Classics” program will also continue and will remain on WDRV/WWDV.

Downes will exit the morning slot once a replacement is in place in the next few weeks. He will also continue his voiceover and voice acting career where he is best known as the voice of Master Chief in Microsoft’s Halo series.

WDRV “The Drive” morning host Steve Downes announced this morning on the air that he is set to retire after a 44 year career behind the mic.

Downes, who has been the only morning drive host on WDRV since its launch in April of 2001, plans on traveling, spending time with grandkids and sleeping. Here’s a partial transcript from his announcement this morning:

“What I’m about to say comes with mixed emotions. After much thought, 44 years playing rock and roll on the radio, the past 18 of which here in Chicago, and the last 14 as your morning man on the greatest rock station in America, I’ve decided it’s time to call it a career. I’ll be retiring from full time radio work in the next month or so. My wife and I have had some very long conversations over the last year and we’ve decided that there are some things we’d like to do: Travel, grandkids that need spoiling out in Colorado, a golf game that desperately needs tending to, and I’d like to see what it’s like to get up after the sun comes up! We haven’t settled on an exact date yet, only to say that it will be within the next month or so. Ya know, not many people in this business get to say that the last years of their career have been the most rewarding. I am fortunate enough to be one of those—having hosted The Drive’s morning show from the very beginning. Watching this station grow over the years, working with the people I’ve worked with and most importantly for the greatest listening audience any DJ could ever hope for.”

Greg Solk, Hubbard Chicago Sr. VP/Programming adds, “Waking up and hearing anybody else on The Drive is going to be an adjustment, for sure. Steve has been such a perfect morning man, collaborator and friend to all of us. He has helped The Drive achieve wild success and is always going to be a part of our DNA. Steve has generously agreed to allow us to use his pipes in station promos and will continue to host the United Stations syndicated weekend show ‘The Classics’ that is broadcast out of The Drive.”

Downes has been broadcasting for 44 years, beginning his career in Dayton, Ohio and has worked for and programmed stations in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Tampa. Downes may be even more famous as the voice of “Master Chief” from the wildly popular Halo X-Box video game series, where he’ll continue to make personal appearances around the country promoting the series. Downes will continue to host mornings on The Drive until a replacement is found.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

1 Comment

  1. Profile photo of joseph_gallant


    Hopefully, Downes will be replaced by a local morning show.

    Maybe someone currently at the station will get promoted.

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