Dan Russell calls it Quits on CISL 650

Dan Russell during earlier days at CKNW
(Courtesy Photo: Ted Wendland of RadioWest)

Kudos to longtime Vancouver  Broadcast veteran Dan Russell for his efforts in trying to revive his successful ‘Sportalk’,  Sunday through Thursday nights on CISL 650. Russell, who’s contract was not renewed by CKNW last year, prompted the man to put his money where is mouth is, by taking the leap to buy and sell broadcast time with the local Newcap radio station.  Enjoy the break Dan, and thanks for all the many years you’ve informed and entertained your listener.

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  1. Kudos on the effort to produce the show himself… No Doubt!
    However I for one will not miss his childish rants. He offered nothing that could be mistaken for intellectual commentary. He sounded like a teenager who fancied himself just a little bit smarter then all the adults around him. All the while just sounding bitter & foolish.
    Never got over not getting the Canucks Play by Play gig.

  2. Wow, the end of Dan Russell’s Sports Talk radio show – and possibly, his career – apparently also saw no shortage of defamatory, downright personal attacks and vulgar commentary, all hoping for one man’s total demise , as well as the demonization of a single human being that is similar to an alleged adulterer getting stoned by the village townfolk in the days of the Medieval England or in a third world country like India or Afghanistan.

    The whole “screw unto others” mentality that plagues this radio industry is just disgusting and no one should have to put up with it, lncluding Mr. Dan Russell.


    ” I told you so.”

    ” He’s washed up.”

    “He’ll never make it.”:

    “Bitter over never getting hired by Canucks.”

    “Kermit the Frog.”

  3. Dan was good for the first half of his career but when he did not get the Canucks play by play job he turned totally bitter. Anyone who disagreed with his opinion was cut off or blocked in later years. He had a great show at one time but blew it all. A sad ending.

  4. Full points to Dan’s entrepreneurial bent. Tuned into his show from Victoria where the 650AM signal is even weaker than NW’

    Alas, Dan didn’t alter his format from NW and excluded call-ins most nights. Thus, it became an echo chamber of Dan, Lee and assorted guests. Interesting yes. Participatory radio–no.

    Wonder if he’ll follow other ex-radio celebs into selling real estate.

  5. It needs to be acknowledged that Dan Russell not only pioneered the concept of sports talk radio in this country, but this man also managed to parlay that unique idea over the years throughout a variety of formats and frequency changes.
    That ain’t easy and especially when the knives are out – as they always were.
    Why can’t somebody other than Rocker Rick step up and give this dude his due?
    You anonymous folk suck!

  6. Joe Leary
    “You anonymous folk suck!”
    Joe my name is Grant Johnson
    I posted my comment under anonymous ( the first comment posted) as that was an option given. That and I had no interest in creating a funny/smart on line name nor did I think anyone would even care what my name is. Since I am not in the industry, just a listener.
    Certainly not to hide.
    That being said even in the bright light of shame you have heroically cast on us “lowly anonymous posters”….. I stand by my opinion

  7. All I’ve ever maintained is that if you have an opinion – own it.
    It’s way too easy to spout shit about others and hide behind an alias in the process.
    This is the major problem with these radio websites.
    Step up.
    Especially if you’re calling somebody out! Let’s see who YOU are and compare careers – otherwise seriously, shut the —– up.

  8. … it was a tremendously ambitious move to put a sports show on at nine o’clock in the evening sunday through thursday on an oldies music station. it kind of turned CISL into a split-format station. strange move. CISL is about the music — for which the audience is VERY hungry. but russell was buying the time slot, right? as such the economic angle made sense i guess …

    … sad to hear that russell’s gone, but the station’s music audience will be pleased …

  9. Mr. Joe Leary:

    Thanks for sounding out on the darker side of discussion forums.

    The new PSR forum apparently allows you to post anonimously, so that is the choice of the owner.

    However, I have a very good reason for keeping anonymous.

    Several years ago, I originally came onto this site with my real name posted and was ganged up on by various sh*t-disturbers (who, of course) all posted anonymously.

    Then, when I attempted to defend myself, I got the boot !

    The same thing happened to me at the “other” website, as well.

    Unfortunately, the “anonymous” poster who spews venom is here to stay !

  10. Regarding Dan Russell’s legacy, I think that history will treat him, well.

    He was a true pioneer of the sports talk show concept here in the Province of B.C. He was controversial, but talk show hosts are expected to be?

    However, I too, noticed that his phone lines were essentially shut down at CKNW and also, at CISL. Perhaps if he had allowed his core of supporters to get on the air, that would have had a positive spin off effect on his advertising sales.

    The reason that you want to put calls on the air is that it gives the false impression (to advertisers) that people are listening to the show,

    Instead, he decided to go without talking calls? I think that was a tactical error on his part. However, that is his call, as the host. The host can do whatever he wants, as long as the sports get covered and the bills get paid.


  11. I grew tired of Dan Russell’s negativity and stopped listening about 8 years ago. You would think a annual salary of $200,000 at CKNW would make anyone happy to go to work. I would have jumped at the chance to talk sports for a quarter of that coin.

  12. I never got to know Dan Russell during my time in Vancouver. He had a reputation as a take no prisoners, go for the throat sports talk host. People loved or hated him but everybody knew what he was about. He had impact. In radio if you don’t have impact it’s like peeing your pants in a dark suit. you get a nice warm feeling but no body notices . If he is walking from the business on his terms that is more than a lot of people in this industry get.

  13. Dan was great .. in 1994.

    He rode that great streak for a bit, then started faking it. There’s a reason he was replaced numerous times and didn’t get to write his own ticket all the way through. If he was truly the greatest, he would have had an undisputed run as Canada’s longest running sports talk show, instead of the hoax he has tried to pull. He was canned for Don Taylor. He was canned from The Team. He was canned from NW again. He had his moment, but it was brief and it was long, long ago.

  14. My only encounter with Dan was positive.

    Many years ago I hosted a phone in show on what was then Rogers Channel 4. At one point, when a caller brought up sports, I told him he had the wrong Russell, that he should call Dan over at Sportstalk, at that time, on at the same time. I added that since Dan was my father, he should tell the pre-screeners that Dan’s son had sent him and he would be sure to get on the air (I was in my 20’s at the time; Dan is probably no more than 5 years my senior).

    This became a running gag for a few weeks. Dan finally called us after receiving a number of calls purported to be sent from his “son,” essentially trying to determine why I was claiming paternal lineage. We had a laugh at our show and agreed to stop…more or less. Hey, on community TV you’re just happy to have viewers, let alone those who would do what you told them to do. Dan was gracious, far more so than he often appeared on air.

  15. As someone who worked with Dan and other hosts at NW, it’s not that they didn’t take callers anymore, the audience just didn’t call in.

    It can be seen at 1040 as well and it didn’t help that the Canucks were a solid team for a few years. People don’t want to talk about winners.

  16. It’s funny how so much critical discussion of Dan’s show turns to a discussion about anonymous critics. Isn’t that life in media/entertainment? Lee Powell patrols twitter calling out people on that issue. It is a nice way to divert the discussion away from the fact that Dan became tired, lazy and predictable.

    His inability to evolve or get out of his own way is striking. He once had so much working for him, now he has a once a week golf show and retweets each and every compliment he receives. It’s tragic.

  17. If you disagreed with him he cut you off or blocked you. At one time he had an excellent show of which I listened to every night. Then he did not get chosen to replace Jim Robson and the bitterness came in to all his commentary. He blew it all. Now just a Golf show one night a week. Burned too many bridges and will have tough time recovering.

  18. I’m sorry to say, but I’m relieved he’s gone. I listened to his show occasionally for the last several years, but only because it was the only evening radio sports show I could listen to in victoria after a canucks game. I increasingly, and with disgust, turned off his radio show and wondered how people could listen to his negativity; thought of but never bothered to call the station to complain about him and tell them I’m not just turning him off but their entire station. Most of the guys on the newish alternate tsn1040 are way better. The ads volume are too much though and already turning me off again…

  19. I listened to Dan’s show starting in 1991 up until he went off air last year.
    Dan was an excellent host and commentator. Knowledge of the game, a sense of humour, in depth features, interesting guests and a feisty approach. He didn’t always have patience for call ins that wanted to be rude. He had a very strong following, including many in the industry. Best wishes to you Dan !

  20. The problem with his show was he got arrogant and fought with callers. He acted like only he knew the answers. He should have laughed and agreed with the crazy callers. Instead, he seemed bitter. Nobody wants to listen to that.

    Also, he was always on holidays. OMG!!!!! He took more time off that a university professor on sabbatical. Every time I tuned in he was on vacation.

    I feel bad for him because he pissed a lot of people off in the market. He has himself to blame and also there were a lot of fellow broadcasters who were jealous of him.

  21. All i remember is his HATRED of Bertuzzi. He just would not let up on that guy. Bad Karma. What goe`s around,comes around!!!!

  22. Dan was great in the 90s and all the way to when he left
    I compared him to the pioneer of sports talk radio who
    was ted tevan broadcasting out of montreal


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