McNeil’s a no-show at the Score

Dan McNeil

Dan McNeil

Never far from drama, Dan McNeil is at it again.

The veteran Chicago radio personality has been off the air since Monday when he called in shortly before the start of his midday show on sports/talk WSCR AM 670 to say he wasn’t coming to work.

No explanation has been given to listeners, but colleagues said McNeil, 52, is dealing with personal problems and family issues. It’s not clear when he will return to the Score.

Filling in for McNeil alongside co-host Matt Spiegel on the show from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays has been Laurence Holmes.

Rod Zimmerman, senior vice president and market manager of CBS Radio Chicago, declined to comment on McNeil’s status Wednesday.

Earlier in the week, Spiegel posted on Twitter: “For the many asking, Mac is physically fine. And this is not a repeat of a prior event. He’ll update you when he wants to. Not my place.”

Spiegel no doubt was referring to McNeil’s extended absence last year when he underwent treatment for depression and substance abuse. “I can’t promise anything about down the road, but I know today, as I have been for the last six weeks, [I’m] pretty happy to be substance free,” McNeil said on returning to the Score in April 2012. “Real joy has returned to my life.”

In addition to his battles with substance abuse, McNeil made headlines over the years for numerous suspensions for his conduct on and off the air.

In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, the Score ranked 16th in middays with a 2.7 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 291,300. Among men between 25 and 54, the station tied for 14th in middays with a 3.1 share.

Monday morning update: The Score announces McNeil is on “personal leave of absence [and] hopes to be back on the air soon.” Added Spiegel: “I know Mac’s openness about his issues has been inspiring to many. I trust that eventually he will let all of you in, as he sees fit, in whatever venue he decides. It’s not my place or anyone else’s to share more.”