The Drive revs up for ‘McMornings’

Steve Downes, Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil

Steve Downes, Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil

Following a couple of dry runs off the air this week, Chicago radio veterans Pete McMurray and Dan McNeil are set to debut Tuesday as the newly minted morning team on Hubbard Radio classic hits WDRV FM 97.1.

Joining the duo from 5:30 to 9 a.m. weekdays will be news anchor Kathy Voltmer, a holdover from the morning show hosted for 14 years on The Drive by Steve Downes.

Downes, whose last show will air Monday, was toasted by friends and colleagues Thursday night on his retirement after 44 years in radio. While continuing as the voice of “Master Chief” from the popular Halo X-Box video game series, Downes said he plans to travel and pursue other interests.

McMurray, a 17-year veteran of Chicago radio, joined The Drive from Tribune Media news/talk WGN AM 720, where he hosted evenings. McNeil joined The Drive after 30 years in sports/talk, most recently as midday co-host at CBS Radio WSCR AM 670. Scott Miller, who produced McMurray’s show at WGN, will serve as morning producer at The Drive.

“We built this station and achieved market dominance on a foundation of music,” Greg Solk, senior vice president of programming for Hubbard Radio, said in announcing their hiring last month. “And now we’ll be presenting a unique show that features great rock with two local guys who will combine their love of music with their passion for all things Chicago.

“Pete and Dan will deliver a relevant show that will resonate with Chicago morning commuters, enhancing FM radio’s connection to listeners who demand great local content in an increasingly crowded media landscape.”

In the latest Nielsen Audio figures, The Drive tied for 10th place in mornings with a 3.0 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 379,800. Among men between 25 and 54, The Drive ranked 10th in mornings with a 3.6 share and a 150,200 weekly cume.

Here is The Drive’s weekday on-air lineup, effective Tuesday:

  • 5:30 to 9 a.m. Pete McMurray, Dan McNeil and Kathy Voltmer
  • 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bob Stroud
  • 2 to 7 p.m. Bobby Skafish
  • 7 p.m. to midnight Phil Manicki
  • Midnight to 5:30 a.m. Greg Easterling