Iconic Pittsburgh classic rock DJ Sean McDowell to retire from WDVE
Sean McDowell has been spinning records on the radio for so long that when he started, he was one of the disc jockeys who actually played vinyl records.
After more than four decades of bringing classic rock ‘n’ roll to Pittsburgh radio listeners, McDowell has announced that he is retiring.
His last day hosting the afternoon drive shift at WDVE is July 31.
McDowell made the official announcement Tuesday morning on the WDVE Morning Show with Randy Baumann.
The son of longtime Pittsburgh television news anchorman Al McDowell, Sean McDowell began his professional radio career at WYDD, a “free form” rock station where the disc jockeys chose the music they played, something that is almost unheard of in the preprogrammed digital age.
McDowell, 63, was part of an era when radio hosts went on stage to welcome big name bands. He introduced The Cars and Eddie Money at the Stanley Theater, now known as the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. He also introduced Jethro Tull at the old Civic Arena in October of 1979.
McDowell worked at FM 97 from 1981 to 1993, before moving to WDVE where he began what would end up being a 26-year stint. He currently hosts the 3 to 8 p.m. shift Monday through Friday and a 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift on Saturdays.
McDowell was forced to take a short hiatus from the station last summer to have open heart surgery. He had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2017.
In 2016, McDowell was inducted as a member of the Pittsburgh Rock ‘N Roll Legends, Pittsburgh’s version of the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame.
Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or [email protected].