About the Author


Dan Russell, the author of Pleasant Good Evening: A Memoir, was the creator and solo host of Sportstalk, which had a 30-year run as Canada’s longest-running and most-listened-to radio show of its kind.

Debuting in 1984 on CJOR Vancouver, Russell essentially invented a genre — sports talk radio in Canada. He also broke ground in 1989 when Sportstalk became the first weekday talk show to air on FM radio in Canada.

His career included being the play-by-play broadcaster for the WHL on SHAW, the CHL on Sportsnet, Vancouver Canucks pay-per-view, Seattle Thunderbirds radio and the BC High School basketball championships. Russell also hosted Vancouver Canucks broadcasts on CKNW, and he is a former Vancouver Sun sports columnist.

Russell also served as a sports anchor at BCTV and he has appeared as a ‘sports expert’ on CBC National, Global TV and Sportsnet.

All of which happened after Russell, who was born and raised in Richmond, BC, became CISL’s first disc jockey, at age 19, when that station signed on in 1980.

Russell, married with three children, now spends his time in Canada and Asia.


Find out more about Dan

Website: danrussellsportstalk.com


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Dan-Russell-Sportstalk



Initially I just wanted my children to one day be able to understand what I did in my career; how I was able to create a concept and then grow that idea bigger than anyone ever had.

It is, but the dream I chased — to be an NHL play by play broadcaster — did not work out.  Some will argue it worked out better.  I’m still not sure about that.  Happily I did achieve part of that dream.

The behind-the-scenes stories for sure.  But also to share the speedbumps we had to endure just to keep Sportstalk going.  It was also nice to be able to write about many of the people I worked with or alongside.

If there was a misconception it might have been some believing I was a rabid sports fan who just happened to end up on radio, where in fact it’s the other way around.  I am an enormous fan of radio broadcasting who just happened to like sports.

First off, I’m the only Vancouver based sports broadcaster who has ever written one.  But more to the point, I don’t know anyone in my business who kept the kinds of notes I did.  Not only did we diarize the nearly 8,000 shows, we archived hundreds of hours of recordings, kept daily journals of all my comings and goings, kept thorough notes from all key meetings, etc.  Without all those files this book wouldn’t have been as credible as I believe it is.

Liberating and daunting.  I was used to writing a lot – but for radio.  The most difficult media job I ever had was being a thrice weekly Vancouver Sun columnist.  I still remember staring at a blank screen, wondering how would I come up with something?  It was much different than my radio comfort zone.  But I do think the Sun experience helped me with this book.  Happily, unlike the newspaper, there was no real deadline.

Rock 101 CFMI.  After turning down CKNW’s offer in 1988 they kept coming back to me to see if I would join them.  The problem was my preferred late-night timeslot had been occupied on CKNW for decades by legendary Jack Cullen.  Then station manager Ron Bremner and program director Doug Rutherford offered CFMI, even though talk radio on FM at that time was unheard of.  Those were free and fun days, highlighted by the great 1994 Canuck playoffs.

Yes, and for us too.  Nothing will ever duplicate 1994.  One of my favourite chapters is called Seven Hours after Game 7s, which compares the 1994 and 2011 Canuck teams.  Some people might not agree with everything I said, but the character and personalities of that first group dwarfed the ’11 team.  And, selfishly speaking, the end of that chapter might be the happiest of the book.  The most rewarding to me.

Sometimes yes, most times no.  Mostly because the radio medium has changed so much.  The media in general for that matter.  While we did have to re-invent ourselves a few different times over the years, the landscape is so much different now.  Perhaps gone are the days when a show like Sportstalk could serve as the gathering spot for something like a great Canucks playoff run, a big firing or a huge trade.

Lately most of my time has been spent writing rather than reading.  But “Scotty – A Hockey Life Like No Other” by Ken Dryden.  What a combination.  The incredible insight from the most legendary coach and an author extraordinaire. Someone also told me that he once was a pretty decent goalie.