Steve McDowell

After more than 40 years in radio, Sean McDowell, one of Pittsburgh’s most recognizable voices, is stepping away from the microphone. 

Born in Pittsburgh, McDowell is the son of longtime KDKA-TV and WTAE-TV anchorman and AFTRA member Al McDowell. Sean McDowell studied broadcasting at the University of Dayton before beginning his radio career in 1978, and worked at several local stations, including the former WYDD-FM and WRRK-FM, before taking over WDVE-FM’s afternoon slot in 1993. 

Over the course of his career, McDowell has interviewed hundreds of rock personalities, including Alice Cooper, Don Felder, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Page and Angus Young. Those interviews, combined with his direct experience of the classic rock era and his raspy-voiced delivery, have brought the music and history of this era, and Pittsburgh’s place in it, to life for generations of listeners.

When asked, McDowell noted that the two things he is grateful for over his long career are the fact that he got to spend the entirety of it in his hometown, and SAG-AFTRA.  After a career of six-day work weeks and with retirement just on the horizon — his last day of work is on July 31 — he is looking forward to doing nothing for a while, and credits his pension from the AFTRA Retirement Fund for his ability to do so.


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