In his 50 years on the radio, Dan Avey lived several chapters that could have been entire careers for others — sports commentator, morning show cohost and news anchor.
Born in Spokane, Wash., Avey grew up in Southern California, moving to East Whittier when he was in the sixth grade. While attending California High School in Whittier, Avey worked as a gofer at then-rock station KFWB-AM (980), retrieving record albums for disc jockeys Bill Ballance and B. Mitchel Reed. In another high-school job, Avey worked a summer as one of the original boat drivers on Disneyland's Jungle Cruise.
He returned to Spokane, to attend Gonzaga University, and there got his first on-air gig as a weekend DJ on rock station KXLY-AM in February 1960. But two years into law school, the Army ROTC officer got called into active duty. Avey volunteered for Airborne Ranger Special Forces training and served in Vietnam.
From 1969 to 1976, he worked as the color commentator on radio and television for the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. In 1976, he returned to KFWB, by then an all-news station, as an anchorman. He had a brief foray to Orange County’s KWIZ in 1978, then in 1986 he left KFWB for KFI-AM (640), to join the morning show hosted by Gary Owens and Al Lohman. A year later he moved to Geoff Edwards' show, mid-morning on the same station, but was fired in 1989 along with the program's two producers. Edwards had quit his show to protest a stunt by fellow station personality Tom Leykis, and when KFI replaced Edwards' show with that of nationally syndicated host Rush Limbaugh, the station deemed Avey and the others unnecessary.
Avey returned to KFWB, where he remained for a dozen years — including a stint as morning coanchor with former television journalist Kathleen Sullivan — until he left for KABC-AM (790) in 2001. There he joined morning man, and longtime friend, Ken Minyard as cohost. When Minyard retired in 2004, Avey worked as the afternoon news anchor until 2007, when KABC did not renew his contract. During his career, Avey won more than 30 journalism awards, including 15 Golden Mikes from the Radio & Television News Association of Southern California.