Neil Macrae is retiring from CKNW but staying with Rock 101 because, in his words: “I can still mouth off with Bro Jake without doing any home-work or research. All we do is yell at each other.”
Macrae, 60, has carved up and trashed people in sports during a radio career that has lasted 40 years. “I figured it out early,” he says, “that you have to be different if you want to be recognized. I think the biggest insult in life is walking into a room and nobody noticing you or knowing who you are.”
That’s vintage Macrae. He’s the guy proudly wearing the black hat willingly inviting his listeners to dislike him. “If 50 per cent hate my guts and 50 per cent want to listen to me, it means they are all listening. No matter how you cut it, it boils down to ratings.”
Macrae has insulted everyone from Francesco Aquilini to Chris Zimmerman and a cast of thousands between the letters A to Z.
When that little red light goes on in the ‘NW or Rock 101 studios, Macrae can turn into a monster, taking no prisoners. It is his comfort zone.
“Aquilini doesn’t like me calling him Aqui-loonie,” Macrae says. “He sent me a couple of threatening letters but it didn’t amount to much. I generally read letters like that on the air and let the listeners decide who’s right and who’s wrong. They are almost always in my corner.”
Outside of the rare guest appearance, Macrae’s final sportscast on CKNW will be next Thursday at 8: 15 a.m.
He will then appear on the Bill Good Show the next morning from 8: 30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Before the Good show, a roast will be on the spit with Bro Jake on Rock 101 and arranged phone-in guests such as Bruce Allen, Brian Williams, Fred Latremouille, J.P. McConnell and Frosty Forst all enjoying one last chance to skewer Macrae.
In the early days of his career, Macrae would be asked to leave black-tie dinners because of his bare feet and clogs. On-air guests would walk out on him in the middle of interviews.
“I have no regrets,” he says. “I had a helluva run and out-lasted most people in the business. And I made a lot of money along the way.”