Dori Monson, the Puget Sound region’s longtime conservative radio host from “the mean streets of Ballard,” died Saturday night at a Seattle hospital, according to KIRO Newsradio. He was 61.
Monson hosted his highly rated three-hour show each weekday, and for many years had been a part of the Seahawks radio broadcast team and local sports.
KIRO Newsradio described him as a “longtime watchdog of government and social issues” and said the station is working to create on-air tributes.
A written statement from Bonneville International, which owns KIRO-FM, said Monson suffered a “cardiac event” at home Thursday and was hospitalized.
Monson attended the University of Washington and worked at KING-TV and KING Radio before joining KIRO in the early 1990s.
His energetic weekday show from noon to 3 p.m. regularly featured state politicians of both parties and a snappy review of news headlines he called “the fastest 15.” He was a persistent critic of Sound Transit and the Highway 99 tunnel. On any given afternoon, Monson’s show could be heard from boomboxes and parked vans at neighborhood housing construction sites.
In 2016, Monson coached the Shorecrest High School girls basketball team to its first state title. He called that championship run “other than family stuff, probably the most exhilarating life experience I’ve had.” But he was also averaging a 75-hour workweek, he said.
He was yanked from his show in 2020 for 2½ weeks, for a tweet about birth certificates that mocked transgender people. He was suspended indefinitely by Bonneville from hosting Seahawks’ pregame and postgame shows.
Despite health issues in recent years, Monson enjoyed deep-sea fishing with colleagues and playing pickleball with his family, the station said. He leaves behind a wife and three adult daughters.