By Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist Published Oct 07, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Van McNeil, the afternoon host on WMYX-FM 99.1, parted ways with the Entercom station on Friday.

"Thank you ... for listening, for your support and for some amazing memories the past 15 years! Couldn't of been No. 1 without you," McNeil said after getting the news that his contract wasn't being renewed.

McNeil has been with Entercom since 1998, joining the WXSS-FM Kiss 103.7 staff, hosting morning, afternoons, midday and overnight shifts at the pop and contemporary hits station.

In 2006, he moved down the hall to 99.1 The Mix, taking on the duties of Public Affairs Director and working on the air during midday and afternoon shifts.  At that time there was plenty of change at Entercom, with Craig Carson added to the on-air staff at Kiss, and Kidd O’Shea being named morning show co-host with Jane Matenaer on WMYX.

"Thank you for allowing me into your cars, homes, business and life," McNeil said.

It was when he was at WMYX that the station moved ahead in the Arbitron ratings. According to Tom Taylor’s NOW ratings, 99.1 is the fifth most listened-to station in the Milwaukee market, and the top adult contemporary station.

In what is now called the Nielsen Audio (since Nielsen completed its purchase of Arbitron earlier this year) The Mix recorded a 6.5 rating in September. And McNeil’s string of No. 1 ratings helped fueled that success.

For the past two years, McNeil has been a part of the "Spare Time Bowling Show" on WSSP-AM 1250, taking listeners along on his journey working on his game and playing against professional bowlers in the PBA Summer Swing.  

"For now, the grind continues! This PBA thing is far from over! I still have more work to do on my game before I even think about doing something like that again," McNeil wrote on the Spare Time Bowling Show page.

If you’ve been to a Milwaukee Wave soccer game, then you’ve heard McNeil’s voice as the PA announcer. For the professional soccer program, he also does PR, media and marketing work.

McNeil is the public address announcer for UW-Milwaukee women’s basketball games, he hosts the Wisconsin Zombie Mud Run and he serves on the executive board of the This Time Tomorrow Foundation.

"I’ve got plenty to keep me busy during my required hiatus, between my kids, the upcoming Milwaukee Wave / Milwaukee Panthers seasons, This Time Tomorrow Foundation and working with former Green Bay Packers player LeRoy Butler," McNeil said.

"Life is still gonna be good crazy."

While uncertain where the future will take him, McNeil remains positive and welcomes people to connect with him on Facebook.

"I look forward to returning to airwaves in the near future to have some fun and establish the connection I’ve always had with our community," he said.

"Stay tuned and thanks for all the love!"

RADIO RATINGS: In the Milwaukee and Racine radio market, country station WMIL-FM 106.1 is the ratings winner in September on the Nielsen Audio rankings. According to Tom Taylor’s NOW ratings, the Clear Channel-owned station tops the list with a 10.6.

Oldies station WRIT-FM 95.7 comes in second with a 7.3 and news talk stations WISN-AM 1130 and WTMJ-AM 620 are tied for third with a 6.9.

The area stations owned by Saga Communications don’t subscribe for the radio measurement service, meaning WKLH-FM 96.5, 102.9 The Hog, Energy 106.9, Jammin’ 98.3 and JOY 1340 AM, are counted, but will not appear in the rankings.

Rounding out the top 10 are WMYX-FM 99.1 the Mix with a 6.5, WLUM-FM 102.1 at 5.7, WXSS-FM Kiss 103.7 with a 5.3, WLWK-FM 94.5 The Lake at 4.7, WLDB-FM B93.3 with a 4.4 and WKKV-FM V 100 a 3.9.

Steve Kabelowsky Contributing Columnist

Media is bombarding us everywhere.

Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.

The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.