Rumours that longtime Montreal radio personality and CHOM-FM morningman Terry DiMonte was considering an offer to move to another radio station were verified today when CHOM announced he was leaving in an email to listeners.
Strangely, the announcement doesn’t mention where he’s going, calling it only “a new opportunity in Western Canada.” But he has accepted a five-year contract at Calgary’s Q107 classic rock station, where he will begin a show in January.
DiMonte’s last day is this Friday.
Through two stints at CHOM (separated by five years at Mix 96 and four years at CJAD), DiMonte has spent 14 years at the classic rock station, becoming one of its most recognizable names. He’s been a perennial favourite among anglo Montrealers, and won the Mirror’s No. 1 choice for best radio host in its 2005 Best of Montreal poll.
Metroblogging Montreal has already declared war. Adrian’s a bit more sombre about it.
DiMonte’s replacement on the Terry Ted and Kim morning show is Rob Kemp, who currently hosts the Rob Kemp show on weekday afternoons on Mix 96. He starts Monday, when the show will become the Ted, Kim and Kemp show (a name which sounds cooler than “Ted Kim and Rob” but makes no sense logically).
As for Kemp’s old slot, Mix 96 is currently hiring to fill it. So if you have a sunny disposition and at least three years of on-air experience in the format, feel free to apply.
UPDATE: The Gazette (after talking with DiMonte) confirms what’s been pretty obvious to everyone, that DiMonte’s move was about contract negotiations. Talks to re-sign him weren’t going well, giving him the distinct impression that CHOM didn’t really want him back. (Classy man that he is though, he doesn’t blame management for the deal going sour, lamenting only that he and Bird don’t have the star power they used to.)
Q107 gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. So Montreal loses another star to free agency.
UPDATE (Nov. 23): On the morning of his last day, a tribute cartoon from Aislin, and a column from Mike Boone. And, of course, the obligatory Facebook group that misspells his name.
UPDATE (Nov. 24): In this morning’s Gazette, a recounting of DiMonte’s final day on the air.
There’s also an article in the Calgary Herald about how DiMonte’s arrival will affect the radio landscape there. It notes how DiMonte’s departure is “front-page news” here, though with the exception of The Gazette and CTV News I find this story vastly under-covered in the Montreal media. A brief Presse Canadienne piece, a couple of sentences at CJAD (where he spent a few years). Not a peep from CBC, Global, or any of the French media.
The news item is already off CHOM’s front page, replaced by a Led Zeppelin promo. Hell, even Ted Bird’s blog is absent any mention of his best bud’s departure (what the hell is the point of these blogs if you’re not going to use them for things like this?). Kim Rossi mentions it briefly, though it sounds more like a press release than a heartfelt goodbye to a friend.
So I’ll leave you with this video from CTV News on YouTube (I would have linked to the one on CTV’s website, but all the links I found to it say the video is “no longer available”):
UPDATE (Dec. 12): The Gazette’s Bill Brownstein follows Terry around for his last week in Montreal, going to some of the places he’ll miss most.
UPDATE (Jan. 4): DiMonte has already begun his morning show at Q107, where he’s being partnered with former Montrealer “Peppermint” Patti MacNeil. The show can be heard online weekdays 7:30am-noon (5:30-10am in Calgary).
Word around the media playground is that this if the first of many changes that could happen now that Mix/CHOM and CJAD have new overlords. It seems the winds of change are in fact blowing. Those in the know better hold on to their “before and after” Mix/CHOM/CJAD ballcaps for fear they might blow away.
About time really, CHOM has been stagnant for years. They played rock when it was new and on the 80s they played New Wave and had a progressive cutting edge attitude about music through shows like ‘New Music Foundation; and more. They played acts like U2 before they broke big in North America and brought little known acts from the UK and elsewhere to our airwaves. Now it’s just regurgitated stale crap. They totally missed what happened to music in the 90s (and yes, there was a lot of good music) which allowed 99.9 the BUZZ to flourish. Now they have no direction and they’re the LAST place anyone looks for anything new and interesting on the horizon. A slow paced boring morning show that’s not really that funny (I think they laugh more at their own jokes than anyone else) aimed at the 40-60 demongraphic is bound to do what it did today: die. Will they bring back a station that had the spirit of looking for the next new thing or just pump out more ‘classic rock’ to the same clientele and never attract a new listener ever again? Don;t get me wrong, there nothing wrong with Terry Dimonte as a human being: heart’s in the right place, supports his community and a lot of great causes, etc… but that’s a CV for a boy scout troop leader, not what CHOM needs to evolve as a music station. At least I’ll give it a listen to see if anything changes…
Well Dan good luck. CHOM is about to get more white bread than ever. Putz.
Thanks for this. I was just googling trying to find Terry’s new station and came across you blog.
I’m sitting here with Kleenex as I read through some of the columns I missed.
I’ve been listening to Terry for over 20 years and I’ll be listening to him tomorrow morning from Calgary.
I’m a Calgarian, born and bred under big, blue skies, in the broad shadows of the Rocky mountains. Therefore, I can say this with affection and sincerity: Mr. DiMonte will hopefully add some class and culture to our fair city. Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. Calgary is a fast-paced, somewhat frenetic business centre, where fortunes are made in what would seem to be the blink of an eye anywhere else, and it has been *very* good to me, BUT… No one comes to Calgary for the culture. No one comes here for the great food, live music or arts community. No Calgarian, if given the choice, would willingly retire here. No, the reason Calgary exists today is to provide financial security for the future; a future preferably spent on the west coast or in the Okanagan. Unfortunately, in the rush to make great gobs of cash, Calgarians are woefully undersupplied in the cultural niceties Montrealers take for granted. Worse, most Cowtowners don’t know any better, or perhaps they just don’t care. Much is made of our agricultural heritage, most of which is pure myth. We are, I am ashamed to admit, narrow-minded religionists, who think the gun registry, homosexuality, environmentalism and Ottawa are pure evil. Terry DiMonte will encounter narrow-mindedness, a bumkinish lack of worldliness, and a cultural vacuum, but he’ll also get cool, crisp air full of mountain pine. He’ll drink the cleanest glacial water, while he contemplates his next walk in the Kananaskis. I hope he skis and I hope he likes steak. Most of all, I hope he likes living here enough to stay for a while.
Welcome to Calgary Terry!!
I listened to you while growing up in montreal and now I’ll listen to you here in Calgary, my home for the past 15 years.
As Montreal as…..
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God what has happened to Chom morning’s with Rob, Ted and Kim. I have really tried to adjust to them…but I can’t, Rob is cool, but Ted continually overtalking everyone, he is not at all funny and Kim is becoming more annoying all the time. Am the only one who feels this way? How are the ratings of the show since Terry left?
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