Less than two years after he moved to Calgary in the midst of a nasty contract dispute and took up a job that pays him more money than God, and less than a year after competitor Q92 decided to have him do a noon-hour show from Calgary, Terry DiMonte has once again been booted off Montreal radio.
DiMonte announced on Thursday that his show on CFQR would come to an end, by “mutual agreement.” His final show is Tuesday, June 23, from noon to 1pm, just before the Fête nationale holiday.
Unlike his very public spat with Astral Media’s Rob Braide and Bob Harris, which DiMonte described as “hurtful”, his departure from Q92-now-925-the-q is more an acceptance of an unsustainable situation, and he holds no acrimony toward the station or its owners. CFQR is, above all, a music station, and with its relaunch in April it became even more so. DiMonte’s voice time was cut to only about six minutes during the hour (other Q DJs were similarly cut to make room for more music), and he’s paid far too much to sit around and drink coffee for 20 minutes while he waits for his next two minutes on air. As he said on the air on Monday, “it doesn’t fit anymore.”
Even though his ratings were up in the last quarter, the price was still far too high. There are plenty of younger, cheaper, more local DJs that can be brought in to introduce Madonna and Marvin Gaye. According to someone intimately involved with a source with inside knowledge of a phone call between a highly-placed insider and the astrologer for a janitor with access to secret documents, DiMonte was told (graciously) on Thursday that budget cuts meant he had to be dumped. It was a day after he was congratulated for his ratings bump.
Asked about his departure, DiMonte had nothing but kind words for the station (which is owned by his current employer, Corus):
My time at Q was really nice. They were welcoming and supportive and Mario Cecchini and Mark Dickie are class acts. And it was an interesting and different challenge, talking to Montrealers from a studio in Calgary. That was fun. And it helped ease the pain of the bums rush I got from CHOM.
I asked him what he’ll be doing with all the extra time he has. He says he has lots of work to do as “a morning man trying to make a mark in a city of 1.2 million people and 18!! radio stations” and he doesn’t expect to be taking extra-long lunches.
It was a cute little experiment, but in the end DiMonte was overpriced and underworked, doing a job more suited to someone with less than half his experience. It was like hiring a race car driver in a limousine to deliver pizzas. It just didn’t make sense.
So DiMonte is once again off Montreal radio, at least until someone can match what he’s getting in Calgary and offer him serious money to come back. Considering the state of the media economy here, and the rather charred bridge between him and Astral Media (which owns CHOM, CJFM Mix 96 and CJAD), I wouldn’t hold my breath.
I’ve asked for comment from Brian DePoe, program director at CFQR, but he’s on vacation until after June 24. I’ll update this post if he has anything to add.
UPDATE: The last two minutes from his final show, in (slightly imperfect) Mp3.
I certainly won’t miss him.
I have a question, something that’s been nagging me for a while. When I was a kid in the 80’s, I watched a show called “Shoe-in” or something like that. I’m pretty sure it was hosted by terry, with a female sidekick. I think it was on Sunday monrings (or maybe Saturday). Kids could call in to win prizes for some reason. I even went to a taping, maybe in Maison Radio-Canada? That seems strange to me, because I also feel like it was on CFCF.. Does anyone here remember this show, and what it might have been called? Was it Terry who hosted it?
Terry’s show on CFCF was called Fighting Back, and he hosted it by himself. Not sure about the one you mention.
He did host switchback on CBC but he did that out of ottawa
Hmmm.. Seems like a likely candidate, but I can’t find any clips. Thanks for the tip!
You’re behind on your radio rebranding, Steve. Mix 96 is now called Virgin Radio 96.
Oh right. This is why I refer to stations by their callsigns.
well done – his senseless drivel is more than boring. who cares what emails people send him – and who cares what his mother has to say to him on the telephone!!
i was about to remove the Q from our office lunchtime listening!!!!
“It was like hiring a race car driver in a limousine to deliver pizzas.” -Classic. May I use this one? I will, of course, cite your blog. ;-)
Sure. I got it from my dad, though his was originally “using a moving truck to deliver pizzas”
The shakeup of talent in Montreal radio over the past 5 years has been fast and furious. While in my teens in the 70″s CHOM was THE radio station with amazing on air personalities and a dynamic up to the minute music news programming and contest format. CHOM listeners now include a broader range of listeners from teenagers to baby boomers…. a coup in the radio world these days. There are not many radio legends left in Montreal these days and bringing Terry Di Monte back to CHOM is an opportunity to revive the station to its former glory. Fans love Terry for his big heart and music savy, and relate to his every man way of being. I for one am very excited about his return and look forward to what he will bring to the table!