CHOM’s new schedule adds Terry DiMonte, Heather Backman in mornings

UPDATE (Jan. 13): Read more about DiMonte’s first day here. Updates below with more coverage of DiMonte’s return and comments from Chantal Desjardins about her new job at CJAD.

Terry DiMonte does his first show back at CHOM on Jan. 9.

The news that Terry DiMonte was coming back to CHOM came out all the way back in June. The date was set and publicized in November. But details on such things as who his cohosts would be and what happens to the rest of the schedule were kept under wraps until Monday when DiMonte started his first show.

Here’s the details of its new schedule:

Mornings Rock with Terry DiMonte

The morning show, from 5:30 to 10am weekdays, is being completely reconstructed around DiMonte. His cohost, starting Jan. 16, will be Heather Backman, who left CJFM a year ago for an opportunity in Cleveland, which she’s leaving to come back to Montreal.

Backman and DiMonte don’t have any history, which makes the choice a little out of left field. But she did a demo with DiMonte and there was something about it that he and Brand Director André Lallier liked. “She’s very witty,” Lallier said. “She brings a certain edge. She has a good laugh. A fresh perspective.”

Backman and DiMonte together just sounds good, he said, and in radio that’s what’s important.

The show also includes some regular contributors:

Maureen Holloway will do entertainment segments twice each morning from Toronto.

Maureen Holloway will do entertainment segments (called “Dirty Little Secrets”) at 5:50 and 7:15am daily. Holloway works out of her home in Toronto for Corus stations across Canada, and was a feature of DiMonte’s morning show at Q107 in Calgary. She’s also an old friend of DiMonte’s.

Holloway previously contributed to CFQR, but since it and other Corus radio stations in Quebec were sold to Cogeco, there’s no Corus station in this market, so they were able to negotiate having her on CHOM.

Because she happened to be in the area finishing off her vacation, Holloway joined DiMonte in studio on his first day.

(As an aside, I find it funny that DiMonte comes from Q107 in Calgary, Holloway comes from Q107 in Toronto – both owned by Corus – and Backman comes from Q104 in Cleveland. Gives you an idea of the lack of imagination when it comes to branding radio stations.)

Trudie Mason does newscasts on the hour

Trudie Mason of CJAD walks down the hall just before the top of the hour and gives the news headlines (usually preceded off-air by an apology from DiMonte for not being on time).

Eric Engels talks about the Habs

Eric Engels continues contributing his Habs report to CHOM’s morning show, though it’s moved to 6:55am. Engels is a Habs reporter who writes for HockeyBuzz and does the Engels Angle on CTV Montreal’s website, among other things. You can follow him on Twitter at @EricEngels.

Esteban Vargas sits behind the big board pressing all the cool buttons

Esteban Vargas is the unsung hero behind the big board, queueing all the songs and audio clips and traffic reports and everything else. He’s been at Astral since 2005, working mainly as an operator and in promotions.

Weekdays

  • Tootall (Weekdays 10am-3pm). His shift remains unchanged, as does his noon-hour Made to Order show.
  • Bilal Butt (Weekdays 3-8pm). Bilal gets upgraded back into the afternoon drive slot vacated when Pete Marier left the station last month. The afternoon drive show expands in length to five hours.
  • Jason Rockman (Weeknights 8pm-midnight). Rockman shifts earlier to take over Butt’s slot. His Amped show runs weeknights instead of one day a week.
  • Brandon Craddock (B.C.) and Ron MacKinnon (Ronny Mack) continue to share overnight duties from midnight to 5:30am.

Weekends

  • Sharon Hyland stays on weekend mornings, shifting earlier so she starts at 6am instead of 8. “It’s all good,” she writes on her blog.
  • Rob Kemp takes on the midday shift on weekends, from 11am to 4pm each day.
  • Randy Renaud remains the weekend evening person, 4-8pm Saturday and 4-10pm Sunday
  • Jay Walker maintains his Montreal Rocks show from 10pm to midnight Sundays.

Chantal Desjardins moves to CJAD

The one personality leaving CHOM is morning co-host Chantal Desjardins. But she’s not leaving the building. Instead, she’s joining Aaron Rand’s show on CJAD weekdays from 3-7pm, essentially doing the job of sportscaster that Barry Morgan did. Now Morgan can concentrate on his own show, which comes on after Rand’s.

Desjardins says she’s “really enjoying” her new job already. “I think Aaron and I have natural chemistry…he is very encouraging and his energy is contagious. And have I mentioned I’ve slept in until 9am the last two days? Amazing.”

She says she also plans to keep doing stuff for CTV on the side and is “looking forward to a new adventure.”

Rand says he’s excited about Desjardins. “Chantal is funny, opinionated, and smart, AND she brings a female perspective to the show, which is something I’ve always thought was a good complement my style,” he told me. “We’d worked together before on a couple of occasions, and I immediately liked her style and personality.”

“And, it gives Barry Morgan a chance to spend all his time focusing on his evening show from 7-10, without having to worry about doing the afternoon sports run on my show.”

“So as far as I’m concerned, it’s a win/win all around.”

Rand has made Desjardins a part of the last half-hour of his show, from 6:30 to 7pm, when the two chat about weird and funny stories. “I figured that would be a good way to incorporate her into the show beyond her sports reports,  and give her a feel for how I work so she can get comfortable with my style,” Rand said. “After that it’ll be a matter of getting her more involved on a regular basis.”

Desjardins let her Facebook friends know about her new job, drawing dozens of encouraging comments.

Rob Kemp okay with weekends

Kemp also put on a happy face about his new job. Kemp posted on his CHOM blog taking the bright side of being on the radio only two days a week.

Lallier talked up the new weekend lineup, saying that ratings show that 30-35% of the audience is now on weekends, which means Saturday and Sunday are no longer audience wastelands. Weeks after the Q became the Beat and put big names Ken Connors and Nat Lauzon on the weekend, resulting in ratings boosts, it seems CHOM is also paying attention to weekends.

What about Pete?

I asked Lallier about Pete Marier, and the possibility of him coming back. A cursory look at the new schedule suggests it wouldn’t be that difficult to shift things around to put Marier back on the afternoon drive show.

Lallier’s answers differed little from what Astral VP Martin Spalding told me just before Christmas. They wanted Marier to stay and form one of the “three pillars” of the station. They offered him a “very, very good” contract for an afternoon drive host, and gave him multiple opportunities to accept. Lallier pointed out that even after it became clear Marier wouldn’t take the contract and his show was terminated, management still let him go on air one last time (something that is very unusual in professional radio because it can lead to people saying things on air that make the station look bad) but that again Marier said no.

Marier himself remains quiet, despite lots of activity from his fans (a protest had been planned via Facebook for Monday morning outside CHOM’s offices, but was called off because a poor showing would have seemed worse than none at all). At least one other radio veteran who works at Astral has expressed hope that Marier can put his emotions aside and work out a deal with management to come back.

Coverage

Astral’s press release explaining all these changes was issued Monday morning.

The Gazette’s Bill Brownstein had a feature on DiMonte in Saturday’s paper, in case you haven’t read it yet. It includes a sidebar on what happened to Marier.

Global and CTV both sent cameramen to document DiMonte’s first show. CTV later sent reporter Cindy Sherwin to talk to DiMonte. Global’s brief is at the end of Monday’s newscast (skip to 23:15).

CTV Montreal also interviewed DiMonte on the noon newscast on Thursday.

A live chat with the Gazette

UPDATE (Jan. 11): The Gazette invited DiMonte to do an hour-long live chat on Wednesday, in which he talks about his favourite music, his weight loss and what it’s like to come home. Even his mom stops by and asks him to get some rest.

Of interest to us, he offered the following on Pete Marier:

I feel bad that Pete left but have been hopeful that there is a raprochement possible. He chose to leave. I hope we can change his mind

(Answering a question on whether Marier would come back) I hope so Pat… there seems to be a detente brewing there

On Ted Bird:

I would LOVE to have Ted back..the best fun I ever had…and maybe someday…but right now he loves what he’s doing at K 103…so not in the NEAR future I don’t think…unless we can change his mind

DiMonte also called Rob Kemp a “talented young broadcaster” and said he met Backman for the first time in October but “liked her very much”.

UPDATE (Jan. 14): Richard Burnett talks to DiMonte for his Gazette blog. DiMonte also talks to the Cornwall Free News.

89 thoughts on “CHOM’s new schedule adds Terry DiMonte, Heather Backman in mornings

  1. John

    Astral disgusts me. They are losing all their talent. No wonder Cat Spencer and Nat Lauzon ran from the building as soon as they could. Wasting a class act like Rob Kemp on weekends? Even if management for some reason thinks people want to listen to Bilal talk about teabagging and dildos when they are picking their kids up from school, I don’t understand why Kemp didn’t at least get put back to his old afternoon slot esp after helping the morning show do better since he took over. So much for the “pillars”. I will be switching over to the Team I guess.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      No wonder Cat Spencer and Nat Lauzon ran from the building as soon as they could.

      I think that’s very misleading. Spencer left because he got a better offer at Cogeco, and Lauzon left because she didn’t want a full-time job in radio anymore. Neither has had anything negative to say about Astral, at least publicly.

      Reply
      1. John

        I think the key word in your reply is “publicly”. Not everyone is as willing to blow up bridges as Ted Bird seemed to be. I certainly wouldn’t publicly trash my employer if I chose to leave my job. And if the only reason Nat chanegd jobs was because she didn’t want to work full-time anymore why didn’t she move to weekends on Virgin rather than cross the street to the competitor?

        You are of course right that we don’t know the true motivations of the people CHOOSING to leave, but I am not the first person to observe how many have done so in recent history. It just seems like there is something else going on here.

        My point was simply that there seems to be a disregard of basic employee relations and an underappreciation of talent at Astral. Just look back at your own interviews with management and ratings summaries.

        Someone commented that Bilal sounds better every day, but I wouldn’t have thought you develop talent in your drive slot . Moreover things like stoner trivia are, in my opinion, more appropriate on an evening show and not at 4:20 in the afternoon. Apparently they think that’s personality. I just think its offensive. Rob Kemp was good enough to do mornings for many months (and Spalding himself referred to him as a “pillar” in your interview with him), but there’s no room for him during the week? Just doesn’t make sense. In any case, I guess it doesn’t really matter, most guys I know aren’t going to listen to CHOM anymore anyway.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          And if the only reason Nat chanegd jobs was because she didn’t want to work full-time anymore why didn’t she move to weekends on Virgin rather than cross the street to the competitor?

          That’s a good question, but my impression was it was simply a matter of Cogeco offering her better conditions for a weekend job.

          You are of course right that we don’t know the true motivations of the people CHOOSING to leave, but I am not the first person to observe how many have done so in recent history. It just seems like there is something else going on here.

          There’s obviously turnover at Astral just like any other commercial radio station, some leaving because they get better jobs elsewhere, or because they’re leaving the industry, or because they just don’t like the contract they’ve been offered. But if anything there’s less change here than in other markets. Most of the personalities at CJAD have been there for many years. Tootall, Rob Kemp and Sharon Hyland have been at CHOM for a while. Virgin is younger, so you’re not going to find 20-year veterans there.

          I’m not going to pretend that Astral isn’t some giant faceless corporation or that profit isn’t their main motivation, but I don’t think that morale is so low that everyone is desperately looking for other jobs. There are still plenty of people who love what they do there.

          My point was simply that there seems to be a disregard of basic employee relations and an underappreciation of talent at Astral.

          Could you give examples of this? I’m not saying it’s wrong, but it doesn’t seem at all clear to me that this is the case, and there appear to be plenty of counterexamples, including Terry DiMonte and Aaron Rand.

          Rob Kemp was good enough to do mornings for many months (and Spalding himself referred to him as a “pillar” in your interview with him)

          Spalding didn’t refer to Rob Kemp as a “pillar” of CHOM. He was talking about DiMonte, Tootall and Marier. Kemp was, like Sharon Hyland, Randy Renaud, a supporting character.

          Reply
  2. AlexH

    Terry looks much healthier than when he left. He’s almost back in “TV” shape, except of course there are not really any local TV productions in English here anymore.

    Reply
    1. Gazoo

      Looks like he added a few more pounds from his last few months in Calgary.
      And if he ends up back at his old haunts here in Montreal he will have some work to do keeping it off.

      Reply
  3. Scotty

    When I first heard the Heather B as DiMonte’s sidekick rumor, I thought it was the most ludicrous thing I’d ever heard but now that it’s been announced, WTF!!!! She was an absolute ditz on Virgin, like inviting a 14 year-old to host a radio program. She kind of reminded me of the teenage kids who populate MuchMusic now on Friday evening as “VJs” (think Erica Ehm with a lobotomy)! As tired as the retread Ted Bird routines were (did anyone other than DiMonte really find Don Scarey funny after about the second time he did it?) at least he had a couple of functioning brain cells. Heather B and Terry DiMonte has to be the all-time most ridiculous pairing for morning radio. Do they think she’ll somehow turn into Peppermint Patty!? No, TD will babble on about himself, regale us once more with self-congratulatory tales of how he singlehandedly saved Justin Trudeau from hordes of evil reporters when his dad died, and Heather B will sit there endlessly cooing “kewl dude” to further feed the ego, and CHOM will continue the downward spiral (great album they’d never have the guts to play). Pete Marier’s navy dad must have taught him well how to jump from a sinking ship. Thank God for satellite and internet radio!

    Maybe they should promote the new morning team as “Blather A and Blather B”

    Reply
    1. Michael D

      Maybe Terry D, did anyone ever come to think of it, had no choice in Heather B…even though supposedly he has a 50/50 say, one would suspect in this case, he had no choice..

      Reply
      1. Scotty

        Whether DiMonte had a say in it or not, it’s still a ridiculous choice. I was reading an article recently from when TD went to Calgary and reteamed with Patty. He was quoted as saying how he wanted to present a morning show as two friends just sitting around chatting over a morning coffee. I shudder to think about how lame that’s going to sound with Heather B. I only caught her on Virgin once in awhile when checking around the dial and she always sounded like some extra from the movie Clueless!

        On the other hand, maybe that’s the way they want it. Imagine if Spalding had put someone like Pete Marier, or Tootall with TD (or Claude Rajotte if they’d taken him up on his bid to come back). First of all I doubt he’d agree with it as he’d no longer be the only star and secondly, they easily show up just how inconsequential he treats the music (unless it happens to be his faves Supertramp, Elton John, or Streetheart, which he used to manage). If Pete, Tootall or Claude were there, for example, this morning when the Beatles Get Back ended, one of them would probably have commented on Billy Preston playing keyboards on the track, or it being live on the Apple Studios rooftop, or the final time the Beatles ever played live together–something, anything to show some credibility as the host of a radio show that’s on a station branding itself with shiny new commercials claiming only the music matters!.

        When Peter Marier did the morning show, he’d make these kind of comments. And strangely enough, even though these guys claim they don’t pick the music, I noticed that Peter often seemed to play new and or otherwise unplayed tracks at the beginning of his morning between 5:30-6:00 am and almost always commenting on the acts in an intelligent, informative way. As soon as he left, those early morning “trouvailles” ended and it was just Rob Kemp, who to his credit at least mustered a “I really like that song” when playing the endlessly repeating Young the Giant, Black Keys, Janes Addiction or Nickelback tunes. As a buddy of mine pointed out, yesterday morning Dimonte talked through part of the Young the Giant song as if it were some inconsequential background music for his blathering (mind you, maybe it’s time to bring Merv Williams back as this morning at 7:15 or so, right in the middle of the repeat recording of Terry babbling with Maureen Holloway), Catherine Wood’s traffic report started playing right over the top of it to the end of the report. That was fine as “Mo” is almost as annoying as DiMonte and worse, their interaction gets him laughing the way he used to with Bird, so loud and obnoxious that it overloads the broadcast transmitter).

        So why not just turn it to another station? In my car, there aren’t a lot of alternatives if I want rock music and traffic reports. Plus, there’s always something fascinating about a train wreck.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          First of all I doubt he’d agree with it as he’d no longer be the only star

          On what do you base this? DiMonte certainly had no trouble sharing the spotlight with Ted Bird, and was often part of teams. What makes you think he would have said no?

          Catherine Wood’s traffic report started playing right over the top of it to the end of the report.

          I heard that too. Because the three stations share a traffic announcer, it’s often prerecorded a couple of minutes before it airs when there’s a schedule conflict. In that case, rather than just going into the computer, Wood’s report was sent to air. They obviously noticed and will try to avoid a repeat.

          Reply
          1. Al Reade

            Scotty, I was surprised how Terry went strat to the phone after playing tattoo for opinion… I though he might have pointed out much it sounded like Get Back he playe earlier… Did anyone notice that?

            Reply
          2. mark

            YES YES YES. totally the same riff. Me and the wife immediately noticed and even wondered if it had been done on purpose

            Reply
    2. Gazoo

      I too had to give my head a shake about Heather B. How come she is back in less than a year after bolting to Cleveland for another “higher profile” gig?

      And before Terry left to head to Calgary, he had another female voice on his show (who’s name escapes me at the moment). Any event, very similar in character as Heather B. See a pattern here…

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        I too had to give my head a shake about Heather B. How come she is back in less than a year after bolting to Cleveland for another “higher profile” gig?

        Simply put, she wanted to come home. Her family is here and she likes it here. I couldn’t tell you how things were going for her in Cleveland, but obviously a morning show in Montreal is a better get for her than an afternoon drive show there.

        And before Terry left to head to Calgary, he had another female voice on his show (who’s name escapes me at the moment). Any event, very similar in character as Heather B. See a pattern here…

        Kim Rossi? If they’re actually similar in character than their working relationship will sour pretty darn quickly. But I don’t think they’re that similar. The show needs a female voice to add balance, and any voice in music radio is going to have to seem unusually upbeat and happy all of the time, which could lead people to make judgments about their character based on nothing more than the sound of their voice on air.

        Like DiMonte, I don’t know that much about Backman, so we’ll just have to see.

        Reply
        1. Michael D

          Does anybody know who the other potential candidates were any opportunity given for Mr. DiMonte to speak with them and check out chemistry, and was it open to females only, which could imply but hard to prove something against the charter of rights.

          Was Terry given other options or people who were interested. He sounded great with Tim Morgan in Calgary, so why not another male.

          Has anybody asked these questions to Asral management? Or was she the only option presented to Dimonte ? Was there any thought to bringing in someone new instead of recycling someone who bolted for the USA but possibly to realize that the grass is not always greener south of the border?

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Does anybody know who the other potential candidates were

            I don’t imagine they’re going to give us a list of names, but Chantal Desjardins was most likely a candidate given consideration. There were definitely many people considered. I don’t know if it was limited to women, but if it was a man they probably would have needed to add a woman to the team anyway to give some balance.

            Was there any thought to bringing in someone new instead of recycling someone…

            How do you define “new”? Someone who’s never been to Montreal, or someone who’s never been on the radio before? Either of those options sound disastrous for a station that wants such strong loyalty.

            Reply
  4. Shawn

    They are putting their best announcers on during the peak hours. It’s the best they can do with the current lineup of talent. I guess the new cornerstones, Dimonte and Too Tall now includes Bilal Butt. Bilal is young and and sounds better every day. Mackinnon and Renaud are solid and smooth sounding veterans. It’s a good lineup.
    But, I didn’t work today so I completely forgot to tune in to Dimonte.

    Reply
  5. ROBBIE READ

    Wow was that a lame debut . He was lost at times this morning and quickly went back to the inside laughs and the paper shuffle. What about Pete and this gazette article? He never spoke a word about whats going on with the shifts at the station. Who cares about some new CBC show ?

    Reply
  6. Fassero

    Errrrr……..what happened to the stick man illustration you had to describe his appearance seven months ago? Did he OD on smoked meat in anticipation of the comeback?

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Errrrr……..what happened to the stick man illustration you had to describe his appearance seven months ago? Did he OD on smoked meat in anticipation of the comeback?

      I took an actual photo. I have more.

      Reply
  7. aaron CHOM no more.

    In a few words UNREMARKABLE,LAME,BORING,CONTRIVED and INSINCERE. Im not buying what CHOM is selling. Terry’s best days are behind him. A rock jock that says (eewww) his credibility is lost ! Im a 33year old male that drives a truck and works 6 days a week. I love rock & roll i, thought i was at the heart of CHOM’s demographic. Does management remember or know its audience? How can they justify the treatment of BAD PETE and no real explanation? Pete was the real thing ! I feel completely abandoned and im not alone. Dear CHOM management you have taken the grit and talent and teeth away from your station.

    Reply
      1. aaron CHOM no more.

        Is this rock radio ? talk talk talk talk and some laughing & Saying eewww is enough for me ? Bad Pete read most of the commercials and there was a flow to his show. The new morning show have added the whole entertainment tonight package. I can get that on my television. Holloway, Heather, Esteban, Trudy Why does Terry need so much support ?If he’s so good why then. So in the end Terry’s really big show has cost way more . Does anybody not think all that money could have been better spent ? The management has made its decisions .

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          Holloway, Heather, Esteban, Trudy Why does Terry need so much support ?If he’s so good why then.

          Esteban is the operator, which is pretty standard for a morning show. Maureen Holloway is only on twice each morning and Trudie Mason only once an hour to read headlines.

          Heather Backman is DiMonte’s cohost, and a two-person morning team is smaller than the three- or four-person teams they’ve had in the past.

          So in the end Terry’s really big show has cost way more . Does anybody not think all that money could have been better spent ?

          Do you have evidence that DiMonte’s show has cost any more, much less “way more” than before?

          I get it, you don’t like DiMonte and you like Marier, even though you seem to dislike hearing people talking on the air. But don’t just assume facts and base your arguments on them.

          Reply
  8. Al Reade

    I have to say I was disappointed with the show Monday and not much more impressed today. I switched to Satellite radio sometime after Terry left and tuned in at 530 to hear the show. I was quite surprised to hear the number of commercials on the show. I had hoped for some of the newspaper reviews Terry used to due between 530 – 545 but no such luck. I think a little less Blah Blah Blah about himself, his time away and more about what’s going on here in Montreal.
    I doubt there will be much of a ratings bump and wonder if Astral really got bang for their buck…

    Reply
    1. Scotty

      Actually, the 5:30 start the show is the one positive thing I can say so far. I hated the way DiMonte used to start the show with nothing but babble until one single song was played before the 6am news. The last two mornings he just spoke briefly than went to music, which is what I want at that time of morning. Of course the whole “Mo” thing at 5:50 is annoying as it brings out the really obnoxious laughing loudly into the microphone (I can see poor Esteban scrambling to lower the faders as the needles pin heavily on the right side of the meters!).

      I know what you mean about commercials. Both Cat Spencer and Rob Kemp annoyed the heck out of me at different times in the past year when they’d say something was just seconds away and then run something like 4-5 minutes of commercials! I swear the folks who commute to work with me in my car counted 20 commercials the morning Spencer did it! I know they have to pay the bills but that was ridiculous!

      (which brings to mind something I’ve always wondered. Have any studies been done to show if such huge blocks of commercials are of any use. Most people I know block them out, switch stations, etc., so advertisers are just wasting money paying for such spots. But that’s another story….)

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        Have any studies been done to show if such huge blocks of commercials are of any use. Most people I know block them out, switch stations, etc., so advertisers are just wasting money paying for such spots. But that’s another story…

        Broadcasters are, of course, aware of this. They’re certainly worried about people switching stations, but those people will probably switch back when the other station goes to commercial.

        This problem is a main factor behind such things as having announcers read ads live and having ads before and after traffic reports.

        Reply
      2. Rob Kemp

        Scotty…for the record. I don’t believe I’ve ever said something was “just seconds away”.

        I’m more partial to “Just around the corner”, “Back in a flash” or referring to something as being “on deck next”. I can’t speak for Cat…but I think he’s more of a “Hold on tight, _____ is coming up next!”

        Kemp Out!

        Reply
  9. Scotty

    Because I remember writing him a few years ago and politely asking him to stop interrupting newscasts to interject his opinion. He responded with a really arrogant email stating it was his show and he refused to be just a “dee jay.”

    It’s the negativity and arrogance that bug me. The other “pillars” Tootall and Marier express(ed) opinions but came across as much more humble guys (Peter had a gruffness to the voice but always seemed humble). Did I not read yesterday that DiMonte has pledged to “take on all comers”. Is that how he views his new gig as someone who had to stand up adversaries?

    As for the traffic thing. How do you know they noticed and will avoid it? Are you somehow now speaking for CHOM? I hope not. I’ve always enjoyed the impartiality of your blog.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Did I not read yesterday that DiMonte has pledged to “take on all comers”. Is that how he views his new gig as someone who had to stand up adversaries?

      I don’t think so. I’m not even sure who “adversaries” would refer to in this case. DiMonte says he doesn’t pay attention to the negative stuff people say about him online. And I certainly don’t get the impression from him that he’s starting a fight here.

      How do you know they noticed and will avoid it?

      DiMonte said so on Twitter.

      Reply
      1. Scotty

        “DiMonte says he doesn’t pay attention to the negative stuff people say about him online.”

        So in other words, if it’s praise, he’ll pay attention. If it’s criticism, he’ll pay no attention to it (even if it happens to be valid).

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          So in other words, if it’s praise, he’ll pay attention. If it’s criticism, he’ll pay no attention to it (even if it happens to be valid).

          I think it’s more like he doesn’t read comments on this blog or on Radio in Montreal or other places where anonymous people attack radio personalities based on facts they haven’t verified. He’ll pay more attention to comments on Facebook, messages on Twitter and phone calls in which people are less rude.

          I don’t think he’s against criticism – everyone gets it – but when it’s not constructive, what’s the point of reading it?

          Reply
          1. Sheldon

            Steve, I would hope that you will clarify your response about DiMonte not reading comments on this blog or on Radio in Montreal or other places where anonymous people attack radio personalities based on facts they haven’t verified. Are these your words or is this paraphrasing something that DiMonte said. It’s a rather broad statement and I, for one, most certainly would not agree with it as it casts a bad light on this blog and Radio in Montreal.

            Reply
            1. Fagstein Post author

              Are these your words or is this paraphrasing something that DiMonte said.

              It’s somewhere between the two. DiMonte didn’t mention Radio in Montreal by name, but was speaking in general about Internet comments. Many of them are well-informed (even if they are too often anonymous), but they tend to be drowned out by people who just spew insults online. As far as he’s concerned, he doesn’t want to read either.

              Whether that’s actually true or not I don’t know. I do know there are a lot of people who know with pretty specific detail what people say about them online even if they pretend not to care.

              Reply
  10. jr

    The people I feel the saddest for in this whole reshuffle are the listeners. I always liked Dimonte and his opinions. I never really cared for Marier, especially when he brought Chantal Desjardins on board. There’s only so much high-pitch giggling I can take in the morning and her newscasts were unprofessional at best. However, the worst outcome in this shuffle is Rob Kemp being moved to weekends. In my opinion, he would have been a great partner to Terry Dimonte. The main reason I stopped listening to CHOM is the lack of musical variety and I’m not sure who the onus falls on – the dj or the station. Seriously, how many times does a radio station have to play AC/DC anyway? I switched to K-103 when Ted Bird started and it was a breath of fresh air. There’s a lot of laughter, great music (old & new) and Paul Graif’s newscasts are what I expect from a quality radio station. I am a station switcher on my drive to and from work, but I tend to think that I’ll be sticking to K-103.

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Jack

      The morning show on K-103 is great. Listen to it all the time.

      Play too much AC/DC on Chom? Someone needs to tell them Rush has a thousand other songs than Lakeside Park and do they really need to play Fly by Night by Chilliwack ever day?

      Reply
  11. Scotty

    Steve, you might want to update your blog again to point out that Maureen Holloway actually only does one segment per day. Dimonte keeps saying she’s with him “twice” each morning but so far, it’s the 5:50 segment recorded and repeated again at 7:15.

    Same jokes and overloaded laughter twice each morning. Joy.

    Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        Unfortunately, CHOM has to abide by the limits of Holloway’s schedule. She still hosts a morning show in Toronto for a competing broadcaster.

        Reply
        1. AlexH

          Yeah, but it is a little bit sad to say she is one twice when really, it’s just once and a repeat thereafter. Perhaps they figured few people would listen more than a few minutes each day, and wouldn’t be tuned in at both times.

          Reply
        2. Scotty

          True but then why not promote it more openly as a live chat at 6:50 repeated at 7:15. It’s a minor gripe but it still sounds kind of dishonest to say she’s with him twice per morning.

          Besides, for entertainment news, why not just have Heather B read it once she starts, the way Kim Rossi and Lisa Player always did it, different stories each hour. The way it is now, it sounds like we’re being subjected to two close friends sharing a private joke or two instead of actually informing us. Yeah the anecdote this morning about the girl pushing Holloway’s whole family down in Charlevoix was kinda funny, but the overdone guffaws were annoying the first time. The second time, the story was no longer funny and the laughing even more annoying.

          I haven’t yet heard two newscasts in a row, but I wonder if Trudie is repeating the same humorous human interest story at the end of each newscast to set DiMonte up to interject one of his laughs as he’s done the last two morning (I really don’t get how he thinks his laughing loudly into the microphone is supposed to be entertaining).

          Anyway, I’ve made my point Look, I may come across as a DiMonte hater who just won’t let it go, but to be honest, I was a big fan when Standard radio took over CHOM (what was it a decade ago) and rebranded it as the Spirit of Rock. They actually played a variety of music, both old and new and made it sound like it really WAS all about the music as the new ads claim. Gradually as the years went by, DiMonte seemed to turn into the male equivalent of a diva, seeing himself as the star and making every anecdote about him, every interview seemed to have something about him in it and not the person being interviewed. Note today in his Gazette online chat how when talking about Pete he said “we hope to bring him back” as if he were part of station management. Notice as well in reply to the question about Pete’s playing new and different music when he did the morning show, something I also mentioned in an earlier comment here, that DiMonte says there’s no room for that on a morning show, as if his idea of a morning show is all that counts. Maybe there is no room for new and interesting music on **his** morning show, but some of us out here don’t listen for him, we listen for the music. We want someone like Pete or Tootall to tell us about the music, throw in the weather, maybe a little humble banter, but not a string of “I” “me” “my” and endless annoying, immature laughter (as bad as some folks thought Chantal Desjardins sounded with her giggling, she at least sounded genuine and humble).

          Sure, we can tune out, as lots of us already have and will continue to do so, but we shouldn’t have to! Does CHOM exist to serve Terry DiMonte’s ego or to entertain the public? Actually it serves to make Astral money, but I’d say they’d get more listeners and thus more ad revenue, etc., if they didn’t allow one man’s ego to push so many listeners away. Time will tell through ratings.

          Reply
          1. Fagstein Post author

            Maybe there is no room for new and interesting music on **his** morning show

            DiMonte has said repeatedly that he likes new music, and wants to air new music on his show, and he’s done a bit of that already. It might not be what you like, but I don’t think he’s against new music.

            Reply
          2. AlexH

            ” Actually it serves to make Astral money, but I’d say they’d get more listeners and thus more ad revenue, etc., if they didn’t allow one man’s ego to push so many listeners away. Time will tell through ratings.”

            Here’s the rub: Even if CHOM’s ratings go up, for the most part all they are doing is taking a few listeners from other Astral stations. There is little true competition here, except perhaps to try to get some people away from the 92.5 morning show or maybe to get some francophones to switch over (I can’t understand why they would want to though….). All the huffing and puffing in the world from Astral basically ignores the reality of Montreal english radio being effectively a Duopoly, with the “home team” owning most of the market already.

            In those terms, Dimonte’s return seems more about a personal relationship issue between Terry and Martin Spalding, and not much else.

            Reply
  12. Michael D

    In reading the blogs here, I cannot disagree with the lack of music variety, and certainly need a new music director, I believe is what you call them…does he or she take marching orders from some suit at a music consulting company.??

    Most of the artists, groups or solo artists, played on CHOM, have large catalogues…it is ok to play AC/DC but they have more than Hell’s Bells , Highway to Hell and You shook me all night long.When was the time you heard for example, Hard as a Rock?

    when was the time any Pat Benatar played. the Kinks have more than All day and all of the night..I could keep going on… maybe a lost tracks show, or some show with stuff by groups that we don’t always hear during the week…Time for a new music director!!

    Reply
  13. Scotty

    “DiMonte has said repeatedly that he likes new music, and wants to air new music on his show, and he’s done a bit of that already. It might not be what you like, but I don’t think he’s against new music.”

    Actually his exact words on the Gazette site chat today were:

    “there isn’t a lot of room for that in a morning show George…a little easier in the afternoon, so no, there won’t be much of that…and I AM a dj but my role as a morning man is a little more involved”

    Yes, he played new music a bit, the new Van Halen song. Otherwise, the only new music he played was the current heavy rotation stuff on CHOM. There’s nothing very adventurous about playing the VH song since everyone was expecting it.

    You know I was thinking about this on the drive home this evening. The ideal gig for Terry DiMonte would be on CJAD so I wonder why he left it. He makes no secret that he idolized Balkan and has long been portrayed as his “successor” plus he likes to give opinions frequently (I remember a few years back when he repeatedly interrupted newscasts and then mumbled something like “but they tell my I’m not supposed to express my opinion…” so I guess folks were complaining then too) so talk radio would suit him a gazillion times better than CHOM. Other than Supertramp, Elton’s Love Lies Bleeding and a couple of Streetheart songs, he doesn’t show much in the way of enthusiasm for music and seems to treat it more like something he has to do as part of his job rather than something for which he has a real passion, so talk radio would be a much more natural choice. When Tootall and Marier are on the air, their passion for music is palpable. I never get that from Terry. So CHOM should really change their new ads to “it’s all about the music…except in the morning when it’s all about Terry DiMonte.”

    But CHOM is not talk radio. It’s a rock and roll station. Or at least it used to be.

    Reply
    1. Sheldon

      Although the quantity of music is limited because of the all-sports format, one of the few places on commercial radio in Montreal to find samplings of new music, from an announcer who knows a lot about the artists and their music, is on TSN 990 during the Melnick in the Afternoon show. Mitch actually posts up his daily playlist on his MitchMelnick.com webpage. There’s some familiar stuff that ties thematically into the subject matter being discussed in the show, but he does feature a lot of new music, non-mainstream artists plus, from time to time, either telephone or in-studio interviews with artists.

      Although centred on sports, this is a quality radio program from a seasoned veteran in the business. This show, in my opinion, is must listening for anyone looking for variety, professionalism, thoughtful and intelligent conversation, with an excellent sampling of music thrown in to the mix. The ever increasing ratings for this program are no accident.

      Reply
    2. Gazoo

      just curious, why are you still listening to Dimonte if you do not like his style, character and what he plays (or does not play)?

      Reply
      1. Scotty

        I don’t know if you’re asking me or Sheldon, but in my case, I explained it above. For one thing, a train wreck can be fascinating to watch (or listen to in this case). I only listen at times when I have no real alternative such as on the drive to work when I and the folks who commute with me switch between stations. We prefer classic rock and need traffic reports, so why should we stop listening just because CHOM decided to put an obnoxious, annoying DJ in the starring role? We put up with him or tune him out until the music comes back on. Besides, eventually enough people will complain and they’ll reign him in. He’ll either smarten up or leave. I had it from a fairly reliable source that they did this a few years ago with a certain news guy who couldn’t seem to read a single newscast on one of their stations without turning it into an opinion piece full of neanderthal-grade comments. They tried to resolve the situation by giving him his own little “corner” in hopes that would keep his opinions out of the news and those who found him obnoxious could tune out at that time.

        As for the rest of the morning, I listen to my own music or else tune in to UK rock stations on the internet. Much better music choices and very little babble. Once Tootall and Bilal come along, CHOM becomes interesting again (although they repeat current rock “hits” almost as badly as Virgin). Tootall’s Made to Order is especially good. Funny how the whole day is supposed to reflect what people want to hear in order to keep ratings high, yet the requests we hear on Made to Order offer the kind of variety and non-repetition that’s missing the rest of thee day. Ditto the Drive at Five.

        Reply
        1. Gazoo

          my question was for you actually having read all your posts about how bad DiMonte is and what he plays.
          I too am not a fan of what gets played on Chom. Having grown up listening to the station religiously back in it’s heyday, I rarely listen to it anymore. As you mention, the 2 or 3 ACDC songs, the continuos play of Rush and Bryan Adams and the continuos change of on air personnel drove me elsehwere.
          Again as you mention, there are many “better” alternatives available to the listening public than Chom.

          Reply
  14. Neil K.

    It’s actually pretty standard radio programming practice to restrict new music from the morning show. With six or seven songs played an hour (sometimes much less), every song should be a tried-and-true, well-tested and researched, highly familiar killer.

    This has nothing to do with any particular format, CHOM or Terry. The biggest tune-out is an unfamiliar song. Stations will usually put a moratorium on a new song until it becomes a little more familiar and established in other dayparts. This obviously doesn’t apply to huge superstar acts, but the morning show is not where stations try to “break” new music. There’s too much at stake.

    Another thing. The music director does not unilaterally decide what songs are in the station’s database, available to program. That’s usually overseen by the PD (Brand Manager), in conjunction with some kind of audience research. The MD schedules the music on specialized software, rotating the library evenly, pacing the flow of the station to meet the master plan and ensuring all regulatory requirements are met. If there are only four AC/DC songs in the library, that’s not the MD’s fault.

    And, I can bet you Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” is in their library–it’s CanCon!

    Reply
    1. jr

      That is precisely why I listen to K103 in the morning. They play what they want and actually got me interested me in some new artists whose CDs I’ve bought, i.e. The Decemberists. On the drive home now, I’m listening more and more to CBC Radio 2. At least there’s variety and I don’t have to succumb to AC/DC, bloody Nickleback and Bryan Adams every day!

      Reply
      1. Gazoo

        or Rush.! Happened to tune in just once this morning and sure enough a Rush song. Back over to the Am dial within milliseconds of that.

        Reply
    2. Jimmy Jack

      Pat Benatar (Patricia Mae Andrzejewski) is from Brooklyn, NY.

      I remember Terry playing the same April Wine song everyday for two weeks at the same time in the morning. Now that’s the spirit of CanCon.

      Reply
      1. Neil K.

        “…Pat Benatar (Patricia Mae Andrzejewski) is from Brooklyn, NY.”

        She can be from Mars, but that SONG is CanCon and always will be. It was written by Torontonian Eddie Schwartz. Schwartz also wrote “All Our Tomorrows” (Joe Cocker), “Don’t Shed A Tear” (Paul Carrack) and “Special Girl” (America). All 100% CanCon.

        Similarly, Santana’s “Hold On”, Manfred Mann’s “The Runner”, America’s “Right Before Your Eyes” and Chicago’s “Chains” were written by Canadian singer/songwriter Ian Thomas (brother of comedian Dave Thomas). All CanCon. Rod Stewart’s “Rhythm Of My Heart” is CanCon too! It was written by Canadian Marc Jordan. And don’t forget Aerosmith’s “The Other Side”: lyrics by Jim Vallance, recorded in Vancouver=CanCon!

        The nationality of the artist is only one of the four eligible criterion. To qualify as CanCon a song only needs two of the four criteria fulfilled. In fact there are some Canadian artists who do not write their own songs and record outside Canada, therefore those songs do not qualify as CanCon. Many of Celine Dion’s English songs are not CanCon, for instance. Only one part CanCon.

        Reply
    3. Michael D

      Well Neil, in that case, it’s up to the MD to add more songs to the AC/DC catalog for example..Does he know others..does he know the others in their catalog….

      Just look at the Beatles’ catalog, how many songs do they not play..

      I would love to get my hands on their library database..I’d fix it in a hurry !!

      Reply
      1. Neil K.

        I don’t think you read my reply carefully. It is not up to the MD to add more songs to the active library. That library is built, usually once or twice a year, and it is not up to the MD to go outside the system and program songs not in the active library. If the PD has determined, for whatever reason, that only certain Beatles songs are eligible for airplay, thoase are the only songs the MD can program. The MD executes the marching orders of the PD.

        Reply
        1. Scotty

          That may well be the case in general, but I do know from an ongoing email exchange I had a few years back with the then MD at CHOM that personal taste of the MD does play a part. He started by bragging about CHOM having a huge music library, much more than other similar stations. Of course, as I pointed out, having a huge library means nothing if you keep playing the same songs and ignoring the rest. Then he told me my opinion didn’t really count because at that time I was an atypical listener in that I stayed on the station for more than the 15-minute blocks on which ratings are based (AQH ratings. A friend recently told me he complained to the MD this year about repetitive song choices and was told almost exactly the same thing, that his opinion didn’t count once that hallowed 15-minute block was filled), then the MD claimed he’d love to program a bigger variety of music but first of all, the ratings would tank and he’d be fired, and secondly Cancon regulations made it impossible. I countered that he had 50 years of rock music to choose from so it shouldn’t be a problem to find ample music that’s popular and I also pointed out that there’s a lot of great Canadian music that’s never played. He asked for suggestions. I have a quick list and he rejected every song, and in each case, it was clear he was using personal taste.

          This discussion of brand directors, music directors, etc., deciding on what’s to be played brings to mind something else I’ve intended to mention in this whole discussion. It was rumored that Terry DiMonte was paid close to $500K per year for his move to Calgary. As Steve has mentioned on here, TD claimed that was exaggerated (although I did read an article this week quoting industry insiders claiming the figure was $450K/year.

          Even if it was half or 1/4 that amount, what do these guys do!? Think about it. They don’t choose the music. They don’t report the news. Nor the sports (it’s usually the sidekick). Nor the traffic. Someone else reports the entertainment news. They don’t take care of the technical side of the program, that’s the producer. In fact, they just sit there talking into a microphone, laughing at jokes, then chatting on their vanity accounts on Facebook, Twitter or taking calls while songs are on. and this for 4- hours a day. with at least about 6-7 weeks vacation per year. Not a bad gig even at 1/10 of what TD was said to have been paid by “industry insiders”!!

          Next time they do one of those marathons for the Montreal Children’s and TD gets on there begging for money, think about the nurses who take care of the kids there. Whose job is more important from day to day, TD (or any other DJ) or the nurses who actually help save lives? Or the doctors? Yeah sure, the marathons bring in big donation dollars, but that still doesn’t justify the salary for the other 363 days. If disc jockeys who work all of 4 hours a day sitting on their rear and laughing obnoxiously into a microphone get paid as much, or 2x, 3x, 5x, or even 10x the amount that nurses, doctors, teachers, policemen, firefighters, etc., do, there’s something seriously wrong with our society. Heck even if they only get paid as much as those of us putting in 40/hour weeks at non-life changing jobs, there’s something wrong. Yes, I know we could extend this debate to apply to the ridiculous salaries paid to pro athletes, rock stars, etc., but again let me ask, does a disc jockey sitting on his rear for 5 hours a day saying pretty much whatever he wants every so many minutes REALLY merit a six-figure salary?

          Reply
  15. es335

    Neil K, sorry I was mistaken. You just spoke like a PD , with an indepth knowledge of how a station’s playlist functions.

    Jimmy Jack , Hit Me with Your Best Shot is considered CanCon. Who wrote the song ? Eddie Schwartz, a Caaadian. CanCon refers to the percent amount of a song ( who wrote it, produced it, etc … ). Remember not too long ago when Bryan Adams was at one point not considered CanCon because of his connection Mutt Lange cowriting and producing his material ?

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Jack

      I, with deference and humility, stand corrected. Yes I do remember the Bryan Adams issue. NeilK, the same Ian Thomas of Painted ladies fame?

      Reply
  16. Jimmy Jack

    So, in the convoluted world of CanCon, the “Archies” “Sugar, Sugar” is also CanCon?

    From, Wikepedia

    Andrew Youakim, performing as Andy Kim, is a Lebanese Canadian pop rock singer and songwriter. He grew up in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Kim is known for a number of hit singles that he released in the late 1960s and early 1970s such as “Rock Me Gently”, which topped the US singles charts. In 1968, he co-wrote “Sugar, Sugar” for The Archies. The song was No. 1 for four weeks and in 1969 was certified “Record of the Year” by the RIAA.

    Kim has also recorded under the stage name Baron Longfellow since the mid 1980s.[1][2]

    Reply
    1. Neil K.

      Andy Kim’s later solo recordings like “Rock Me Gently” ARE CanCon, but the Archies song is not. Even though the CanCon regs say that songs recorded prior to 1972 only need to be ONE part CanCon to qualify, those same rules dictate that the song’s lyrics and/or music have to be written ENTIRELY by a Canadian. Kim co-wrote “Sugar, Sugar” with New Yorker Jeff Barry, so the song wouldn’t qualify for either its lyrics or music. The song was recorded in the US and Kim was only a small part of the studio band, so it doesn’t even make one part.

      The “Bryan Adams controversy” mentioned here created such a public scandal that the CRTC was shamed into revising the rules. For songs recorded after September 1991, a loophole was created which allowed songwriting collaborations with foreigners. SO, if the rules were applied retroactively (which they are not) “Sugar, Sugar” would have earned its one part CanCon (a half-point for lyrics and a half-point for music).

      Here’s a link to the CRTC’s page spelling out the rules:

      http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/INFO_SHT/R1.htm

      And, just for fun, here’s a scan of the RPM chart from September 1969 showing “Sugar, Sugar” at #1.

      http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/rpm/028020-119.01-e.php?brws_s=1&file_num=nlc008388.5955&type=1&interval=24&PHPSESSID=ccntousk30frf6h4jsn237nm12

      Reply
        1. AlexH

          You have to remember that not only is CanCon a government requirement to promote artists, but it is also a way to funnel money to Canadian “artists” by artificially creating airplay for theie songs, which leads to royalty payouts. The government doesn’t just mandate content as a result, but also the flow of money.

          Many Canadian artists and companies have lived by the teat of the CanCon rules, many using that money to try to spring board a career into the US.

          CanCon rules are about on par with bill 101 – it artificially props up what isn’t really happening on the ground.

          Reply
    2. es335

      Andy Kim cowrote the song, but I doubt the song qualifies as it is unlikely it fulfills at least two of the MAPL rules to qualify as CanCon :

      As per an excerpt from http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/cultural_policies/canadian_content_rules.cfm :

      Cancon Rules

      Cancon rules apply to radio, television and specialty broadcasting.

      Radio

      To qualify as “Canadian content,” music must generally fulfill at least two of the following conditions
      (the MAPL system):

      M (music) – the music is composed entirely by a Canadian.

      A (artist) – the music and/or the lyrics are performed principally by a Canadian.

      P (production) – the musical selection consists of a live performance that is (i) recorded wholly in Canada, or (ii) performed wholly in Canada and broadcast live in Canada.

      L (lyrics) – the lyrics are written entirely by a Canadian.

      Some more interesting info from the site .

      Under the Commercial Radio Policy, 35 per cent of all music aired each week on all AM and FM stations must be Canadian. In addition, 35 per cent of music broadcast between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday must consist of Canadian content.

      French-language radio stations are required to ensure that 65 per cent of the vocal music they broadcast each week, and 55 per cent of vocal music broadcast between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, is in the French language.

      Seven per cent of music aired on ethnic radio stations each week must be Canadian.

      Television

      Private television licensees generally must achieve a yearly Canadian content level of at least 60 per cent overall, measured over the course of the entire broadcast day, and at least 50 per cent between 6 p.m. and midnight.

      The CBC, as the national broadcaster, must ensure that at least 60 per cent of its program schedule between 6 a.m. and midnight consists of Canadian productions. It must maintain the 60 per cent level over the course of the broadcast day.

      Evaluation of Canadian content in a television program is based on the following criteria: whether its producer and key creative personnel are Canadian; the amounts paid to Canadians for services provided to make the program; and amounts spent in Canada on lab processing.

      Broadcasters may also claim a 150 per cent time credit for Canadian dramas which have a full Canadian complement in key creative roles, and which meet certain scheduling criteria.

      Pay-TV, Specialty and Pay-per-view

      Pay-TV, specialty and pay-per-view services have varying Canadian content requirements set by the CRTC as their condition of license. The requirements depend on a number of factors, including the nature of the service and the types and availability of programming offered. The requirements are reviewed periodically by the CRTC at license renewal time.

      Co-production Treaties

      Canada has signed numerous co-production treaties with other countries, particularly with France, which allow Canada to share production costs in film, video and television production ventures.

      To qualify as “Canadian” under Cancon rules, a Canadian production company must retain a financial participation position of at least 50 per cent, and a 50 per cent share of the profits. These include all ventures with co-producers of a foreign country that does not have a film or television production treaty with Canada. There is some variation in criteria for co-ventures involving a co-producer from a Commonwealth or French-speaking country, or a country with which Canada has a film or television production treaty.

      Reply
  17. es335

    It is almost a month into Dimonte’s comeback, and quite honestly, he just shows how much disdain he has for his music listening audienece. Two such examples :

    1) When introducing an ad for Gigantour a big metal concert at the Bell Centre, he mocks it and has no idea what the event is about

    2) Today marks International Rush Day 2/1/12 in hour of their album 2112 released in 1976. When discussing it, he says, and I am parphrasing , that he cannot bring himself to care about this . ( But we should care about the Man Cave promotion which has what to do about music ? Yeah, except for the Half Time show which is a huge rock and roll extravaganza this year with the likes of Madonna and Blake Shelton ( please note the dripping sarcasm there ) , there is little connection to music ….

    I don’t think it is in CHOM’s best interest to have a DJ showing contempt or disadain. People are usually shown the door at any other job , or at least reprimanded . At CHOM, they appear to welcome you, and I quote The Who , ” with open arms and open legs ” ……..

    Reply
      1. es335

        Honestly. I think on some level it already is. He tried to show his knowledge of Rush by stating that their debut album came out in the late 60’s , early 1970. Not quite. 1974. Now, of course people get things wrong now and then. But , you would think that the show is not haphazardly thrown together, that there is some sort of planned discussion throughout the morning that is followed . But , to rattle off an incorrect date as fact is akin to people giving out meaningless percentages to back up a claim to show their argument has merit. 85% of people know this . :- )

        I think the whole DiMonte is back trip is about nostalgia. It’s kind of like when you haven’t had a certain candy bar for the longest time, and then you have one and it is not quite like how you remembered it. The present candy bar rarely matches or surpasses the past one ………..

        Reply
        1. Scotty

          Yes, I heard the Rush reference this morning. What bugged me most about it wasn’t that he sounded like he dismissed it but the fact that CHOM is claiming it’s all about the music, so if it REALLY is all about the music then mentioning the 2-1-12 Rush reference would naturally be followed by playing something off the album! Especially considering it’s a rock station in Canada with Cancon numbers to meet. Instead, Dimonte mumbled something abotu trying to get “Closer to the Heart or something” on later in the morning. Last week he mentioned aa Montreal band that made it into the news (can’t recall the name just now) so one would think he’d play something by them. Nope. No siree. A few months ago when Rob Kemp was on the morning show they ran a contest to see a concert by Slave on Dope and Bilal. They kept talking about Bilal’s new album but not once did they play anything off it.

          A station that REALLY cared about music would play the music at these times. ADJ like Dimonte who’s supposed to be an experienced professional would not just mumble something about a Rush referene but actually get into the spirit of the thing. Instead, all he can muster to pretend he’s a music authority is to throw in comments that sound like he looked them up five minutes ago on Wikipedia. He has zero credibility as a rock station morning man. Whe Pete Marier as there, you got the vibe that he was actually into the mussic and when he talked about it, you got the feeling he knew what he was talking about. Ditto Tootall. Dimonte, not so much. He’s more concerned with the next time he gets to chat with MO. And poor Heather B sounds like odd girl out as she tries to get a word or two in while Terry and Mo treat her like an unwanted extra by mostly ignoring her as Heather struggles to get a word or two in (I at least give her props for trying to hold her own). And tthen theres this totally lame “Heather’s drunk dad” thing they’ve got going. Most people would be ashamed to have people hear the drunken ramblings of their dad, but not her. It almost sounds like a desperation move, like they’re at a loss for ideas and are just grasping whatever they can. Still during my drive to work it’s occasionally fun to listen to a train wreck live. I wonder how long before Martin Spalding starts face palming and wondering what in the heck he’s done. Probably once the ratings start tanking.

          Reply
  18. Jim P.

    What demograhic is CHOM trying to attract/maintain in the morning? If you add Terry’s and MO’s ages you have an age that most people are deaf if they are still rockin’.

    He can’t talk music trivia , doesn’t select his music, has lame comments from MO and HeatherB.???? He is riding on his name and his has nothing to offer young listeners.

    MO adds nothing and why import a TO broadcaster’s idiotic comments. LIke when Terry had the Lunch thing from Calgary a few years ago Lame and disconnected.

    Reply
    1. Debbie

      I agree, both my son’s (ages 23 & 26) having stopping listening to CHOM in the mornings. They are not interested in entertainment gossip or drunken ramblings. I can’t figure out why CHOM would approve of Heather’s drunken Dad on the air. This isn’t a good example to young people, especially this morning when she told Terry he was driving while recording that message. What the heck is going on ???

      Reply
      1. Scotty

        I think CHOM is going for the lowest common denominator. Their ratings are up in the male demographic so they’re trying to shore up that with what they think will appeal to all the meatheads out there who might actually find listening to some alcoholic dad’s drunken ramblings (and Heather keeps insisting he’s not an alcoholic but that’s just denial, even if Terry keeps trying to justify the guy’s behavior. Getting hammered on a regular basis then calling your daughter to leave rambling drunken messages fits a pretty standard profile for an alcoholic).

        If it offends you, why not complain to the station or even the CRTC? Sadly, Dimonte said they’re getting positive email about the drunken dad feature so just tuning out, while it might be tempting, is not going to change anything. If no one complains, they’ll just keep coming up with lame stunts like this, again to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Aaron Rand quite rightly described the situation with morning radio when he left The Q, the days when people want a “star” on the morning shows are fast fading. CHOM seems to be trying to fight the trend by bringing back a crass, annoying act that they hope will appeal to enough folks to keep the ratings up there and bring in advertising revenue. As es3335 quite rightly pointed out above, bringing back Dimonte is about nostalgia. He was popular back in the day so hopefully the magic will re-appear. Just in case that doesn’t quite do it, they’re throwing in a few crass things like the mancave contest (does the line about urine samples REALLY need to be there), the drunken dad thing, etc.

        Then of course there’s “Mo.” As I wrote above she just seems to be repeating the same jokes on both CHOM and Q107 ad of course Dimonte sounds like an adolescent in response. Plus he kind of reminds me of the little dog running beside the big one in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon, as one of my colleagues pointed out on the drive in Friday morning while listening to Dimonte repeating “eh Mo?” over and over again throughout her time on the air (as Heather B keeps trying to get in the conversation and the other two pretty much ignore her!). Ah trains wrecks…. :)

        Reply
    2. Scotty

      Speaking of lame comments from “MO”, Friday morning for the heck of it I tuned into internet radio from Q107 in Toronto. It was just in time to hear Mo on there giving word for word the exact same spiel she’d given earlier to Dimonte! The only difference was that Derringer didn’t break into that annoying loud laughter that sounds like a defiant teenager. Instead he just chuckled politely. In fact, poor Mo had to repeat her punchline about “downtown abbey”” twice!

      You know this whle thing reminds me of old Adam Sandler movies. The same spporting actors seemed to show up in every one of his movies. DiMonte used to chat with Holloway regularly when he was here before but as soon as he left, she did. Now he’s back and there she is again. Too bad they didn’t bring John Derringer back instead of Dimonte. He sounds muhc less irritating and far more mature.

      Reply
  19. steve

    from the begininng of announcing his new partner,i had doubts.why bring back someone who left recently.what connection does these two have with each other.there is no connection between these two at all.although I was not a fan of Chantal and Pete,listening to her with Aaron Rand has been a revelation.the two get along quite well which is a pleasant surprise.Terry needs someone who can give their opinions better than this Heather B.and what is deal with Rob kemp,that is a waste having him on weekends only,he should be on the air daily.

    Reply
    1. Scotty

      Actually at times it almost seems as if there’s a bit of friction between Terry and Heather now that she seems to be trying to assert herself and voice opinions. The tone Dimonte uses with her at times seems a bit dismissive (except when he’s trying to defend the “drunk dials from Heather’s dad” feature, which yesterday morning consisted of the dad saying “Heather, call me I’m drunk.” Classy entertainment huh?).

      One of my friends believes CHOM management is actually reading these comments on this blog and are adjusting accordingly. For instance, suddenly Terry is announcing upcoming songs with little facts about them. We`re it more spontaneous or random, it might work, but it’s already coming across as a going through the motions thing as it’s always exactly the same format “coming up next a song that … . I can see Esteban being tasked with looking up song facts for TD to read on air. Sure, some of this stuff he may know but again the rigid format suggests it’s contrived and not spontaneous the way, as if it’s something Dimonte is just getting out of the way because he has to. Tootall tends to throw in music info every which way he can with a delivery that conveys true enthusiasm for the music, sort of the way Nick Michaels used to do on The Deep End show CHOM used to run on Sunday mornings (the best show on radio bar none).

      I agree with you wholeheartedly about Rob Kemp. It’s a shame he’s been relegated to weekends (Actually I’ve long thought he’s what Terry Dimonte would sound like without the gigantic ego and dismissive tone). Rob always expressed genuine enthusiasm for everything. Like Pete Marier and Tootall, he came across as someone humble, down to earth, and truly enthused about his work. I haven’t checked out Chantal’s new gig yet as I’ve always found Aaron Rand to be very much like Terry Dimonte, way too much ego.

      Reply
  20. Andy

    I am quite disappointed with the whole CHOM scenario. These billboards around town telling us that Terry DiMonte is home are presuming everybody knows who Terry is, and cares. The morning show resembles a talk radio format with so many contributors (Trudy, Orla, Mo, and the drop-ins, Sandra from Evenko, Sugar Sammy, and the numerous phone calls from Bill Brownstein etc.). As I appreciate Jann Arden as a canadian artist, not sure of her fit with CHOM? Ah, but a friend to Terry.

    It just seems that Terry is disinterested in the whole thing. Not entirely his fault if Spalding lured him back and made certain promises but at least fake interest in what you are doing. There is no chemistry between Terry and Heather and agree with others who say she’s lucky if she gets to chirp something in that’s funny. Terry has mentioned the time (the exact same time; 8:41 am) twice. So first saying it’s 8:40, next up we’ll hear a song, it’s 8:41, 19 minutes to 9:00am. The reference of 7:47, not an airplane but the time, may be dated but not necessary to say every day.

    The most chemistry I have heard is when Sharon (taking Tootall’s place) does a cross-over and somehow brings out the Terry of old. That too is misplacement of CHOM’s on-air staff (Rob and Sharon on weekends). Although the weekend numbers will no doubtedly go up, how long will those talents want to stay in those shifts? They will be scooped up by other stations, for sure.

    Seems that Spalding has done his work (made all the changes), asked promotions to continue deleting negative Facebook comments and when ratings show the actual results he’ll blame others.

    Reply
    1. Scotty

      Andy, I agree that he sounds disinterested a lot of the time (and he’s nailing the coffin in the already overused expression “Really!?” by repeating it all the time, especially with his buddy “Mo” as if he just singlehandedly invented it). Perhaps he’s realizing the chemistry just isn’t there with Heather B. In fact, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard him voice an opinion then she pipes in saying the contrary. It’ll be interesting to see how long Dimonte tolerates a dissenting opinion on the air every morning

      Plus, I certainly did not need to turn on the radio this morning at 5:30 to hear him tell us all the reason he left some party last night was because he urinated on his own shirt!! Waaaayyyy too much information! that’s even more crass than “drunk dials from Heather’s dad”!!

      Reply
    2. Scotty

      I guess Spalding didn’t get promotions to work on deleting negative stuff on tthe CHOM facebook page on weekends. This morning I saw comments from Avi Bachman (apparently Heather’s dad) arguing with others who complain about the drunk dialing stuff, calling them jealoues losers, etc.

      Either this is turning into a major train wrreck or else it’s an incredibly crass attempt at any kind of publicity possible. I saw comments on tthe Save Peter Marier facebook page about people planning to complaint o M.A.D.D. abotu the drunk dials from dad feature, etc.

      A sad chapter for CHOM, a once proud Montreal institution.

      Reply
      1. Fagstein Post author

        Either this is turning into a major train wrreck or else it’s an incredibly crass attempt at any kind of publicity possible.

        I suspect it’s an incredibly crass attempt to target the male adult demographic so it can sell that to advertisers. Whether it has any success, I guess we’ll see in the next ratings book.

        Reply
        1. Deborah

          Male Adult Demographic ?? All the adult males I know don’t think a 54 year old man urinating on his shirt is very funny.

          As for Sharon, she really should get her show back. Absolutely no respect to Tootall, the man is a music encyclopedia but he’s rather laid back and dry on air. It’s not the right time of day for that type of show. Sharon is so full of energy she makes the rest of the morning zip by. Then when Made To Order starts at noon you crank up the radio and rock along with her.

          Reply
  21. Steve W

    Anyone with comments on Chantal Desjardins covering sports on CJAD Aaron Rand Afternoon Drive Home show? I think she lacks knowledge of sports(also maybe lacks knowledge of Montreal sports teams) to even be credible as a Montreal sports journalist. She too often screws up on pronouncing of athletes & other names. Aaron has asked her for comments on a sports development, but sometimes she responds by saying she doesn’t know about it. I think she’s fluff. Is she good for anything on-air now I’m wondering except for maybe fluffy ‘Celebrity Gossip’ segments.

    Reply

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