Tommy Schnurmacher announces retirement from CJAD

Tommy Schnurmacher, host of CJAD’s Gang of Four and a fixture on Montreal’s English-language talk radio scene for decades, announced today he’s hanging up his headphones for good. His last show will be Dec. 13:

Schnurmacher told listeners he will travel more and finish a novel, although he promises to continue to share the opinions that have earned him popularity and created debate: “I may be saying goodbye to daily radio deadlines but I have a sneaking suspicion that I will not be able to keep myself from holding court from time to time whether that’s on-air, off-air or on Twitter”.

(A video of Schnurmacher’s on-air announcement is posted on CJAD’s website.)

CJAD will replace his noon-hour show by moving the Natasha Hall show up to noon and adding a second hour to the nationally broadcast Evan Solomon Show from 2-4pm.

The move comes as Bell Media is in the process of cutting staff across the country (and some of them are billing their departures as retirements). I’m told that Schnurmacher’s leaving of his own accord here.

But it was only a year and a half ago that Schnurmacher said retirement wasn’t on the horizon. “No. I love doing this. I love the work, I don’t foresee retirement any time soon,” he told me in May 2016. In November, he cut down his hours at CJAD, leaving his late-morning show to Leslie Roberts and keeping just the Gang of Four part, which went an hour long at noon. In his on-air announcement, he said he has discovered in the past year that he enjoys travelling even more than he thought, and he wants to do more of it.

Schnurmacher’s final show will be a special broadcast in front of a live audience, with tickets being given out to CJAD listeners.

14 thoughts on “Tommy Schnurmacher announces retirement from CJAD

  1. Tommy Schnurmacher

    You are absolutely right. I did not see it at the time but I enjoyed having the three summer months off and discovered that I loved travel more than I ever imagined. Over the past few years I have interviewed anyone who has ever written any book on the subject of retirement. It sounded great. I interviewed two millennials who retired in their 3os. So I decided it was time. I never made Freedom 55 so Freedom 67 it is.

    1. Apple IIGS

      Been a listener since the early 90’s, back in the days of the ‘Tommy Schnurmacher Show’ on CIQC (AM-600). I think I came across your show during the year leading up to the second referendum and became instantly hooked; you were the voice of reason during all that angst and uncertainty!

      Continued to appreciate your wise take on things on CJAD, you’ll be missed! Thanks for all those years, Tommy!

  2. Lance Campeau

    Well… its obviously a preemptive strike by Tommy but how could anyone blame him for it? The endless slash-n-burn at Bell Media clearly shows that they value bottom line over talent & programming quality.

    None the less, thatnks Tommy for the daily doses of consistently skeptical humor and observation… It has always made me nod my head. Particularly when you would poke fun at the fumblings of the PQ and provincial Liberals.

  3. Mediaman

    I’m sure we all wish him well in his travels and see the world.

    BTW, one segment not mentioned in his retirement announcement nor your post here, was probably late 70s or early 80s, Tommy did a ” Dining out ” restaurant review segment on Pulse News. Bert Cannings was News Director at the time. And not owned Bell media.

    Speaking of Bell Media, he may be leaving on his own accord, but coupled with your comment about the latest Bell Media firings, one shouldn’t be surprised if the suits in Toronto are wishing him well along with the recent retirement of CHOM’s Tootall and thanking them for the savings to the bottom line.

  4. dilbert

    Tommy, congrats to you if you are in fact leaving on your own terms, and if not, congrats on getting Bell to allow you to call it a retirement.

    That you are being replaced essentially with another hour of “national” programming says a lot about the direction of Bell-i-verse.

  5. KidOldman

    I remember him doing a segment called “Sidewalk talk” on Oldies 980, (’round the corner, round the block, Tommy Schrnurmacher – sidewalk talk’). Can anyone else corroborate this ancient memory?

  6. Mario D

    Did not want to be the first one to celebrate your departure….Will still appreciate your input on things if you do get the microphone …but your schtick was wayyyy too annoying . It’ a generation thing i guess but one has to move on at a certain point which you never did…being a big fromage at CJAD no one felt things would ever change while you were there. ! Anyway happy travels and enjoy your part time retirement !

  7. Newslogger44

    I can’t help but wonder why the early departure. Could it have been political pressure due to his ongoing criticism of the Quebec Liberal government where he relentlessly urged listeners not to vote for them?

    Furthermore, Tommy’s recent two-day rant concerning Governor-General Judy Payette’s presumably “controversial” “anti-creationist” speech may have annoyed CJAD or Bell’s management: a rant about which all of his “Gang of Four” disagreed despite his adamant, even bullying tactics.

    In any event, when an announcer begins to show too much hot-headedness, it’s time to move on.

    Natasha Hall is too wet-behind-the-ears and overly-sentimental to reinstate the “Gang of Four”–if indeed it will ever return in some form or other.

    What Montreal needs is someone with with the acumen of a John Moore to host a similar program, but I can’t see him returning to Montreal anytime soon.

    Legendary radio hosts of the 1960s such as the late Pat Burns of CKGM’s “Burns’ Hotline” talk show are badly missed today.

    All we get now on “talk radio” today is “send in your texts” and “Hello…goodbye…thanks for your call. Next?”. :-(

    1. Fagstein Post author

      Could it have been political pressure due to his ongoing criticism of the Quebec Liberal government where he relentlessly urged listeners not to vote for them?


      Furthermore, Tommy’s recent two-day rant concerning Governor-General Judy Payette’s presumably “controversial” “anti-creationist” speech may have annoyed CJAD or Bell’s management



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