CHOM announces new morning show with Jay Michaels, Chantal Desjardins and Sharon Hyland

After four years of Terry DiMonte holding the fort on the CHOM morning show alone (with help from producer Esteban Vargas), CHOM has decided to go back to having a team host the morning show, announcing Friday three permanent hosts for Mornings Rock starting Feb. 28.

Jay Michaels was until last week the host of the afternoon drive show on Toronto’s Newstalk 1010. He announced he was leaving for the opportunity of a lifetime.

Chantal Desjardins comes back to the CHOM morning show, where she was part of the team in 2010 and 2011 with Ted Bird, Pete Marier and later Rob Kemp during that non-Terry period. When DiMonte came back, she was replaced with Heather Backman. Since leaving CHOM, she’s worked as a presenter at Sportsnet, done some standup comedy and based on her social media has been a nearly full-time vacationer.

Sharon Hyland is a very familiar name to CHOM listeners, having recently celebrated 25 years as an on-air host at the station, most of which were spent on daytime or weekend shifts.

Three hosts is something CHOM hasn’t done for more than a decade, and it’s a bit surprising that they would try this again. The station has been bleeding audience over the past few years and its fall book wasn’t great, but it still remains ahead of sister station Virgin 95.9, which is in much more need of some sort of change.

Marier noted during the announcement that he will be trading shows with Hyland, hosting weekend mornings.

Vargas will remain with the station, starting a new role as digital content producer for not just CHOM but Bell’s other English-language radio stations in Montreal as well. That means he won’t be producing the morning show any more, I’m told.

15 thoughts on “CHOM announces new morning show with Jay Michaels, Chantal Desjardins and Sharon Hyland

  1. Giuliano

    Happy for Sharon & Chantal but why bring in Jay from Ontario ? Pete does a good job on CHOM. He’s a Montrealer and knows the city and listeners like his on air style. No loyalty anymore. How were the ratings since Pete replaced Terry ? I guess with the former morningman’s salary, Bell will pay all 3 hosts. Good Luck Pete.

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  2. Gazoo

    They had two at one point when Terry was there.
    Let one go and it was Terry with Estaban.

    Now they go to 3 and one of them not being Pete who has held the position since Bell let Terry go.

    Give this about a year and there will be a change and probably not for the better.

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  3. Andy

    Haven’t really listened to Chom in a while, and I doubt this will bring me back. I love Sharon and Chantal is somewhat entertaining but I have no idea who thought some unknown from Ontario is gonna drive Montrealers back to Chom. We’ll see I guess. but I’m not holding my breath

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    1. Anonymous

      Not impressed with Jay at all. What was wrong with Pete and Estaban? Like others said Pete’s a true Montrealer and makes you feel his finger is on the pulse of the city.
      I’ve given the trio the benefit of a chance and now I’m out.

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  4. Anonymous

    I feel Pirate Pete should have been given the chance again to show his Montreal rock acumen, but if his interim ratings numbers weren’t good enough, that would explain bringing in an outsider instead to try his luck.

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  5. Dilbert

    CHOM has a history of messing up the morning show spot. Derringer, Howard Stern… it’s not been pleasant or successful. There were plenty of potential combinations during non-Terry times that might have worked, but never did for various reasons.

    A three person morning show is, umm, standard morning radio stuff. The idea is to appeal to the widest possible audience by hopefully having at least one out of the three be someone the like, agree with, or whatever. The idea is to connect in the morning so that the radio stays on station all day.

    The problem of a three person morning show is that it is expensive. Even if the players are doing it relatively cheaply, it’s still expensive to do. It’s even more expensive at this point because there isn’t much for the two wing-people to do. Sports, News, traffic, and everything else is the Bell world is outsourced. So you can’t bury one of them as the “traffic person who just stays on mic all the time”. So it’s three people basically trying to be funny and entertaining together. If it works, great, but if it doesn’t it’s disaster.

    Chantal has already been in one of those disasters at CHOM. Sharon I suspect is on her last try at the big times here, she has been around the station a very long time is sort of coming in as the senior voice of CHOM in the whole discussion.

    Pete Marier is getting sort of shafted again, going to from daily morning man to basic fill in on the weekend. Some thanks for taking the brunt of the loss of Terry.

    I give it a year to 18 months. I suspect that by the 2023 back to school season, things will have changed again. That of course is all based on radio being relevant at all by that point, which is no assured!

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  6. Greg

    Pete Marier always has and always will do an EXCELLENT job.
    Another questionable decision by Bell Media to pay 3 times the salaries for 1/10th of the skill.

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  7. Steve M.

    This is not going to end well. Or end with big ratings for CHOM. Brining in another Toronto person has been a bad idea in the past (twice).

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  8. Richie C

    So I had a listen to the new CHOM-FM morning show for about an hour and it felt like i was watching to “The Talk” but on radio… Bell truly missed the boat by not securing a talent like Jeremy White from The Beat FM. Given the success of his podcast that receives international press weekly and conducts genuinely compelling interviews the actual artists that CHOM-FM plays, it’s truly mind boggling how they would pass on someone like that. Or maybe he wasn’t interested? Best of luck to the new team, it will be SiriusXM for me. Cheers – R

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    1. Vic

      Totally agree. Topics are immature and drag on the whole show. Now they got someone laughing in the background only because it is not funny. Need to get Sharon and Pete to do the morning show. They have great chemistry and talk music. CHOM starts at 10AM during the week.

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  9. Anonymous

    Lots of great insight above. The morning show had an opportunity to be great had they asked Sharon to join Pete and Estevan. The new format with topics like tramp stamps, bras and garbage just isn’t CHOM. CHOM now starts at 10AM and is great on weekends. I can’t complain about the music played in the morning that still rocks.

    Reply

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