Tag Archives: Bob Harris

Kim Rossi leaving CHOM

Kim Rossi

Kim Rossi

According to a report at radio industry watcher Milkman Unlimited, Astral Media is making changes at its Montreal office. Most of the changes are related to management (including Bob Harris, who will be moving to Hamilton), but one on-air voice is also affected.

Kim Rossi, who is part of the Terry, Ted, Kim, and Kemp Bad Pete trio (and is also married to Harris), will also be heading down the 401, filling a one-year maternity leave and joining Iron Mike on the morning show at Astral-owned CHTZ-FM (coincidentally, also at 97.7FM) in St. Catharines.

There’s no mention of a replacement for Rossi on CHOM’s morning show, which might just mean there won’t be any. CFQR is trying the one-morning-host format, and CHOM might be next to focus more on music and less on banter in the drive-to-work hours.

Cohen on Sherriffs

Murray Sherriffs

Murray Sherriffs

The Suburban’s Mike Cohen interviews ex-Mix 96 morning man Murray Sherriffs in his column this week (where he totally name-drops this blog), about Sherriffs’s departure from the station. It makes it pretty clear that it was the station’s decision to let him go:

When Mix announced in early December that it was being rebranded to Virgin 96 Radio, Sherriffs said he was called into the office of Bob Harris, vice-president of programming for Astral Radio’s three Montreal radio stations. After three and a half years of partnering with Cat Spencer and Lisa Player, while contributing to the most unique newscast in town, Sherriffs was told he was not a good fit for the new label.

“I was shocked,” he said, “but not surprised. This is radio after all. It was done very professionally and I have no hard feelings. Our ratings for the Mix morning show were very strong, especially with the new PPMs (Personal People Meters) so to be truthful I had felt kind of safe in my position.

As for what’s next, Cohen says Sherriffs isn’t rushing:

He finds his extended vacation very relaxing and spends most of his time making furniture. Soon, though, he will begin knocking on a few doors.

Cohen makes some offhand suggestions for where he might end up next. Unfortunately, this is about the worst time to try to get a job in just about any media, even for someone with a modest following like Sherriffs.

The article, unfortunately, can’t be linked to directly, but it’s part of the freely available online version of this week’s Suburban, starting on Page 4. It’s followed by a piece on The Monitor shutting down, which quotes people who used to work there.

Gazette explores anglo exodus, DiMonte

It’s really a story only The Gazette can do. And therefore it’s a story The Gazette must do: The exodus of anglophones from Quebec.

So in a five-part feature series that ends today, the paper went all out, sending reporter David Johnston and photographer/videographer Phil Carpenter out to Calgary and Vancouver to interview ex-Montrealers.


Of particular interest to media watchers is probably Part 3, which interviews former CHOM morning man Terry DiMonte and his sidekick Peppermint Patti MacNeil (ex-Lorange). Although focused on language and culture, it also goes into a bit more detail about DiMonte’s decision to move to Calgary and work at Corus’s Q107 (it was business, not language politics, that was behind the change):

DiMonte’s more recent departure can be seen as an example of the “normalization” of anglo migration from Quebec. As political and linguistic uncertainty has subsided in Quebec, anglos now leaving Quebec are tending to leave for the same ordinary dull reason that people everywhere move – opportunity. In DiMonte’s case, there was also the added complication of a troubled relationship with a new boss; but there again, as he says himself, there’s nothing so unusual about that. Here he was, a big fish in a small English market in a large French city, breezing along in midlife at the top of his profession, when suddenly he was presented with a new contract that called for him to sign in and out of work every day.

Until that offer was put before him by Bob Harris, newly arrived operations manager at CHOM, DiMonte had worked for years under simple contract terms: a 2-per-cent annual salary increase, and a car. But now he was being asked to sign a 15-page contract with a lot of fine print. DiMonte says he went to see Astral Media vice-president Rob Braide about it all, and Braide warned him, “Don’t you dare try to bring in a lawyer.”

The day after the 15-page contract was put before him, Corus Entertainment, owners of Q107 in Calgary, called DiMonte. A five-year offer; big money. Patti MacNeil remembers being at home on the day she heard DiMonte was moving to Calgary, and thinking, “Cool, someone new in the market, someone I know and like and will listen to.” But then the incumbent morning-show team at Q107 was let go, and the next thing she knew, DiMonte phoned her up and asked what she would say if Corus were to approach her – about teaming up with him.”

Of course, some might call this whining.

If the name Bob Harris sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the guy in charge of CJFM, aka Virgin Radio 96 aka the crap they replaced Mix 96 with. Both are owned by Astral Media. (Q92, where DiMonte phones in a noon show, is owned by Corus.)


Aside from the big features are two video series from Carpenter (all compiled on this page): a documentary of interviews from those same ex-Montrealers (including DiMonte), and some interviews with young students here about their future.

Carpenter goes into some behind-the-scenes detail on his blog, saying it took him four months (on and off) to put the three-piece, half-hour documentary together.

And more

There are also two Flash animations with graphical data (one points out that unlike most regional newspapers, The Gazette’s online traffic comes primarily from outside the province), and a blog from Johnston, in which he explains the story idea came from a conference he went to combined with a report from Statistics Canada showing anglos growing again for the first time in decades.