Rumours that longtime Montreal radio personality and CHOM-FM morningman Terry DiMonte was considering an offer to move to another radio station were verified today when CHOM announced he was leaving in an email to listeners.
Strangely, the announcement doesn’t mention where he’s going, calling it only “a new opportunity in Western Canada.” But he has accepted a five-year contract at Calgary’s Q107 classic rock station, where he will begin a show in January.
DiMonte’s last day is this Friday.
Through two stints at CHOM (separated by five years at Mix 96 and four years at CJAD), DiMonte has spent 14 years at the classic rock station, becoming one of its most recognizable names. He’s been a perennial favourite among anglo Montrealers, and won the Mirror’s No. 1 choice for best radio host in its 2005 Best of Montreal poll.
Metroblogging Montreal has already declared war. Adrian’s a bit more sombre about it.
DiMonte’s replacement on the Terry Ted and Kim morning show is Rob Kemp, who currently hosts the Rob Kemp show on weekday afternoons on Mix 96. He starts Monday, when the show will become the Ted, Kim and Kemp show (a name which sounds cooler than “Ted Kim and Rob” but makes no sense logically).
As for Kemp’s old slot, Mix 96 is currently hiring to fill it. So if you have a sunny disposition and at least three years of on-air experience in the format, feel free to apply.
UPDATE: The Gazette (after talking with DiMonte) confirms what’s been pretty obvious to everyone, that DiMonte’s move was about contract negotiations. Talks to re-sign him weren’t going well, giving him the distinct impression that CHOM didn’t really want him back. (Classy man that he is though, he doesn’t blame management for the deal going sour, lamenting only that he and Bird don’t have the star power they used to.)
Q107 gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse. So Montreal loses another star to free agency.
UPDATE (Nov. 23): On the morning of his last day, a tribute cartoon from Aislin, and a column from Mike Boone. And, of course, the obligatory Facebook group that misspells his name.
UPDATE (Nov. 24): In this morning’s Gazette, a recounting of DiMonte’s final day on the air.
There’s also an article in the Calgary Herald about how DiMonte’s arrival will affect the radio landscape there. It notes how DiMonte’s departure is “front-page news” here, though with the exception of The Gazette and CTV News I find this story vastly under-covered in the Montreal media. A brief Presse Canadienne piece, a couple of sentences at CJAD (where he spent a few years). Not a peep from CBC, Global, or any of the French media.
The news item is already off CHOM’s front page, replaced by a Led Zeppelin promo. Hell, even Ted Bird’s blog is absent any mention of his best bud’s departure (what the hell is the point of these blogs if you’re not going to use them for things like this?). Kim Rossi mentions it briefly, though it sounds more like a press release than a heartfelt goodbye to a friend.
So I’ll leave you with this video from CTV News on YouTube (I would have linked to the one on CTV’s website, but all the links I found to it say the video is “no longer available”):
UPDATE (Dec. 12): The Gazette’s Bill Brownstein follows Terry around for his last week in Montreal, going to some of the places he’ll miss most.
UPDATE (Jan. 4): DiMonte has already begun his morning show at Q107, where he’s being partnered with former Montrealer “Peppermint” Patti MacNeil. The show can be heard online weekdays 7:30am-noon (5:30-10am in Calgary).