Tag Archives: Terry DiMonte

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.

DiMonte

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.)

Video

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.

DiMonte to do noon-hour Q92 show from Calgary

Ad for Terry DiMonte in Monday's Gazette

Ad for Terry DiMonte in Monday's Gazette

Corus announced today that Terry DiMonte, the former CHOM morning man who left for Q107 in Calgary because CHOM wasn’t prepared to offer him a long-term contract, will return to Montreal’s airwaves starting Sept. 8 with a noon-hour talk/music show on Q92.

What’s missing from Corus’s press release, and the Presse Canadienne rewriting of it, is that DiMonte isn’t physically returning to Montreal. He’s still hosting his morning show in Calgary. Only now, after his morning shift, he’ll stay in studio and do the Montreal show remotely.

This isn’t the first time that a broadcaster has done “local” programming remotely and tried to fool people (Joe Cannon was famous for it and Global Quebec is introducing it), but the fact that Corus left it out of its press release suggests that their goal is to deliberately mislead Montreal listeners.

Fortunately, I’m relatively confident DiMonte has the moral fortitude not to outright lie to his listeners (saying “here in Montreal” or pretending his weather is the same as ours).

The Gazette’s Bill Brownstein has more.

Terry DiMonte’s secure financial future

The Calgary Herald has a profile of Terry DiMonte and Peppermint Patti in their new jobs as morning hosts at Q107 FM in Calgary. It discusses a bit of their history in Montreal, his challenges ahead and the fact that he missed half his first month sick.

You’ll recall DiMonte left CHOM FM here in November for a financially secure job at Q107 which pays him (according to the Herald’s sources) a sweet $450,000 a year, guaranteed for five years. (And really, who wouldn’t eat a steaming pile of dog poo for that kind of cash?)

Terry DiMonte leaving CHOM for better offer in Calgary

Terry DiMonte 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.

Rob Kemp 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).