A well-known Montreal radio host has decided to hang up his microphone.
After decades as a popular morning man on English radio, Terry DiMonte has announced he’s stepping down from his position at CHOM-FM May 28.
“It is time for me to bring the curtain down on this chapter of my life,” he told listeners Tuesday morning. “It is time for me to let someone else occupy this chair.”
According to him there was a convergence of events that convinced him that it was time to go.
“Well the contract was ending and there was a lot of changes upstairs and nobody knew which way we were going,” the 63-year-old told Global News, and I said ‘meh, how’s about we bring it all to a nice end?’ ”
His last day the the station is May 28.
DiMonte began his career at CHOM in 1984. He did stints at other English stations in the city, such as CJAD and MIX-96. He also spent several years as morning man at Q-107 in Calgary where he reunited on air with friend and co-host Patti Lorange MacNeil, AKA Peppermint Patti, with whom he also co-hosted in Montreal.
She said he always made her laugh.
“It didn’t matter whether we were in the studio, or whether we were at Jean Coutu on Sherbrooke Street, where one day he made me laugh so hard they almost had to take me out on a stretcher,” she laughed.
Of his time behind the microphone in Montreal DiMonte said it was special because he grew up in the city where he made his dream come true.
“It meant the world to me because when I was in high school, it’s the only thing I wanted to do,” he explained. “I wanted to be on the radio and I got to be on the radio in the city I grew up in, and that meant a lot to me.”
Those who know him well, like Montreal Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein, say the city isn’t just losing a valuable voice in the anglophone community with his departure. The audience is losing a bridge-builder.
“He really established a rapport with Anglos, Francos,” Brownstein noted. “I mean, he might have been spinning classic rock but basically [he’s] just like the guy next door — like a real buddy for all.”
Colleagues like longtime CJAD broadcaster Trudie Mason insist DiMonte is more than an entertainer, saying he was a fierce but respectful debater who understands his audience.
“He grew up bilingual, he understands the city, he understands the geography, he understands the anglophone community, he can relate to people,” Mason pointed out.
That comprehension of, and passion for, the city caught the attention of politicians of all stripes, his friends note, including Montreal mayor Valérie Plante who tweeted about DiMonte’s Tuesday morning announcement:
“A voice of calm during the best of times and during our difficult moments. You loved to gripe but you love Montréal even more. I wish you a happy retirement.”
DiMonte laughed at the tweet and said Plante’s rival in the upcoming municipal elections tweeted at him too.
“Denis Coderre tweeted at me today that he wanted me to join the team,” DiMonte laughed. I’m, pretty sure he’s just joking!”
DiMonte claims to have no interest in running for office, and in fact has no plans for when he leaves CHOM. He refuses to say he’s retiring, preferring to say instead, that a new chapter will begin for him, come May 28.
Quebec singer making waves after posting a song a day during pandemic