Ted Bird, while at CHOM, did something virtually unheard of in media today. He left his high paying spot on the morning show on a matter of principal.
He is no newcomer to the world of radio. He has honed his skills through many stints on various radio stations and has worn many hats during that process. But it was his stint on CHOM alongside Terry Dimonte that made him a star on English Montrea radiol. His dry wit and good sense of humour has served him well. So, when Dimonte left for Calgary, Ted was ready to take over as morning man without his “sidekick” of many years.
In a perfect world, Ted Bird would have rode the CHOM horse making wisecracks and playing classic rock to the day he decided to call it quits on his terms…like George Balcan, Neil McKenty and Earl Halderman did before him. But, this not a perfect world, he was dealt a program director that was not a broadcast man. So, Bird quit rather than be subjected to dealing with a self proclaimed man of no radio knowledge (For full details as to the departure I refer you to Mitch Melnick’s blog at http://mitchmelnick.com/webshow/…just scroll to the Ted Bird page). Bird just decided to leave and more importantly said WHY he was leaving. The “why” was a scathing indictment of the modern radio business in all it’s bland glory.
People just don”t do this anymore. When Steve Kuleos is told to scream for no reason on That’s Hockey Tonight, he does it. When Dan O’Toole and Jay Onrait are given comedy acts to perform instead of sports news, they do it. When news anchors are told to be less like Edward R. Murrow and more like Oprah, they do it. Not many will leave a great paying job, popularity and comfort in order to stand alone in a field of integrity. Ted Bird was among the “not many”.
The fallout could have been nasty for him. But, K103 came calling and Ted listened. He joined the station to co-host the morning show and lo and behold he fell in love in radio all over again. Ted Bird has now joined TSN 990 where he has given the morning show a dose of old favorites such as Don Scary, Revisionist History and of course Bird Droppings.
On a micro level, he left radio because he couldn’t accept the way it was going. On a macro level, he showed me that believing in quality matters and that sometimes, very rarely, someone that stands up to denounce something can end up back on top.
Ted Bird is deserving of respect…..and he has mine.