This month marks the fourth year anniversary of when Toronto lost its voice. News reporter, CITY-TV mainstay, and a huge part of Toronto’s fabric, Mark Dailey passed away on December 6th 2011 after getting beat in his second match-up with cancer. As someone who has been involved with different parts of local media, I was lucky enough to have built a great friendship with Daily. We would banter back and forth, and exchange e-mails. A lot of them. I found an e-mail a few days ago, while remembering my friend. I had sent some questions to him to answer. I guess it was for an interview I wanted to do with him for my blog? Not sure. Thought it was fitting that I would finally write that interview I meant to do back in 2010.
TV wasn’t a tough transition, you had a picture and sound bites to tell your story. There some adjustments but no big deal.
“It all started at a 500 watt daytime station in Niles, Ohio. From there i worked at the Youngstown, Ohio market’s number one rocker WHOT but also launched by t.v. career as a live booth announcer and eventual reporter/anchor at WYTV Channel 33 in Youngstown,” revealed Daily, back in 2010. He didn’t show up in Toronto till 1974 when CHUM-AM “found me”. He would put Q107 on the air in ’77 and return for one more stint at CHUM before setting up shop at CITY-TV i 1978.
Since the start, Dailey had an “ear and heart for news”. “I jocked a little here and there, and I was pretty good, I still talk up to vocals in the car”. However, TV was his calling. “TV wasn’t a tough transition, you had a picture and sound bites to tell your story. There some adjustments but no big deal.” Daily joked, “If you look at some of that old CITY stuff from the 80s, I was a pretty homely guy. I aged well, I guess.”
It was at CHUM, however he had the most memories. “Mainly the people”. Disclosed Dailey. “Probably the most creative bunch I worked with. and the bunch changed adding more great talent”. He remembered, “Getting into trouble with Rivers numerous times by doing my Don Pardo game show voice for him. Smyth’s tantrums. Henny’s special Saturday morning coffees. I hope I get a chance to finish my book.”
That would’ve been one helluva read.
It still was the most amazing 2 years of my 41 year career.
While CHUM might have been where he created some of his golden times in the business, it was in Windsor, Ontario that Daily got that tingle, gut feeling in his stomach. “I was 19ish working with these icons I listened to the week before. Every newscaster tried to out do the other every hour. I was out of my league for a while.” he recollected. It still was the most amazing 2 years of my 41 year career.” I remember remarking how when I would listen back to the CKLW tapes, I was inspired by the news writing style the BIG 8 reporters used. Daily brought up one clever line of his. “After the news and a quiick line about the first robin of spring being spotted in Redford, I said… “Whether it’s a Birdbath or a Bloodbath, we want to know about it on the hotlines.” Byron MacGregor called and chewed me out. It was just after church Sunday morning.”
Times have changed since his illustrious days writing as part of the 20:20 news team. But even back in 2010, Mark was looking forward to what would be the next big thing. “I do webcasts now. Blogs and newspapers online are the way people are going” He hinted. “Whomever comes up with the app, to put me or our podcast in your hand, on-demand, should be rich and famous.”