Chris Bury says he is excited to get to work on his new project as program director for TSN 690 Radio, while retaining his role as brand and news director for CJAD. I have known Chris since he was a young reseacher for Jim Duff on CJAD. He moved on to 940 News for a number of years, then to Q92 (now The Beat) before returning to NewsTalk 800 AM.
Having Bury oversee the programming duties at another station is a huge task, on top of his already heavy load. "It kind of makes sense as there will be a lot of synergy between the two stations," he told me. "There is a logical connection and a lot of opportunity for cross promotions. I can't wait to get going on this!"
Bury said at this point he wants to begin a discussion and evaluation process. He did not dismiss the possibility that some changes could be implemented in time for Montreal Canadiens broadcasts. TSN 690 will soon vacate their Greene Avenue facility in Westmount and join CJAD, CHOM and Virgin Radio at the corner of René-Levesque and Papineau. They are also across the street from CTV Montreal and RDS.
Bury was not ready to speculate on any potential programming changes. Well, here are some lucky guesses and suggestions.
HABS BROADCASTS: Everyone agrees that play by play man John Bartlett and colour commentator Sergio Mommesso are a dynamic team. But will CJAD sports director Rick Moffat and Abe Hefter find their way back into the mix? The pre and post game shows are definite possibilities. Jess Rusnak does a fabulous job covering the Habs and could be a valued asset for CJAD as well. Connor McKenna has also come into his own with the Delmar Post Game Show. UPDATE- Clearly Bury has been listening as Conor McKenna became the first TSN 690 personality to cross the floor. On Friday, August 16 he was chosen to fill in for Rick Moffat to handle morning show sportscasts with guest host Barry Morgan and he did not sound out of place. A good omen for McKenna?
MORNING SHOW: While Ted Bird clearly seems to adore his gig on TSN 690 mornings, will we see him cross the hall to CHOM FM and rejoin his pal Terry DiMonte for some sportscasts? And how about Moffat or whomever is doing the sports on CJAD handling the same duties on TSN 690 with Shaun Starr and Elliott Price? I would love to hear Michael Farber and Dave Stubbs on both stations.
OFF THE CUFF: Will Chris Nilan remain as co-host with Marinaro for the Intermission and host of Off The Cuff from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m or will someone like Barry Morgan or Hefter be offered that slot? Nilan is still a rookie at doing his own show and continues to approve. He also has a huge list of "A" level contacts. Perhaps Morgan and Nilan?
MELNICK IN THE AFTERNOON: Mitch Melnick is already a legend in this city. He spent many years on CJAD. He is definitely an "untouchable." Hopefully he can access the likes of Farber, Stubbs and others.
EVENINGS: When the Habs are not on, TSN 690 airs a variety of programming weekday evenings. Bury would be well advised to take a long look at Matthew Ross and Dave Kaufman in particular, two talents who could be plucked up by the soon to debut AM 600 English station.
ALOUETTES AND IMPACT: It makes sense to move these broadcasts over to TSN 690, reverting back to CJAD in the case of a conflict. That means the great Noel Butler could return to the Impact broadcast team.
MANAGEMENT: There must be a place for Wayne Bews, who has played a critical role in keeping Montreal's all-sports station alive. Wayne has done it all: sales, programming, promotions. He is an amazing fellow who gets out there in the community. His experience could be a benefit to the new Bell Media English radio group here.
To be continued...