I had a chance to sit down this week with Chris Bury, the boy wonder news and program director at CJAD and TSN 690. Only 36 years of age, he got his start in the business back in 1998 as a producer for the show anchored by the late Mark Rennie. He continued to work full-time while studying for his Journalism Degree at Concordia. “It took six years, but I got my diploma,” he says.
Bury made a smart career move, accepting an offer to join the now defunct 940 News. Eventually all-news switched to news talk and Bury was gaining invaluable experience as a then very young program director. He’d move on to Q92 (now TheBeat ) and CBC before coming back to CJAD three years ago. “It was quite surreal to be given this job and the very office that was used by the late and legendary Gord Sinclair,” he said.
While the father of three’s CJAD duties were time consuming enough, last summer Bury was handed the TSN 690 portfolio. He had to make some difficult decisions, letting go the likes of Ted Bird, Ric Peterson, Chantal Desjardins, Sharman Yarnell and reducing Suzanne Desautels’ footprint at CJAD. Sportscasters Rick Moffat and Abe Hefter were morphed into the newly dubbed TSN Sports Centre. Moffat still does weekday sports, spelled by his new permanent backup Conor McKenna, but has become a regular part of the Elliott Price-Shaun Starr morning show. Mitch Gallo does sports updates for both stations. Gallo, like so many others trained by Mitch Melnick, has become a very entertaining person to listen to.
For the near future, Bury says he does not have any drastic changes planned for Montreal’s all-sports radio station.
Will the Montreal Impact and Montreal Alouettes broadcasts move from CJAD to TSN 690? “We are talking to both teams about that right now,” he says. “It is clear that TSN 690 is all sports and CJAD’s primary business is news and information.”
Bury is pleased with the crossover arrangements he has made with CTV Montreal: Lori Graham and Christine Long contributing to the Aaron Rand Show on CJAD and Brian Wilde, Randy Tieman and André Corbeil becoming part of the Canadiens broadcasts.
"I am happy with TSN 690," he said. "This is a station I always listened to, starting when it was THE TEAM 990. I listened to Mitch Melnick for many years."
This was my first chance visiting the Bell Media studios, which became home to CJAD, CHOM and Virgin Radio well more than a year ago and then TSN 690. It is home to the Bell Media French sister stations as well. The TSN 690 and CJAD crews are right next to each other.
Bury also shared with me the fact that longtime promotions guru Matthew Wood has become his assistant program director.
In my case, I have had the privilege of watching Bury grow in the business. Wearing my other hat as a communications expert for first the Canadian Jewish Congress and then (and now) the English Montreal School Board, Chris and I have spoken regularly during his various incarnations. He has done every task handed to him very well, always rising to the occasion.