The Vampire Diaries?

One more flight

One more flight

Have I become one of those guys in broadcasting whom you can’t seem to kill with anything less than a wooden stake through the heart?

I hope not. At the age of 60, though, I was perfectly ready for early retirement.

But, it seems, not quite yet.

I will be back on television in Vancouver after a two-year hiatus in Toronto…which I enjoyed but which took me far from the familial home. This is not a commercial blog so I can’t go touting the new station here. It’s the one with the ball, the square and the triangle. You know the one. That’s about all I can say.

It’ll be a couple of stories a week…which, at this stage in the long , long game,  is about all I want. I hope I can still have some fun out there on the sidewalk of life. I did find Torontonians quite engaging and willing to banter.  Vancouverites can often be a little shy. Sometimes you have to go after them. I still like the chase.

I have been a broadcaster for 37 years. By any measure, I have had a marvellous run with only the occasional hiccup. For almost all of that time I have been allowed to do what I do best…and that is to tell stories. Along the way I developed a style, did some travelling, met (and worked with) fantastically creative people and been praised personally and professionally for my work. What else can you ask for?

I have also watched myself grow old on television. There’s a reality show, let me tell you! Boy, if I could only have all those hours back that have been narcissistically spent in front of the bathroom mirror tweaking and snipping and grooming and groaning. You have no idea. I’ve owned boats that didn’t require this much maintenance.

Television has changed so much since I first wandered into it while still at university back in 1976. The technology advances alone have been breathtaking. When I tell younger (just about everyone now) broadcasters about shooting news stories on 16mm film they look at me as if I’m a hologram. And I guess that’s true. This business has been a rocket ship through the formats.

I have always enjoyed the writing. That is my strength. Storytelling for television allows you to produce your own tiny movies. You cast the characters and you frame them appropriately. And then you try to distill the story arc. It’s a lovely little bit of control. It was only when I wandered out of that format and into the much higher-risk venue of television hosting that I encountered a few problems.  Be careful what you do for money!

Being a television host is like sitting in a foxhole and then standing up without a helmet or flak jacket and inviting people to take a shot. And they will. Hoo boy….you’d better believe they will ! You can soon feel like Sonny Corleone at the toll booth. But none of it is tragic. It’s a little ego-bruising (well, it can be a sizeable contusion, depending on the ego) but it’s not life and death stuff . It’s just educational.

I know many broadcasters who cannot fathom the concept of retirement. So they don’t. They hang on by whatever means until they just kind of rot on-air. The problem with this profession is that it can be all-consuming. It is easy for a broadcaster to forsake any outside interests. The job becomes everything. To retire would mean mind-numbing boredom and a complete lack of purpose. Plus, broadcasting can so easily come to define who you are. You step away…and you don’t recognize the face in the mirror anymore. This is really the saddest side of the profession. They never tell you about that when you’re a fresh-faced cherub in journalism school. You just wanna be on tv!

But I have always made a point of being busy when I wasn’t writing. I have been sailing and sculpting and painting and puttering about in the garden. I realize now that I got that gene from my father who, until the end of his days, was intensely interested in everything.

Now, here’s the funny thing. No broadcaster is ever truly retired..because there is always a very tiny sliver of grey matter that is convinced that you can still do the job. So if someone were to offer you a small role..somewhere on some channel…you’d be very tempted to bite. Well, nibble. By now, though, it would have to be on your own terms. You’d never take off more than you could chew…or , at least, gum.

Time to sink my teeth into this latest..and probably last, go-round.

Dave

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16 Responses to “The Vampire Diaries?”

  1. Ooohh, a reason to switch stations! I am looking forward to seeing your stories! Welcome back Dave!! YAY!

  2. Well, jeez…what to say? Glad for you, sad for me? I’d hoped that your new stint would be something I’d be able to see but no such luck. This makes me even angrier at Global’s Morning Show than ever, and I’m sorry to hear that you had to deal with so much negativity whilst you were hosting there. Some people just can’t recognize quality when they see it, I suppose.

    Full disclosure: when I first began watching The Morning Show, it had already been on a year. I said to myself “Now who is this guy?” I knew Liza from Breakfast t.v. but you were unfamiliar and you had a totally different aura about you. It didn’t take long to warm up to you though, and before long I came to the conclusion that you were one of the best parts of the show. I just assumed that everyone else had my great taste, ha ha. So it was with great sadness when you unexpectedly exited the show, as I was just beginning to get to know you, in a sense.

    I was hoping that your announcement would have you doing something that I could view, but alas it is not to be. I’m sure all the people who missed you in Vancouver will be thrilled however, so I’m happy for them. Yeah, right… 😉 But seriously Dave, I wish you the best in your new endeavour and may you never lose interest in everything ~ that is the fountain of youth I believe. No matter how much of your cherubic looks you lose, a young heart and a curious spirit will keep you travelling sprightly down the path of life, so enjoy this go-round with all the gusto you’ve got!

  3. Debbie Clarke Says:

    Congratulations on your new gig Dave!! Will we be fortunate enough to see you here Toronto?

  4. Really glad you have a new gig Dave, and I will be checking it out for sure. Since it is not in the Toronto Area, perhaps you could share more details when the time comes so we know when and where to look for it?

    I was fortunate enough to catch TMS from the beginning and from what I understand be one of the first “regular” daily bloggers… it was truly exciting and different! It quickly became part of my daily routine, and I, along with many others I know of were devastated when you left. Many refused to continue viewing. Once the blog was removed a few of us continued on our own, and to this day there are 3 of us who still get together and chat online in the mornings… I have made some lifetime friends who I meet regularly for coffee. All because the first time I tuned it I was captivated by your presence on the screen… and curious to know what a Puffball was! LOL Every now and then one of us will pipe up and say…remember when….. It was truly a magical time !

    It is nice that you are able to do this new gig in your own City with your loved ones close by, I will look forward to seeing how it all works out. Thanks for keeping us in the loop Dave, always love to hear how you are doing and see your latest creations.

    Wishing you much luck, and remembering you fondly as always,

    PPinkFFlamingo 😉

    • Thanks for the kind comments, Laurie. Yes…you were one of the stalwarts of TMS…right there from the beginning.
      Though I was only in Toronto a couple of years I really did enjoy the city. The architecture inspired me to start painting again…I liked the sharp change in seasons and, generally, I found the people quite forthcoming in front of the camera. There also seemed to be just a ton of good stories there. I still have family in Southern Ontario…so much of it still feels very familiar.

  5. That is great news Dave. So happy for you! You get to do what you like on YOUR terms now. There are advantages to getting older! Best Wishes and much success in the new job, Gail:)

  6. Brian Baker Says:

    This is pretty cool news, Dave, I was very disappointed when I realized you weren’t on TMS anymore so now I look forward to being able to see you again. You were in Vancouver doing short pieces when I ran across you the first time and once I got over the “omg I went to high school with that guy” reaction, I found your work refreshing and highly entertaining. Good for you! And us!

  7. “I know many broadcasters who cannot fathom the concept of retirement. So they don’t. They hang on by whatever means until they just kind of rot on-air.” Like Regis Philbin, Larry King, David Letterman & for the CBC hockey fans Bob Cole just to name a few.
    Like the poster Vickie says, you were one of the best parts of TMS in Toronto on Global. Your silence around gossip & controversial topics spoke volumes & I fully understood your reasons for exiting that environment. I stopped watching TMS shortly after you left as it no longer catered to my taste.
    For all of us outside of B.C. it would be great if you kept us up to date here on your blog with your new on air gig there & even include links for viewing if possible. All the best. 🙂

    • I have to keep this blog somewhat separate from work because it is not a commercial blog. But if you do a quick Google search you’ll get the link to where I am and how to view future material. Thanks for the feedback.

  8. Sweet fancy Moses on buttered toast!
    Well done, Dave. I will be tuning in to see you on the tv.

    Your number one fan,

    Donna

  9. Welcome back. Smart move by a certain, unnamed network to hire you and another certain, unnamed on-air personality.

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