Terry DiMonte and a New Start
“Montreal’s Morning Man” exits the radio world and enters a new one
Written by Sabbia Eljarrat - Contributor
A man fills the frame as he sits extremely close to his laptop’s camera, wearing a cream-colored t-shirt, black square glasses and a comforting smile. He sits in a low-roofed room painted off-white and surrounded by music art pieces of the 90s. He is a vintage man, but not outdated. In fact, his latest project strengthens his modernity.
This man is no one other than “Standing By”’s co-host, Terry DiMonte.
“I was doing the same thing for so many years,” remembered DiMonte. “I’m open to learning new things and the fact that people are still interested in what Ted and I have to say is gratifying.”
DiMonte has been in the radio industry for over 30 years and had just recently dipped his toes in an opportunity that not only sparked joy, but empowered his friendship with former CHOM co-star, Ted Bird. Together, the idea born from an inside joke was brought to life - Standing By: The Terry and Ted Podcast.
Podcasting was never a life-long dream for DiMonte, but rather something that just happened. He had gotten his first job in spring of 1978 in which radio stations were owned by individuals who adored radio for radio, and not for so-called “business.” He enjoyed it so much that he had never thought of steering himself in this direction of creative freedom.
“There are no rules, do what you like,” he laughs, “creative freedom is what Ted and I enjoy the most out of this experience.”
In its simplest way, podcasting is an extension of broadcasting, and it expresses what’s current. After retirement from CHOM, he traveled for a bit and finally settled at a reminiscent studio located on Chabanel Street. His initial layout for the podcast was simply a pencil sketch, but the chemistry between these lifelong friends allowed their stories to be told in such a unique and energetic way. The first episode aired on September 8th, 2021, and marks DiMonte’s latest project.
The foundation of Standing By isn’t the content nor the early mornings, it’s the friendship. Who can record eight episodes of 45-50 minutes over a weekend? Only DiMonte can, along with Bird. “Working with Ted is what the magic is” he says proudly.
This duo had first met in 1985 at Bird’s Côte St Luc apartment sharing a Scotch. Their voices are the music to many oldschool Montrealers’ ears, and because of this, their drive for sharing their voice with the city wasn’t overlooked.
Targeted mostly for the individuals who have grown up with DiMonte in the 90s, he believes this project is open for everybody and anybody, and not strictly for the early adopters. His main goal is to make his listeners experience his personal joy for this profession and to crack a laugh with them too.
Standing By’s first episode was exciting. Both DiMonte and Bird sat in a bedroom-like studio and were confused. No words were throwing up from their mouths, but this all changed as one particular conversation erupted; “how was your day?” From there, their ideas were recorded, submitted for the week and everything else came automatically.
In his third episode, he jokes about forgetting to change his top from last week because of how excited he was to continue recording. He also noted that there’s a lot of pressure that comes with being in any media industry, especially in a podcast format where there are no formal guidelines to it. While he solely approaches topics of radio nostalgia, he chooses to stay away from pop culture experiences because he wants the show to be a distraction from this tumultuous time. He will, however, briefly discuss celebrity encounters and will welcome his ex-radio pals on season 2.
Having 30 years of experience doesn’t mean there’s no time left to explore, manipulate and delve into a new hobby. Even though podcasting appears to be identical to radio, it isn’t. “I’m still learning about podcasts and what the metrics are” explains Di Monte. “Even though it looks like radio, and it smells like radio and it feels like radio, It's not radio” he concludes.
Before starting the show, he spent some time with podcast pros and is hopeful that he will improve at adapting to this new world with optimism and empowerment.
In the meantime, Standing By is available on all streaming platforms and is free to listen to!