Dailey, Trumbull, and repercussions of a billion dollar boondoggle

December 7, 2010 | By

City TV journalist Mark Dailey passed away yesterday from cancer at the age of 57. Those who may not recognize his face will certainly recognize his amazing baritone voice that announced incoming / outcoming shows, and smoothly proclaimed “You’re watching City TV – Everywhere” over the station’s simple yet-bold-logo.

Known affectionately as ‘The Voice,’ Bailey joined City TV in 1979 during the station’s second year of operation when its dial i.d. was Channel 79 instead of 57. This was all prior to owner / visionary / oddball Moses Znaimer allowing the station and its radio network to be overtaken by several brooding corporate entities – a move that ultimately weakened the station’s ability to remain an independent voice in the city of Toronto.

(Dumping veteran anchors, and weirdly re-coloring the sets and station graphics in a cooler, meaner blue than CTV also didn’t help. Was this dislocation and discombobulation of an original, dynamic station style worth it for Znaimer? Does anyone really identify themself as a ”Zoomer” – a name that connotes ‘a sudden physical dislocation from Point A to Point B after heavy bean comsumption’? I dunno.)

City TV was odd, frank, cheap, and sometimes disorganized: when a late night controller fell asleep at the wheel and missed an ad break, he’d make up for it by cutting away during the middle of a scene or actor’s line delivery to batches of ads – sometimes 3 sets in less than 20 minutes. (IT HAPPENED.  Mission of the Shark. A fine TV movie trashed by a crackead controller touching himself under the keyboard.)

Dailey’s voice often introduced the station’s once steady stable of films billed as ‘the City TV Late Great Movie’ – and as Rob Salem recalls in the Toronto Star’s obit, once in a while there would be a smart-assed quip that had viewers doing a double-take of ‘Did he just say what I think I just heard?’

It’s rare to have someone balance professionalism and wit live on air, but Dailey managed it so smoothly, and his voice and personality will be missed.

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This Thursday, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey begins its month-long exhibition at the TIFF Bell Lightbox (Is it allowable to knock that name down to TBL? It’s less wordy) in mighty 70mm. The Star’s Peter Howell presents his list of 21 geeky cool things within the film that either became fact, fashion, or were just fabulous.

The National Post offers a short piece on 2001’s effects whiz, Douglas Trumbull, who at the ridiculous age of 24, was nabbed by Kubrick during the late sixties as the film’s special effects supervisor. Trumbull will be speaking Wednesday at the TBL (see how easy it reads?) for two hours about Kubrick’s hippy-trippy masterpiece.

One more time: TBL. Hippy-trippy.

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Lastly, as reported by the Globe & Mail, Ontario Ombudsman André Marin released his report today on the useless G8 and G20 summits that accomplished nothing, save for conflagrations of ill behaviour, unmasking deceitful officials who will walk away with impunity, and abuses of power that may have kept a minority of anarchists somehat in line, but essentially said Fuck You to local citizens by kettling dog walkers on a milk run at a corner by Queen and Spadina.

Premier Dalton McGuinty may not wish to ruffle feathers and create fractures in the relations between provincial and municipal departments, but it’ll bite him in the ass come the next election.

I’d argue one reason Rob Ford was elected Mayor by centrists and maybe a few left-leaning centrists stemmed from citizen outrage at ex-Mayor Miller’s lack of spine in dealing with the disconnect between the police, the province, and federal departments during and after the G20 boondoggle.

Ford’s gruffness and bullheaded persona may have fed voters’ unconscious desire to have someone perceived as strong – regardless of left or right leanings – at the helm, willing to run the city like a business with a customer service department.

So: if the service during the G20 weekend stunk, if an employee was phsyically abusive towards a customer, and if a public service department is broken, the issues have to be addressed, or customers will not come back / people will hate you, too (just  don’t let new best buddy Don Cherry do the talking. The last time the term “pinko” was used in Canada was 1998, and that fart got cracked in the nose for not knowing when and where to shut up, and make nice).

Most likely Marin’s report will yield zero changes or clarifications, but who knows.

The fact someone came forward (see today’s piece in the Star) with the missing 5 seconds of video footage in which Adam Nobody was punched by a uniformed officer in riot gear kind of contradicts Chief Blair and the SIU’s stance that Mr. Nobody was up to no good during the protest march that day.

The biggest surprise: Rosie DiManno wrote a relatively straight and coherent news piece on the newfound footage. Who knew she could shelve the shtick?



Mark R. Hasan, Editor


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