One of the good guys in radio

I just saw on CP24 that Marc Chambers passed away today, so I did some googling for confirmation, and unfortunately found some.

When I started working at CJOJ in Belleville in 1995, I heard rumblings that this guy who'd been big at CHUM was going to ride shotgun with our morning man for ratings period. This of course intimidated me since 1) most things do, and 2) CHUM (AM and FM) was kind of an institution to me, and anyone who did well there was automatically a radio hero, even if I hadn't heard him/her. But the only thing really intimidating about Marc Chambers was his voice: a booming, but smooth piece of work that's the sort of thing you think of when you think of real radio. Not surprising, then, that he was one of the most used "image" voices in the business, the guy who declares the name of your station or network. The one he may have been best known for was The Weather Network.

I've probably given the impression that commercial radio people are a weird bunch, and a lot of them have a distinct kind of neurotic desperation to them that can make them assholes. (I'm guessing I could be put in that group at times in my life.) Marc was not one of those guys. He'd do his thing, never being too out-there or cloying, and be done with it, joking around off-mic and just being cool. He had a deep love for radio that emanated from him; he'd been around the block enough times that it could have worn him down, but I sensed no bitterness or cynicism from him. He was confident in his talent, but quietly so, and he was supportive of everyone around him, including me.

I only worked with him for a few months, and maybe talked to him a time or two after that. So for all I know, he actually could've been an asshole. ;-) But I observed the work he did on the mic - which he earned by being a hustling freelancer - and also his work providing support in the business, doing things like his columns in Broadcast Dialogue magazine. All that good stuff still showed through. He was one of those people I'd kept telling myself I should get back in touch with, but never did. And here we are.

But I wanted to let you know that, to me, Marc Chambers was one of the good guys in radio, and that there actually are some. To learn more, 1050CHUM has a great tribute here.

No comments: