Monday, December 6, 2010
Mark Daley Will Be Missed
Certain anchors in Southern Ontario were at it so long they acquired iconic status.
Mark Dailey was one of those instantly recognizable faces and he was only 57.
He died yesterday at the Sunnybrook hospital from kidney cancer and I miss him already.
His whole career as anchor was spent at Citytv and boy did he witness a lot of changes.
I started covering TV in 1970 so I had almost a decade on him as I'd tease him whenever we met --he didn't hit Citytv until 1979.
The station back in those days was Toronto's first independent channel and it instantly challenged the old 10-channel universe I'd been covering in the 1970s.
When Mark joined Brian Linehan was the big daily star with his City Lights show biz stuff. And Morton Shulman had a weekly investigative series second to none.
The fledgling station was run by former whiz kid Moses Znaimer and the brains behind the whole operation was Phyllis Switzer.
Citytv was lively, irreverent and totally muse-see. Its signal was initially so low I didn't list it in the Hamilton Spectator's TV Times because nobody got it.
But I heard some Hamiltonians actually drove into Toronto Friday nights to catch the Baby Blue movies. Sweet City Woman was another one-of-a-kind City show. And in the afternoons Gene Taylor introduced old movies so bad Elwy Yost would have nothing to do with them.
Mark was an importantpart of that mix. That's his impressive baritone announcing you are watching Citytv.
In turn he became an assignment editor, crime specialist and respected news anchor (along with Gord Martineau).
He deservedly got all kinds of awards. But I remember the guy who's pass me the latest info on what was happening behind the scenes at Citytv.
Once I bumped into him in Eaton Center about 8 at night. He took me behind a pillar to recount the latest then blurted out "Holy cow, I've got a newscast in less than an hour and ran down the aidsle."
His loyalty to the station and what it stood for was impeccable.
To many longtime viewers he was Citytv.
And so a lot of loyal fans will miss him, that's for sure.