Dave Taylor at QR77 retiring

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Why I’m leaving: You have to get off the stage before they boo you off

His announcement was posted on the station website this morning,

Why I’m leaving: You have to get off the stage before they boo you off

Calgary, AB, Canada / News Talk 770 (CHQR)
Dave Taylor
May 15, 2015

Why I’m leaving: You have to get off the stage before they boo you off
I’m tempted to start this off by writing, “I promised Mess I wouldn’t do this…” Or to post a picture of myself alongside a picture of Rachel Notley and proclaim, “My work here is done!” Because I’m always tempted to make a joke wherever I can. But the simple fact is this: I’m gearing down. Stepping away from the day-to-day. Retiring. Leaving the show, and my colleagues here at News Talk 770, two weeks from today.

Now, before the trolls and the bitter old ex-broadcasters who lurk on bitter old ex-broadcaster chat rooms on the Internet get their chance to speculate on what, in their minds, is really going on, let me dispel the predictable “reasons” they’ll make up to satisfy whatever stories they have to tell themselves.

I am leaving of my own accord. I did not get fired for alienating the Power Elite. For being too much of a lefty or – now, perhaps – not being lefty enough. For insisting climate change is real or that you should vaccinate your kids. Or, like Johnny Fever from “WKRP In Cincinnati”, for saying “booger” on the air. Corus Entertainment did not refuse to renew my contract for any reason, including that I cost too much. To be fair, I suppose I might have short-circuited any dastardly plans my employer had in that regard, by giving management my notice seven weeks ago. We decided not to make it public ’til today, so as to keep this a moderately short goodbye and so you’d only have two weeks to think, “Oh, I’m listening to the lame duck.”

I do not hate the media business. I love the business, and probably the biggest reason why I said yes to the offer to come back here full time was because I never had the chance to say goodbye when I got elected to the Legislature in 2004. When I took my leave of absence at the beginning of the election campaign, management – and I – thought I’d be back: management, because they were convinced I was going to lose! And me, because, well, yeah, honestly, when the campaign started I didn’t think I was going to win, either. But I did. And as 64 rookie MLAs found out a week ago Wednesday, the new job starts the day after the election. So, thank you, John Vos and Garry McKenzie, for giving me the opportunity to come back to 770 at the very time you were trying to re-invent and re-design talk radio, and thank you for letting me be part of that.

I want to acknowledge the team of hosts and producers that John Vos has built here, too. They are, simply, a fantastic team who work collaboratively, collegially, and creatively to try and boldly go where Rush Limbaugh and his ilk would never go. I remember the supposed “good old days” of warring talk shows, each in their own little silo, producers loyal only to their host with some hosts barely speaking to one another. I remember those days. And these days – these ways – are better. Bruce, Vanessa, Stacey, Roger, both Robs, Angela, Andrea, Mark, Jock, Danny, and the currently-on-maternity-leave Whitney, “Salut!” to everyone of you.

So, why am I going? Leaving? Retiring? Whatever you want to call it? Because it’s time. With luck, you can’t tell it yet, but it’s only a matter of time before it begins to show on the radio. I have always believed that you have best-before dates for everything you do, and you should do your customers, audience, clients, constituents – whomever you serve – the favour of getting off the stage before they’re ready to boo you off. So I am.

Oh, I was only being partly facetious when I suggested putting up a picture of Rachel Notley and me with the slogan, “My Work Here is Done.” It was actually 30 years ago today that Martha and I first laid eyes on Calgary, while on vacation on a road trip to “do the West”. By the end of that summer, we had relocated here. Mere weeks after that, Premier Lougheed stepped down. And it only took a few weeks of Premier Getty to convince me of the need to change government. That has been, in one form or another, my mission ever since.

Which proves I’m patient and persistent, if nothing else. Although, I did just about lose patience when Jim Prentice and Preston Manning lured the ‘Wildrose 11’ to the PC party. And when I gave my notice here at the end of March, I figured I was washing my hands of the mission and leaving it to someone else to carry that torch.

And lo and behold, you all picked it up!

You can keep the gold watch. I’ve got my going-away present.

Dave Taylor

 

Thanks to Vern Koop for bringing this story to our attention.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I’d wish you “good luck”, but you’ve already had it. I vividly recall the stunned look on your face when you won that election. Have a great whatever-it-is-you’re-going-to-do.

  2. When Dave Taylor was around the first time at QR77 I personally could not find him a particularly exciting talk show presenter for me as a listener. Obviously my style was geared more towards Rutherford whom I found much more dynamic and interesting and much less “Liberal”.

    When Rutherford retired and was then punted and replaced by the Bobsy Twins version one and version two, Dave Taylor actually became much more interesting for me. Specifically his time in Edmonton as an MLA gave him a perspective into Alberta politics which only an insider could have. I found his observations, contacts and stories regarding his time as an MLA quite insightful and informative during the past two years of the most volatile and fun times in Alberta politics. I found myself actually wondering what will Dave Taylor be saying about specific events in the Alberta political sphere and would purposely tune in to QR77 to hear his thoughts. I came to like Dave Taylor’s show and have felt he was now the anchor talk show host over there. Truthfully, he is the only reason I stayed listening to QR77 after the Rutherford debacle. Time to either accept a dumbing down of my brain and continue to listening to QR or switch over to CBC. Perhaps it’s just time to consider finding a great podcast online.

    Good fortune to you Dave and thank you for your time at QR77.

  3. Dave, Congratulations. There are few people in this business who get to walk away on their own terms. I applaud you for following your heart or your gut, what ever internal organ helped you make the decision. It has been a great career and through out it you have stuck to your principles. It will be interesting to see what your next “thing” is going to be.

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