- by Carlie Connolly – Peninsula News Review
- posted Oct 20, 2015
Hudson Mack holds his new book Unsinkable Anchor. — image credit: Carlie Connolly
For decades, multi-award winning broadcaster and former CTV News Vancouver Island host, Hudson Mack was a familiar face on our living room screens. But to much shock from viewers, he disappeared in 2014 with little explanation.
He sat down at a coffee shop with the Peninsula News Review in downtown Victoria to talk about his new book, the reason for his big departure, his time in broadcasting and his father’s role in his life.
Growing up in a broadcasting family in Calgary, Mack’s father, Clarence was one of the top media personalities, a legend in Calgary radio, and had a big influence on young Mack’s life and still does to this day.
Mack told the PNR that his father was his biggest idol when it came to broadcast, having a big influence in his early life.
Last year marked 40 years since his death. His life makes up the second chapter in his book.
“It’s funny how those experiences that you have at an early age and during your formative years are so strong and stay with you for so long. If I have any regrets it’s that my dad wasn’t alive to see me in the business as well and that I couldn’t learn from him directly,” he told the PNR.
Mack’s career began in Kamloops and then Prince George before he arrived in Victoria in 1985 when he worked at CHEK News.
Working there for 19 years, he later ‘crossed the street’ to competitor, the New VI (now CTV), leading it to success.
His jump over to the other station was bold and left some shocked, but said it allowed him to be the news director while staying on the air.
“I had always wanted to lead the news department as the news director and the opportunity at CHEK was never presented to me,” he said about his reason for jumping ship. “We never were consistently number one on the market but we certainly made it a competitive market.”
CHEK was still a place of greatness for Mack, however, as it’s where he first began on the Island and where he fell in love with his wife Patty — another chapter in his book. She was a production assistant at the time and went on to become a producer and director at CHEK. The two worked together on the Late Show when Mack first started there.
“It really was love at first sight when we met at the station, it was very cool.”
As the face of CTV for many years, he made a name for himself on the Island and the community knew him and he was liked, but when he disappeared from the television screen, he left many in shock.
In his newest book, Unsinkable Anchor released over the weekend, Mack’s first chapter titled ‘The End,’ goes into the details of his leave from the broadcasting world in February of 2014.
“Don’t bury the lead, let’s lead with the lead and the lead was when I left …”
He said he felt during his departure that many people misconstrued the statement that he made at the time as a retirement, but the fact was that it was a termination, a reorganization within the station.
“What happened to me is certainly not unique,” he said. “It was a reorganization. They were ready to make a change and a lot of it was driven by the financial implications.”
The part that was shocking to Mack was that there was no announcement of his leave to his viewers, even after leaving on amicable terms and having been the face on the screen for so long.
“I think it was disrespectful to viewers,” he said.
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