Hudson Mack’s New Book is On the Bookshelves

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.



  1. Probably the worst kept secret is the fired not retired revelation. Clearly there was an effort to put a “retired” spin on Hudson’s sudden departure however most could see right through it.
    It is very unfortunate that after all those years in the Victoria media Bell couldn’t at least give Hudson a chance to say farewell.

    Many of us know what it feels like to be greeted by the big cheese with a huge envelope in his hands as we arrive to start the day. Trust me employment is not easy post broadcasting because guess what? We aren’t really qualified for much and there are only so many public relations jobs to go around. I’ll never forget the look on the woman’s face at the employment center as she flipped through my resume of nothing but broadcasting spanning over thirty years lol. She looked up at me and asked if I considered going back to school.

    Chin up Huddy there is always time to re-invent yourself. Many of us have had no choice but to do just that.

  2. ” We aren’t really qualified for much and there are only so many public relations jobs to go around. ”

    @BLT: Nonsense ! If you were once a former “big time” radio or tv star and are currently out of work, you have only yourself to blame. A lot of you have big, humungus egos and are too proud to admit that you were either washed up or are simply not good at all ?

    I know of lots of former broadcasters who have gone on to very successful careers, outside of broadcasting, and they were all glad they made the transition.

    Training or going back to school is perhaps a good idea, but the biggest step is to change your attitude and stop whining or blaming the media for all of your past life failures.

    I would suggest professional career or psychological counselling for some of you, if you aren’t sure what to do with yourself.

    For others too proud to move on, there’s always the bottle and or illegal drugs, why don’t you try that ! LOL

  3. Ego? Seems you may have that department covered RD. You seem to need to weigh in on everything with all of your assumptions and insults. Classy guy.

    I will admit my post was somewhat clumsy. My point is that , yes, you can move on after broadcasting but it’s not as easy as one may think. Skilling up is required. Not too many employers will be impressed with the fact you could hit the post on Hotel California or read one hell of a forecast or report on that fender bender on Cambia and 41st. Try it and see what they think.

    More power to you if you are living the life in broadcasting. Drink it in buddy. I had a fairly good ride myself. Never thought I was all that just so you know. Also not interested in returning to the business because I have moved on just fine.

    AND as if I have to explain myself to you but the point of my post was basically to say there is life after broadcasting for Huddy or anyone else. You’ll need to skill up.

    So there you go classy guy. Hit me with more of your assumptions and insults. We all know you need to get the last word in.

  4. @ BLT. You want respect ? Then, earn it, the good old fashioned way.

    In this world, nothing is handed to you and if you were a real broadcaster, you would completely understand that.

    To say that broadcasting doesn’t really qualify you, “the 30 year veteran,” for much, outside of public relations, show a certain level of ignorance and or a lack of respect for the dozens of broadcasters who have done well for themselves, outside of radio and television.

    I have taken my own broadcasting education, training, and background, to areas of the community that I had never dreamed that I could do.

    As far as Hudson Mack goes, who cares whether Hudson was fired or resigned from CTV.

    The best broadcasters in this country all eventually seem to get fired, so is Hudson any different ?

    Mr. Mack is a great broadcaster and tv journalist who brought a lot of skill to the Island and we will remember him, with fondness.

    The one thing that I want to point out is how very little the broadcast industry helps its failed employees with getting their lives, back together, after dismissal.

    All the broadcast companies make virtually millions of dollars a year in profit, yet very few of these businesses offer career and other types of counselling services to get their former employees back in the work force.

    You would think that the industry could invest $ 60,000 dollars a year in an exit strategy counsellor for those about to get fired.

    Or, set up a not for profit society for this purpose, like the Credit Counselling Society.

    This service might be particularly helpful or useful for older broadcasters who have devoted their whole lives to the industry, but are too young to retire, as well as younger broadcasters needing advice on their next career move.

    The industry does far too little to help people rebound from loss of job.


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