Monday, December 6, 2010
Mark Dailey: 1953 - 2010
The veteran news anchor died today after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 57.
Dailey began his career at City in Toronto in 1979. An ex-cop from Youngstown, Ohio, he worked his way up from being a crime reporter to the anchor desk or really anchor space; Dailey seemed to be always on his feet.
Unfortunately, I never got to know him beyond the occasional encounter at a fall launch or other press event. My late uncle Ed McCarroll parked his sail boat next to Dailey's at a marina at the foot of Etobicoke and had only good things to say about him. Eddy was a former deputy sheriff out of the University Avenue courthouse and he and Dailey no doubt enjoyed a few pops over tales of certain judges and certain crown attorneys and their various shenanigans.
For that matter, I don't know anybody who ever had anything negative to say about Dailey. Even if you never watched CityNews, you knew that voice, heard it on radio promos as well as station I.D.'s. He was part of the vanishing fabric of the city, like Honest Eds, Sam the Record Man or The Eaton Centre.
I did interview him a couple of times over the years. Once when he was the voice of one of Canadian animator John Kricfalusi's superhero spoof The Ripping Friends. Dailey really did have the deep hero voice for that gig.
Another time was five or six years ago, when it looked like he had caught prostate cancer in time. On his newscasts, at charity events and in person, Dailey urged men over 40 to get the simple test that could save their life.
On air, his banter with sportscaster Kathryn Humphreys was always sweet to watch. You could feel the mutual affection coming right through the screen.
Colleagues such as ex-Leaf Jim McKenny marvelled at the ease with which Dailey read off a TelePrompTer. For all his technical skill, however, it was Dailey's relatability that probably most endeared him to viewers. You trusted him as a newsman, but you also wanted to hang with him as a neighbour. That's crazy rare in the TV news biz. Mark Dailey was one of a kind.