Mark Dailey will never be mistaken for Sally Field. But he shares one thing in common with the actress’s paraphrased famous Oscar speech: You like him! You really, really, like him.
Last week, we noted Mark’s 30 th anniversary at Citytv, a magic milestone in a business where longevity is more often just a word than a fact of life. Mark started at CityNews in 1979 after years in radio and didn’t miss a beat. In fact, he gained one – the crime beat, honing his already considerable skills covering police stories in the GTA.
Since then, he’s become the voice of Citytv and fans demand that he say “Everywhere!” anytime he makes a public appearance.
He’s done a lot for charities like Big Brothers and prostate cancer awareness, but it also appears he’s done a lot for you. When we asked for your responses to Mark’s anniversary, our 5:30pm and 11pm anchor was frankly stunned.
Friends and strangers alike responded with so many emails, he was nearly overwhelmed. And in typical Dailey fashion, he notes the fact his own mother discovered the page and sent it “to every relative she could think of” didn’t hurt, either.
Some of your notes were touching, some congratulatory and others contained personal references that may surprise you.
Here’s a random sampling of your emails, along with two from Mark’s sisters, who surprised him with letters of their own – including the story of how he’s unknowingly helped one of them win some impromptu bets over the years.
And you’ll finally get the real story behind that Rush song.
We regret we couldn’t publish all your letters, but as Mark’s own comments at the end of the story reveal, he read every one of them and is very grateful for your continuing loyalty, best wishes and kind words.
Will he still be here in another 30? No one can say, but you’ve certainly helped make the last three decades pretty special.
“Congratulations. Thank God you stuck to news and didn’t become a ball player!!!!!!”
“Congratulations Mr. Dailey! You deserve all the accolades. If you ran for Mayor, I’d vote for you!”
“Wow! Am I really that old now?! I grew up listening to Citytv and watching Mark on the news. Great milestone Mark!!
“Even though I am no longer living in T.O., I always know I’m listening to Mark’s voice when I’m watching other Canadian stations related to City!
“I didn’t realize you had been through prostate cancer but will be looking it up to pass on to others.
“Mark, great job, and hope to hear you for another 30…”
Janet R. Pruden from Windsor
“Mark we have followed your incredible career at City for many, many years. Your ability to bring profile newsworthy items to the public from “Everywhere” has been outstanding. Couple this incredible ability with being a spokesman and educator of matters related to prostate health, it is to be revered.
“Many, many people have no doubt taken the step to be tested not only for prostate issues but for other forms of cancer – thanks to you. Feel proud of saving lives. I know many people and families will be forever grateful. You have our utmost respect. Thank you and continued success in both your career and health. Thank you to City for having such a great ambassador in the person of Mark Dailey. God Bless.”
“Congratulations Mark, to the best in the business, been a fan since you started. Keep up the great work!”
“Having grown up outside of Toronto and then coming here in 1993 for work, your voice has become part of my Toronto experience. Thank you for your selfless and professional approach to telling it like it is. That sense of humour is unforgettable!!”
“I have grown up with your voice filling the gaps between shows on City since I was young. Some of my favorite City memories are of your intros to the Late Great Movies (and the Late Late Great Movies), especially one where you noted that the movie was filled with “violence, coarse language, and trouble.” I think it was Rambo or one of the Arnie movies. I still laugh my *$# off when I think of it today.
“Well done!!! And thank you again for lifting people’s spirits, even when things were hard for you. All the best.”
“Congratulations on your long term stay with the industry. Perhaps, though, you should add another post to your resume … that of being a positive role model to all ages. Your ethics speak volumes. No wonder you have been such a success. Wishing you a minimum of another 30 years.”
The Birch family of Ajax
“We look forward to your newscasts everyday and admire you for your hard work on Prostate Cancer. Love the banter with Kathryn!!”
“Please extend my congratulations to Mark Dailey for his 30th year with Citytv. I have been living in Toronto (and Canada) for only a year and a half, and Mark’s trademark voice and personality will always be one of the first memories I have of Canadian and Toronto television.”
“Congratulations Mark on this great occasion. Thirty years is a long time to spend at one company. As you know, I’ve been here for 38 yrs. I want to take this opportunity to raise a glass (maybe this weekend in my garage) and toast to a great friend and hope you have many more successful years. You have been a great resource on your knowledge about cancer treatment (you know what I mean.) Take care and enjoy.”
Eli Lilly Canada
“I’ve been watching you watching me watching you since I was a little lad and I had the pleasure of meeting you when I worked at City for Fashion Television and I was truly excited to see and meet the man that kept me watching Late Great Movies and then the Not So Great Late Great Movies for as long as I can remember. Congratulations on 30 years of broadcasting excellence and even bigger congratulations on beating the odds because the world does need guys like you.”
“We’ve been in Toronto 33 years so we’ve been watching your newscasts the whole time. We especially enjoy your rapport with Kathryn Humphreys, sends us to bed laughing. Glad you kept it all genuine.”
Peter and Laura Enneson
Our original story mentioned that some thought they’d heard Mark’s voice on a Rush song. Andy Deans wondered about that, too.
“The story doesn’t mention what Rush song he was on,” he complains. “My guess is the voice on ‘Subdivisions.’ After all, he IS everywhere, you know? If someone could please let me know, that would be great. I’m a big Rush and Citytv fan!”
Mark hopes his response clears up this mystery once and for all.
“That’s been an urban myth for years. It’s not my voice on ‘Subdivisions’ by Rush but I continue to get credit. I’ve tried to dispel it but won’t go away. Getty Lee says he doesn’t remember.”
Although Mark admits he wouldn’t mind getting the royalty cheques!
Here are some personal emails from friends and family that reveal a very different side of the man.
“Has it really been more than 30 years since we roamed the streets of Windsor? A lot of life has passed under the bridge since then, my old friend.
“Congratulations. You’ve managed to hang on to a job longer than I ever could!
“Oh, where, oh, where did I go wrong? I’ll have to ponder that this afternoon while I’m strolling the beach sipping on a Sarsaparilla.
“Seriously, very few of us in this crazy business can reach that kind of professional plateau. I feel deeply proud to have known and worked with you.”
Former CKLW newscaster
Sarasota , Florida
“By the way…I saw your current picture on the CityNews web site. You got OLD, dude.”
“Congratulations Mark on your 30th anniversary at Citytv. I have had the honour of calling you my friend since your days at CKLW. My very best for another 30 years.”
And then there are some family members who just couldn’t resist getting a word in edgewise.
“Mark, congratulations on 30 years of great work! Your gift of communication has clearly helped many families learn about Toronto, the needs in the city and the world. We are wiser for sacrifices you’ve made to cover a story in an excellent manner.
“I know you as a man of integrity and a big heart in all you do.
“We’re so proud of you for the job you do and spirit of excellence you do it in. Your sincere concern for others is evident and appreciated. Well done. May you enjoy many more years doing what you love.
“As your little sister, I’m glad to have shared the early days of playing radio. Even if I only got to sing the commercials. You’re a great friend and brother.
“May God continue to bless you in every area of your life.”
Colleen, Tom & the Smith family
“P.S. Glad the 1980′s style is long gone. They should’ve seen you in the 60′s!”
“Congratulations from all of us in Toledo, Ohio! What great memories return when I watch the video and remember our “famous” brother!
“You make us all proud and thankful that you are a part of our family. We know that through your work you have touched many lives and helped countless people on both sides of the border.
“Enjoy the memories and best wishes…you deserve them!”
“PS. I must confess that your celebrity has paid off over the years…there’s nothing better than when I meet people from Toronto and say to them, “Oh, you probably know my brother who lives there.” Of course, they look at me with that “yeah, right” look on their face. After all, there’s only millions of people living there.
“I then reply, “I’ll bet you 5 bucks!” which they usually agree to since the odds are certainly in their favour. As they anxiously await my answer, I pause, smile, and say, “He’s Mark Dailey at Citytv.”
The vast majority say, “Wow, I watch him all the time!” as they slowly hand me their money. So, thank you for the small retirement fund I have collected over the years! Aren’t satellite and cable TV great??!”
And finally a response from Mark himself for all your heartfelt wishes.
“I always try to respond to all of my emails personally, but yikes! I can’t believe how many viewers have taken the time to congratulate me on 30 years at City. It’s been fun to be part of this great group through many changes and challenges, but I still love it everyday. And I especially appreciate all of our viewing family who have grown up and grown older with me. A sincere thank you. We do this for you and hope it makes a difference in your lives everyday.”