Death of an Icon

Ted Tevan passed away on Friday August 12, 2011. As the tributes to the late and great Ted Tevan pour in over the web I will weigh in on this iconic radio announcer. My two years working with Ted were barely a footnote in his legendary career. Better known names such as McGarrity, Graeme Mitchell, Earl "the Pearl" De la Perralle, and Eddie “The Brain” Creachman come to mind when speaking of Sports Rap or The Ted Tevan Show. It is unlikely that my own name will ever be listed alongside Ted's.

AM 600 CIQC Montreal
For year upon year, just like many Montrealers, my brother and I would stay up past our bedtimes listening to Ted's broadcasts. I would try to convince my brother to call in and we would listen for anyone we knew or, for someone to get shot by the machine gun sound effects. As a kid, staying up listening to Ted on late night radio was the number one reason I was always tired.

Anyone in Montreal, of a certain age, has a Ted Tevan story. Slightly jaded as I was, meeting Ted for the first time as an adult was an experience. Going before Ted was the equivalent of going before the President, the Prime Minister, an audience with the Queen or meeting Marlon Brando. This was a celebrity. Larger than life, with the deep gravelly voice, and shock of white hair that added three or four inches to a shorter frame. I looked up to Ted while I looked down from my 4 or 5 inch height advantage.

Ted gave me my nickname. The first time I walked into the studio to train on the board, the producer introduced me to Ted.
"Shawn", Tevan said, "Like Shawn O'Grady the boxer. "
On night number two, Ted said, "Hey Look what the cat dragged in. It's O'hara. Did you learn anything last night O'hara?"
From that moment on, I was Shawn O'hara.

I had the luck of running into Graeme Mitchell a year ago. Mitchell was the weekly co-host of Ted's Thursday night horse racing show. After leaving the Montreal Hippodrome as handicapper and marketing expert, Graeme was associated with the Rideau Carleton Raceway.

A Thank You to Ted Tevan
My name won't be listed next to Ted's. The experience and memories are enough. Mitch Melnick once pointed out that of all Ted's producers over the years, of all the Gang of Eleven that ran his show, I was the first producer Ted put on the air as a sidekick. Earlier today I sat listening to some airchecks of Ted and I bantering, or Ted interrupting my weather or sports update.

Ted was an actor on the air. Still, the character he portrayed was the same guy he was in person, albeit exaggerated immensely. Ted always had a plan, whether ranting about the Big O, politics or life, or his 25 minute live ads for Dad's Bagels. One night, in the middle of one rant, a pigeon landed on the window sill outside the studio.

"O'hara," Ted yelled. "What kind of bird is that?"
As deadpan as possible I replied, "Ted, it's a chicken."
For some 10 seconds - an eternity in radio - Ted could not say a word. He was shaking, trying his hardest to not crack up. When he regained his composure, he railed into me, telling me to go home, telling me he would demote me and have one of the other Gang of Eleven take over. All the time with a big smile on his face.

  Mitch Garber's eulogy at Ted Tevan's funeral by

Mitch Melnick will be airing a tribute to Ted Tevan on his show Melnick in the Afternoon on Tuesday August 16th between 3-7PM on The Team 990 AM in Montreal. You can also stream it from your computer here.


  1. Nice tribute, O'hara :-) I'm sure Ted would be proud.

  2. Lovely tribute! Grew up in Montreal, but had not heard of Ted Tevan, and now I feel like I missed out...mind you, I'm living in Winnipeg, so I miss Montreal all the time and feel pretty much like I'm missing out on A LOT, for instance this Cheeseburger place I keep reading about!

  3. Thanks Mike.

    Sandra, Yes. Ted will be missed. There is no one like him.
    And Cheeburger Cheeburger lived up to all the hype. Some good food there.