When I made my annual visit to The Bell Centre Press Box last week for the game between the host Canadiens and the Columbus Blue Jackets, I stopped by the TSN 690 broadcast booth to say hi to a pair of West Island boys who have become virtual media stars in terms of their coverage of the Habs.
Kirkland’s Mitch Gallo, 31, and Pointe Claire’s Sean Campbell, 38, have both been with TSN 690, previously known as THE TEAM, for 10 years now and they log a lot of airtime. As I sat in the post game press conference with newly minted Habs coach Claude Julien, I noticed that Gallo was not present. Instead, rising star Amanda Stein was firing away the questions for TSN 690. I could sense the sadness on Gallo’s voice when I talked to him at intermission. He must miss former head coach Michel Therrien who provided him and Campbell with such wonderful sound bites. It was always so much fun to listen to the post-game show to see how they’d repeat some of his classic lines. Last season Gallo openly questioned one of Therrien’s moves. “That’s second guessing,” Therrien said to him. The clip was repeated regularly.
Gallo works a regular 1 pm to 7 pm shift doing the Sports Centre updates and serving as a co-host on Mitch Melnick’s drive home show. Campbell serves as operater, producer and sports anchor from 10 am to 3 pm weekdays for Tony Marinaro’s Montreal Forum, Habs Lunch and Chris Nilan’s Off The Cuff, where he is co-host. He hosts the pre and post game shows, the latter with Gallo, intermissions as well as the Habs Hot Topic on weekends – again with Gallo. A longtime Suburban sports reporter, Gallo hosts the Play It Again Radio Show as well. In the off-season, he and Campbell are also part of the Alouettes coverage.
Gallow now resides in Ville Emard while Campbell, wife Sara Fontaine and their two boys Emersohn, 4, and Leif, 7, live in Verdun. Gallo attended to St Anthony's Elementary School, Beaconsfield High School, John Abbott College and Concordia University. Campbell went to Northview Elementary School and École primaire Pointe-Claire and West Island College.
It is clear from my experience sitting in on the Julien press briefing that this man is so absolutely smooth. Gallo and Campbell will not get any laughable sound clips. Julien is impeccably bilingual and articulate. Therrien still seemed to struggle with his English, yet he was a very likeable fellow. I especially appreciated his infectious laugh.
After the Julien briefing, expertly facilitated by Habs media relations boss Dominick Saillant, I went back up to the press box to catch Gallo and Campbell do their Delmar post game show live. These two guys are the perfect pair and you can see the comfort level between them.
There has now been a new addition to the “Angry Gallo” feature on TSN 690. Gallo has been known for his rants when something happens that displeases him. Well he has now opened up his voice mail to callers and dubbing it the Angry Gallo Rantline (514-931-5678). “I will not get back to the callers,” Gallo said, “but I might play some of the rants on the air. Stay tuned for some fantastic promos.”