Growing up in the Jane-Finch area, Dwight Drummond watched Hamlin Grange on CBC TV and listened to the late Dwight Whylie on CBC radio.
His favourite TV shows were the children’s series, Mr. Dressup and the comedy-drama The Beachcombers that aired on CBC TV which is Drummond’s new workplace after spending the last 20 years at City TV.
He and Anne-Marie Mediwake will co-host CBC News Toronto supper hour newscasts at 5, 5.30 and 6 p.m.
“My favourite TV personality growing up was Ed Bradley, but it was good to see Blacks on Canadian TV and I felt good when I saw Hamlin or heard Dwight,” said Drummond who came to Canada from Jamaica as a nine-year-old in 1976. “They certainly influenced me to get into this business.”
Raised by his mother in challenging neighbourhoods, Drummond went to Runnymede Collegiate to play basketball, but ended up securing an education and becoming an Ontario scholar.
“They used to bus us in to play basketball, but the focus was on education at Runnymede and I took advantage of it,” said Drummond who also resided in the Syme-Woolmer neighbourhood which is home to many immigrants and newcomers.
In contrast to several friends who lost their lives to gun violence, Drummond resisted the peer pressure and temptation to associate with gangs.
“Of course, the temptation was there, but the best choice I made was not to get caught up in that foolishness,” he said. “I did not want a job where death is an occupational hazard. Also, my mother did not allow the neighbourhood to raise me. She made it clear that was her job and she was going to do it.”
Losing friends to gun violence is the main reason that Drummond frequently seizes the opportunity to speak to young people, especially Black males.
“That’s why I do so much community work,” said Drummond who worked part-time at City TV as a security guard on Electric Circus for two years before becoming a full-time member of staff in 1991 after graduating from Ryerson University. “I want to reach these kids before they get caught up. It’s important they know they have choices.”
Drummond, who starts his new job on October 12, welcomes the anchoring opportunity in a major market. He anchored CityNews at Noon and CityNews at Five while at City TV.
“I filled in for people over the years and I had the five o’clock show before the Rogers cutbacks in January,” he said.
Mediwake, like Drummond, is an immigrant, having being born in Sri Lanka.
“Our mission is to reflect and connect this city in all its diversity,” said CBC Toronto region managing director Susan Marjetti. “We’ve created an incredible team in Dwight and Anne-Marie. We’re proud to have them with us. They play a critical role in ensuring that CBC is Toronto’s top choice for nightly news.”
Drummond and his wife Janice have two daughters.