The Montreal Canadiens have hired longtime RDS sports reporter and analyst Chantal Machabée as Vice President of Communications, the team announced Wednesday.
Machabée’s new role with the Habs will be to work directly with the hockey operations management department and to manage all communications for the department. This means she will work directly with and facilitate media engagements with the team’s new executive vice-president of hockey operations Jeff Gorton and whomever he eventually hires as the new General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens. Machabée will also report directly to France Margaret Bélanger, President of Sports and Entertainment for Groupe CH.
Machabée has spent the better part of the last 32 years covering the Montreal Canadiens as an RDS sports reporter and analyst. She became not just one of the most respected women in local and national sports media but one of the most revered sports media figures overall.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Chantal to our organization,” Owner, President, and CEO of Groupe CH Geoff Molson said in a press release Wednesday. “She has unparalleled experience in the world of sports media in Quebec. Her thoroughness and determination have made her a standout in the field of sports journalism, and her vast knowledge of the media sector will be an asset in meeting the challenges of this strategic position. Maintaining good communication with our fans and members of the media is of paramount importance to us, and Chantal’s appointment will certainly contribute to this.”
In 1989, Machabée became the first woman to anchor a daily sports newscast in Quebec hosting the inaugural episode of Sports 30 on RDS – the first program to air on the network – alongside Serge Deslongchamps. She had the pleasure of covering some Montreal Canadiens legends like Patrick Roy, Bob Gainey, and Guy Carbonneau, but one eventual hall of famer particularly inspired Machabée to be the best she could be at her job and ascend to the top.
“Watching Guy Lafleur play inspired me to become a sports journalist,” Machabée said in the press release Wednesday. “His talent and charisma fostered my immense passion for hockey. I had the privilege of spending more than 38 years in the business, including more than 32 years at RDS, and I am extremely grateful for the experience. A new chapter is beginning for me, and it is with great enthusiasm that I accept this new challenge. Thank you to France Margaret Bélanger and Geoff Molson for their confidence. Thank you for welcoming me into the Montreal Canadiens family.”