Monday, February 1, 2016

February Update: An Anniversary and a New Piece of Fiction

It's a little hard to believe--and I had to do a little arithmetic to ensure I was correct--but February 1st marks three years for me in the weather game.

It was February 1st 2013 when I started at The Weather Network, leaving behind the world of print for the world of television. I spent 2.5 years at TWN and, of course, for the past six months, I have been presenting the weather for eight markets across the country for Global News.

Here's a clip from early January where I was able to work in a George Costanza reference into the Toronto newscast.


 
 
The new year has also brought a new challenge. I started sports anchor training over the past few weeks and I had my first on-air sports shift in January. My sports anchoring will be sporadic this year as I will be mostly working as a fill-in, in addition to my full-time weather shifts.
 
I am continuing to add new skills to my media toolkit. And speaking of that toolkit, I've been flexing some more literary muscle recently with the completion of a 15,000-word novella entitled, The Longest Drive.
 
The story follows the fictional exploits of 25-year-old Mark Madden and his ability, or lack thereof, to navigate life as a professional golfer.
 
While the sport of choice in The Longest Drive is golf--and how Madden deals with added pressures after winning the U.S. Open and being anointed the Next Big Thing--parallels can easily be drawn from what Madden faces to any professional athlete in any sport in 2016. 
 
In honour of my first in-studio sports shift (and the start of the PGA Tour's West Coast Swing) I've decided to post the story on my website. I will post one chapter every Monday, starting today and continuing for the next six Mondays.
 
Enjoy!
 
 
 

Friday, January 1, 2016

January Update: A Reflection on 2015

Happy New Year!

Another year is in the books and I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for me in 2016. However, before looking ahead, I want to reflect back on what I accomplished in 2015.

2015 In Review

January - I embarked on a cross-country road trip with a colleague at The Weather Network. We started in Calgary and worked our way through Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario before returning to Toronto.

It was my first time visiting the Prairies and I met a lot of great people and made some lasting memories.

February - Because of TWN's content-sharing agreement with CBC, I started presenting weather forecasts on CBC Toronto, CBC News Network and the weekend edition of The National.

March - I was a guest speaker at the Queen's University media and journalism conference. It was great to return to my alma mater. Also, I redesigned my website to make it easier to find my demo reels, writing samples, and other video clips.

April - Performed a stand-up comedy set at Yuk Yuk's Toronto for my bucket list and to expand my creative horizons. The video can be found under About Mike.

May - Travelled to Tacoma, Washington to work as a sideline reporter for the CrossFit Games West Regional competition. Clips can be found under Demo Reels.

June - I had the honour of delivering a commencement address at Durham College.

July - Hired by CrossFit to work as a sideline reporter on ESPN's coverage of the 2015 Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California. To watch clips, check out Demo Reels.

August - Started working at Global News.

September - Started delivering weather forecasts for eight cities across the country.

October - Celebrated my first 90 days at Global with a selection of clips.

November - Travelled to Winnipeg to host a charity gala for Habitat for Humanity with Global Winnipeg. I was also the MC of the 6th Annual Sports Business Conference at Durham College.

December - Started training to add sports anchor to my job description at Global.

Here's my on-air schedule at Global (all times local).

 Wednesday and Thursday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, and 11 p.m. for the Okanagan Valley

Friday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, and the Okanagan Valley

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and the Maritimes, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal and the Okanagan Valley

Thanks for reading and watching!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Update - Winnipeg Visit and Now on Facebook

The countdown to Christmas is now on. I have very strict rules on when I actually start acknowledging the beginning of the Christmas season. I don't want to hear anything about the holidays until December 1st.

But once December 1st hits, I am all in. I can't get enough of the music, the movies, the festive atmosphere, the eggnog--I love it all. The two weeks before Christmas and the one week after are always some of my favourite times of the year.

Plus, at Global, I actually get Christmas day off work!

The highlight of this past month for me was a quick, two-day sojourn to Winnipeg to meet the team at Global Winnipeg and be a part of two charity events.

I was the co-MC of a Habitat for Humanity gala, which was filled with a lot of fun, laughs and great food. And the next morning, I helped at an event to collect underwear and socks for Winnipeg's homeless population.

It was great to meet the team at Global Winnipeg in person after working with them remotely over the past four months.

Also, I was the MC at the sixth annual Sport Business Conference at Durham College last week. I took the Sport Business Management program at Durham College in 2008, so being the MC for the conference was like coming full circle. And now all the sport management students have a copy of my book! Thanks to Durham College for their generosity! (copies are also still available through this website)


And I have to give a tip of the hat to my sister, Malory. She's been on my case for a couple of years to set up a professional Facebook page. And for a couple of years, I kept putting her off. But I have finally decided to take the plunge.

My official Facebook page is pictured above. At that page, I will be posting videos and more content than the once-a-month website article that I post here.

Going forward, my Twitter account will be for day-to-day stuff, my Facebook page will be for week-to-week content, and this website will be for monthly posts. Speaking of my website, my sister also designed the new banner at the top of the site that better reflects this point in my career than the old one. So, be sure to follow me on Twitter and Like me on Facebook for all of my latest news.

Here's my on-air schedule at Global (all times local).

Wednesday and Thursday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, and 11 p.m. for the Okanagan Valley

Friday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, and the Okanagan Valley

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and the Maritimes, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal and the Okanagan Valley

Thanks for reading and watching!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Update - New Clips and Time Change

I've been at Global News for just under three months and I'm really enjoying the new work environment, the people I work with, and the opportunities offered at Shaw Media.

To commemorate the first 90 days in my new position, I put together a selection of clips from my time thus far at Global. And it's quite evident that my favourite on-air segment is the daily chat between myself and the anchors near the middle of each broadcast.




With the clocks turning back over the weekend, things are a lot busier now, too (if that's possible). At 11 p.m. EST, we have five shows (Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Regina) all running at once. Needless to say, the hours leading up to show time are extremely busy and pressure-packed.

Also, at the end of the month I will be the MC for a Sport Business conference at Durham College. I actually took the Sport Business Management graduate program at Durham College back in 2007, so I'm looking forward to attending the conference and coming full circle.

Here's my (stabilized) on-air schedule at Global (all times local).

Wednesday and Thursday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, and 11 p.m. for the Okanagan Valley

Friday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, and the Okanagan Valley

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and the Maritimes, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal and the Okanagan Valley

Thanks for reading and watching!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

October Update - My Sports and Revised Global Schedule

Well, the summer has gone by quickly once again. I mentioned a few months back that, since retiring from baseball, my two new sports are golf and tennis. Here's a quick progress report before I get into the Global stuff.

Golf - It's a terrible, terrible game. Why is it so hard to be consistent? I have somehow gotten worse since the start of the year. I also don't play enough, which is definitely part of the problem. Mark Twain was never more correct than when he said 'Golf is a good walk spoiled.'

Tennis - Things were MUCH better on the tennis front this year. This is my third season playing and my regular opponent is the friend who got me into the game. He and I were on the same floor in first-year university. When I moved back to Toronto, he and I reconnected and we started playing tennis.

We have played over 50 matches against each other and he has won every single time. In fact, he won every single set. Until a couple weeks ago. I took sets off of him in consecutive matches--I still lost the matches--but that's tangible proof that my hard work is paying off.

Also, I joined a tennis club this year and, last Saturday, I won Central Tennis Club's 'B' division championship. Here's photographic proof of me with the spoils.



Here's my--slightly revised--on-air schedule at Global (all times local).

Wednesday and Thursday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, and 11 p.m. for the Okanagan Valley

Friday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal, and the Okanagan Valley

Saturday and Sunday - 10 p.m. newscast for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina and the Maritimes, 11 p.m. for Toronto, Montreal and the Okanagan Valley

Thanks for reading and watching!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Update: My Global TV Schedule and ESPN Clips

I've settled into a groove at my new job. I have a lot more on my plate, but the added responsibility is invigorating and I'm really enjoying the challenge. Right now my focus is on creating, producing, and presenting weather forecasts for eight markets: Toronto, Montreal, Kelowna, Saskatoon, Regina, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Winnipeg.

Sports coverage will start to be added to my job description at some point in the fall once all of the shows for all eight markets are running like a well-oiled machine.

Before I get into my new on-air schedule at Global, I wanted to post some video clips. The below footage is from The 2015 CrossFit Games during which I worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN's coverage of the event.

This is a selection of reports and athlete interviews.


Now here's my on-air schedule. It's a lot more consistent than my schedule at The Weather Network.

Wednesday and Thursday - Late newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna

Friday - Late newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Toronto, Montreal, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia

Saturday and Sunday - Eveing and late newscast for Kelowna, late newscast for Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon

Thanks for reading and watching!

Friday, July 31, 2015

August Update: A Big Change and Career News

The last time I wrote a blog post of this nature was on January 31 2013 when I left The Woodstock Sentinel-Review for my job at The Weather Network.

(Quick aside: it's pretty cool to go back and read the article and see how far I've come in just 2.5 years. Back then, I was excited to just get paid to be on TV after years of volunteering. Since then I've logged thousands of hours of live TV experience, presented the weather on CBC's The National, and appeared on ESPN3. More on that in a second.)

New Job

And I am burying the lede again. Today was my last day at The Weather Network. I have accepted a full-time position at Global TV Toronto (plus seven other cities across the country) as a weather and sports anchor. I will be based in Toronto and I will be on the 11 p.m. newscast from Wednesday to Sunday.

My first day is on Tuesday and I'll have more details before my first on-air shift on August 15.

It is bittersweet leaving The Weather Network. I am incredibly excited for this opportunity and to embark on the next phase of my career, but I am leaving a terrific team of people that I enjoyed working with each and every day.

In addition to my move to Global, there has also been some other developments career-wise. In May, I was once again hired by CrossFit to work as a sideline reporter for their West Regional competition. Click Demo Reels to see some clips from that event.

ESPN3

CrossFit was so pleased with my work that they hired me again to work as a sideline reporter for the Reebok CrossFit Games in Carson, California at the end of July. The events were carried live on ESPN3 and it was a tremendous experience to work such a large-scale production (I am currently putting together a demo of clips from my work at CrossFit Games that I will post when completed).

 
Also, back in April, I hit a milestone birthday. To celebrate the occasion, I performed standup comedy at Yuk Yuks Toronto. It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Check out the updated About Mike section for the video.

Thanks for continuing to follow my journey throughout the Canadian (and American) media industry!

- Mike