EDMONTON — In the March issue of Avenue Edmonton magazine, you’ll learn more about Global Edmonton’s News Hour team.
Here is the extended interview:
They’re smart, professional, articulate and friendly, and they anchor Edmonton’s #1 News. Gord Steinke, Carole Anne Devaney and Jesse Beyer keep audiences educated and informed with the latest news in a local context, stories about our community and accurate up-to-the-minute weather reports.
Their experience in front of the camera and natural connection with viewers has paved the way for Global Edmonton to dominate the ratings. We spoke to the team about connecting with the audience, commercial breaks, social media, and more.
What do you love most about your job?
Gord: Every day is different. When I walk into the newsroom in the morning it’s exciting to be immediately tapped in to what’s going on in our city and province. We have an amazing group of talented, clever people dedicated to putting out the best newscasts possible — that’s what really makes it fun to come to work each day.
Carole Anne: The people. The Global Edmonton newsroom is a big family. I feel so happy and comfortable coming in to work every day.
This job also gives perspective. I am grateful for everything I have, every day, because I know, that in an instant, it can all change. Tragedy is all around us. We are not immune.
Jesse: The science… I love being able to not only tell our viewers what’s going to happen, but also why.
Do you have a pre-newscast routine?
Gord: Carole Anne and I often go over scripts together and discuss changes. We talk about the stories that are coming up so we have a good handle on the content and flow of the newscasts. Jesse will fill us in what he’s going to be focusing on in weather so we have an idea of what’s in his forecast.
Carole Anne: Gord and I are busy reviewing scripts in the newsroom, right to the last minute. I run down the stairs, brush my hair quickly, coat it with hairspray so it stays in place, slap on a bit of powder so my face isn’t shiny, and run into the studio! There is no glamour whatsoever!
Jesse: After spending the day in my “dungeon” — that is, the Global TV weather centre — I slap on my make-up (best I can) and hit the desk.
As a broadcaster, how do you connect with your audience?
Gord: When I’m on air I like to visualize telling stories to one person instead of to thousands. It’s an old trick a broadcasting coach told me early on in my career to make the TV experience more intimate.
Carole Anne: First and foremost, I try to be very real and genuine at the desk. I am just like everyone else who watches and I want that to come across. If I’m sad, I cry. I also make sure I’m very involved in the community, so I can meet face to face with our viewers. I share a lot of my life on social media (Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) including the realities of being a mom, and how I really look without makeup!
Jesse: I use social media. Many people share their weather photos with us, that we in turn, share on air. I also love being able to answer specific questions from our viewers. We live in an age where you can ask the TV weather expert a question directly on Twitter and Facebook!
Next to the news (and weather), what are you most passionate about?
Gord: I really enjoy live music (playing and listening) – and riding motorcycles.
Carole Anne: I love to write, first person. I’ve held a journal for most of my life. I also love to exercise and I’m always looking for the latest and greatest workout trend. If I don’t exercise for a week, I am grumpy and anxious.
Jesse: The outdoors! If I’m not working, I’m outside.
What happens during commercial breaks?
Gord: In commercial breaks we are always having a laugh about something. Carole Anne’s sense of humour has me in stitches most of the time. Sometimes a game of x and o’s might break out, but that’s getting boring because I always win.
Carole Anne: During commercial breaks, we are usually laughing and exchanging notes. We have a lot of inside jokes.
What is your beauty secret?
Gord: A good night’s sleep.
Carole Anne: Wear not four, but five coats of makeup.
Jesse: Beauty secret? If someone could fill me in, that’d be great.
Looking back, what personal qualities led you to become a broadcast journalist?
Gord: Curiosity about the world around us and a love of people from all walks of life. I think what makes a good interview is knowing your subject and really enjoying discovering what makes people tick.
I never get tired of meeting new people and finding out about their lives. Good writing skills and good grammar are a must as well — and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
Carole Anne: I loved to write. I loved to perform — I hogged all our childhood home videos and took drama throughout high school. If a friend told me a story, I would always want to know every single little detail. I am fascinated with people’s lives and their experiences.
Jesse: On the family farm, weather was always a topic of discussion. I would hear my Opa talking about the rain, or the drought, or the hail or the wind. I found myself becoming more interested in why these events happen, not so much if they will happen.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Gord: Treat others like you’d like to be treated.
Carole Anne: It’s a quote from my girl Oprah! “Trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.”
Jesse: When you have a job you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.
How is social media impacting local news today and specifically your role as a news/weather anchor?
Gord: It’s a great tool to stay in touch with our audience and connect with what’s happening around town. The downside is there’s a lot of misinformation out there so you have to be careful what you read and share.
Carole Anne: It’s a great way to find story ideas, and stay on top of developing/breaking stories! There’s no waiting around for information anymore. Who has time for that?
Jesse: In weather, live streams of severe weather gives eyes on the ground to meteorologists. It’s a huge advantage to see a storm on radar and contrast that with seeing what it’s doing on the ground.
Who do you follow on Twitter?
Gord: A lot of news organizations. Also, interesting people with similar interests, and of course my favourite musicians.
Carole Anne: News agencies and journalists, celebrities, local bloggers and businesses, people I look up to and want to be like!
Jesse: Lots of weather people!
If your real life was a news headline, what would it be?
Gord: “The future looks bright.”
Carole Anne: “Completely incomplete.”
Jesse: “Information overload.” I’ve been known to answer very simple weather questions with a long, over-done answer.
Co-worker: “Really raining, huh Jesse?” Me: “Oh yeah! I was looking at the past model run and in the upper layers….. Uh yeah… heavy rain.”
What does “our city” mean to you?
Gord: Edmonton is a fascinating place to call home. I love all the festivals, the sports events and the architecture and the restaurants. It’s a city that’s in a major transformation stage and so exciting to watch it change. I like its rich history, its role in the Klondike Gold Rush. And the people here are the best — a diverse mix of trades people, artists and business people.
Carole Anne: Everyone wants to belong and feel connected… and I feel that here. People in this city stick together, promote each other, encourage each other. There’s an overwhelming sense of community in Edmonton and an overall push to improve, evolve and be better. The energy is good!
Jesse: Progression. Edmonton will be a destination city in years to come.
If the three of you were contenders on Survivor, who would win and why?
Gord: That’s easy. My money is on Carole Anne. She’s a great mother so has incredible coping skills and patience —not to mention she’s incredibly fit.
Carole Anne: I think Gord would win. He’s so good with words and with people. He could convince anyone to do anything… and would be liked by all the other contestants. He also has so many layers to his personality (I’m still discovering them!) I wouldn’t be surprised to find out he’s a former pro athlete who can live up to any physical challenge! Ha ha! I am too whiny and too much of a wuss. When I have a cold, everyone knows about it. Once, I stubbed my toe and thought I was going to die. I would never survive longer than a day on Survivor.
Jesse: Carole Anne — first gone. Her bubbly personality will make her a threat because she’ll play a great social game, or it will annoy a certain few. I’m next to go, because I’m a “physical threat,” as in my physical fitness level will threaten my ability to play the game. Gord would win. The guy is friends with everyone. He’s just an all-around nice guy. He’d win the game without back stabbing anyone.