Global Montreal’s news director and station manager, Karen Macdonald, is being recognized by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) with a lifetime achievement award for the Central region.
RTDNA Canada created the award in 2002 to recognize individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service and continued excellence during the course of their career in broadcast journalism.
Fiona Conway, RTDNA president, described Macdonald as a “pioneer in the Anglo-Quebec broadcast market.”
Macdonald graduated from Concordia University in 1982, and quickly cemented her passion for her community and for journalism as editor of the Quebec Chronicle Telegraph in Quebec City, the oldest newspaper in North America. She was just 22 years old at the time.
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Macdonald was associated with the newspaper for 25 years, helping to launch countless reporter careers along the way.
At Concordia University, she developed a passion for writing and broadcasting. In 1986, Macdonald joined the team at Quebec City’s local television station, CKMI.
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Her enthusiasm, determination and commitment to her community led to a daily anchoring gig on what became a well-known Quebec City news and current affairs show called Inside Quebec. On that program she interviewed everyone from community leaders to politicians and became a household name in her hometown.
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When CKMI was purchased by Canwest/Global in 1997, Macdonald moved from on-air personality to behind the scenes station manager. She ran Global’s Quebec City newsroom until 2006, when she relocated to Montreal to become the Station Manager/News Director of Global Montreal. During that time, she also hosted a weekly public affairs program called Talking Heads. That opportunity allowed her to plunge even deeper into the political world of Quebec politics, interviewing politicians and journalists from the press gallery.
Global News Senior Vice President Ward Smith proudly nominated Macdonald for the lifetime achievement award, noting her strength of character and leadership.
“For years, I have known Karen as a colleague, leader, mentor and friend. Her commitment to news, community, and most importantly to integrity is what makes Karen stand out,” he said.
Global News senior anchor Jamie Orchard agreed.
“I have been privileged to work with Karen for the past 22 years and what I appreciate most about her is her honesty and her commitment to the product,” she said.
“You always know what she’s thinking, and she never hesitates to push you to be better than you thought you could be, especially if it means improving the quality of our broadcast.”
In her current role, Macdonald mentors and supports the careers of dedicated broadcast journalists, both young and not so young, while guiding the station to tell real stories that make a difference in our community.
“Karen has been at the forefront of Global Montreal’s commitment to the community that we serve,” Orchard said. “She fights fiercely for the little guy and for stories that speak truth to power, and she has instilled that in countless journalists who have worked with her over the years.”
As if managing a news station weren’t enough, Macdonald has always found the time to give back, serving on the board of directors of Centraide both in Quebec City and Montreal. She is currently on the board of directors of the Montreal Community Foundation.
Macdonald will receive her award at the RTDNA President’s Reception on May 10 in Toronto.