Since 2012, Mark Carcasole has been bringing hard-hitting stories and his enthusiasm for current affairs and politics to Global Toronto’s News Hour. This weekend, he’ll begin a new chapter as Weekend News Anchor for Global’s 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts across nine regional markets.
You can follow him on Twitter @MarkCarcGlobal.
Congrats on the new role! What are you most looking forward to as Weekend News Anchor?
Thank you! I’m looking forward to it!
The thing I’ve always enjoyed about anchoring is being able to take the news and present it your way. I’m not saying I want to turn it into a variety show, but I do want to add my own touch and personality to it and try to keep people entertained as well as informed. The idea of being responsible for nine different markets is daunting but exciting at the same time. I’m up for it!
How does the weekend news cycle compare to covering weekdays?
There are more community events, parades and protests but it’s not much different, to be honest. Big news breaks any time, whether it’s on Tuesday or Sunday. There’s no controlling that. If it happens on a weekend, we get a camera and a reporter or producer out there just like we would during the week. But given that we’re responsible for nine Canadian markets on weekends our challenge is coordinating all those locations and people and making sure the big stuff and the light stuff all gets the coverage it deserves. We’ve got great teams all over the country though. They make it work every time.
How do you decide what stories to cover?
Every market is autonomous. There’s no big brother that looms over all the markets and tells us what to do. Each market figures out for itself what matters in their own communities and what resources to dedicate to it. The producers responsible for each market shepherd each show, help write it, pick the order and the flow of stories and we put it on air.
How does social media factor into your work?
It’s a valuable tool. In breaking news situations, it helps us keep track of what’s going on from multiple angles and helps us find and connect with witnesses, people with interesting stories, etc. And for me personally, anchoring 9 shows but being based in Toronto, it’s been a good way for me to connect with
Describe a typical day in your role.
Whether I’m reporting during the week or anchoring on the weekend my days starts pretty much the same way…With my cat repeatedly headbutting me to wake up and feed him. After that, while I feed myself, I fire up the iPad and scroll through the papers on the internet and listen to the radio so I can figure out what happened in the world overnight. Some days I have story pitches, some days I’m just sent out to cover the news of the day, but we always have a team meeting in the newsroom every morning before we head out. After that’s it’s a matter of making calls, arranging interviews, gathering material with our excellent camera operators, writing the story, cutting it together, maybe doing a live hit and maybe following that by writing up an article for Global’s website. After that, Bob’s my uncle…That’s a lie, my uncle’s name is Mike, actually. But after the day’s done, you wrap it up, go home and do it all over again tomorrow.
What’s your number one tip for PR people?
If you send out a pitch, be ready to make it happen. I don’t do many stories from PR pitches to be honest; but when I do there’s nothing more frustrating than calling the person who sent it out – on the day they sent it out – only to be told “oh, sorry our spokesperson isn’t available today actually. Can we do it tomorrow?” Nope. No we can’t.
What has been your favourite story to work on?
Don’t know that I’ve had a “favourite,” but certainly the most memorable would be the disappearance of 8-year-old Tori Stafford of Woodstock and the trial of Michael Rafferty in London, Ontario for her murder. Personally and professionally it was an experience like I’ve never had before and likely won’t have again. My managers at the radio station I worked at the time put me up in a hotel for two-and-a-half months so that I could cover every single day of the trial. I gained a real understanding of the court process and the toll it takes on the families of the victims who have to relive what happened to their loved ones over and over. It was a unique experience professionally. Personally, it also opened up my eyes to the most evil depths of human behaviour. I knew there were bad people out there, but that just crystallized it. That story has always stuck with me. I still think about Tori’s family all the time. How strong they were at such a horrible time.
What story/interview would you most like to cover?
I know a million people have had the pleasure already, but I’d really love to interview Wayne Gretzky. I don’t get starstruck but I’ve always said if I met him I’d probably cry. I played hockey growing up and he’s always been my idol. I wish I could be as dominantly good at anything as he was at hockey. I’d even take being the Gretzky of checkers! Anything! I know it’s not the most original idea, but I’d love to do a documentary on his career and life some day.
Where would you like to be in five years?
I’m a reporter…I don’t even know where I’m gonna be tomorrow!
First website you load in the morning?
Twitter…And then various newspaper websites.
Beverage(s) of choice?
Water, coffee and beer. Not necessarily in that order.