Gord Steinke is no stranger to the people of Edmonton, he’s anchored the local Global News 6 p.m. newscast for the past 25 years. A recipient of the 2016 RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award, Steinke is also a best-selling Canadian author.
Follow him @GordSteinke.
What is it like to be a News Anchor for Global News Edmonton?
It’s both challenging and inspiring. Having worked in other markets in Canada and the U.S., I can honestly say that from what I’ve seen in my 25 years in Edmonton, this is one of the busiest news markets.
I anchor the Global News at 5 and Global News Hour at 6 newscasts for Global News Edmonton. Every day is different and exciting. Whether it’s a breakthrough in medical research, political stories, crime, law courts, scams and schemes, military and, yes, even our ever-changing weather, there’s never a dull moment.
We also have an amazing creative and hard-working team on camera, behind the scenes and with our team of photo journalists. This group is sincerely dedicated and passionate about journalism, telling stories that matter to our audience and news they can use in their everyday lives.
One of the things that really sets us apart from other stations is that we’re the only game in town with a news helicopter. Global 1 is a local favourite with our viewers. It must drive our competition crazy and I love that fact.
Despite the daily whirlwind of local news and the stress and pressure of meeting deadlines, the news team makes it fun to come to work every day.
The community is also amazing. I’ve never seen a city where the citizens are so involved in supporting their community and local charities. It’s a pleasure to be involved in several successful events and fundraisers from Kids with Cancer to the Motorcycle Ride for Dad and 630 CHED Santas Anonymous toy drive to supporting our military.
How do you decide what to cover?
We do that by answering a few questions in our story meetings every day. Why would our viewers be interested in this story and what matters most to our viewers? When it comes to breaking news, we’re the best in the business. I might be a little biased, but our recent Canadian Screen Award for best news special for the Fort McMurray fire coverage says it all.
How does social media factor into your work?
Social media plays a huge role now in our daily newscasts and what we decide to cover. We can monitor which stories are getting the most hits on our social media sites, which gives us an accurate idea of what our viewers are interested in.
For example, weather stories gather a lot of interest as do our health matters segments. Breaking news on an amber alert or police hunt for a suspect will also garner a lot of interest.
I also like to use our media sites to promote and tease upcoming stories into my 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts. It helps get a nice buzz going about what we’re working on and generates interaction with our viewers.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My day starts by checking work emails from home. Then, I read my newspapers and listen to newscasts nationally and locally. When I get to work, I check in with producers to see what stories our reporters are working on and the status of where they’re at with a particular assignment. I also start checking and answering emails from viewers and co-workers.
After that, I begin lining up and/or prepping for interviews that will be used in our newscasts and on social media. Throughout the day there are story meetings and we have constant communication with producers as stories and assignments change.
I’m also writing news stories for our newscasts as video comes back to the station from our photo journalists. By 3 p.m. I’m writing several radio spots to promote what we have coming up on our newscasts. Some days, I will drive over to our radio partners at 630 CHED and join hosts J’lyn Nye and Andrew Grose for the afternoon drive.
By 4 p.m., I’m prepping and continuing to write for the5 p.m. I do a couple of live radio hits and then head down to our studio for the live 5 p.m. broadcast.
At 5:30 p.m., I’m back up to the newsroom to get a final look at the Global News Hour at 6 and then head back downstairs to the studio for our hour-long broadcast.
It’s a great workout for my fit bit.
What’s your number one tip for PR people?
Keep your message simple. When you’re sending us an email about an upcoming event or news story, keep your information concise and to the point. Tell us why is your message important and don’t forget the where and when.
What was your favourite story to work on?
That’s a tough one. There have been many. I’d say my favourite most recent story was being on scene covering the Fort McMurray wildfires at the very beginning and again when the residents began returning home. It’s such a tragic story with devastating images, but it was also filled with amazing stories of resilience and community spirit and courage.
I also enjoyed working on my series Your Town where I traveled around the province for several years, exploring the rich history and colourful characters that make Alberta such an interesting place to live and work.
I always enjoy my interview segments with news makers. It’s a chance to explore human-interest stories and flush out more details behind the 1:30 news items. I’m pretty lucky.
What’s the story/interview you’d most like to cover?
I’m a bit of a political junkie and have always been intrigued by the policy and lawmaking process. It would be fascinating to have a segment where I could spend more time one-on-one with these folks and find out what makes them tick and why they’re so passionate about their work. Whether it be the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister or other world leaders and movers and shakers, they all have a story to tell that we can all learn from regardless of our political stripes.
I’m also a musician from way back so I still like interviewing and hearing stories from bands on the road. I enjoy helping promote upcoming acts because I know what a grind it is playing in a traveling band. I would love to have a segment where I interview musicians and hear all about their gigs, the places they’ve played and what inspired the songs they wrote.
First website you load in the morning?
Global News, both locally and nationally. I also look at CBC, MSN News and I enjoy keeping an eye on Huffington Post and Loud Wire.
Coffee or beer or green juice?
I’ll have a beer, thanks.