WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 100 · 1 year ago

#100 Jayson Baxter - CTV News at 5 - Broadcast Journalist - BrianVee WhyWeWork

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Jayson Baxter is the co-host and producer for CTV News at 5 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Jayson has been working in the industry for nearly three decades and has covered sports, entertainment, and breaking news, but what captivates his heart is his love for the maritimes and the people he serves.

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...welcome to why we work with your host Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which will be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here is your host to why we work. Brian V. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure. Speaking with Jason Baxter, Jason is the co host and producer at CTV News in Nova Scotia, Canada. He has been covering entertainment, sports and news for over 20 years. I want to find out today how hard it's been to go through the ranks to put in the time and dedication also what he has learned about the people in the Maritimes. Join me today in my conversation with Jason Baxter. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure speaking with Jason Baxter. Good day, Find, sir. Hey, how you doing, Brian? I'm doing wonderfully well and again. I appreciate you doing this. Taking the time to talk with me over here in South Korea is you sit there and your lovely home in, uh, lower sackful Nova Scotia. Would you do me a favor, Jason? And give us an idea for people who don't know the industry that you're in and what it is that you dio. So I'm a broadcast journalist. I've been doing this for 20. I guess this is my 27th year. I've worn a lot of different hats and had a lot of different roles. Kind of trained to be a television reporter. But for most of the last 20 years, I've been a host and producer. My current role is on the co host and co producer of CTV news of five, based on the Halifax, um, it broadcast to the three maritime provinces on the east coast of Canada. So, Jason, knowing that you're in Halifax working at a Halifax and from Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, my hometown as well What would have been your very first job growing up? Something you did. It didn't have to be legit. It could have been making you know it's, um, lemonade or delivering some papers. What would have been the first thing you did as a young man, like like so many others. I was the paper boy. I had the longest paper route and sacked whole basically all of the all of the businesses on both sides of Sacral Drive. And then that I had the same well, pretty similar up to make the worst. My buddies would take them five minutes to deliver the papers. Maybe maybe 15 tops. For me, it was like over an hour every day. So I got fired, Jason, I was thrown mine in the ditch. I'll be honest with you. I should have been fired if my parents didn't bail me out financially every time the guy would come to collect the money because it used to be cleaved sporting goods right there on socks will drive. Being a sports fan, I would every time I would collect money, I've been going straight mind a new hat or a new baseball glove or my parents they were like, Okay, enough of this. We can't make this up every week. How old were you when you started that? How old were you when you started that Jason? I was probably 12. I would say at the time. And then I got a job for one day at the Disco Deli. That's one of the places I delivered. A just a Just a guy that owned it at the time said, I'm going to give you a job show up here tomorrow I was so excited. I'm like, 13. None of my other friends have a job. But when I got there, my my job was to pick up all the garbage around the store, which, hey, that's that's that's fine. I pick up garbage now. But when you're 13 and your buddies were driving past with your mom, Hong Kong and Europe picking up garbage on Sacral drive Yeah. Did you did you start to do some other things a little bit? Mawr Long term? Uh, not as a teenager. No eso into high school. You didn't get a full time job? Yeah, in high school, I guess. Towards the end of high school, I started working at menswear store. They don't exist anymore, but Jack Fraser's my high school girlfriend at the time. Her mom knew the manager and anyways got me a job there, and I ended up doing that off and on all through through the rest of high school and even in the into college, a little bit. So as you're in high school, Jason, and knowing your career is a broadcast. Journalists,...

When did you start to think about you know, school, what you want to do in college? And how about that leading into your career? Well, I took my I took my good sweet time with it. I was always the type of kid that read the newspaper from front to back every day. I would watch, you know, I would watch the news, the same station that I would watch that I watch now the same show that I watch now, um, there that I worked for now live at five. I would watch that as a kid, I was always interested in current events. I was always a reader, but I was bored in school and had no idea. I like performing and telling stories and showing off, but I had no idea how that could translate into a career. And yeah, did two trips in Grade 12 and then took a full three years off before you travel. The country lived in Vancouver in Quebec City, worked odd jobs on, got some life experience and then decided at 22. Okay, You know, I don't wanna work at gas stations and clothing stores for the rest of my life. I want to do something different. And so what am I What am I going to do? And and so that that's what kind of pointed me towards. You know what? It's weird because it very soon um what? The thing that made me think maybe about television journalism. Waas It was sort of like the dawn of, like, CNN the first Gulf War on. And I just kept watching CNN every day and and just thinking like, Wow, this is remarkable. This is live like these reporters are on the ground telling this important story to the world day after day. And I thought that was absolutely fascinating. And I thought, You know what? Maybe that's something I could do. I could be a television reporter. I love news. You know, I love current affairs and passionate about it. Maybe that's the direction I go so very, very briefly. I thought you know what? I'm gonna end up being a war correspondent. My career is there is no war correspondent experience in my background whatsoever. Um, but initially, it's kind of funny. The Gulf War and what CNN was doing at the time kind of sparked something for me. It was captivating for you. So, yeah. What did you start to think about? How you were gonna get into school for that? Did you just do some research? How did you didn't have a clue? I was so clueless about it. I didn't even know how to research it, to be honest with you. But I, uh, went thio Bob Price s Oh, this is three years after I graduated from high school. I went to Bob Price, who was still at the time, the guidance counselor tackle high. And I said, Bob, I don't know if you remember me, but I'd like a little bit of your time. He was like, Oh, absolutely. I went in and sat down with him and I said, You know what? I think I wanna be a television report. I wanna be a news reporter, but I have no idea. Where would I go to school? Like, What kind of degree do I need? What kind of diploma do I need and he said, I don't know why there to be honest with you But he said, Give me three days and I'll research it a little bit for you and and come back and see me Thursday or whatever it was and and I didn't and he had some schools picked up for me. In fact, if I was, if this was happening today, there would be some really good options right here in Nova Scotia. King's college was an option, But being already 22 years old, you know, I wanted Thio fast. Track it a little bit more than that. Eso He came up with a few community colleges in in Ontario that he thought would work for me. And that's the root I went. Ironically, I've now worked at C. T. V with his daughter Melanie, for E. Went to high school with Melanie. Now any price? Yeah, yeah, we're good friends and have worked together. I don't know. Melanie's been there at least 15 years, so it all came full circle from her dad toe. Now her and I are friends and colleagues for a long time. How did you find that. And what do you think about people taking a year off from high school, Especially if they don't know what they're doing? They're not quite sure. Rather than just jumping in and following other other people, I think it's a It's a great idea. And I know teenagers always feel a lot of pressure to know what they want todo like from the get go. I think some kids are blessed to have that passion, and they know from day one what they want to do with their lives. But that was not me. And I think they're the minority. I think the vast majority of us, you know, we don't have the living experience to to really pick and choose and decide. You know what, you know what's the best future for us? So, you know, I think rather than go to university and and spend a lot of money from the get go on a degree, you're not sure you want, I think traveling and finding yourself for me personally. It was a great experience, you know, made a lot of friends, got some life experience, made some mistakes and...

...learn from them. And and, uh, you know, when I was when I decided to go to school, I was ready. I was ready to commit to something. I don't know if I would suggest taking three years off, but, uh, but yeah, I think one. If you don't know what you're doing, then you better figure that out first. Before you, You know, before you commit toe to school. And when you committed when you committed to the community college in Ontario, after you finished, did you know exactly what you want to do? Where you wanted to go? Did you start throwing out a resume or how did you go about landing your first job? Well, it's funny, because very early on, I realized, Oh, yes, I've made the right choice. This is definitely for me. It's really interesting. And it actually came fairly easy to me. The curriculum hit, Um, and and I think if you have a talent for something in life, um, even if the works hard, it can feel easy. It doesn't necessarily feel like hard work because you're just enjoying what you're doing. And that that was that was me and called. I knew very, very early on that Yep, This is the right choice. And this is the path I'm gonna take radio toe graduation. So? So I felt good. It didn't mean I was gonna have a job waiting for me. But I knew this is what I was going to pursue. What was that first job you did land? Um, well, I hustled for it. That's there's a little bit of a back story. You want to hear that a lot of the people I went to school with, I sort of had this mindset where? Okay, when I graduate, I'm gonna work here is if that company was just waiting for them, you know? And it was usually in their hometown. I would have loved to work in Halifax from the get go, but it just it wasn't. Reality was the first station of work at now is actually the first station I applied to, um, had a great interview. The interview lasted about an hour, Um, and and I had the feeling they wanted to hire me, but they just didn't have anything at the time. And they said, Well, you know, stay in touch, stay in contact with us, And over the years, I did stay. I made, you know, built a relationship there and did stay in touch with management. But anyway, I went back to my college. That didn't work out. So I went back to my college town, which is Belleville, Ontario, you know, sleeping on the sofa, staying with some buddies and just working on my demo tape. And then after my best friend, he got a job in the industry and then that really sort of like four months after graduation. I was like, Okay, I'm really going to make this happen here like Time's wasting. So I started calling ahead of stations all over on Ontario and trying to set up interviews with and getting a lot of hang ups and the odd interview here and there. And when I had everything lined up, I I had my demo tapes ready. I basically I started in Belleville, Ontario. I think I went to Peterborough to Toronto to London. I was looking for an interview in London, Ontario, They said, not just leave the tape of the desk. I didn't have a good feeling about it. Went back to Toronto Ottawa. I started to Kingston toe Ottawa, and I had a job interview lined up in Pembroke the next morning when I got a call from London saying, We'd like to interview, How soon can you be there? And I was so keen. I was like, What time do you need? And they were like, No, no, no, it's no rush. It's no rush, you know? It's you know, I think it was early in the week. They were like, You know what? Do you think you could be here by Friday? I was like, I'll be there tomorrow. I knew, You know, they're like, Okay. And I was so excited, called my parents from Ottawa and said, I've got an interview and I've got a good feeling about this one. And and can I bore a little bit of money? Thio e bought a train ticket Anyways. My parents were all excited. 20 minutes after the initial phone call, I got a call back from George Clark, who was the news director at CFB L in London at the time. And George sit. What do you bring him with you tomorrow? What do you packing? And I I don't know. I never really thought about that, And he's He literally said, Well, you might wanna you know, you might wanna bring more than just a change of clothes in the face cloth, but I think you're gonna be staying and it just boot just They're basically telling me over the phone that I have the job. Take everything you have. I embarrassed myself in the interview. Those still I remember sitting down with Derwin Smith, who was like, I guess would have been like the general manager of the station, Um, plus George Clark, the news director. And right away it just seems surreal to me. I was so excited because they weren't interviewing me. It was more they were selling me on on the station and the opportunity. That's a nice opportunity. That's a nice chance. Yeah, this is 1994 and our minimum wage in Nova Scotia was really, really low...

...at the time. And I had experienced working at McDonald's Anyways, he said to me said, Okay, well, we're going to start you off at, uh at 5. 33 and I was like, Oh, wow, 5, 33. Wow, that's terrible. It's like $5.33 an hour. Anything while I'm gonna have to get a second job, But I'll work nights. That's okay. As long as I got my foot in the door. E, I don't even know what they were talking about, and I sort of glazed over. And then I looked and I said, Excuse me, Can I tonight? When you said 5. 33 you mean an hour? Right? And the two of them looked at each other and they looked back at me and they just cracked up laughing. They've been 5 33 a week, which, by today's standards, isn't a whole lot of money, but, you know, 2024 at the time. It is a 24 year old guy looking for a job. I thought it was rich, or it could be dollars a week. I'm gonna be loaded. Going how? Where you are now and starting with a you know, an opportunity like that. You went through a lot of paces to get where you are. Can you talk about that grind that it took to get to the position you are now? Is the co host as CTV? Yeah, Well, like I said before, I believe if you really want to do something. You You kind of have to just get your foot in the door, like, just end up on the payroll somewhere. And then hopefully your passion and your work ethic and your talent will speak for itself. Eso I worked at my first job. I was hired in London, but that was a regional station. So Western Ontario and they sent me immediately toe Windsor, Ontario. And I worked there My first job, I was a videographer, which is was an amazing experience. It was a small bureau, I think, in total, um, there might have been sick. 545 videographers, One full time reporter, 12 cameramen, a couple of, you know, managers, people in the back, maybe 11, 12 people in total. But we're very tight knit. And I learned so much because as a videographer, um, you know, I'd never touched a camera in school. So number one I had to figure out how to shoot a news story, and I had some some pretty amazing mentors there at the station that on the shooting and editing side of things and the reporting of being in front of the camera, the writing side of it came, I think, probably more natural to me. But I really found a passion for the actual shooting and the editing. Um, I'd like to think I'm not a control freak in most aspects of my life, But when it comes to work, I like having a lot of control. And I found being a videographer. If the story was fantastic, that was on you. Good for you. If the story was terrible, well, you're gonna have to wear because that's on you as well. You can't blame the shooter. You can't blame the editor. You know you can't blame the writer you are. You are all of those things. So there's a certain amount of pressure for that toe to succeed Thio. Really? To kind of, you know, Thio? Yeah. Thio make a product that you're proud of every single day and one of the things about what I do to which I I think about it. I thought about it again recently in in school, in high school. Um, I always hated deadlines. I hated all this project, you know, it's doing two weeks, two days, two hours. Always hated deadlines, despise them. Yet I chose a profession where I have every single day. There's a hard deadline, and that deadline is well. And I love the deadline. Now is the deadlines. Excuse proof? It doesn't matter if you had a bad day. It doesn't matter what's going on in your personal life. It doesn't matter if you're having technical issues. A piece of equipment broke down, you know, five o'clock is coming with or without you, you know? So you know, there's not urgency and immediacy to it every day. Um, back to your S O. I worked, you know, for three years in Windsor, Ontario, as a videographer shooting my own stories, shooting other people's stories as well, editing other people's stories, other reporters, stories. Um, but I knew that wasn't going to be my last stop. So I was always looking for kind of What's that? Next? Bring up the ladder and I got an opportunity toe work as a news reporter at in Edmonton at the A channel. The A channel was just starting in Edmonton at the time. This is September of 1997 and, uh, at the ripe old age of 27. I was hired as their senior reporter haute there, Um, and spent about nine or 10 months in Edmonton. It wasn't It wasn't home of the people were really nice, but it was a long, cold winter. And and my now ex wife, we had a little we had a child...

...and another on the way. And she was from Windsor. She wanted to go back closer to home. Eso very briefly went back six months, took a casual position at CBC in Windsor, and, uh, and then the opportunity opened up in in Halifax here. But yeah, the grind of it was probably, in some sense, the moving around and being willing to move around and having a family that's willing to move with you. That was a really grind. I think at one point I had, like, four major moves, like in 14 months. You know, we were just constantly on the go in the early years before I settled here and this being home, I kind of realized pretty early on when I got back here, this was probably if they wanted me long term. This is probably gonna be a long term for me as well. Where does patients play a role too, in waiting for this particular role that you have in this position that you have, especially since you know there's people that air before you. You have to wait your turn, get your seniority. You have to wait for them to get out of the way. Where does patients play a role for you? Well, I think that's a That's a whole different kind of groin. That's Ah, patience is part of it. Um, but also that kind of belief in yourself that it's gonna pay off, like keep knocking on doors, keep looking for that position, keep applying at places you know, keep asking, you know, like, um, and keep setting those goals for you. I think, like most things, if you have a certain amount of talent, if you really stick with it, um you know, I think talent opens up opportunities. You know, the old cliche, which is so true, I'll probably mess it up. But what is it that talent and you know what is it? Talent, work ethic, e thought you're gonna go with, like it's 80% talent or 80% determination in 20% talent or something. But whatever it is, someone confined it for us. What is the process? You go through Jason with your work nowadays? What does a week look like for you you're talking about? You know, if you're not on the train, it's going at five. What does that process look like for you? It's it's honestly, it's It's pretty. It's pretty fast paced every day. Um, in the sense off, you know, when one show is over. At six o'clock that night, you gotta That's put to bed whether whether it went fantastic or terrible or somewhere in between. That's like ancient history. And then I'm able to sort of leave that and go home and enjoy my family and enjoy. Sorry, Jason, before you go on to what you actually do, do you watch a show afterwards, or is there a reason you might watch a show or you just let it go to bed? It's done. It's gone. It's done. Yeah, uh, if there's a story, I think that's particularly but I'm proud of or that touched me. It doesn't have to be my own story. Um, all, um, that's how I'll end up watching. And I'll say, you know, I'll say that you know, friends or family. Like I want you to see this. Remember that story was working on Here it is. I want I want you to see this. So I would probably watch Moon work that way. Obviously, I would watch it before it goes to air. Um, but yeah, I'm kind of ableto to put that behind me, which I think is which is healthy. Plus, I know, you know, I'm gonna need to rest my mind because the next day is gonna be I'm gonna go back to that word like it's sort of a daily grind for us. Like a lot of people that watch the show will come up to me. And once in a while, I'll get that question. Let's say so. What time do you start? Just like like, two or three in the afternoon. Is that when you go in, like this kind of outdated idea of it or or, you know, maybe they've seen something in a movie of how the business works, where you just show up and sit down and make up and someone hands of scripts. And that couldn't be possibly further from the truth. Like on our show for instance, there's only four producers. There's myself and Maria Panna Palace, who has been my colleague for a long, long time. Katie Kelly, who focuses on the entertainment side of things and then our director, uh Slaney. She she directs the show, but she's a co producer as well. So the four of us are responsible for producing the show every day. So we start. I'd like to be there just before nine. We have a conference call that starts at nine o'clock with the producers of the five and the six o'clock show plus management, where we just sort of discuss Okay, these air stories and news stories that are on the radar for today, these air things we have to cover or these air things we might want to cover. And we and we talk about this and come up with a game plan for about 15 minutes. Then, at 9 15, the conference call widens toe all of the reporters that we work with around the Maritimes, they make story pitches to...

...us. We take notes, they hang up. Now we have another a secondary discussion. Okay, we didn't like this, but we, like, definitely love this story idea, which showed as it fit on Andi and out of that call, which usually ends around 10 o'clock. Now we have more of a firm game plan for both shows. The 50 clock show, the six o'clock news. What reporters we're gonna work with in what stories? We're going to cover burning breaking news, Of course. So you're arriving at work at eight or so? No, but quarter to nine. Just Yeah, yeah, Until six. Or later. Then The word kind of starts when you wake up, though, because, you know, you know, check the phone and see what's happened overnight. What's the state of the world? What's the state of our own backyard and obviously goingto work with an idea of Oh, this is this is the story people are gonna be talking about today. This is something we should be covering. What kind of angle can we take on that? Is that a tough war room to be in figuring out what's what stories they're gonna be ago are Yeah, sometimes you know, sometimes you know, because there's there's gonna be disagreements, you know, over which show that particular story, uh, fits on or Which reporter suits that story best, you know, um but that would show Ah, passion. Right for wanting to get the right news out there with the right person doing it. And it's it's a love for what you're doing. Yeah, and I think like anything like you have to you have to pick your battles, you know? So between the two shows, like the six o'clock news has and needs more reporter resources, they're doing mawr stories per day, and they have to reflect that kind of every day. They want to reflect the region. They want to reflect Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, compete EI and have some balance there. Um, so on the five o'clock side, I mean, we want that as well. But if you don't see a story from New Brunswick today, well, you know, that's maybe not a big deal. We'll have something from New Brunswick tomorrow or Nova Scotia. Vice versa. So, on our side of things, we kind of have to really kind of pick our battles a little bit, like with that understanding that the six o'clock side of things is going to need more resources every single day. We have to be really smart with the resource. I say resources, that's what we call it. I'm talking reporters and videographers. How many reporters and videographers or we're gonna have and how are we gonna use them? So it makes it difficult toe work ahead on stories we do. But when you have again that deadline of five o'clock every day, you know, when you come in the morning, your number one priority is 50 clock that afternoon. If you have the luxury of working ahead tomorrow or the next day or next week, you can and you dio. But you're really priority is five o'clock coming. So we have to get we have to get. And there's no writers on our show, either. Were the writers, the producers are the writers, so, you know, we're assigning reporters were talking through stories with them, telling them about elements that we wanna have in the story who we might think might be a good fit for an interview. Maybe, you know, making phone calls to help them set up interviews. What are they gonna need for video? You know, it's a television story. It's literally talking picture, so, you know, it could be the most citing story of the world. If the pictures are boring, the story is boring. So what are we going to do and what are we gonna use for visuals? You know all of these sort of decisions, and and then you know where in the show as a fit best. So So I almost like, Uh oh, I've never actually played it, But I have a pretty good idea how you play Sudoku. You know, it's in the newspaper every day, like it's like it's like it's like playing a game and putting a crossword puzzle or something together. There's so many moving parts, dozens of moving parts. It's almost like a checklist of things that you have to do on a daily basis to put together Ah, full one hour program. You know, it's nice to know that because it gives people a better appreciation of the work that you guys do that you know, As you said, you're not not just a pretty face that gets a make up in a script thrown in your hand. You've been working for the 99 hours before that and getting it already. It's pretty good. Jason, you kind of mentioned a few difficulties, but what is the satisfaction that you get out of doing the work that you dio And maybe as you think about that? Think about I was wondering. I had a question for you of since you came home back to the Maritimes. What have you learned And what has kind of grown in your heart for the love of the Maritimes and the people that you report on each and every day. Well, the first thing when I came back actually had nothing to do with work at it. You know, when you're young, like I think so many people you have this push this urge like I gotta get out of here. I got to get out of here. You don't appreciate home in the same sense. You know, if you do, I think some ways you...

...have to leave home to appreciate home. And that was me. I was away for the best part of seven years, and and I actually wasn't the type to miss home that much. I was I didn't get homesick very much weirdly, I didn't miss home until I got home once. Once I once I return to Nova Scotia. It was like I was seeing it with fresh eyes. And it was like I forgot how easy it is to enjoy the outdoors. You know, I forgot how you know how beautiful this provinces I forgot like you can in Nova Scotia, especially Sacha was relatively central of his joke around. You could spin around and point yourself, you know, 50 kilometers in any direction, and you're gonna find an amazing, beautiful, unique outdoor adventure. You know, like there's a lot to do here if you're a no doors person tonight. And it certainly am the second part of that question as faras marry timers. Yeah, I especially growing up watching the show I'm on and knowing its history, you know, with, you know, with Dave, Right? And Steve Murphy and Nancy Reagan and, you know, in Palm, Enya and and so many other talented people that worked on the show in its early days. Um, you know, I grew up watching that and and had kind of a nice idea of what that show is and what it looks like. And what I always enjoyed about it was it always seemed to me that it was. It really reflected the experience of maritime er's that that always thought Live of five. It could be or waas a mirror that sort of reflects, you know, the interesting people, the amazing people, the amazing places in our own backyard. And so I feel like a certain responsibility that that I'm proud of. I feel honored to be a part of, ah, show that does that. That does tell the story of the underdog or tell the story of the person that's making very quietly in the background for many years, making their own community better in some unique way. You know, the entrepreneurs here in the Maritimes? Um, just the inspirational people. And then there's a flip side to it as well. Like we're this particular show because it tells so many feature stories weaken literally helped people, you know, when there's families that are struggling whether they've, you know, lost everything in a fire, or all too often we end up doing stories I wish we didn't, but there's so many, you know, there's so many families that have a sick loved one. You know, they're struggling financially and, you know, there way have the ability to tell their stories and get their story out. Teoh a much wider audience and and e feel proud coming home some nights knowing that you know that we did make a difference and that we have, um, you know, improve someone's life. And then and then in the just on the day to day basis of it, Like I said, that goes back Thio, you know, just I try not to take for granted. Um, you know how unique my position is, especially to be doing it in my hometown, you know? So So I'm very, very grateful for for what I do, because I still have ah, passion for it. In some ways, I would say that I'm more passionate about it now than I was. You know, 25 or 27 years ago that I I continue to get more passionate about it. And someday, when when it's over, I'm gonna miss it. It'll it'll be tough to replace, that's for sure. In your 27 years and then being in this position, what is this skill that you really had to home for people maybe wanting to get into broadcast journalism or just wondering what sort of skill that you really had to develop or still honing in E. I think you do have to stay on top of what's going on in your world that zio anyone looking to get into the business. If you don't have a passion, you know, four news of the day. You really should develop it. You're going to be at a disadvantage to some degree if you don't have a fairly wide at least, general. I'm not an expert on all things like any stretch, but, like you should have at least a general knowledge of you know, most things when it comes news wise, um, specific to television, I think. E think everybody everybody knows that television news voice I'm on television now, So now I'm talking in this voice. I would never talk in this voice if I was at a host party, but and I think people I think people can see through that. I always advise people like like be yourself. Just trust that yourself is good enough. Be yourself on camera because I mean nothing you can do. You are who you are anyway, so don't don't try to put on airs don't try to talk differently, like think of it as you're telling a story to, you know, to your best friend or, you know, to to your colleague, knowing that you were a paperboy, you worked at Disco Deli, even in Jack...

Frazier's and people who are getting into work, maybe younger and also maybe not sure of their careers, you were up until you're 22 23 or switching their careers. Do you have a tip for people who are getting into work one way or the other? Uh, I think you know it. I'll go back Thio getting your foot in the door If it's something you really, truly want to do, take any position, take, take any position available and and work your way up from there. And don't. Uh huh. Don't be afraid of taking to see where these opportunities lead you. I think sometimes, even if you know what's the industry you want, you may not specifically you might have an idea where you're going to fit in that industry, but that may not necessarily be the case. I think you have to be open minded boat where you are just where your you could end up just I work with people now for, you know, a decade that when they first locked in the newsroom, probably thought for sure. I'm going to be a television reporter and then found, um because there is a need that actually, um or talented behind the camera. I'm better at directing our p a or some other role. You know, you gotta be. I think you gotta be open to see And you know, if it's the path you want, then you're gonna have to be open to see where that goes. You know, don't don't get pigeonholed into thinking This is what I am And that's all I wanna do. You might miss another opportunity, Jason. What kind of goal do you have for your position or your career? What do you hope that happens? Maybe with C t. V. What is something? An overarching goal that you have. Well, we reach for the mug here. I goals, dad goals. Yeah, Yeah, I'm not I'm not a big goal setter. I I don't wanna You know, I don't want to sound like I'm too comfortable where I am. Well, the what I do now is it's really, really unique, Like it would be very difficult to find a similar situation Where, um you know, where I basically with a very small team of close friends, get to put together five hours of tackle me in my home town and have, like, like, a great degree of editorial control over. I mean, you know, the news director knows what stories we're covering every day we discuss it, but we have a lot of leeway and a lot of trust to tell the stories that we want to tell. Um, it would be hard to get that somewhere else. And then and then, even within our own structure at work, there's a Sfar us hosting goes. There's not really a lot of, uh, I'm sort of at that ceiling to some degree, you know? So then it would be, you know, do I want to go into management someday, and I don't I I enjoy the on air side of things and producing. I enjoy that too much. So then if I was looking for another opportunity, it would mean, you know, moving away somewhere else. You don't want maybe to a larger market. You know, I had a few opportunities much, much earlier in my career. I haven't pursued any opportunity, other opportunities in a long, long time, because because I do enjoy what I'm doing, I think yes, you know, if anything, I wouldn't mind. And I've made some many documentaries in the past on the storyteller. I love telling story. So if my work situation shifted to someday to some degree, or as I get a little closer to retirement, whenever that is, I'll still be a storyteller. I think I'll still be. I think I'll still be writing, um, or I do have, you know, I do have a E hope. This doesn't sound so cliche, but I do have, Ah, I have a book idea. I love to write. I, uh You know, I'd like to write some day, and I'd like to make more documentaries as well. I I see that as something that I'll end up doing. Those were things that I would be excited about in the future. Um, I don't know, like I said, where I'm at now and I've been here a long, long time. I don't know if there's a ladder for me to climb that way. and, you know, I think about that sometimes, too. And, you know, because in society, I think there's always that pressure to like to doom or to get hired to keep climbing, you know? And there's, um you know, people almost look down on...

...contentment to some degree, but that could be, I think, underrated as well. I mean, if you're if you're happy in the moment in the place where you're at, then that's, you know, that's a blessing that not everybody has for sure. I don't think you're mentioning the book is a cliche. Unless you don't write it. Just just that. Just like, you know, like, well, I'm right. I'm gonna write a book. I gotta write. E got a few books. Is, you know, just on a note pad for now. Is there anything Jason and some of it you've kind of revealed? Is there anything that people may not understand about you? They see you every day. Is there anything they may not understand about you? But if they knew this, they would have a better appreciation of the work that you're bringing forth. Mm. Yeah. You know what? I don't know. I don't know. It's another thing that I love about our show is, um, I get to be quite playful on it. I take, you know, it's faras. Humor goes, I take way more liberties and chances probably than most most hosts do. Uh, it goes back, you know, just being yourself. Um, I'll go back. I'll give a showed up like Paul, many er watching Paul. Many er host the show as a kid. It's not, and he's not that much older than me. If he ever sees this, he probably like what you're talking about. He was definitely influential. Um, he just was such a natural on camera and was able to confuse humor into the situation when it felt, you know, when it felt like it was right, he just seemed like just the guy just seemed like he was really having a lot of fun doing it. And when I was watching as a kid, I didn't realize that that was influential. But But if you look back in the same role, like literally, I'm in the same role that that he was, he was once and, um, I kind of see and I talked to him very briefly about it. I see similarities between us where you know we're not afraid to sort of letter personality show. So back to your original question. I like to think that what you see is what you know. Obviously, I'm not on air. You know, I'm not always walking around smiling and joking and playing around with people in my, you know, everyday life I have. You know, I could be moody and depressed and angry like every other human being out there. But but But I am a pretty playful person and and I enjoyed people. I enjoy telling stories, and I enjoy hearing stories, and I joke, I'm a lot like my father, and I've been joking around with my family and friends recently, upstate it a couple of times that with my father, there's no such thing as strangers. He's never met a stranger. There's only like potential new friends, like he loves strangers. He loves just bumping into somebody and starting a conversation, and you know so many people because of it. And I'm probably a chip off the old block that way. You know when I go into a coffee shop, I wanna know what's everybody's names are and, you know, and what their stories are just kind of curious about people that way. And I love telling stories if they're patient enough to listen to them, then I love tell them Is there any adversity that you've had faced in your life that maybe encourages you to work, sometimes get you down? You mentioned depression, But in that you can use it to encourage people in the adversity they're facing in their work. Yeah, I think. Yeah, Yeah. It hasn't been like a smooth ride for me by any stretch. You know, I've had news directors that I've got along better with and not so much I've had, you know, you know, managers that I didn't always see eye to eye with. I've had, like, I hosted the morning show for a long time. I wore a lot of different hats on that show. Um, some of them were promotions within the show. Some of them, I sort of looked at, is almost like a demotions within the show. You know, you just kinda have toe, um, again, you gotta have that self belief that you're good at what you do and and Yeah, I also found like like everyone else would have had problems in my personal life that it's a You have to really be mindful of not letting that carry over into your work life, your work ethic, your work relationships. I think early in my career, you know, I've been with same. My wife and I have been together almost 19 years now, so we're talking a long time ago. But when my first marriage ended, you know, there's a lot of stress with that, and I I'm perfectly honest. I think it did affect my work ethic, you know, and and how present I was at work and it was a learning lesson. We're going looking...

...back on it, you know, is very fortunate to have, you know, managers that still believed in me and colleagues and coworkers that still believed in me. We're going, um, you know, I've got three daughters you know, have raised three girls. They're all like young adults now. They're all in their twenties and living their own lives. But, you know, as we've had issues with them through the teenage years or whatever and I was carrying stressed of work, the difference between me maybe a 28 vs me at, you know, 45 was like that. Work can actually be an escape from personal. Like if you can sort of get your head around it that way, that Okay, I've got I've got problems going on in my personal life here. But if I could just look at, you know, 9 to 6 in that work day as an escape from those problems at home, I think that's a much healthier way to do it where you can, you know, I'm just going to focus on what I control. And that's like, you know, the product that we're gonna put on every night of five o'clock? You know, I think if you can, that's easier said than done. But if you can kind of separate your personal issues versus you know that work ethic, I think, uh, I think it's healthier, that's for sure. That's great, Jason. Is there anything else that we haven't touched upon, Whether it's in your career or some other things that you're doing, that you enjoy anything else that you would like to add? Oh, I mean, there's I mean, way. Could A zoo probably could tell by now. I am a talker. I love talk, and I could tell you stories forever. Maybe that that's that will be book number two. When I retire, I'll tell all the some of the behind the scenes stories from over the years. Um, you know, outside of life, I just I'm a big believer in kind of staying in the moment, staying grateful, I think one of the things that I've talked to, a lot of people about this when it comes to the pandemic, I mean I mean, this is a horrible thing that connects us all, but I think there's certain silver linings in it. If you see it that way, I think it kind of makes you I ask people. Sometimes they're like, Do you remember the things that used to stress you out and get on your nerves and bother you before the pandemic? Uh, not really. And I'm like, Yeah, exactly who were. You don't even remember that. I think it it has made people sort of focus on, you know, on the things that they're most grateful for for the people that they're most grateful for. I think it really helps you focus uh, on that put things in better priority. Yeah, which it has put things on in perspective. I loved being outdoors. I love nature. You know, I love to read and passionate passionate about reading. What are you reading nowadays? Jason, I read. I kind of go on these. I always have to have a book in my life where I feel like something's kind of missing, and I sort of go on these spurts where I go. Fiction versus non fiction Right now I'm reading. It's sitting next to me. It's called The Demon in the Machine. It's This is I love science to I love like the big questions and you know what we are why we are why we're here. It's written by Paul Davies. It's called How hidden Webs of Information or Solving the Mystery of Life. It's It's that it's literally how this is a sand. Biologists are collaborating and trying to discuss trying to discover what was that initial spark that you know how we went from collection of organic molecules toe. You know that here we are sitting here having this conversation a few billion years later. Are you a physical book guy? you're not one of those e readers or no kobo. I've never read anything. I I Yeah, I don't like We have so much screen time in our lives. Thes days. I don't like being. I don't like being on the phone anymore than I'm like everyone else. I get sucked down that rabbit hole with screen time, but I just like I'm physically having the book in my hand. You know, like it just I don't know. It's very personal, A couple of questions for you just because we're talking here and you probably get this one a lot. What was one of your most impactful shows or guests that you have had throughout your career? You also did breakfast, television as well, and in Canada or Nova Scotia story. But what was maybe a guest that you met her? A story that just struck home for you? I do get asked that, and I'm usually this. Hopefully this will won't be the same, but it's kind of I think I disappoint people. I I actually, that's one thing that I have to prep because I've interviewed so many people and, um, and some, you know, some really famous people. But afterwards it's like I sort of It's almost like I forget. As time goes by, you do so many shows. You one. It wasn't a one on one interview. It was in a scrum, but I interviewed...

...with probably half a dozen other reporters. I interviewed Donald Trump, probably in 96. Maybe in 96. He was in Detroit, looking toe open up a casino, Um, and which was a big deal toe Windsor? Because Windsor had legalized gambling. Detroit did. And so I get sent over toe Thio cover the story. Donald Trump's coming to town and he didn't get the bid. He didn't get the contract, but he was promising this, and he was promising that he just seemed like a You know, everybody was famous at the time already, But, you know, he's just very cocky, very arrogant and very boastful. I certainly didn't think of us, you know, interviewing. Ah, future president. No way it that goes back to what you said about the show is you prepare for it, you do it. And then at the end, you put it away, and I think that's what happens when you do these interviews you talk to people, it's It's not that you could go back and watch it and you can have all those same memories and even the same feelings. But you move on to the next one, and that's probably why it's hard to think of one in particular. And I totally understand people ask me what was the most memorable yours right now. Many moments, you know, like there's been a few. There's not many interviews that make me nervous. There's been a few interviews over the years that that just because I felt like a fan, it's hard to interview somebody I find most difficult. Interviews are ones where I interview somebody that I admire a great deal, because once I sort of slipped out of that professional mode, um ato least in my head, it could get a little bit awkward. I interviewed the Black Heat on time and I was This is, you know, before they actually played in Halifax. They were there in a summer fast kind of concert. They were like there was like five other bands on the bill before them. They were years from having a hit, but I was a big fan interview with Terrible and never even went got the light of day because I just wanted to interview them so bad. Then we got we. Once we started, I was like, I'm like a deer in the headlights. I have no idea what I actually wanted to even talk to them about, and I certainly didn't know what to talk to them about That would actually be relevant for people in the Maritimes. Probably 99 out of 100 had never heard of the Black Keys at this point. So that was Gila Floor was on a sports fan, too. And Vila Flor for for someone my age, you know, it that was that was very surreal. He seemed larger than life to me. David Suzuki of Interviewed twice. That was That was like just being able to sit there and pick his brain twice one time for two plus hours, because he was with me live. But they were only checking in with me every 10 minutes. So we do it a minute and a half interview every 10 minutes. Now we had 10 minutes in between for 2.5 hours where we're just standing there just him and I and like a you know, a cameraman and and a live truck operator. And eso what are we going to talk about? So to be ableto pick his brain for several hours. Um, Justin Trudeau like, uh, when he was heavily involved with a team of it, he came to the old qh High School in in Halifax. One time, Same sort of scenario on the morning show. He's hanging out with me basically for 2.5 hours. Um, this is years before he entered politics, you know? And so just kind of talking to a man. Demand at the time. You know, as I think about it, like there's and there's Maura. I got sent the Hollywood just very last minute on a filling in for somebody on a Hollywood excursion once, years ago, that was that was really, really eye opening, you know, like and surreal. Like my career is like, you know, it's it's there's colleagues and I that sometimes look at each other and go. Can you believe we're doing this right now? What are we doing? Look at this. This is This is crazy, you know, like whoever thought we have this opportunity. So I think you have a very interesting job and I think you Seymour are very young at heart. So many years to you. How can people people can obviously find you? See TV Monday to Friday at five. Is there other way it can connect with you on social media or your big on social media? I'll probably disappointed them on social media. Have my friends say all your on instagram I'm like, Well, I have an account, which is I don't know, it's a I Yeah, I'm on Twitter. I'm on Facebook, I'm on. I'm on instagram eso you know, they could probably just, you know, to search my name and find me that way. I find that leak social media for me is it's not love. Hate. It's not that strong, but I just find in some ways the world's so connected these days. But I also think there's like this correlation where the mawr digitally connected. We are. Sometimes we're disconnected to the world around us. So...

I really do enjoy unplugging Aziz. Well, so my most sorry. Go ahead. No, it's after you. No, I'm just Well, it's It's the way if you're walking down the street, What you're saying is, if you know someone you could say hi to, but they're too busy on their phone. That's that disconnection even though they're connected and especially if you know you're on an elevator. Someone Hey, hey, They're not acknowledging you, and you're right. I think we're overly connected to the point. We're disconnected from our fellow humans. Yeah, Yeah, I think so. I mean, I contact, you know, it's like, you know, if you're looking down all the time I had someone. It's changed so quickly, right? It's changed so quickly. Yeah, I read somewhere that, you know, if you were looking down like if you were looking down on New York, Toronto or even Halifax and watching people, you have never observed humans before that that they almost look like we almost look devotional now, like we're walking and, you know, reading from the tablet or something, as we're as we're walking along, you know, like, well, it's it's head down now, Like lost in thought rather than head up. Yeah, it's quite unfortunate, Jason, I have one final question for you, sir. Sure. Why do you work? Because I love it. That's the That's the simple answer. I love it. Um, my father raised sources. My father worked at the dockyard for 30 plus years. Ah, job that he appreciated it but did not enjoy. And he had a second full time job my entire childhood. And he was still racing horses in the sixties 10 years ago. But he raced horses. That was his passion. Waas was training and driving standard bred racehorses, And I saw at an early age how much he loved it. And then I saw how the grind of, like, going to a job that he didn't feel his passenger boat. So I had both examples right in front of me. Throughout my childhood. It was like, Oh, so I could see like All right, well, if you're just doing a career just because you need a job, well, that's gonna be a long you know. You know, those gonna be some long decades. But if you find something that you're passionate about and you love, it doesn't even feel like work. And I've been really fortunate to find something that I love. I still love it may be, you know, and as I get older and get closer to the finish line. Maybe I appreciate it. Even Maura, at this age of 50. Um, then I did even 15 or 20 years ago, and and sometimes I'm like, only if it ended today. It was a career. Like, how did I go from that guy sleeping on his buddy sofas till? Like, Look, I had a career. Like, if I never worked in this industry again, people would say, Oh, he had a long career in broadcast, you know? Yeah, that's that seems a little strange to me looking back, but time flies. Was your dad at the Downs view in her sackful downs? Yeah. E where I grew up? Yeah. My mom worked there too. Yeah, Yeah, on the, uh she was, Yeah. She was up in the top. Yeah. Interesting. Right. My grandfather had some horses, too. Jason Baxter, co host producer at C T. V. At five. Thank you for your time. And I appreciate the work that you do. Jason. Brian, it was a pleasure. Is it was fun to talk. Teoh talk to you about Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too can be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive yet joyful day in your work.

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