Broadcasting from Kitchener

Who says that community-driven news is dead?

Kevin Newman, one of Canadian journalism’s most well known faces was broadcast from Kitchener-Waterloo on Oct. 13.

On a frigid day, Global TV’s national news program Global National was televised from outside the front of Kitchener City Hall.

Newman, Global National’s lead anchor, explained to The Cord that he’s impressed with how much the twin cities have grown, even just in the last few years.

He’s always been fond of the Kitchener-Waterloo area and has been here many times.

“I used to float down the Grand River in an inner-tube with a bucket of beer attached to it,” he said, laughing at the memory from when he was young man.

As a part of Global National’s tour of smaller communities, the show aired stories about Oktoberfest, polka music legend and Grammy-winner Walter Ostanek, as well as a story about a local cemetery that is home to the graves of German POWs from the Second World War.

Newman explained that the choice to schedule a stop in KW was an easy one.

“We have a lot of viewers in Kitchener-Waterloo and we want to keep them, so it’s important to show up and to reflect the community and remind people that we care.”

A native of Toronto, Newman got his start in journalism at the University of Western Ontario where he helped start up the university’s first radio station.

When he graduated, he spent more than a decade working for CTV, CBC and Global TV at different times. In the mid 1990s he departed for the United States journalism scene. It was here that Newman spent several years working at ABC anchoring World News Now and co-anchoring Good Morning America.

Even though he was making more money and enjoying a whole new level of fame he had not experienced with Canadian-based networks, he sorely missed his roots.

“[Anchors are] storytellers,” he said, “And I enjoyed telling stories to an American audience. But at the end of the day I didn’t really understand the audiences as well as I understand Canadians.”

So when Global National was launched in the fall of 2001, Newman jumped at the chance to return to his native land and to help establish the show.

“I felt most comfortable telling stories to Canadians because I feel them in my gut… and that meant the most to me I think in the long run,” he said.