A radio station manager advises students not to make her mistake

By Letre Sweeting

Feb. 10, 2016

Jennifer Evans wanted to be a television news broadcaster.

While studying journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Evans worked as a production assistant at Breakfast Television.

After graduating, Evans’ news director at Breakfast Television called her into his office for an opportunity.

The news director said Breakfast television was creating a new position for Evans.

“This is it! My big break I’m going on be on live at five,” she thought.

LS NewCap Radio
Jennifer Evans talks to journalism students Feb. 5 at Holland College in Charlottetown about how to get into the media industry. Letre Sweeting photo

He asked her to be the new Breakfast Television diner waitress, who roller skates out and announces what is on the menu every morning.

“Are you kidding me, I just spent four years in journalism, I’m going to be the next Lisa Laflamme,” thought Evans.

“Oh no, no thank you, but no, I don’t think anyone would ever take me seriously as a broadcast journalist if I ever did that,” she said.

Today, Evans is the general sales manager of Newcap Radio stations in Charlottetown, which owns Ocean 100, Hot 105.5 and many other radio stations across Canada. She spoke at Holland College to Journalism students on Feb. 5.

Evans loves what she does, but she regrets her mistake over 18 years ago turning down her first opportunity into broadcast television.

Her advice to journalism students is to be open to any opportunities in the industry.

“Today, we’re looking for people who can do everything.”

Students studying to be in this industry should be sponges of information, she said.

“If you don’t love the news, you’re in the wrong program. You have to be nosy.”

The challenge with radio is keeping the listeners’ attention.

“If you’re actually going to talk to me, it better be something good, and don’t keep my attention too long ‘cause I’m going back to my phone if you’re boring.”

Scott Chapman agrees. He is the radio co-host and news director of Newcap Radio Charlottetown and has been in broadcast for 25 years.

Though audio is a big part of broadcast radio, writing is the key to bringing listeners the latest news in a short and quick format at Newcap radio stations, he said.

He likes to think of listeners as friends, he said.

“Maybe you’ve gone home and you’re sitting at the dinner table and you’re telling a story and that is what you’re doing essentially in a news cast, especially in private radio.”

Newcap Radio was born in Charlottetown. It is now the largest radio broadcaster in Atlantic Canada. It’s head office in Dartmouth, NS.