Storyteller

Content creator

Strategic communicator 

I'm a Canadian network news veteran with more than 25 years of experience in journalism and communications;  

telling the stories, selling the message, informing Canadians. 

 

From news to sports to politics I've worked with the biggest names including Peter Mansbridge, Lloyd Robertson, Lisa Laflamme, Craig Oliver, Brian Williams and others. 

With CTV Chief News Anchor Lloyd Robertson during the years when I was senior writer for CTV National News

With CTV Chief News Anchor Lisa Laflamme in 2018

Over the years I've developed a broad and diverse skillset. In television news: producing, writing and reporting, to managing newsrooms, mentoring talent and leadership roles. And in communications: crafting press releases,

op-eds, writing speeches, organizing media events, media relations and creating eye catching video content for social media.  

With Ontario Premier Doug Ford at media event I organized in April 2019 as a Director of Commmunications.

Career highlights include:

 

  •        helping design, launch and manage a national TV news network

  •        producer for 2010 winter Olympic coverage

  •        senior writer for Canada's #1 national newscast

  •        documentary executive producer

  •        independent video production

  •        Journalism instructor at Humber College 

  •        Director of Communications for an Ontario Cabinet minister

After breaking into the business, as an editorial assistant at CBC National News, I moved on to bold new challenges including freelance reporting in the Middle East during the 1991 Gulf War. My work was heard on American radio networks and CBC Newsworld. 

Back on home turf I worked as a news writer and lineup editor for CTV’s Canada AM, then was promoted to CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson. 

Freeelance journalist during 1991 Gulf War. Based in Jerusalem, preparing to file radio report after Scud missile attack on Israel. 

Several memorable years were spent as senior writer for “Canada’s Most Trusted News Anchor”, Lloyd Robertson.  Through federal elections, international crises, breaking news, and major national events I helped shape content and coverage on the biggest stories of the day, with nightly audiences of than a million viewers, making it Canada’s most watched newscast. I also played other roles at CTV News including producer, lineup editor, online writer and assignment editor. 

 

 

In the news pit at CTV National News

Surge Media launched. I developed and led a series of news writing and presentation seminars for various clients including Canada AM, CTV Newsnet and CFCF Montreal. 

Later I managed the writing desk at CITY TV News in Toronto, and then joined the 2010 Olympic Broadcast Consortium as a features producer. 

Manuals I created for news writing and presentation workshops for various news clients across Canada. 

In the run up to the Olympic games, as a freelance producer, I wrote and produced several pieces for the series "Road to Vancouver", presented by Olympic Prime Time Host Brian Williams. I also produced many of the official "snapshot" athlete profiles which aired during Olympic coverage on CTV, TSN and Sportsnet. There was also the Olympic series "Power of Community" which examined how some athlete's home communities inspired their rise to Olympic greatness. A few video examples are below:

 

VIDEO: An Olympic "Power of Community" feature video on Canadian cross country skier Chandra Crawford. 

VIDEO: One of the official Olympic "snapshots" I produced. This one features Canadian skeleton athlete Melissa Hollingsworth

After the Olympics Surge Media produced corporate videos for a number of clients.  A few examples are in the video section. 

 

It was a huge challenge: to plan, build and launch a national news network from the ground up in just a few short months. 

 

I oversaw many aspects of the network’s creation, including planning, hiring, training, studio and bureau design, assignment processes, and news programming for the channel. 

 

After launch I directed and managing the editorial team and daily news coverage, oversaw news specials and big event coverage. I was also involved in administration, forward financial planning and budgeting for multi-million dollar cross country operations. 

 

 

 

 

When an opportunity came up to help design and launch Canada's newest all news network, I jumped at it, becoming the founding News Director for the Sun News Network in September 2010. 

Front cover of the Toronto Sun on the launch of Sun News Network on April 18, 2010. 

With Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, at the official launch of Sun News Network

In green shirt far side, leading the team in the early days of Sun News

Overseeing the main news studio build

Set for afternoon news program Canada Live. 

Sun News coverage of BC election night, May 13, 2013.

After nearly four years as News Director I left that role in the spring of 2014. Afterwards, as an independent producer, I created special programming for the network, including the 90 minute feature documentary "Down Wind" which examined Ontario's wind power industry and affected communities. The documentary is up to almost 170,000 views on YouTube. I also produced a number of current affairs specials which aired across Canada. 

The two part 2 hour network series Putin's War: Battle for Ukraine aired in September, 2014.

The network special ISIS Rising: Dawn of a New Terror aired in October 2014.

 

The special Ebola: Global Hot Zone aired in November 2014, at the height of the Ebola crisis. 

VIDEO: the feature documentary Down Wind

In 2015 I returned to CTV National News with Lisa Laflamme, Canada's #1 network news program.  Responsible for writing intros and voiceovers on top news stories, vetting and editing reporters scripts, packaging items and assisting with special news coverage, including federal election campaign 2015.  

With CTV National News Chief News Anchor Lisa Laflamme in 2018

Inside CTV National news room 

I also expanded Surge Media into a full service video content creation company, specializing in premium online video solutions. Here's some of our latest videos: below on the left a short promo shot and produced for Big Picture Conferences from the HotelNext 2017 conference, and, on the right, a promo piece produced for the Ontario Craft Brewers Association to promote Ontario Craft Beer Week 2016.

In the spring of 2018 I added Journalism Instructor to my skill set, after being hired by Humber College in Toronto to teach two broadcast journalism courses at its main campus. 

In the fall of 2018 I left the news business to take up a position with the Government of Ontario as the Director of Communications for Minister Ernie Hardeman (Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) in the government of Premier Doug Ford. It was a heavy lift, as a new government with an bold action plan. 

I was responsible for overseeing all communications for the Minister, including news releases, speech writing, 

media relations, organizing media events and crafting social media. With my TV news background, I brought innovative new approaches to social media content as I shot, editing and produced Minister Hardeman's online videos. 

With Ontario Premier Doug Ford in December 2018 

Minister Ernie Hardeman giving speech I wrote at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association Conference 2018

Premier Doug Ford, Minister Ernie Hardeman and Environment Minister Rod Phillips at media event I organized near Woodstock in April 2019.

Premier Doug Ford, Minister Ernie Hardeman and Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Keith Currie at Ontario Agriculture Week photo op I helped organize in October 2018. 

Below are several examples of the video content I created for the Minister's social media channels: 

So, check out our website. Take a look around. It's packed with videos, photos, and information about what Surge Media can offer. 

WHAT'S NEW

LATEST NEWS

 

Welcome to our new website. It's packed with video, photos and lots more about what Surge Media can offer you. 

 

DAILY DISH

DAILY DISH

 

Surge Media is a full service video content creation company. Looking for an online edge in your video storytelling - go with the Surge. 

GET IN TOUCH

Jeff Wigle

Toronto, Ontario Canada

Mail: jeff.wigle@surgemedia.ca

 

 

© 2019 Jeff Wigle, Surge Media Canada

In the news "pit" at CTV National News