The professional evolution of NTV anchor, entertainment reporter and multifaceted broadcaster Amanda Mews
She’s perhaps NTV’s most versatile journalist. That’s a profound statement when you consider the station’s talented news team features a host of multi-talented broadcasters –award-winning reporters who, when not in the field, are bringing viewers the latest news from the anchor desk.
Amanda Mews, 33, is incredibly bright, analytical, resourceful and inquisitive – all key characteristics that have helped elevate her career over the past decade.
“She’s dynamic and her skills are endless,” says Mark Dwyer, NTV’s Director of News and Current Affairs. “Amanda is a huge part of NTV’s success and our viewers absolutely love her.”
AN AMBITIOUS REPORTER
Much has changed since Mews arrived at NTV as an ambitious intern in the spring of 2009. She quickly carved out a niche by learning the latest computer software, troubleshooting technical problems for reporters, and becoming administrator for NTV’s teleprompter, script and video system. She took video feeds from reporters all over the island and, most importantly, earned the respect of her peers in the news room. “She worked very hard and made a great impression on me,” recalls Lynn Burry, who has mentored the MUN graduate since those early days. “She’s worked very hard.”
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Mews’ career would evolve. She would quickly become production assistant for NTV News: First Edition, embracing the role of, as she calls it, Glen Carter’s ‘right-hand woman’. She’d pitch stories, download national and international content and, in essence, apply her fingertips into all aspects of the popular half-hour show.
“She was a pro and I think we all knew Amanda was destined for bigger and better things,” says Carter, who has anchored news programs all over the country, including the last 13 years at NTV.
Despite her talent behind the scenes, Mews would find herself staring into the camera in 2011 – first hosting the Herald Minute and later Entertainment Checkpoints. It was there, from the anchor desk, where viewers learned what her NTV colleagues already knew – she was a natural.
“The transition to on-air role was a gradual one. I love a challenge and, well, it’s such an exciting career,” says Mews. “I’ve embraced each opportunity and am so thankful that people believed in me.”
Her big break, though, came in the spring of 2013. Toni-Marie Wiseman was transitioning from weather presenter to anchor of First Edition, creating a major void. Wiseman, of course, had also spent two decades as the station’s beloved entertainment reporter, winning a handful of music industry awards as the province’s media person of the year. Wiseman’s promotion would create a rare opportunity, an opening for entertainment reporter for the province’s top newscast. “As someone who grew up in the arts, this was a dream come true,” says Mews, who has since featured many of the province’s top entertainers, from musicians and actors to authors and athletes.
Her weekly feature Backstage Pass, which celebrates the best in local entertainment, is one of the station’s most popular features. She also anchors NTV Entertainment News, a half-hour program that airs on Saturdays, and her ‘Your Community’ daily feature perfectly captures Mews’ personality.
She can front a hard-news segment on a Monday, for example, and skate with Olympic medalist Kaetlyn Osmond the following day. Her warm, aw shucks personality resonates with the audience. “She’s a very genuine person and that shines through,” says Burry, awarded a lifetime achievement award at last year’s Atlantic Journalism Awards.
Along with Lynn Burry, Toni-Marie Wiseman has also been a major influence on her career. “She has been a wealth of knowledge and has always had my back,” says Mews. “She was one of the encouraging voices, giving me confidence to pursue a co-hosting opportunity when I felt like I wasn’t good enough.”
Well, Amanda Mews has a secret. She has earned yet another new opportunity as co-anchor of The Sunday Evening Newshour, sitting alongside friend and colleague Jodi Cooke.
“I’m delighted. She’s the perfect choice,” says Cooke, senior anchor of the Sunday program for the past decade. “Amanda takes great pride in everything she does and it’s a pleasure working with her.”
And, don’t worry, her role as entertainment reporter remains intact. She’ll continue to profile the movers and shakers of the entertainment world, locally and nationally, and you’ll continue to see her daily on NTV with her ‘Your Community’ feature. “This is a step in the right direction for my career and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” says Mews. “I still get to do all the others things I love and grow my career at the same time. It’s right where I want to be.”
Mews is as authentic as the rural towns where she grew up. She spent the first nine years of her life in the tiny northern Labrador town of Postville, embracing its natural beauty and culture. She’d leave the big land after primary school and spend the rest of her childhood in picturesque Birchy Bay, the small community clinging to the edge of Notre Dame Bay. Living in those tranquil, remote towns proved defining.
THE BIGGEST IMPACT
“One of the beautiful things about small towns is the transfer of knowledge,” she says. “I grew up listening to stories, music, and going to see “skits” at the town hall. I was always surrounded by stories.”
But the story that had the biggest impact on her young life would come on that harrowing Sept. 11 morning in 2001. Mews was a Grade 10 student at Lewisporte Collegiate when the world changed. Almost 3,000 people died that day in the worst terrorist attack on America, and numerous passengers were diverted to this province – some to Mews’ school.
“We had stranded passengers in our gymnasium for days. Students all brought toiletries and whatever they could to assist,” she recalls. “Those days really opened my eyes to the world outside my own, how connected we all are.”
Empathy, compassion and honesty are all essential components to making a connection with an audience, and it’s exactly what Mews brings to NTV’s viewers each and every day. Yes, much has changed since that work term a decade ago. She’s literally done it all – from coordinating resources for a provincial election, to floor directing the Janeway Telethon, to interviewing international stars. And perhaps her most endearing quality is the fact she welcomes each assignment with humility and grace.
Her promotion is merely the latest chapter in the professional evolution of Amanda Mews.