When First Edition’s Toni-Marie Wiseman prepares for the day, she focuses on viewers by renewing her passion for the job, fueled by the relationships she has with those she works with
There’s no doubt that Toni-Marie Wiseman takes her job very seriously. On the day Wiseman sits down with The Herald she has many balls in the air. There was the personal; her daughter, Grace, won an award at her school, so there was the presentation ceremony that couldn’t be missed.
There’s also planning for a visit to host the news out of Deer Lake for this year’s winter games themed Get Gold in the Cold, and both she and NTV’s Chief Meteorologist, Eddie Sheerr, will be hitting the road before you know it. They also chat about that evening’s show and what can be expected on Wiseman’s First Edition.
Jodi Cooke and Heather Gillis are both working on stories for that evening, but there’s always time for banter. They stop and take a moment to discuss their stories and the flow of their day.
“Being a woman in this business is something I take seriously; I think we all do. But we’re all equal here. Everyone has a job to do and if we all do that job well, then the show is a success,” says Wiseman.
Political expert Michael Connors is preparing for the House of Assembly to open and with the upcoming PC leadership race on the horizon, he’s non stop. He and Wiseman take a moment to discuss that day’s political events.
Danielle Barron and Glenn Andrews also pop by. Barron is heading out on assignment and Andrews is preparing a few pieces for Wiseman’s show; his Today’s Fishery and The Business File. He pauses to chat.
When asked if he’s a big help to Wiseman, he jokes easily saying; “Help? I do all the work, she just sits there.” Wiseman laughs.
“We’ve worked together for many years, so I don’t mind him at all,” she laughs. As the two focus on that evening’s show, the tone mellows a little. “You love The Business File. You have a passion for that, I think,” she says.
“I do. I love promoting local business, especially mom and pop shops or young people who are starting out, young entrepreneurs,” he says.
‘Behind the Camera’
Most business owners are excited to see Andrews, he adds, though sometimes he admits preparing Today’s Fishery can be tough.
“So much has changed, and there’s times when the fishery is busy, and times when it isn’t,” explains Andrews.
“The fishery is an interesting part of who we are, and we have to try to keep it fresh every week and try to come up with a new angle on a story or to come up with a new story. So, Glenn has to dig a little deeper, so sometimes it’s more challenging. But we try our very best, and Glenn does a great job,” says Wiseman.
Besides doing his features for First Edition, Andrews is also a full time cameraman for NTV’s flagship show, The NTV Evening Newshour.
“Glenn works on my show on Mondays and Tuesdays, but when people see those live interviews I do on First Edition, Glenn is the person behind the camera.”
Andrews smiles. “On days I’m shooting a Business File or a Today’s Fishery, I could also be shooting for Danielle Barron or shooting for Heather Gillis, so my days are busy doing camera work for other people while also doing my own features,” he says.
That everyone in the NTV newsroom get along is apparent, but Wiseman and Andrews seem to have a special bond. “We have worked together a long time. 21 years, I’d say, and we’ve done many concerts and events together over the years,” explains Andrews.
“We’ve done the Junos when they were here. I was covering entertainment then, and Glenn was my camera person. There was Backstage Pass, and weather hits, and he was there for a nice few of those.”
The Cherry on Top
And while the work always gets done, there’s also fun to be had, too. Like the time Andrews kept distracting Wiseman with, what else? Cherry tomatoes.
“One night, years ago, I was recording the NTV News Latenight, it used to be called. This one night, it was right after there had been a provincial leader’s debate in the studio, so there was lots of food leftovers around because there had been lots of guests,” Wiseman begins.
Andrews, who had been working behind the scenes on camera, was busy setting up and tearing down equipment.
“So, here I was, trying to record this show and Glenn kept rolling cherry tomatoes across the desk at me. Off camera, but enough to distract me and crack me up,” she says laughing at the memory.
Andrews admits he kept outtakes of that evening “somewhere.”
“We’ve shot a lot of stuff together, W,” says Andrews. W?
“Maybe twice since I’ve known him, has he ever called me Toni or Toni-Marie. He calls me Wiseman or ‘W’. I call him Glenneth.”
Andrews shows his phone. There’s Wiseman’s number entered simply as ‘W’.
The two laugh. “The relationship you have with those you work with on the job is so important,” says Andrews.
Wiseman agrees, adding; “You have to be able to be yourself and be honest with the person you’re working with.”
“With everyone here, we can be ourselves. We really get along and have fun and it makes the day go better,” says Andrews.
“Work besties,” says Wiseman with a smile.
The two have a history together.
”I was doing the half hour show that Amanda (Mews) does now, NTV’s Entertainment News. Well, what I liked to do, and Glenn would help, was to fill that half hour show with as much local entertainment as possible. It could be a concert or a battle of the bands or the George Street Festival or the Junos or the ECMAs. We would go to the News Director and say, we would like to go do this or that, and they’d like the idea, and Glenn and I would go do it.”
Now, the two enjoy the work they can still do together for First Edition.
“Your Business Files are very good,” says Wiseman.
“I enjoy those. I have so much fun,” he says with obvious pride.
Wiseman compliments Andrews on a piece he did on Kraken Robotics.
“That was so interesting. The new technology being created in this province is amazing and its being used all around the world to help people. The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, that missing plane, the technology that’s helping was developed and created right here by Newfoundlanders. That’s incredible,” says Wiseman, but the pieces she loves don’t always have to be about the latest and the greatest.
“I really liked the one you did on Modern Shoe Hospital, too,” she adds.
“That was fun. I like the ones that can be a little silly, or a little different. Like yesterday I was at Downtown Comics. I used a picture of myself and Toni and I was dressed as Captain Canada.”
There’s another piece he did that Wiseman admired, one shot at Avalon Tech & Tailor.
“What a fun piece. What a fantastic story. There’s a little shop, the two are husband and wife who moved to Newfoundland and wanted to start their own little business. He repairs smart phones and tablets and on the other side, like ten feet away, she does tailoring. So you can drop off your phone to get it repaired while she is hemming your skirt.”
Danielle Barron pops by again before she heads out on yet another assignment. She and Andrews had travelled together to Labrador during the last provincial election.
“Do you know Glenn ended up getting married to someone he met on Dwight Ball’s tour bus?” Barron says with a twinkle in her eye.
It’s true. Andrews married Ball’s former director of communications, Nancy O’Connor, who is now Nancy Andrews.
“If we spoke for ten minutes the four or five days on the bus, that was it, then she sent me a message that said, Merry Christmas, in Christmas of 2015. I thought, who else did she send that to? And it looked like it was just me, so three days later was our first date and we got married last September.”
The Key to Happiness
So, what’s the key to happiness, at least on the job?
“The key, I think, is to enjoy what you are doing, and surround yourself with great people,” says Wiseman.
“I love what I do every single day, and I enjoy the people I work with”, says Andrews.
“Make what you do enjoyable every single day and if you really enjoy it, that will come across. If you are interviewing people you find interesting or you find their stories interesting, then that is going to come across and be interesting for the viewer. And it helps if those you work with feel the same,” shares Wiseman.
Andrews has to head out, but he has another tidbit to share before he does. “I don’t put my face in front the camera, but I love my job. I love shooting for everybody else who has their face out there. If I do my job well, then they look good and the viewer gets the best of everyone’s hard work.”
Wiseman smiles. “How can you not love working together with someone like that?”