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My advice would be: be versatile because the more you can do the more valuable you are. Try to learn a little bit of everything because especially when you are working alone. Be patient because this industry will test you mentally.

Ian Duffy

Sports Anchor

Global News Regina

× The interview with Ian Duffy was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

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1When did you realize that you wanted to work specifically in sports media? Was there a specific job within the industry you had a goal of achieving right away?

Like most kids who grow up loving sports, the harsh reality eventually set in that I wasn’t going to be able to make a living off of playing hockey or lacrosse for very different reasons.

That was probably around the beginning of high school for me. But growing up the son of a coach/referee who coached with and against players who made the NHL I’ve always had a different perspective in the way I watch games and because of that my friends would always tell me that I should be a broadcaster.

Eventually, I realized I did love talking about sports and maybe I could make a possible career in that a reality. 

As for a job I wanted to achieve, hosting a PTI or Tim & Sid type show where you can give your opinion on a variety of topics has always been something I’ve wanted to do.

However, as you enter the industry you realize there are lots of steps along the way and dues to be paid to reach a job like that.

In the back of my head working for the Cleveland Browns has always been a dream but I’m not sure how objective I could be doing that.

2You have worked as a sports anchor for Global News Regina since April 2017. What is the best thing about being a sports anchor? What is the most challenging thing about your job?

The best thing about being a sports anchor is that you get to wake up every day and do something you’re passionate about.

You get to meet and talk to people you idolized growing up. You get to be around the games and practices and tell athletes’ stories.

You get access to things the average “fan” does not.

Even though it’s technically “work” or a “job” it doesn’t always feel that way.

Sometimes when I take a step back I’m able to laugh about getting paid to do what I do but it has pros and cons like any job. 

The most challenging part about the job is moving across the country to a city where I’d never been before and I didn’t know a single person.

I knew one family in the entire province when I moved here and they live more than two hours away from me. Part of the job is also working late nights and weekends and that can be challenging as far as having a social life.

As much as you love the job sometimes there are other things you feel like you’re missing out on or you’d rather be doing but that’s just human nature.

And lastly the uncertainty of this ever-evolving industry and what your next step is can be challenging mentally as well sometimes.

3Television anchors may have to cover a broad range of topics when entering the industry, sometimes by doing sports anchoring on weekends before moving into a full time role. What were your thoughts on the opportunity presented to you by Global Regina?

To be honest, considering my lack of experience when I got offered this job I was kind of shocked but excited to take on a new challenge and adventure. I considered myself lucky that our news director at the time was willing to take a chance on me.

I didn’t have to go work in a super small town out of school. I kind of skipped that step and went straight to covering the most lucrative franchise in the CFL and some elite WHL and USPORTS teams in a full time role.

But I’ve learned that opportunities in this industry are very subjective and have a lot to do with luck and timing. Versatility and people skills don’t hurt either.

It was tough sledding out of the gate but I had some great coworkers who were super helpful in giving me advice, confidence and getting me up to speed.

The best way to learn is by doing it and getting experience and I’d like to think I’ve come a long way.

4What does the typical day look like for you at the station?

Right now my typical days covering local sports are a little slower than usual. But a normal Friday for example during normal times has a lot of variety. 

I come into work at 2 PM and at that point, I either go out to shoot a story or an interview or just start putting together something I’ve already shot.

Hopefully, I am able to shoot said story in the days leading up to Friday to save me some time but either way, I spend the afternoon working on a story (which would likely be a game preview or some sort of feature) for our 6 PM sportscast. 

When that is done I start building or lining up the 10 o’clock sportscasts for Regina and Saskatoon. Once that is done I put my suit on and go into the studio to pre-record any on cameras or voice overs that can be done before 7 PM.

Because at 7 PM I usually go out to a University of Regina football, hockey, volleyball or basketball game and shoot as much visuals as I can for highlights.

At a certain point, I have to leave and get back to the station to write and edit 3-4 USPORTS/WHL/CFL highlight packs for the 10 PM cast.

When those are done I race into the studio and voice said packs plus 3-4 highlight packs from Saskatoon before our 10:30 air time. Then I take a deep breath and hopefully go home before 11 pm.

5Aspiring Sports Anchors usually have to cut their teeth doing alternative roles before becoming full time anchors. This sometime entails being a bit older with more experience before landing in their dream role. What advice would you give for aspiring sports anchors who are just entering the industry?

I am always looking for that advice myself so I’m not sure I should be giving it out but when I started at Global I was just reporting and doing some fill-in anchoring.

Eventually, because of structure changes, I got an opportunity to anchor full time on top of still reporting. We only have 2 sports guys at Global Regina so you have to do a little bit of everything.

My advice would be:

  • Be versatile because the more you can do the more valuable you are
  • Edit, shoot & produce if you get the chance
  • Try to learn a little bit of everything because especially when you are working weekends there is no one there to help you with tech issues etc. That way you eventually don’t have to rely on other people
  • If you get a chance to do a live hit do it even if you think you can’t because if you fall flat on your face you will still learn from that experience
  • Be patient because this industry will test you mentally
  • Whether it be a tough day at the office stumbling over your words and blanking on what you were going to say or the uncertainty of your next job or getting rejected for an opportunity you really wanted.

  • Believe you’ll get there eventually with experience

Matias Bueno Matias's Final Thoughts

It was very insightful to speak with Ian Duffy about his journey in sports media thus far. It is not as common to see very young people like Ian in the role of sports anchor soon but he has done a great job excelling. Aspiring sports anchors can benefit greatly from the advice that Ian gives in this article as there are many challenges to be aware of when working on television. However, the benefits that exist make the job worthwhile for people cut out for this kind of work. The emphasis on being patient and versatile are very key to navigating sports media as a whole. This is because jobs are never guaranteed with how much the industry can change and evolve over time. 

Connect With Ian Duffy

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