10 Facts about my Career with The Weather Network

Okay bonus fact I love my job & we really have a ton of fun in our studios! But here are a few facts you may not know about my role with The Weather Network.

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1.I started as an intern/traffic reporter

In 2011 I worked in our newsroom for a month as an intern. I was then hired on as a traffic reporter as Pelmorex Media launched a traffic division called “Travelers Network”. I had to work very hard to become a good traffic reporter. Honest moment – when I got the job I could not even confidently tell you where the Gardiner was. I would draw out all the highways in the greater Toronto region again and again trying to memorize them all! I wanted to show the team that I would do anything to get in front of that green screen, so a traffic reporter was born.

2. My day starts at 3 AM

The life of a morning show host. This is a lot of going to bed early and waking up in, what most would consider, the middle of the night. It takes a lot of commitment to make this a “normal” way to live but so far, so good. I’m usually in bed by 7:30 pm, so that means I eat dinner between 3 & 4 pm. Most people don’t really realize the “odd” lifestyle of the morning show teams. On the weekend I sleep in till 5 or 6 AM, and that really is “sleeping in” if you can believe it!

3. It’s all done on a green screen

All the weather maps you see on TV are not actually behind me. I present all the weather in front of a green wall and then with the magic of television that green wall disappears and maps take its place. I can see what I am pointing to and what maps are coming up next because we have monitors to both sides of me and in front of me that I follow. Essentially they allow me to see what the product looks like on air. Here is a reality VS TV look:

And fun fact, each morning I spend a lot of time all by myself in our giant green bubble. Our cameras are all automatic, the director, John, is down the hall, our reporter Kevin joins us from a new location every morning and the morning show producer works in the news pit. I do spend some time twice an hour with our national host Nicole, but other than that I’m flying solo.

4. I could not wait to be the “weather girl”

When I was in elementary school I remember being very fascinated with people on TV  and why someone would want to do such a nerve-rstudiopicacking job! The fascination turned into a passion and by the time I got to high school I was telling everyone that one day I would be the weather girl! It was a very neat moment for me when I went back to my high school to do an Earth Day shoot for The Weather Network. My grade 9 geography teacher stopped me in the hall to remind me that in his class I told everyone that one day I would work for The Weather Network. It’s amazing when things come full circle!

 

5. Video Journalism really helped launch my career

I was one of the first video journalists ever hired at TWN. Now all of our reporters act as video journalists. So what’s the difference? A reporter plans stories, speaks on camera and has another person with them as a camera operator and editor. As a video journalist you do both roles. It can be a very tough job. Setting up your shots, carrying around all the gear, interviewing people with no one to assist with camera work – it is a lot to think about! I learned these skills while I attended the Video Journalism program at Conestoga. I’m so happy I took on the challenge & learned this modern way of reporting. It was great to demonstrate these skills as I launched my career. Even today I still edit most of my own reports, I find it fun!

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6. I am not a meteorologist

Most people assume anyone on television speaking about the weather is a meteorologist. Truth is, many are not! We rely on a weather briefing before each show, where we join a meteorologist and talk about the weather today & beyond. We look at different models for temperatures, wind and precipitation. I love finding out why certain things are happening. Why do we get lake effect snow? Why is the thunderstorm risk so high in certain places? It’s always a good conversation at the briefing desk. I then take this information and turn it into a morning show!

7. I’ve talked weatshatner.jpgher with William Shatner

In 2016 The Weather Network had me on this project called “Celebrity Weather”. I was flying back and forth to Santa Monica (which is a super cool spot) and on one of my trips I was meeting William Shatner. I was there acting as a producer / on air host. We had this tiny little green room that we were recording in and he shows up with his big personality and a real urge to not talk Star Trek! I quickly got the memo. The shoot went fine, he told me about his experiences in classic Canadian snowstorms as he grew up in Montreal and how his days are always sunny now while living in LA. It was a memorable experience!

 

8. Inspiring others is important to me

I love going to high schools or colleges and speaking about the importance of setting goals, volunteering in your desired field and networking. Aimg_5476ll of these things helped bring me to where I am today, so I enjoy the challenge of motivating others, especially high school students. I was able to speak about my career as an Alumni speaker at Conestogas graduation, it felt awesome to see the students glow as I encouraged them to find a passion and get started on that career right now! I’ve also enjoyed speaking at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference about the importance about being educated both by a university and a college.

9. Hair, makeup and clothing is all on us

As an on-air personality we get budgets or contra deals when it comes to your look. Clothing allowances twice a year, contra ( which is an exchange of services for advertising) for the hair and make up is done with a media discount. Finances aside, the on camera presenter is responsible for everything else. Shopping for the clothes is always fun, but since we work on a green screen there are many rules to follow. For example; no green at all! (thats because we work on a green screen, so if you wear green you will actually disappear) Yellow, white and sometimes red are not recommended, busy patterns can look distorted on TV, nothing reflective or shiny like big buttons or belts … the list can be very picky! So shopping isn’t always a breeze. As for hair, the only thing my contra includes is the cut and style once in a while. Other than that I am doing my hair each morning and applying my own make up too. It’s become the morning ritual in our change room. Lots of chats & hairspray as we apply our makeup.

10. Once I was on a Billboard 

This was pretty neat! As we advertised our morning show in the Fall of 2016 our marketing department decided that billboards were the way to go within Toronto. Below was the big one along the Gardiner. You could find the ad in random places too like elevators or gym TV’s.

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Have a question about my career ? Leave a comment below 🙂

Rachel

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6 thoughts on “10 Facts about my Career with The Weather Network

  1. Very interesting. I never knew much of that. I always thought everyone had their make done by a pro at the studio. The hours are crazy too. Your working half the day shift and a bit of the night I guess. The green screen is really something us fans would never think of. Very educational. Rachel your gorgeous. My favourite weather girl. Just love how u look and dress. Love you. I also wish I could run like you but I cannot run anymore. Well, I was never a jogger. Age, heel spurs and arthritis have put a end to my out door down by the river walks that I just used to love. Getting older just sucks. Run while you can. It’s great for the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HI Rachel,

    First off congrats. Years ago our family used to watch your weather for Inside Brant on Rogers cable 20 in Brantford. When the show was winding down it was time to get our coats and hats on, lunch was over and back to school. Good to see a local girl has made the big time!

    P.S. Miss Ted Lehman, not on IB this season and segments now are taped and repeated.

    take care,

    Sean and Laurie Poole

    Like

    1. Thanks so much for this message Sean & Laurie. I fondly remember my time with Inside Brant. Great team & my first TV experience ! I was going to school at Laurier in Brantford and it seemed like the right place to spend my spare time! So glad I did. Thanks for tuning into TWN now. Happy to have you along with us – Rachel

      Like

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