He always thinks of the glass half full.
Matt Skube pours his heart and soul into everything that he does. Here is a little bit of his story.
Anchor, CTV News
How did you get into broadcasting?
I’ve always loved sports and watching them on TV. In fact, I was watching games before I watched cartoons as a kid! For careers class in grade 10, I did a project on being a sports broadcaster. My mom taught TSN’s Jennifer Hedger in high school, so I reached out to her over email explaining who I was and what I was doing. She responded with all kinds of great information! The following summer, she took my family and I for a tour of the TSN studios in Toronto. I got to sit at the Sportscentre desk and do a quick read through. For a 16-year-old kid, it was the experience of a lifetime!
A couple years later, I got recruited to play football at St. Francis Xavier University. After two years on the team, I became the sports editor of the Xaverian Weekly, the school newspaper and got to know everyone in the athletics department. The school was one of the first in Canada to webcast home games online (something that’s now commonplace), and they asked me to do play-by-play commentary. I ended up doing it for almost every sport, from men’s and women’s hockey, to football, basketball, volleyball and more. I got absolutely hooked!
In 4th year, my editor-in-chief and good friend brought me back an article about a new school in Toronto called the College of Sports Media. I applied, went through the interview process and got in! I spent the next two years there, learning all about being on air for TV and radio, but also how to use a camera, edit, write and what the business was all about. After the program, I did an eight week internship at Sportsnet where I got exposed to what a newsroom was like, the life of a reporter, how highlight packs are put together and how to roll the teleprompter. A month after I finished the internship, I was very fortunate to get a full-time on air job in my hometown of Thunder Bay!
You have done it all – reporting and anchoring on weather, sports and news. How does each differ from one another?
First off, I love being able to do all of them! Being versatile is always something that I’ve focused on, like being a ’swing’ in a stage production, and it means that the day always brings something different.
For the most part, news is serious business. People’s lives are being impacted and it’s important to take those stories seriously. Every now and then, there’s going to be an opportunity to have more fun and inject my personality into a story. For example, the heat story I did a couple of summers ago. I went swimming in my camera guy’s pool, visited a public pool and had some fun with the kids there, before sneaking into a meat cooler at a butcher shop as a “way of staying cool.”
I’m a performer at heart, so I love having the chance to do stories like that!
With sports and weather, it’s more natural and easier to let my personality show because they’re usually more relaxed. Throwing comments in here and there, having fun where I can. Sometimes there are more serious moments like storms or tragedy in the sports world and I have to treat those more like news, but I love having a little more freedom to improvise and ad lib.
The important part is that no matter what I’m doing, storytelling is key. Telling the viewer who’s involved, what’s happening and why, and how it will affect them is vital, or people will tune out. Being informative and engaging are two things I’m thinking about every day.
I would imagine that you would need to be “in the know” and up-to-date on a lot of different things. How do you keep on top of everything?
Read, read and read some more!
Sometimes I hate how much I’m on my phone or computer, but it’s how we get our information. There are a few sites I’ll check every morning to see what’s happening. We get an email from our national news desk with briefs about what’s making news that morning and what’s coming up during the day. There are also a lot of exchanges with our news team of things that are happening, stories that are pertinent and ideas we’re pursuing. For me, I do my best to take away three or four key points, especially on busy days. Be familiar with what the story is, who the players are and watch it develop through the day. The bigger the story, either local or national, the more I want to be familiar with it.
The other part is talking to those in the newsroom and our building about stories and topics. I’m not big into politics, so if there’s something happening I don’t quite understand or don’t realize the impact of, I’ll go to Graham Richardson, Evan Solomon or someone else for an explanation. It’s important to acknowledge when I don’t know something and get information from a source I trust, because I don’t want to go on the air without knowing it.
You are always looking so dapper, do you have any on-air style tips?
Thank you! I think it’s important to take time to not only figure out what you like, but how to put outfits together. I’ll be honest, I’m not always right on the mark, but I do my best to understand what works and what doesn’t. What patterns you can put together, what colours complement each other without having to match exactly. My siblings used to make fun of me for caring so much, in fact they still do, but it sure comes in handy every day now. Take pride in how you look, especially when you’re getting dressed up. And don’t forget your hair product and fun socks!
Are you more of a bow tie or necktie type of guy?
On the air, it’s mostly neckties, so I’ve got quite a few of them, but I do love bow ties! They have to be ones you tie yourself though, none of this clip-on business! No excuses about not being able to tie them. I learned how to do it university from YouTube and it’s almost easier than tying a necktie.
You are a big fan of the arts. You have been in several community theatre productions – Jesus Christ Superstar, Grease just to name a few. Where does your passion come from?
When I was 6-years-old, my family and I were in Toronto to see a production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Donny Osmond played Joseph and I will never forget sitting in my seat, wishing I could be one of the kids on stage. I was lucky enough to see lots of shows when I was young and always dreamed of what it would be like to be on stage. Then in grade 10, after many years without them, our high school brought back musicals. I had very little singing experience, but I went in and auditioned (with a song from ‘Joseph’, of course) and got the part of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar. That’s when I got hooked!
I’ve always been a big ham and enjoyed the spotlight, but there’s something about the rush of being on stage, getting to play a character and escaping into a different world. Those that have been on stage or in productions know that feeling and it’s so exhilarating! I haven’t done a show in close to five years, so that’s going to have to change soon!
You took part in the Broadway Across Canada production of Newsies. Tell us a little about that experience.
It was awesome! One of the most exciting things I’ve done in my time at CTV. I got to go to Toronto for a couple of days in the summer before the show came to Ottawa. I had seen the show on Broadway in New York and loved the music, so that familiarity helped a lot going into a story like that. Going backstage, getting all dressed up and then actually doing a dance with a few of the boys from the show was the best! They knew I had a little bit of experience, but as soon as they figured out I could move and carry a tune, they got even more into it, which brought even more life to the story.
After I left Toronto, I thought I was just going to put my stories together and go see the show again when it came to Ottawa. But I got an email a few weeks before it opened at the NAC, asking if I’d be interested in doing a walk on role!
Are you kidding me?!
On a Broadway tour at the National Arts Centre?! Heck yes! My stories aired leading up to the show’s week run and the second night it played in Ottawa, I got on stage and had one line that I didn’t screw up, thank goodness! My mom and Grandma flew down from Thunder Bay to see my Broadway debut (kind of?!) and it was a lot of fun.
Since we are a lifestyle blog – would you mind answering a few personal questions?
Not at all!
How would you define your personal style?
I love the classic looks, but I also like to be a little bit out there and try different combinations. There are two things I’m usually thinking about when getting new outfits: being true to myself and thinking a little bit outside the box. If you don’t like what you’re wearing, you’re not going to be confident in it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a suit or sweatpants. Sometimes, it can be really hard to not consider what other people are going to think, but if something catches my eye and I like it after trying it on, I’m likely going to buy it. On that note, I’m always on the hunt for pieces that others might not be wearing. I’m not saying I can pull off the outfits that Stefan Keyes wears because that guy is a genius! But things like a fun tie, a different colour/pattern suit, a cool shirt, fun socks! Always fun socks! (I’m in a sock club…that’s how much I love crazy socks!) There are little touches that you can show off your personality with and even if I’m the only one that knows about it, it’s a confidence booster.
Some men have a collection of watches, baseball caps or ties. Do you have anything that you collect?
I have a lot of all of those! Watches, baseball caps and ties. I don’t necessarily collect any of them, maybe watches because I love having them for different looks. I do like to collect coins though. I don’t have a large collection yet, but there’s something about old coins especially that draws me in. Thinking about how many different places they’ve been, all the hands they’ve exchanged, the history of that one piece of metal. That fascinates me.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
I finally have weekends off, so I’ve been enjoying spending quality time with my wife (still not used to saying that after getting married this summer!) We’re starting to explore Gatineau Park, try all the delicious restaurants in town and spend time with all of the family members that are near-by. I love reading, anything and everything (just finished ‘Tuesdays with Morrie.’ One of the best books I’ve ever read!) I’ve also recently discovered Downton Abbey and thoroughly enjoying that show!
Finally – what three words describe you best?
I love this question! I often use it when getting to know people. The three that describe me best are energetic, passionate and optimistic.
I’ve been blessed with endless amounts of energy, even without coffee! It allows me to not only excel at my job, but many different activities and causes that I’m passionate about. Sometimes I need to tell myself to slow down and I’ve gotten better at that, but it’s a work in progress!
I pour my heart and soul into everything that I do. Whether it’s the relationship with my wife, a story at work or emceeing an event, I get deeply invested in everything I commit to.
Through it all, no matter what life throws your way, I think it’s vital to think of the glass half full. It’s not always easy, especially when life is tough, but there are always small moments and things to be grateful for.
We tend to overlook them because many people have an insatiable need to be busy and focus on everything that’s wrong, instead of taking a breath and finding the positive in every different situation.