New newsie takes seat on Q101
Nearly one month ago, Al Clarke handed the reins to Q101’s new news director, Ricardo Veneza, and he is already settling into the community.
Veneza coaches a Under 11 soccer team and he’s looking to coach the rep. team in the same age group.
“I thought this would be something that would be good for me to get in the know a little bit quicker, and I’m a big soccer guy so this is fun for me, really,” he said.
Becoming involved right away is important to a man who plans to set up here for a while.
“I plan on being here for at least a couple of years. I know I’m a long way from home, but this is the job I want to make my own.”
Veneza is originally from Leamington, Ont., a community with a population around 29,000.
He went to London, Ont., to receive an education in broadcast journalism at Fanshawe College.
Veneza landed his first radio job right out of college, at AM800 CKLW in Windsor, Ont., working there part time for four or five months.
“The hours were kind of all over the place and I wanted to find something a little more stable,” he said. “I knew I wanted to stay in radio. I didn’t want a part-time job at Best Buy or anything like that. For me it was radio, radio, radio.”
That’s when he moved to Grande Prairie, Alta., and worked at 104.7 Free FM, where he stayed for about 1.5 years as anchor and reporter.
Taylor Landry, program director for Q101, worked with Veneza in Alberta and told him about the news director position in Merritt.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, to be a news director and have that kind of content control, to see what that responsibility was like — and so far so good,” he said.
He said previous positions he’s held in radio have been very structured, unlike the Merritt position where he has more control.
“I prefer a more dynamic newscast, something that is a little more to the point, much tighter writing, much tighter clips and a much more informal language as well,” he said. “My goal is to make sure that anyone who is listening to the news is enjoying it and understanding it as well.”
Clarke, the previous news director, was in Merritt since 1978.
“Filling in for a guy like Al Clarke, filling those shoes, I think people that I’m talking to are pretty excited to see how I’ll do.”