My name is Ria Renouf, and I am the Assignment Editor for News Talk 980 CKNW in Vancouver. I’m also an award nominated news anchor, having been nominated for one B.C. RTDNA journalism award for best newscast. (2016, ‘VSB Firings.’)
Before I was hired, my claim to fame in the CKNW newsroom included producing a crap ton of stories as an intern (about 15 or so) for the Christmas run. I was hired as a reporter going into year two of journalism school at BCIT. My favourite topics to report on include technology, municipal politics, international news (with a local connection, of course) and the offbeat.
Most of you probably know me from the now-defunct Reel Report on The Jon McComb Show. While the segment is gone, I’ve retained my ‘in-house movie expert’ role as an entertainment panelist for the Jon McComb Show. I’m your go-to person for all things movie related at CKNW, and I apologize in advance if I start hurling budget, actor and behind-the-scenes trivia at you.
I didn’t always want to be a journalist: in fact, I began studying Archaeology at SFU, hoping to do some kind of recovery-related work internationally, or to become a social studies teacher. When things didn’t pan out there, I decided to become a forensic anthropologist or social worker. I have a Bachelor of Arts from SFU in Sociology and Anthropology.
I was in my social worker beginnings when tragedy struck my family. On January 21, 2010, I received a call from my mom while at work: my aunt had been hit by an unknown vehicle in a well-known, very dangerous Burnaby intersection: Kitchener and Willingdon. She’d been placed on life support, and left to die on the road. CBC Vancouver contacted me after hearing of our family’s story, and asked if we wanted to put out a plea to the driver. I agreed. Days later, the story aired, and it thrust her case into the spotlight. Nearly two years later, the man who did it was caught, and I was there for that day to speak for my family. This was my first taste of media, and I realized the good it could do in bringing information – and in some cases, closure – to people’s lives.
I applied to BCIT’s Broadcasting and Online Journalism program in 2012, and was the final person admitted to the program for the year in 2013. While there, I fell in love with radio because the medium is so breakneck fast when it comes to turning around content, and I found it a true challenge. I was also open to opportunities behind the scenes in TV, like news production and post-production/editing. Eventually, I decided to focus on radio.
In my first semester at BCIT, a chance to intern at a radio station came up, and about 15 of us were invited to get some experience at CKNW. I was assigned to the newsroom, and was incredibly terrified, but had a lot of fun. I volunteered to work over Christmas, which opened the door to more opportunities with the station. After spending a year as a reporter, I took CKNW up on an offer to be a desker/anchor in July of 2015; by August, I was the Assignment Editor – a role I’ve held ever since.
When I’m not nerding out in the newsroom, I’m usually nerding out on Twitter, sharing all kinds of random stuff. I probably spend the most time there, second only to the newsroom. If I’m not doing any of that, I’m probably working out, watching a movie at the theatre or at home, reading some kind of literature (I love books and comic books, and am an avid comic book collector), filling in my bullet journal, or playing video games alone or with my boyfriend, Jon. (Yes, Jon also works for NW.) I also contribute to two podcasts: CKNW.com’s Close Encounters of the Film Kind, and the adult gaming and movie podcast Just the Tip.