It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later

This is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write, but here we go.

This has been an interesting year, and we’ve just reached the halfway point. I have experienced so many changes, like getting married. Now comes one more: I am leaving CKNW.

I never thought I would write those words, but here we are.

The decision was not easy. I think back on how hard I had to claw and fight to get a shot at the job at the station. Hell, my bratty 24-year-old self even skipped a CHVRCHES concert in Seattle I shelled out hundreds of dollars for so I could get an opportunity at an interview. (Thank you Mac and Jon for steering me through that one.) I laugh when I think about that now. It was just a concert. And this was not just a job.

This has been a way of life.

Most of my time at the station, aside from being on air throughout the day, has been spent organizing things and attempting to assist in giving direction for the day by putting out our assignment lists. I’ve worked on the web (eye opening and fun) and also had the chance to do some reporting. I’ve learned a lot — a LOT. When you do this job, interviewing someone provides so much insight and perspective. And sometimes people will disagree immensely with the journalism you do. That’s totally fine, because that all creates dialogue — a lot of these things need to be talked about. Those have been such educational experiences for me. Sure, sometimes they were difficult, but I’ve filed those lessons away — only to come into contact with similar situations down the road, and asking myself, “what did we do last time that didn’t work? Let’s not do that again.” You also wouldn’t believe how useful those experiences have been in other aspects of my life.

I have so many memories to take with me: shadowing Janet at Vancouver City Hall (only to come back and find out my marantz didn’t pick up the audio — that was horrifying), writing some of my first stories alongside Liza, sharing food with Emily and Bailey (or, if I’m really being honest here, Emily constantly bringing us food throughout our shifts), and, uh, “borrowing” Estef’s cholula sauce (because of her, cholula is now a staple in our home). I’ve also enjoyed cooking for the newsroom — Pie Day was a great chance to show off my spring roll skills, which have been improving. That made me pretty proud. On the talk side, some of my fondest memories include producing for some of the best: Sean Leslie, Drex — and getting trained by Kathryn in my early days for afternoon drive. Hosting the year-end show with Niki. And of course — The Reel Report!

I had the pleasure of sitting next to Gord Macdonald in the newsroom these last few years. Gord, you are a radio hero I grew up listening to. I never, EVER though I’d get a shot at working in the chair opposite you. Tag teaming mornings side-by-side has been a gift. Thank you for all the things you’ve taught me, and thank you for putting up with me talking to myself. Of course, the legacy of those “bag conversations” will live on. (See Emily for more details.)

Massive shout-out to Jon McComb and his talk team. You guys gave me such an opportunity with The Reel Report. I couldn’t believe that segment lasted as long as it did. I had a lot of fun doing it. I also had a lot of fun doing This is What We’re Into. Jon, thank you for the bits of advice you always gave me. I bring those with me to my next adventure. Simi: thank you for making an anxious kid feel incredibly welcomed — you’ve helped me grow more confident. (Simi was the first person I ever did a Big 5/What’s Happening Right Now segment with.)

Thank you to everyone, past and present at NW/Global News, AM 730, Rock 101 and CFOX for the opportunity to grow and learn, and also for your encouragement. There are too many wonderful people and wonderful memories to list.

Jill: Thank you for putting so much faith in me and my skills, and for always lending an ear when I needed advice. It has been great getting to know you these past few months.

I also have to thank Ted and Doug over on the TV side. For about three years, they made up so much of my day with all the phone calls and taking on the news world. I always looked forward to chatting with either one of you every day.

Terry Schintz: Like Gord, another voice I grew up listening to. Thank you for taking a chance on a dork like me. I will always be glad I missed that concert back in 2014. The advice you’ve given me is beyond mint. This entire experience was thanks to you. I’d also like to remind you I leave undefeated in the NW Step Challenge. My winning ways are permanent; they can never be disputed!

To the listeners: I will always be grateful to have interacted with you. Thank you so much for the opportunity to do that. Thank you for helping me learn.

To my friends and family: Mac, Tash, Brit, Christine, my Auntie Lisa, and to my in-laws Judy and Steve: thank you for letting me bounce ideas off of you, even when you didn’t know it.

Finally, my husband Jon. Had we not met at school, and not ended up working together in the same building, we may not have had the life we have now. I’ll always be grateful to NW for that. I love you.

As for what’s next? Well, let’s just save that for another post. My last day on air at 980 is June 14th.

I am forever thankful. It’s been a slice.


2 responses to “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later”

  1. John Eastaugh Avatar
    John Eastaugh

    I can’t tell you how much I shall miss listening to you Ria.
    Wishing you all the very best in whatever the future holds for you.

    1. Thank you John. It has been a pleasure to do this for so many years. All the best!

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