With her arrival as SaltWire Network’s chief meteorologist, Cindy Day becomes one of just a few weather people on the continent, working exclusively for a newspaper organization.
“It was time for a change,” she says of the decision to leave CTV Atlantic, where she had worked for a decade. “Time to bring on some new challenges.”
But the truth is, the region’s most recognizable meteorologist is used to breaking new ground.
In 1988 when she left the Ottawa Airport to join the city’s CFRA radio station, she became the country’s first meteorologist working full-time for a radio station.
Eight years later she stepped out on her own with Weather by Day, a ground-breaking multi-platform approach to delivering the weather.
Day, who was born in Bainsville, Ont., operated a 1-900 line by which people paid $1.99 for weather statements. She provided information for big private-sector clients like Canadian Tire.
She also did on-air weather reports, in English and French, on eight different radio stations, all from her Ottawa townhouse.
“The landlines came right into my house,” she recalls. “I was still in bed, at five a.m. when I did my first report.”
Juggling multiple formats for a variety of audiences sounds a lot like her new posting as the in-house meteorologist for a media organization that boasts 35 print and on-line titles.
“It’s sort of full circle for me,” says Day, 53.
The nature of her job is the same as it’s been for the past 19 years: “To forecast the weather and communicate that to the people of Atlantic Canada,” as she says.
That, though, is where similarities end.
During nine years with Global Television and a decade as CTV’s Halifax-based meteorologist she squeezed her forecasts into tight three-minute segments on the daily news broadcasts.
“Every day I had to skip through things that I would have loved to spend more time on,” she says.
SaltWire president and CEO Mark Lever calls Day’s arrival a vote of confidence for the direction the company is taking, and a signal that, with 35 properties, SaltWire is big enough to support her brand.
Day’s presence, he added, “can’t help but help us” and represents “another part of our evolution from newspaper to multi-platform media organization.”
To underscore the latter point, Lever noted that in 2018 SaltWire’s capital expenditures on digital innovation will surpass its capital expenditures on maintaining its print and distribution network..