12 Questions With Newstalk 580 CFRA Kristy Cameron

You grew up in Oakville. How would you describe your childhood?

I was an angelic cherub of a child. I excelled in every area of life and was a gift to my family. You’re not interviewing my mother though right? Next question.

How did you know you wanted to study journalism? What was your first impression of Ottawa when you came here to study?

I grew up watching CTV National News every night and always loved politics. After realizing I probably wouldn’t make it in acting, I moved into journalism (yes, I was a very cool theatre kid.) I immediately felt at home in Ottawa. People here are very engaged, and they want to talk about current events. I love living in a city that is the political heartbeat of the country. And I think Ottawa has a lot of offer for people who like being outdoors.

How did your work at News Talk 580 CFRA change during COVID?

The pandemic radically changed my job. All of a sudden, I was hosting a radio show in the living room of our cramped townhouse – I never thought that would be possible. My stationary bike was in there too so it was both a gym and a radio studio, which was quite strange. It also meant my partner Drake, was banned from the lower level of the house for four hours a day. Thankfully, we’ve moved and have a basement, so I work down there and Drake isn’t a prisoner anymore.

What do you love most about your show Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron? How would you describe the show to someone new to Ottawa?

Ottawa Now brings people closer to their city. It’s like chatting with a close friend who is informed. We cover the big stories and talk to the newsmakers but we have fun while doing it. I love the show‘s range – one minute we’re having a tense interview about transit or interviewing a minister, and the next we’re hearing outrageous personal stories on “Confession Thursday”.

Your job requires you to stay on the beat about the issues and events happening in Ottawa, Canada, and the world. Do you find this challenging, or is it your favourite part of the job?

It’s certainly challenging but that’s why I love it. I cannot imagine doing anything else because I have no off switch! I remember being on vacation on a volcanic island in Nicaragua and using my weak wifi connection to tune into my station to listen to the SNC Lavalin testimony. News is what makes me tick.

What do you love most about working with the News Talk 580 CFRA team?

Every day is different but no matter what, there will be a four-hour show, so we have to make that happen. It’s a hungry beast and somehow we manage to feed it. We work together; we all have a strange sense of humour and big passion for radio.

What is the best advice you have received in your career thus far? Who do you look up to?

Never trip over yourself to fill a silence in an interview. People have a desire to be heard, and sometimes they need that extra moment to seize the opportunity. I really admire Lisa LaFlamme. She is a legendary broadcaster and an institution in this country.

Where do you get your confidence from to be a broadcaster? Did your way with words come naturally, or did you need to work towards it?

I have a habit of delivering monologues (my performances are regularly mocked by friends and family) so it’s safe to say the talking part comes easily. Confidence is a learned skill. I also consider my audience to be a big part of the show. We meet every day and it’s a conversation, so I feel like I’m speaking with people rather than talking at them.

Aside from your busy work life, what are some of your favourite things to do around Ottawa? How about your favourite places to eat or visit in the Ottawa area?

I’m a very active person, so when I’m not behind the mic or in front of the camera, I’m usually in spandex exercising. I enjoying hiking, spinning and running. Movement is essential to maintain balance in my life. If I can pop in some good tunes, and get my heart pumping, it’s a good day. And as places to eat…I recently had dinner at Arlo and loved it! Superb wine and delicious food.

What’s something that most people would be surprised to know about you?

I thought long and hard about this one and now realize I chronically overshare with my listeners so I have absolutely no mystery. Ok fine, I haven’t had meat in about 17 years but my mouth still waters at the smell of bacon.

Tell us about your dog. What’s their name?

I have two dogs – Jasper and Bridget. Jasper is a manic 7-year-old black lab mix who loves to swim and run. And Bridget is a 2-year-old Bullmastiff. She’s 130 pounds of love. She’ll go for a trundle or two around the block but then she just wants to be cuddled or held. They’re an odd pair but they balance each other out. Sadly, everything I own is covered in a layer of dog hair.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to anyone looking to follow your footsteps as an aspiring young broadcaster?

Work hard, stay hungry and know that nothing comes easy in this profession. You’ll get a front row seat to the news everyone else reads about and an opportunity to interview fascinating people you never would’ve met otherwise. And you’ll get to work in a newsroom with a real cast of characters – these people have a wicked sense of humour and are whip smart.


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