This year, Megan Shaw celebrates 6 years of being one of the recognizable faces of CTV Ottawa. Her passion and professionalism are hallmarks of her career, along with a commitment to delivering news to the Ottawa community when and where it is needed most.
We caught up with Megan to discuss her new role as an anchor and producer of CTV News at 11:30 pm, how her work and home life have adjusted amid COVID19, and about her favourites: food, sports, and Netflix included.
Photography by Sean Sisk
How were your summer and fall? What was one of the highlights?
It’s of course been a very different summer this year with social distancing guidelines in place. Instead of summer concerts or large gatherings, I’ve spent a lot of time at cottages, going for long walks and hikes, and doing some DIY projects at home. I’ve also had the chance to slow down and spend more quality time connecting with my small bubble of loved ones.
You’ve been in front of the camera for over 6 years now…looking back, what is the biggest change you’ve seen in your professional development?
Change is almost a constant in this career and it’s something I’ve embraced. From new cities to new roles at work, I have taken many new and exciting steps along the way. This summer I moved into a new position: Anchoring and producing CTV News Ottawa at 11:30 pm. I’m so honoured to be trusted by our community to bring them live, local and breaking news stories from across the region each night.
Over the last few months, amid COVID, your job has probably undergone some changes in the way you’re reporting and the stories and people you’re connecting with. What have been some of the challenges of tackling the COVID developments?
There is no denying the challenges presented these last few months. In a matter of days, the way we delivered the news and the environment in which we did so changed dramatically. Our full bustling newsroom and the daily face-to-face community interaction was replaced with working from home and distancing. Online interviews became part of a new normal and in-person meetings were replaced with phone meetings, while community events were put on hold. It has been a new experience for all of us. I’m proud of our team for adapting so quickly to a series of new guidelines and providing our viewers with important daily news coverage during this unprecedented time.
What are some of your secrets (or your best advice) on looking good and being confident in front of the camera?
The more you do something – the more natural it starts to feel. When I first started doing live television, my mentors would tell me to avoid memorizing or trying to provide perfect delivery. Instead, they would always say to ‘know the story’ and provide the information the same way you might speak with a friend or family member.
Looking back on your career, are there any stories from the Ottawa community that have stuck with you? Maybe your top 3 most memorable?
This is always one of the most difficult questions because there are so many moments, stories and people that have left their mark. Right now, living through this pandemic is of course something I will never forget – with so many changes and so many people affected in different ways. It’s a situation that will continue to evolve over months and years to come and I know our team will be there with important information for everyone here at home. Two other events in the capital that always stand out for me are the floods and the tornadoes that struck Ottawa. These situations were so shocking and devastating to so many. Our team worked day and night to provide as much information as we could, as quickly as we could. We were exhausted but being able to see how the community came together to help each other was so powerful, it kept us going.
You live in Ottawa. What are some of your favourite spots to eat on a night out?
Our station is downtown in the ByWard Market, so we often stay local. I could go on forever but if I’m grabbing a quick bite, I love the salad from Corazon De Maiz in the Market building. If I’m meeting with friends then we will usually end up at Tavern on the Hill, Joey or a spot on Clarence Street. My favourite take-out spot has to be Coconut Lagoon! I’m also super excited for the return of Vittoria Trattoria for pasta night.
We want to know more about your life off-camera. What does a typical day off look like for you?
After starting a new shift this summer, I’m still getting used to my new schedule. On workdays, I get up and enjoy a coffee before working out. From there, I will meal-prep, get ready for work and aim to be in the office by 4 p.m. I will also squeeze in a walk or run and errands if there’s time. In September, I’ll be adding some online classes to my daily routine as well. On weekends, you will find me with family or friends and usually outdoors.
What is your favourite meal of all time?
It’s between sushi and tacos!
Top 3 Netflix recommendations?
I’ll go with what I’m watching right now: Umbrella Academy, Scandal and Selling Sunset.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I’m a pretty open book but viewers might not know that I’m the youngest of four girls… and we grew up with one washroom in the house so finding time to get ready for work or school was ALWAYS a challenge.
You recently celebrated 5 years with CTV Ottawa, Congrats! What has been your favourite thing about your time with them?
I started working at CTV at a younger age so being able to grow with a company, surrounded by talented journalists, has been a blessing. I think every time I get to cover something new or try something new, I feel reinvigorated. I’m fortunate to love what I do and I’m excited for what the future brings!
What is your best advice for any professional (new, old, or aspiring) on achieving their goals?
Work hard, be kind and don’t give up!