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Susan Hay celebrates 30 years at Global TV

Susan Hay celebrates her 30-year anniversary of joining Global Television this week and keeps her hometown of North Bay close to her heart.

Time flies when you’re having fun. 

Even 30 years can fly by, especially if you’ve managed to carve out a successful career doing what you love. That certainly applies to one of North Bay’s favorite daughters, the remarkable Susan Hay, who this week is celebrating her 30th anniversary of working at Global Television.

The 30-year mark isn’t necessarily something that Hay, who was born and raised in North Bay, has really considered much, given that she is still working as hard as ever, now writing, producing, and anchoring her own evening news segment, Making a Difference.

“It’s not something that I think about, though I’ve been more aware of it lately because people are congratulating me,” said Hay in reference to the 30-year anniversary.  “I’ve done so much, and there is still so much more to do.  I’m incredibly fortunate that I’m still relevant and I still have a passion for it.  I love what I do.”

Hay didn’t set out to embark on an extraordinary 30-year broadcasting career.  In fact, she was planning to return to school in pursuit of an Early Childhood Education diploma following her completion of Canadore College’s Executive Secretarial program. Instead, she landed a summer job working at MCTV in Sudbury, working with the executive staff.  One day the president told her he was putting her on the air. Hay never looked back.

Starting out as a weather anchor and host/producer of a live half-hour talk forum at MCTV, she then moved to the CBC as a weather anchor and on-location entertainment reporter. Thirty years ago this week, in May 1989, Hay joined Global Television anchoring daily regional and national forecasts on Global’s evening and late-night newscasts.  From 2001 to 2003, Hay hosted her own signature segment, Susan Hay’s Heart of the City.

Throughout her career, Hay has always kept her hometown close to her heart.

“North Bay will always be home,” she said.  “The city has given me a wonderful foundation.  It’s made me who I am today.  When people comment on me being ‘down to earth’ or say that I’m approachable, that comes from my parents and the community I was raised in.  That’s North Bay.  Growing up, we all played together, lots of kids and families spending time together outside.  It's such a fantastic place to raise a family.  North Bay has always been very special to me and the City has always been very supportive.”

Hay is special to North Bay as well. 

In 2012, a Susan Hay star was placed on the North Bay Walk of Fame, just down the street from where her father once ran a Tire shop.  Her Alma Mater, Canadore College, presented her with an honorary diploma for Communication Arts, established a scholarship in her name and celebrated her as Hall of Fame Alumni in 2017.

Though her immediate family in North Bay has suffered some recent losses, Hay returns to North Bay regularly to visit her sister and brother-in-law, as well as extended family and many childhood friends.

A 30-year career brings many highlights, and Hay lists a few off the top of her head.

“Opening doors for women in broadcasting, building the importance of the weather segment, the years hosting the Santa Claus parade, moving into writing and producing and into longer form segments are all highlights,” she said.  “Also, becoming a mentor for young people and interns at Global has been very rewarding.

“Looking back on my career so far, there have been lulls, ups, and downs, but I wouldn’t change a thing.  Everything I did brought me to where I am today.”

With Making a Difference, Hay does it all, writing, producing and anchoring. She’s also launched longer segments, like the Miracle Makeover special where Hay worked with a team of designers and volunteers to redesign a home for a family caring for their twin boys on the severe side of the autism spectrum.

“In the beginning of my career, I loved it.  Now, with the team I have in place, I really love it,” she said.  “This time in my career is very rewarding, but then again it always has been.”

Global Television marked Hay’s 30th anniversary with a surprise celebration on May 29 featuring a video tribute, speeches, a toast, and the announcement of the Making A Difference Award, to be given out to Global Toronto staff who have made a positive impact in their community.