A graduate of Red River College’s Creative Communications program, Toy starts his day by scouring the sports news for show topics. At 9 a.m., he participates in a conference call with the show’s hosts, where the trio puts together a first draft of that afternoon’s show.
After that call, Toy begins booking guests, putting together audio clips and compiling information for the show. Simultaneously, he’s checking in with the station’s program director and promotions department to see if there’s anywhere else he needs to direct his attention.
Toy’s job really heats up when the Winnipeg Jets play at home. On game day, he attends the morning skate at MTS Centre, gathering audio and checking in with visiting sports writers. Then he shoots a Facebook Live video with Brian Munz and Paul Edmonds, TSN 1290’s Jets broadcast team. Next, it’s back to the station to cut up audio, print notes and finalize the show.
And on game days, Hustler and Lawless broadcast live from Boston Pizza cityplace, so Toy heads back downtown for the show, after which he heads over to the rink for the game. During the game, Toy handles social media for the station; post-game, he’s in the dressing room, interviewing the players and personnel.
“There’s this thing called the NHL grind, the grind of the season. It’s a real grind,” Toy says. “There are times when that high pace and those long hours can get to a person, and it has got to me before, but I’ve adopted some practices to help me get through that. I try to take care of my body. I’m in the gym three times a week and I try to eat well. I’m also trying to improve my practice of meditation, so I can attack the day with a refreshed mind.”
Toy has been in his current role at TSN for six years, but has worked for the station in some capacity for a decade. He said his time in Creative Communications, during which he majored in broadcast production, properly prepared him for the workload of sports reporting.
“In CreComm you’re in the classroom 40 hours a week and then you’ve got homework on top of that,” he says. “Also, in CreComm I was the news director at KICK FM back when it was on the terrestrial airwaves. Part of that responsibility was to do the morning news five days a week and produce an hour-long news magazine show every week. It definitely helped me develop that discipline to – every single day – show up and be able to do my job”
Toy says Creative Communications’ wide scope – which includes instruction in media production, advertising, journalism and public relations – has benefited him in his career.
“My current main role is producer, but I’ve also had to be a reporter, and I’ve worked on some feature reports as a writer and an editor,” says Toy, whose resumé also includes stints as an oil rig worker, a nightclub DJ and a chef at a Japanese restaurant. “The large tool kit I got at Red River College has definitely paid dividends in my career.”
In addition to helping him do his job, Toy says the skills he picked up at the College have also helped him to help others.
“It has really helped me when I had to work with, say, publicists or marketing people,” he explains. “I know what they’re looking for, and with that understanding I’m able to fit their needs with our needs and produce some really great programming that makes both sides extremely happy.”
— Profile by Jared Story (Creative Communications, 2005)