A Few Minutes with Jesse Beyer

Saskatonian Jesse Beyer will deliver come sunshine or rain as Global Edmonton's newest member of their #1 weather team!

by emil tiedemann

"GO big or go home!" That's what local meteorologist Jesse Beyer told himself when he made the decision to spend a year in Australia after he finished high school in hometown Saskatoon. 

It's an adage that he seems to have stuck with through the years, as he now gets set to take over the six o'clock weather over at Edmonton's #1 news station, Global. Can't get much bigger than that! 

Jesse Beyer (center) with Global's six o'clock anchors Nancy Carlson & Gord Steinke

When Beyer, 27, returned home from Aussieland, he enrolled in NAIT's Radio & Television program and upon graduating found work as an intern at CHAT TV in Medicine Hat. Then he spent a year as the six & ten o'clock weatherman at Saskatoon's division of Global, and then two and a half years over at Edmonton's CTV station. 

This Monday, the self-proclaimed "weather nerd" will take over for Nicola Crosbie (who now does morning radio for CRUZ FM) as the evening meteorologist at Global Edmonton. He joins an exceptional weather team that includes Mike Sobel, Kevin O'Connell, and fellow newcomer Margeaux Morin.

"We're delighted to have Jesse Beyer join our news team," said Global News Director Michael Fulmes. "He is a weather fanatic, true to his craft and his audience, and a perfect fit for Global Edmonton."

Beyer will co-anchor the Early News at 5PM and the News Hour at 6, bringing us the good, the bad and the ugly in Alberta's ever-changing weather reports. Before Beyer becomes a daily part of our living room habits, let's get to know him a bit more, shall we?!

Jesse Beyer is an avid outdoors enthusiast who likes lacrosse, golf, snowboarding, hiking, hockey, boating, hunting and longboarding!

PART I:

ie/ What was it that made you decide that weather would be your career path?

Jesse Beyer/ I grew up in Saskatoon, but we had a farm and I kind of always grew up with weather kind of on the top of mind. A severe storm not only comes with the threat of a tornado, but also heavy rain or hail that could hurt crops, damaging wind, weather patterns like dry seasons and wet seasons...the more and more I kind of dealt with it as a kid, I never really thought how this effects people in day-to-day life. 

So I went to high school and never even thought about having a career in television, and then one of my cousins told me about the program at NAIT and was like, 'Yeah, this could be a good thing for you!' I've had prior experience with television, being a Champion Child for the Children's Health Foundation...I did commercials for them and got my start in television that way! 

I thought it was a really cool idea, and I had a local friend who works at a competing station here in town be a big role model in my life. He's the chief meteorologist at a competing station here, and I thought, 'He's done well so maybe I should try that!' And that kinda got the ball rolling. So I went to NAIT.

ie/ Can you give me a quick sort of time line of your career since graduating from NAIT?

JB/ I took an internship in May 2010 at Medicine Hat at CHAT TV as a sports anchor and reporter for a weekend job. I started off as an intern there in the news department, and then ended up moving up into the sports department. From there, I went to Global Saskatoon and I was the weather anchor for their six and ten o'clock news for about a year. Then I took a job in Edmonton at a competing station and I was there for about two and half years, and then I took this job! 

Beyer spent a year doing the weather at Global Saskatoon

ie/ Do you remember your first on-air experience? How did you do? 

JB/ I was still an intern for my first live broadcast. I got an email from the sports guy saying that because our sports director was on sabbatical and our lead sports anchor had prior commitments, the only way to get the shift covered was to put the intern on the live news desk to anchor a sportscast at noon...live! I had to pick my lunch up off the table after reading that email. 

I think I did not too bad, for a guy who was an intern that had never been on actual live TV other than little interviews here and there in my younger years. But to have that camera click on! The read wasn't the greatest, you can probably hear a tremble in my voice, but it was a big moment. For a lot of people in media, that's your first moment of all the years of school and writing and practice coming together.

ie/ Do you get nervous even now when you go live?

JB/ Yeah, you know, sometimes I do...especially on a severe weather day. It's kinda cliché or lame to say, but people's lives could potentially be in your hands! If you mix up differences between a severe and a non-severe storm; or you mistakenly pinpoint a hook echo on a radar and you miss it, and you think it's dying out but there's a tornado on the ground, it's big! 

Especially on those days when you know people are watching and you know they're looking to you for their safety, yeah you get a little bit nervous. To me, it's not the fact of stumbling on live TV and being laughed at, it's - after five years of being on air - the accuracy and the commitment that you have to give to your viewers to make sure that not only are they informed, but they're safe. And that's what scares me!

"He is a weather fanatic, true to his craft and his audience, and a perfect fit for Global Edmonton."

ie/ Have you ever had anyone actually get upset with you because of bad weather or because you were maybe off on a forecast?

JB/ Oh yeah, absolutely! Some people think that you have this mentality to control it sometimes; a lot of times you get the messenger shot in this position. I remember this time where I forecasted a daytime high of +1 and it ended up being -13, but 20kms south of the radar station it was zero! 

I've also had times where we forecasted 20cm worth of snow that was supposed to hit over the top of the city, and there was nothing but a blue sky and warm temperatures; yet, about 5kms south of the city, the highway was closed down due to over 20cm worth of snow falling. 

So, I had a guy call in screaming at me because he cancelled a trip to go see his grand kids in Calgary, because I said it was going to snow! I told him, 'Sorry sir, I know it's not snowing here, but regardless of whether it's snowing here or not, the highway is shut down at Wetaskiwin, so there's no way you're getting to Calgary anyways.'

And then you have people on the opposite end of that, saying thanks because they wouldn't have brought along a rain jacket to their son's baseball game last night, but they're glad they tuned it because they would've gone out there in shorts. And those are the good experiences! 

Mr. Beyer dressed to the nines for Western Canada Fashion Week!

ie/ What kinds of things do you do when you're not working?

JB/ I'm pretty outdoorsy. Growing up in Saskatchewan, we did a lot of fishing, some hunting, quading, boating. I spend quite a fair amount of time in Jasper...I love snowboarding in the winter, I love hiking in the mountains. I do a lot of longboarding in and around town.

ie/ Tell me about your time in Australia: why did you go and would you do it again? 

JB/ I did live in Australia for a year, as every 18-year-old Canadian seems to do for their working holiday visa. It was great! I had grown up in Saskatoon and wasn't really ready to go from Grade 12 into sitting in a lecture hall at university, and kinda wanted to branch out. I thought, 'just go big or go home,' and so I decided to not only move outside of my house and my city, I'm gonna move outside of the hemisphere! 

I thought, 'Nice weather, gonna try surfing, live on the beach,' and that's pretty much what I did for the whole year. And I would go back, if Australia would have me back! It's a great country; a warm Canada!

PART II

ie/ Favourite place to eat in Edmonton?
JB/ Rostizado! It's a Mexican rotisserie place. They're very traditional, and they own another restaurant called Tres Carnales. It's very traditional Mexican food with a French influence. They do all rotisserie Mexican chicken with a lot of very traditional Mexican foods. Hands down, one of the best restaurants in the city!  

ie/ Best concert you ever attended?
JB/ I'm not a huge concert goer. One of the crazy ones that I went to, like in Grade 10 or 11, was Aerosmith. It was a little bit outside of the genre that I usually listen to, but to go to a concert where almost every song is a hit song is kinda cool. I wanted to go see AC/DC, but I couldn't get tickets. 

ie/ Movie you can watch over & over again?
JB/ Back to the Future trilogy and Star Wars, either of those! 

ie/ TV show(s) you don't miss an episode of?
JB/ Game of Thrones.

ie/ Country you wanna visit most that you haven't been to yet?
JB/ Japan.

ie/ Favourite Edmonton festival?
JB/ K-Days.

ie/ Celebrity you would like to meet most?
JB/ Jimmy Fallon.

Beyer's favourite movies are the Back to the Future films (& Star Wars!)

Thanks, Jesse, and good luck at Global Edmonton! You can also follow Beyer on Twitter

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