The Making of a Storyteller

CTV Windsor’s Stefanie Masotti Celebrates Her New Anchor Position and The Life That Guided Her There

Story by Alley L. Biniarz
Photography by John Liviero

Celebrating a second baby at home and an anchor position awaiting her return, CTV Windsor’s Stefanie Masotti feels like she’s finally “made it.” 

“You always think that having kids is going to affect your career but it’s refreshing to know that taking time off to be with my family didn’t hold me back. It really shows how the world has moved,” Stefanie says about the role that CTV company culture has played in this milestone.

Stefanie interviews now former CTV Windsor News Anchor Jim Crichton days before his final newscast.

This has been Stefanie’s goal for the last 10 years working with CTV and she emphasizes that the success wasn’t handed to her immediately. Before entering the world of journalism, she had to experience what most 20-year-olds feel in their early lives: the uncertainty of where life would take her. 

After finishing her Honours degree in Communications with a Minor in Psychology at the University of Windsor, Stefanie still didn’t feel solid in her life’s path. Her parents encouraged her to pursue law school and since she’d have a gap year while studying for the LSATs, they suggested that Stefanie move away and enroll in a program to experience life outside her comfort zone. 

“They told me to pick something that interested me and that even if I didn’t graduate it would get me out of the house before law school,” Stefanie explains how she wound up choosing Fanshawe College’s Radio and Broadcasting program in London. After just two short weeks in the program, Stefanie felt a pull towards the field and called to let her parents know about her change of heart. “I was so nervous to tell them. I was going from a guaranteed job as a lawyer with money to a different field with its own challenges, but when I told them they said they’d known right away. They could tell just by the way I talked about the program.”

Stefanie’s passion immersed her in the world of journalism, first by finishing the program at Fanshawe and later pursuing her Master’s of Journalism at Western University. Throughout her schooling she was inspired to look beyond the uncertainty within the ever-changing industry and to keep her focus on becoming a good storyteller. She learned that no matter which medium the world was sharing information on, that powerful storytelling would always be at the heart of it. 

When applying for jobs in her field, Stefanie listened to those words of wisdom over those of the disheartening professors who tried to discourage her. She continued down her path and applied to every job available, even ones where they required two or more years of experience. 

Stefanie experimenting with a broadcast camera while studying at Western University. (2010).

“I applied for a lot of jobs that I wasn’t qualified for. The worst they could say was no!” Stefanie says this attitude was what led her to apply to CTV Ottawa and even though she didn’t get the job she applied for, the company contacted her and offered her a part-time position. 

Stefanie spent a year and a half learning the ropes and gaining experience on-air before being drawn back to Windsor. “I learned so much in Ottawa, but it just wasn’t my hometown. I have so much of a history here,” she recounts her family’s immigration from Italy to Windsor. “When I first moved back to Windsor and started reporting, people would recognize my name and ask if I was related to Giovanni—my nonno. It was so meaningful to hear about how he employed so much of our community through his construction company.”

This connection continues to stand out to Stefanie when reporting on refugees and new Canadians in our area. “We have so many people who come here for a better life; my family is the perfect example of that. When I see new people coming into the community I always say: who knows, maybe 10 years from now they’ll own their own business and employ my daughter or son and it’s exciting to see that happen.” 

It’s stories like these that help build communication and awareness within our community. Stefanie adds that when pursuing a story, she hopes it will change at least one person’s life, like she did earlier this year when reporting on a story about a mother who lost her young son to Aids. This story stretched beyond the Windsor-Essex community and was awarded by the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in the category for Small Market Feature. “It was exciting for the mom of this young man because she knew this story would be shared across Canada and the world,” Stefanie says about the goal of raising awareness for others to get tested for Aids. “Unfortunately, things do happen and we share these stories with one another to improve our lives, and in some cases to save lives.” 

Stefanie Masotti photographed in her home with her husband Corey Donaldson and children, Nicolo and Noella. Photo by John Liviero, Sooters Photography.

To be with this company and to hold this new anchor position in her hometown is a dream come true for Stefanie. She plans to take this opportunity and continue sharing stories, including her own, in hopes of being a positive example for kids who might not know what their “dream career” is after high school or even university. 

“Don’t be stressed out if you don’t know what you want to do at a young age; you might just fall into it like I did. I just want people to know that even in the times we are facing, not to give up. Continue on your passions, stay positive, keep working hard, and do what you feel is right for you.”  

After spending the last 10 years working a combination of nights and weekends, Stefanie says it’s exciting to be at a place where she’s finally working a steady schedule with set time off to continue spending with her family. When asked what’s next on her goal list, Stefanie says she has worked hard to get to this point and she’s going to relish in the achievement. Beyond that, she’s committed to expanding on what it means to be a great storyteller.

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