Chris Ensing named new host of CBC Windsor News

Born and raised in London, Ont., Chris Ensing started with CBC in 2011 and has travelled throughout Canada telling people's stories.

'This was always it' says Ensing about journalism as a career

Windsor Morning's Tony Doucette interviews CBC Windsor News at 6's newest host Chris Ensing. 6:49

"I thought it was so cool that you'd be able to ask questions and people had to give you answers."

Add in a cup of strong, black coffee and a room-temperature cheeseburger and you could only be speaking to the new host of Windsor's 6 p.m. news: Chris Ensing.

Born and raised in London, Ont., Ensing started with CBC in 2011 and has travelled throughout Canada telling people's stories.

"I've been all over. Journalism has taken me into mines, into people's homes on the worst and best days of their lives," said Ensing. "To be able to have all that at once, as my career. It's insane that was an option for me."

Ensing never wanted to be an astronaut or a firefighter. From a young age, he knew he wanted to tell stories.

"This was always it. I started to recognize more that storytelling was just more fun," said Ensing. 

CBC's Chris Ensing shows a camp group around the newsroom. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

The first story Ensing ever wrote for Windsor was about the Bright Lights festival.

His second story: flooding.

Since he joined the Windsor team, Ensing has covered many more stories important to Windsor-Essex residents. 

Multi-platform storytelling

Ensing is a champion in the newsroom for pop-up shows in the community and social media engagement.

"We're there where you are," said Ensing. "We want to find you in your everyday life."

Through social media tools such as Instagram, Ensing is always seeking new oportunities to engage with the audience.

"People are expecting something different from the media industry in 2019 than they were in 2011," said Ensing. "If we can give information to people where they already are, then we're being successful."

CBC Windsor executive producer Bob Becken said he's excited to have someone like Ensing at the helm of the evening broadcast.

"Chris is an adept storyteller, who will help us strengthen community connections, expand our audience, and drive coverage reflecting the diversity of Ontario's southernmost city," said Becken. 

The sentiment was echoed by Ontario Regions senior managing director Marissa Nelson, who said Ensing was focused on telling the unique stories of the region.

"He is a seasoned multi-platform journalist and a market leader in his innovative approach to storytelling, from his video skills  to CBC streaming platforms and social media," said Nelson.

It's a 'Chris' thing

"I've got some quirks," Ensing readily admits. 

One of those quirks includes the preference for a cold burger over a warm burger.

Born and raised in London, Ont., Chris Ensing started with CBC in 2011. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

"I tuck my pants into my socks," said Ensing. "But no one will ever see my feet on TV."

But the most 'Ensing' thing of all? He just truly loves the job.

"I've been on vacations where I've broken plane crash stories while in line to board a plane to go somewhere else," said Ensing. "I just can't stop it."

Chris Ensing 101

Ensing's favourite book is 'The Hatchet,' a 1987 wilderness survival novel by Gary Paulsen, but he's re-reading all the Jack Reacher novels right now too. 

Midnight in Paris tops his favourite movie list, along with anything by Anthony Bourdain. 

"As far as a visual medium, that's it," said Ensing, crediting Bourdain for influencing how he shoots stories.

Unexpected most of all — his favourite song. 

"Spotify tells me what I like," said Ensing. "Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks is probably number one ... but number two is probably a Kanye song."

He takes his coffee black, mostly because it's easier to order, and Yellowknife is the top of his travel bucket list. 

"I've been lucky to go to some places Canadians don't often have the opportunity to visit," said Ensing. "The more we know about our country, the easier it is for us to tell stories about it."

Tune in to CBC Windsor News at 6 weeknights from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., streamed live on Facebook and Twitter. Ensing takes on host reponsibilities effective immediately.

A few of the out-of-the-box stories Ensing has chased for CBC Windsor:


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