From Regina to LA

Julie Stewart-Binks continues her rapid ascent in broadcasting

It was while covering the 2012 NHL Draft that Julie Stewart-Binks sparked her move to Fox Sports 1.

The Queen’s graduate was working at CTV Regina at the time and pitched a piece on Saskatchewan native Ryan Murray’s experience during draft week. After she finished the story, Murray’s agent Rick Valette talked to his agency about the possibility of representing her.

Stewart-Binks signed with the agency, which also represents several well-known athletes and media personalities. Since then, she’s covered a host of high-profile sporting events, including the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Sochi Olympics.

It’s all part of a quick rise from student broadcaster to working for a national network in the US. Only five years ago, Stewart-Binks was wrapping up her time with Queen’s TV, the place where her broadcasting career began.

Studying physical education and drama at Queen’s, Stewart-Binks, PheKin ’09, served as a reporter and sports anchor for QTV and dabbled in other forms of journalism. She said the time she spent at Queen’s played a major role in developing her as a broadcaster.

“It helped me so much in that I was able to make demo tapes when I was younger,” she said. “[I was] able to try different things, when obviously in my career right now and even one or two or three years ago, you don’t have that luxury of being a bit risky with things [and] trying something new.”

Since graduating in 2009, Stewart-Binks has traversed the world and worked for several television networks. She received a master’s degree in broadcast journalism from City University in London, England in 2010 before embarking on jobs with CBC, Cogeco, Fox Soccer Channel and eventually CTV Regina.

It was while working there last March that she headed down to Los Angeles to do interviews with several sports networks, including Fox Sports.

After meeting with executives from the network, Stewart-Binks knew she wanted to work there.

“Fox was the first one I met with and instantly as soon as I walked in, it was such a positive energy, amazing vibe,” she said. “I was there for three hours for what was supposed to be like a 10-minute quick interview with the [Fox Sports] president, Eric Shanks.”

The interviews paid off, as she went down to Los Angeles two weeks later for an audition with Fox. Stewart-Binks beat out over 200 other applicants to get the job, bringing her over 4,000 km from where her career began.

Stewart-Binks has spent the last year serving as a reporter and anchor for Fox Sports 1 and hosts the network’s soccer and LA Kings coverage.

She’s currently reporting on the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals, sitting in the press boxes at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and Montreal’s Bell Centre. The coverage has given her a chance to meet some of the insiders she looks up to and considers “gods” of hockey broadcasting.

“In Montreal, I got to sit beside all the TSN guys in the press box. I was like, ‘this is pretty cool,’” she said. “I’ve had so many ‘alright, I don’t know how this happened, but it’s pretty amazing’ moments this year.”

One of those moments came in February during the Winter Olympics in Sochi. After Canada’s men’s hockey team captured gold, Stewart-Binks watched the sun set over the Black Sea and shine off the cauldron holding the Olympic Flame.

“Regardless of what’s going on in your life, this is so fantastic, it’s bigger than that. To be a part of it, I was like a kid, I was crying,” she said. “I can only hope to be part of a rights holder someday and cover the Olympics, because that was amazing.”

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