Host, Sportsnet Radio, The FAN 590
Roger Lajoie, RSJ '80, is a Host of the FAN 590 at Sportsnet Radio, the owner of Triumph Sports Communications, an instructor at Ryerson University, an official scorer of the Toronto Blue Jays and the author of several books.
What have you done since graduating from Ryerson?
First of all, I’ve worked for wire services, both Reuters and UPI, I have worked for newspapers, daily and weekly, the Oshawa Times and the Oshawa This Week, are the full-time jobs I’ve had. I’ve worked in TV and radio as a broadcaster.
My probably best-known job, for the last 22 years has been on Sportsnet 590 The FAN radio station. I’ve been their talk-show host, or fill-in talk-show host, for basically 22 years in the same role. That’s the biggest thing I’ve done.
And I have covered, as a result of my newspapers, radio background — because I count them — 193 major sporting events, which I’m very, very proud of. I’ve been to 13 World Series, 11 Super Bowls, 11 Final Fours, nine Stanley Cup finals, and I’ll stop there. I’ve been to a lot of major events, and Ryerson’s education afforded me the opportunity to make that happen, so I’m forever grateful to Ryerson.
How has your Ryerson degree helped you?
It opened doors for me. Ryerson provided instant recognition in the media. It gave me opportunity for jobs. The first question that was asked was “Do you have a degree?” Yes. And the second question was “Where from?” Ryerson. And the name was gold. And it was — it was the place to go to school.
What attracted you to journalism in the first place?
It was a glamorous profession, I thought. Sports, in particular, were a big passion of mine. So I’ll be honest, sports really got me more than the journalism part. I wanted to be around the sporting events, I wanted to be around the industry, and if you can’t play or coach, the only way to do it is through the media. But I was always a strong writer and I’ve always been a strong reader, and the two go hand in hand, so it was a natural fit for me.
What was your best moment on the job?
October 1993. I’m sitting in the press box. My boss at United Press International was on the phone. Bottom of the ninth inning, the Phillies lead the Blue Jays 6-5. This is before, you know, instant messaging and internet. And he said, “Okay, I want you to go to the losing clubhouse after the game and do it.” And I said, “Okay, losing clubhouse regardless of what transpires in the game.” And Henderson walks and the crowd starts screaming and yelling, and I’m having a really hard time. So we’re trying to co-ordinate the assignments and we’re going, “OK, so what you’re going to do, no matter what, go to the losing clubhouse and then…” — And then Joe Carter hits the homer that wins the World Series for the Blue Jays. And I didn’t hear another thing … What a great night. . . I mean, what a great night.
Any advice you would give current journalism students?
Passion, preparation and persistence. And if you can only take one — persistence. Passion got you in the door and keeps you going through the days of school. Preparation — four years at Ryerson. The persistence, I got nothing. I’ve got no advice; I cannot help you with persistence. Only you can persist.