Wallin, Pamela 1943-

views updated

WALLIN, Pamela 1943-


Born 1943, in Wadena, Saskatchewan, Canada; daughter of William (a businessman and X-ray technician) and Leone (an English teacher) Wallin; married Malcolm Fox (a cameraman), 1987 (divorced, c. 1992). Education: College of Bandol (France), certificat d'etudes françaises; University of Regina, graduated (with honors), 1973.


Office—Canadian Consulate General, 1251 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020-1175.


Newscaster and television personality. Owner of production companies, including Current Affairs Group Limited and Prime Media Group. Canadian consul-general to New York, NY, 2002—. Appeared on television series, including (as Ottawa contributor, then chief of Ottawa bureau, then cohost) Canada A.M., Canadian Television (CTV), 1980-1992; Question Period, CTV, c. 1991; (as cohost) Prime Time News, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), 1992-1995; (as host) "Pamela Wallin Live," CBC Newsworld, 1997-1998; (as host) Pamela Wallin's Talk TV, began 2001; also appeared on Maclean's TV, CTV; and The National, CBC. Also coproducer of Maclean's TV. Appeared as herself in the television movie A Colder Kind of Death, Lifetime, 2001; and in the television special Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, CTV, 2000. Guest star as herself on several episodes of Royal Canadian Air Farce, 1995-2000. Journalist with the Toronto Star newspaper, first Toronto, Ontario, Canada, then Ottawa, Ontario, Canada bureau, began 1979. Journalist for radio programs, including Saskatchewan Today, CBC Radio, 1974-75; (story producer) As It Happens, CBC Radio, 1977-79; and Sunday Morning, CBC Radio. Social worker at the Prince Albert Penitentiary, Canada, 1973-74. University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, James Minifie Memorial Lecturer, 1992.


Canadian Journalism Foundation (chair, 2002—), Canadian Women in Communications (past chair), Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (past vice chair), News Theatre (member of board of directors), University of Waterloo Board of Governors, University Health Network Board of Trustees, Pheromone Sciences Corp. Board of Directors, Ontario Cancer Research Network Board of Directors, Historica (council member), Genesis Foundation (patron), Career Edge 2000 (past national chair).


Named Outstanding Canadian Achiever, Queen Elizabeth II, 1982; Skelton-Clark fellow, Queen's University, 1990; Gordon Sinclair Award for best broadcast overall journalist, Gemini Awards, 1992; President's Medal, 1993; named Broadcaster of the Year, Radio and Television News Directors' Association, 1994; Women of Influence Award for broadcasting, Toronto Life, 1994; Galaxi Award for best on-camera performance on a pay or specialty channel, Canadian Cable Television Association, 1997; Outstanding Achievement Award, Women in Film and Television, 1997; UNIFEM Canada Award, United Nations, 1999, for "outstanding contributions towards the advancement of women"; Saskatchewan Order of Merit, 1999; Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Association of Broadcasters; named Woman of the Year, Canadian Women in Communications, 2002; Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002; Variety Diamond Award, 2002. Honorary doctorates from Loyalist College, 1996; Wilfrid Laurier University, 1999; Ryerson University; 2000, University of Western Ontario, 2000; St. Thomas University, 2002; and University of Regina, 2002.


Since You Asked (memoir; also published as Pamela Wallin: A Memoir), Random House (New York, NY), 1998.

Speaking of Success: Collected Wisdom, Insights and Reflections, 2001.

The Comfort of Cats, photographs by Anne Bayin, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2003.


Pamela Wallin is one of the most recognizable faces in Canadian journalism. With the exception of her former boss Barbara Frum, Wallin may have done the most of any reporter to pave the way for Canadian women to take on serious roles in the traditionally male-dominated world of journalism. In just one example, in 1982 Wallin found herself in the unusual position of female war correspondent when Canadian Television (CTV) sent her off, with less than three hours' notice, to the Falkland Islands to cover the war there between Argentina and Great Britain. Her supervisor said to her as she left, "Screw this up and you'll ruin it for all women who want to be war correspondents." Wallin performed well in the difficult situation. In fact, her journalism so impressed her superiors that a few years after returning to Canada she became the first woman in the history of Canadian television journalism to hold the job of Ottawa bureau chief.

Shortly after Barbara Frum passed away in 1992, Wallin was given the job of co-anchor of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC's) nightly news program Prime Time News. In a well-publicized move, Wallin was let go from this job in 1995, reputedly because of personality conflicts between Wallin and others on the show's staff. When Wallin published her memoirs in 1998, readers hoped that Wallin would give her side of the dismissal story. Her settlement with the CBC forbade her to give most details of her departure, but still, "Wallin's is as frank a disclosure of the internal workings of the CBC as I've seen in print," a reviewer wrote in Quill and Quire. In addition, Wallin discusses her childhood in the small prairie town of Wadena, Saskatchewan, her rebellious teenage life, and her early years in journalism, including her first big break, when a friend asked her to fill in for the ill host of a call-in radio show for a month because he did not know anyone other than Wallin who could talk for an hour at a stretch. Since You Asked is a book "that should be mandatory reading for any young woman even thinking of a career in journalism," Barbara Wickens wrote in Maclean's.



Chatelaine, March, 1993, Philip Marchand, "Pamela Power!," pp. 58-61; June, 1996, Don Gillmor, interview with Wallin, pp. 49-52; January, 2003, Hilary Davidson, review of The Comfort of Cats, p. 14.

Contemporary Canadian Biographies, August, 1997, "Pamela Wallin."

Globe & Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), May 14, 1997, "Journalist Wallin Wins Cable Award," p. C4; November 27, 1997, John Allemang, "Television: Footing the Bill for Pamela Wallin," p. C2; November 7, 1998, review of Pamela Wallin: A Memoir; August 3, 2000, Theresa Ebden, "Why Pamela Wallin's No Regis in a Skirt—Yet"; August 28, 2001, Michael Posner, "Pamela Wallin to Undergo Surgery for Colorectal Cancer"; October 27, 2001, John Allemang, interview with Wallin; June 26, 2002, Campbell Clark and Heather Scoffield, "Chretien Names TV's Wallin New York Consul-General," p. 1; June 27, 2002, "Wallin on Broadway," p. 1; July 9, 2002, John MacLachlan Gray, "Gray's Anatomy: Why Wallin Gets to Eat Fiddleheads in the Big Apple," p. 1; December 4, 2002, Gloria Galloway, interview with Wallin.

Maclean's, October 26, 1992, Diane Turbide, interview with Wallin, pp. 95-96; April 17, 1995, Brian D. Johnson and E. Kaye Fulton, "Inside Stories," pp. 20-23; November 16, 1998, Barbara Wickens, review of Since You Asked, p. 87; November 23, 1998, Allan Fotheringham, review of Since You Asked, p. 156; December 7, 1998, review of Since You Asked, p. 70; February 8, 1999, Peter C. Newman, "Pamela Wallin Could Be the Next CBC Boss," p. 58; October 21, 2002, Sharon Doyle Driedger, review of The Comfort of Cats, p. 76.

Quill and Quire, November, 1998, review of Pamela Wallin: A Memoir, p. 33.

Saturday Night, June, 1997, Anne Kingston, "Pamela Wallin's Wild Kingdom," pp. 38-46.

Toronto Life (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), April, 2003, Nathalie Atkinson, "Babe in the Woods," p. 10.


Consulate of Canada, New York Web site,http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/ (August 6, 2003), "Biography: Pamela Wallin."

January Magazine,http://www.januarymagazine.com/ (November, 2001), Linda Richards, interview with Wallin.

Pamela Wallin Home Page,http://www.pamelawallin.com (July 10, 2003).*

About this article

Wallin, Pamela 1943-

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article