Cheryl McKenzie new head of news and current affairs at APTN

APTN has named Cheryl McKenzie as the network’s new executive director of News and Current Affairs.

McKenzie is Anishinaabe and Cree from the Hollow Water and Peguis First Nations in Manitoba and has been with APTN since 2001. Among her roles with the network, she helped launch APTN’s National News: Daytime, the network’s second live daily newscast as host/producer; has hosted and produced current affairs program Contact, APTN InFocus and APTN Investigates. In 2012, she started hosting the APTN National News, making history as the first Indigenous media outlet to conduct an interview with a sitting prime minister. McKenzie became the executive show producer in 2016. 

“Cheryl brings a breadth of leadership and experience to this role, and the network is pleased that she has taken on the challenge of leading APTN’s award-winning News and Current Affairs team,” said APTN CEO Jean La Rose, in a release. “I know she will work hard with her team and the entire network to carry out APTN’s mission of sharing our people’s stories.”

McKenzie will take up her new position on July 22, succeeding Karyn Pugliese, who moves on at the end of the month after seven years at the helm of APTN National News. Pugliese is attending Harvard University in the fall as a recipient of the Martin Wise Goodman Canadian Nieman Fellowship.

2019 marks a year of change at the network with La Rose also set to move on at the end of the year after 17 years as CEO. The search is currently underway for his successor.

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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