A CBS producer and writer has come from the Big Apple to the Big Sky to ask Valley County people about the effect the Keystone XL oil pipeline might have on this area, if it receives presidential approval.
Craig Wilson is a Canadian from Medicine Hat, Alberta, who has forged an award-winning career with CBS News in New York City, but he goes home with his children every summer and follows Canadian-American news stories for CBS.
Wilson arrived in Glasgow Tuesday and said he plans to talk with Valley County Commissioner Bruce Peterson, School Superintendent Bob Connors, NorVal Electric Coop general manager Craig Herbert and ranchers whose land is crossed by the pipeline. In a telephone interview he said he picked Glasgow because he did a story on the Keystone XL last year, and now he wants to talk to people who live in the pipeline’s path. Although the pipeline crosses from Canada into Montana in Phillips County, Glasgow is the first city in the United States to be affected.
He works exclusively for CBS, writing the Evening News, but is freelance with his own story ideas for the network. He is a crew of one in the pared-down world of enterprise reporting, doing the filming, interviewing and editing by himself.
“A major story like Boston (the marathon bombing) gets a full crew but they depend on people like me to be resourceful,” Wilson said.
His first media job was as a reporter with CHAT-TV in Medicine Hat. According to a story on the Medicine Hat College website, he met his future wife and followed her to New York City, where he had an introduction to someone at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s United Nations bureau. He managed to work there after classes at Columbia University and began to gain experience. He won an award for his coverage of Canadians in New York and Canada’s commitment to the United States after 9/11. Soon after, he made the transition to CBS, where he was a staff producer/writer/editor for 12 years. Then, seven years ago, he went the free-lance route so he could “be more of a taxi driver” to his young children. He lives 40 miles southwest of Manhattan in Basking Ridge, N.J. That’s a long commute for a man who says he prefers “rush minute” and three cars waiting at the crossing for a train.
“I’m from the prairie. I love it,” Wilson said.