After a 15-year career pivot, Glenn Jones ’95 returns to anchor Boston television news
When Glenn Jones ’95 decided to return to Boston television news after a 15-year career pivot into communications and marketing, his old friends from Williston gave him plenty of good-natured grief. Not because he was returning to the grind of the journalism profession, but because to do it he would be trading the warmth of his native Bermuda for the winters of New England. “They had visited me in Bermuda and know what I was leaving behind,” says Jones, who started as evening anchor for NBC-10 Boston in November 2021. “So they enjoy sharing clips and making comments that I can only tolerate from people who have known me that long.”
As a teenager, Jones himself had doubts about leaving his home island, arriving at Williston for a postgraduate year to encounter a new school culture and the cold of Easthampton. Returning to Bermuda for Christmas break, “I wasn’t sure that I wanted to go back,” he acknowledges. But he did, and he soon thrived, making lifelong friends with students from around the world, playing baseball for (and discussing cricket with) Matt Sawyer, acting in theater, and experiencing the benefits of “coexisting in close quarters, in a place where racially, spiritually, ethnically, nationally, people are just so different, but in common we share this desire to reach a higher level of education to hopefully have a successful life.”
And Jones would indeed find success in post-Williston life. After earning his degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College, he worked for seven years as a local television reporter in Florida and Boston, winning an Emmy for his feature news work. In 2006, however, when his stepfather fell ill, Jones returned to Bermuda to support the family. His stepfather recovered, but Jones stayed on and “fell into some opportunities I didn’t expect,” including serving as the press secretary for the Premier of Bermuda, the nation’s highest elected official. “It was incredibly rewarding,” he says. “It was incredibly stressful, but it expanded me professionally in a profound way.” A few years later he joined the Bermuda Tourism Authority, working his way up through various communications and marketing positions, and eventually serving as interim CEO—just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
After “a very difficult 15 months,” Jones took a needed break, only to get a call from a former television colleague in Boston who had seen Jones’ Instagram post about his new work status. He asked if Jones wanted to come back to the news business. “Initially I said, ‘I think that’s a terrible idea,’” Jones recalls, but after he had a number of conversations and visits, and heard how the station was trying to innovate with lo-cal coverage in a shifting news environment, the idea took on a new appeal. Jones, now married with a grown stepson, moved back to the Boston area, and today says, “I’m really glad to be here.”
And those who knew him at Williston are delighted he’s back. Assistant Head of School Ann Pickrell, who recruited Jones in Bermuda and has kept in touch with him over the years, is looking forward to Jones’ becoming more active in the Williston community. “He wouldn’t brag about it, but everyone knew him in Bermuda,” she notes. “We’re really thrilled to have him be closer to the school and reconnecting with Williston.”
One aspect of his new position that Jones finds particularly encouraging is his new employer’s focus on diversity, a topic that has long been a personal passion. “I’ve really been inspired by what NBC Universal has strategized around diversity, equity, and inclusion,” he explains, adding that he’d like to become more involved with Williston’s efforts as well. “It flows through how they hire, the programs that they support in local communities, and how we cover stories.”
Jones is even taking a philosophical approach to New England’s not-quite-Bermudalike climate. “The warmness of the relationships you form always outweighs the bitterness of the winter,” he says with a laugh. “In the end, that’s what it was for me.”