Peter Mansbridge came back to work at The National on Labour Day, and he had some big news.
Mansbridge, who has been the anchor and chief correspondent for almost 30 years, will sign off at the end of Canada Day 2017.
"As someone who believes strongly in public broadcasting, leaving the CBC's flagship will not be easy," Mansbridge told viewers last night. "But what's important is that The National of the future will continue to reflect our world, our country and our people."
Mansbridge took over in the top role at CBC News on May 2, 1988 from Knowlton Nash. Mansbridge almost didn't become the anchor of The National. The promotion was an effort to keep Mansbridge at the CBC.
Mansbridge, then the weekend anchor, turned down a reported almost $1 million annual salary to be the co-host of the CBS morning show with Kathleen Sullivan. Nash offered to step down as anchor to keep Mansbridge at the CBC.
Mansbridge had served as the substitute anchor, the parliamentary correspondent for a decade, and a Saskatchewan-based reporter for the nightly program for a year.
Mansbridge, 68, has been the voice and face of CBC News for a considerable period of time. Robertson became the dominant face and voice of CTV News after leaving The National in 1976. Robertson retired as the CTV anchor in 2011.
The two other national newscasts in Canada have had recent transitions. Lisa LaFlamme took over for Robertson as CTV anchor. Dawna Friesen replaced Kevin Newman as the anchor for Global in 2010.
Let's look at three possible internal replacements:
- Wendy Mesley is the Friday and Sunday anchor at The National. Mesley has been the Sunday anchor since 2010. Interestingly, Mesley and Mansbridge were married from 1989-1992.
- Andrew Nichols is the Saturday anchor at The National. Nichols has also worked as a CBC News Network anchor and a reporter.
- Ian Hanomansing is a long-time reporter and anchor at the CBC.
Someone will sit in the anchor chair in the second half of 2017 but replacing Mansbridge will be a very difficult task for the CBC. Mansbridge has covered 14 federal elections, hosted 8 Olympic ceremonies, won 12 Gemini Awards, and conducted an estimated 15,000 interviews.
The National airs on the CBC at 10 pm local time and several times on CBC News Network. Though the newscast used to be shown in the States on the defunct Newsworld International channel, the newscast is available online.
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