Just ahead of Peter Mansbridge’s final broadcast as anchor of The National this week, the chief correspondent of CBC News is being honoured by CBC staff at the public broadcaster’s Toronto headquarter on Wednesday.
“The closer it gets… the more I realize how much I’ll miss it,” Mansbridge told CBC The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti last week.
“I’ll miss the camaraderie and the friendship I think most.”
Mansbridge had an unconventional start in broadcasting: he landed his first radio job at the age of 19 when the then-airport ticket agent caught the attention of a CBC station manager in Churchill, Man., while making a flight announcement.
From his start as a late-night CBC Radio host, he eventually moved into a field reporter role for CBC Radio and then CBC Television. In 1982, he began hosting The National on weekends and occasionally filling in for then-anchor Knowlton Nash before officially taking over in 1988.
Over the years, he has anchored CBC News coverage of major international and Canadian events, from the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to 13 Olympics, 14 federal elections and 34 Canada Day celebrations. He has conducted an estimated 15,000 interviews, including of Canadian and global leaders.
He serves as chancellor of Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, has received honorary degrees from a host of Canadian universities and has even inspired — and voiced — a character in the Oscar-winning animated film Zootopia.
Named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2008, Mansbridge was also inducted into the Canadian News Hall of Fame and awarded a lifetime achievement honour by the RTDNA.
Mansbridge will host his final broadcast of The National from Ottawa on Friday and give his final sign off as chief correspondent after anchoring CBC’s sesquicentennial Canada Day coverage on Saturday.