Last night’s evening CTV national newscast was Lloyd Robertson’s final one of a truly illustrious career. Last evening Canadians witnessed history as Lloyd Robertson – a man embodying integrity, honesty and an earnest concern for the world around him – signed off.
Lloyd’s Robertson’s tenure in the anchorman’s chair of Canada’s national news show is remarkable. Canadians entrusted Lloyd with delivering news of their world for more than four decades. When Lloyd started in media back in 1952, Louis Saint Laurent was prime minister, the Korean War was raging, George VI had recently died, and television itself was just arriving in Canada. In the span of his career, Canada celebrated its centennial year and hosted multiple Olympics and Expos, the Cold War and apartheid ended, and both space-travel and the Internet age were born. The world has changed a lot in those decades, but it was comforting to know in Canada that there was a man who could put those changes into perspective for us.
Here are a few interesting facts about this wonderful man and his career.
- Robertson anchored a national newscast (first with CBC and then with CTV) for 41 years, more than twice the tenure of Walter Cronkite.
- CTV National News is the country’s highest-rated newscast, averaging 1.2 million viewers per night.
- Three of Lloyd’s most memorable news stories he covered: the first Apollo moon landing; Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope; the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Lloyd’s most memorable (and troubling) news story he ever covered: terrorist attacks of 9/11. He says, “We weren’t sure of what was coming next. That story was the most difficult for me.”
- Peter Mansbridge, CBC News anchor, on Lloyd: “This can be a cutthroat business, no question about it. He has managed two networks at the top of the ladder and done it with style and distinction. There are no blemishes.”
- In his own words, why he is leaving the anchor’s chair: “You can’t go on forever. The aging process is inevitable. Your body begins to tell you little things. I really wanted to leave at the top of the game rather than sit there and let the slide in my own presentation begin.”
Vinay Menon wrote an excellent tribute piece that appeared in the Toronto Star earlier this month:
And here’s a link to the CTV tribute to their treasured anchorman:
(ed. – It is hard to put this event into proper context. But watching Lloyd Robertson delivering his closing comments last evening, I again realized the sad reality in this life, that all good things do come to an end… “And that’s the kind of day it’s been” )