Lisa LaFlamme named as Lloyd Robertson's successor
CTV.ca News Staff
Published Friday, July 9, 2010 6:39PM EDT
Respected journalist Lisa LaFlamme has been chosen to succeed Lloyd Robertson as the anchor of the country's most-watched newscast, CTV National News.
LaFlamme, CTV's current National Affairs correspondent, will assume the full-time anchor title later next year, after a period of transition in which she and Robertson will share the anchor position.
"I don't think it's actually sunk in yet, really, because it's such a daunting concept, to replace Lloyd Robertson – I mean, it's Lloyd Robertson," LaFlamme said Friday afternoon in a series of interviews the two journalists held following the announcement.
"Obviously, I am honoured and humbled by all of this," she said. "It's really overwhelming and there's been a lot of high-fiving in my family and a lot of excitement in the team I've been a part of for so many years."
The promotion is believed to make LaFlamme the country's first full-time female anchor in one of the three major English-language national newscast.
LaFlamme began her broadcast career at CTV's CKCO affiliate in her hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo in 1988. There, she worked as a local reporter until 1997.
After time as an anchor for CTV Newsnet (now CTV News Channel), LaFlamme later co-hosted CTV's Canada AM from 2001 to 2003.
A hard news journalist at heart, LaFlamme has reported from some of the world's most fascinating locations, covering everything from wars to elections, to natural disasters and sports events. Most recently, she recently played an integral part of CTV's national broadcast team at Vancouver 2010 as co-host of Olympic Daytime.
LaFlamme has received five Gemini nominations in the Best News Anchor category and has won several RTNDA awards. She's also received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. and was awarded the Meritas-Tabaret Award for Alumni Achievement from the University of Ottawa.
LaFlamme has been a regular fill-in anchor CTV National News with Lloyd Robertson since 2003. Robertson said Friday he was proud to hand over the reins to LaFlamme.
"I am so proud of Lisa and so very happy for her," said Lloyd Robertson. "She's an extraordinary talent and a wonderful human being. Canadians will appreciate it's the right choice."
Robertson, 76, surprised many Canadians by announcing his retirement Thursday night.
The veteran anchor has been a familiar face in Canadian living rooms for almost 35 years. Famous for ending his nightly newscast with the sign-off "That's the kind of day it's been," Robertson has been voted Canada's most trusted news anchor by TV Guide readers 11 years straight.
"You can overstay, and I didn't want to do that," he said Friday afternoon. "I wanted to go out on a high, and I think we've achieved that, because the newscast is doing very well and we've got an excellent replacement."
The hardest part, Robertson said, was making the decision and setting a timeline for the transition. "I'm relieved today, because to me, the toughest part is over. The rest is going to be easy now."
Robertson stressed he will still keep a hand in the news. "I'll probably continue for a while with W5, which I enjoy doing, and I'm available for other things around the network."
His memorable career has spanned 50 years, beginning in 1952, at CJCS Radio in his hometown of Stratford.
After moving into television in 1954 with CBC, the newscaster went on to anchor CBC's national news program in 1970. In 1976, he joined CTV News with co-host Harvey Kirck, before taking over the anchor chair solo in 1984.
In 1995/96, the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) awarded Robertson the Gold Ribbon Award for Broadcast Excellence and in 1998, inducted him into the CAB Hall of Fame. He's won multiple Gemini Awards, and in 1993 the Radio Television News Directors' Association (RTNDA) honoured him with the prestigious President's Award.