In Brief

The out­go­ing host of CBC’s Early Edi­tion on 20 years of early morn­ings, talk­ing with Mr. Rogers and life af­ter jour­nal­ism.

Vancouver Magazine - - Contents - BY Matt O’Grady

Rick Clu­, snow re­moval and more.

Q: You’re of­ten as­so­ci­ated with be­ing “the sports guy” who be­came “the morn­ing guy.” But you didn’t re­ally want to go into sports, did you? A: My dream job was to be a par­lia­men­tary cor­re­spon­dent. I loved pol­i­tics. But sports was down a guy when Iar­rived, and be­fore you knew it, I had a two-year as­sign­ment— travelling the world on the CBC’s dime. A two-year as­sign­ment be­came a 20-year com­mit­ment.

Q: The ca­reer turning point was your last Olympics, 1996 in At­lanta, when you were called into ac­tion to cover the Cen­ten­nial Olympic Park bomb­ing.

A: We got a phone call, around mid­night, that there had been an at­tack— we need

you right now. So, with no sleep, we drove from our mo­tel to where the bomb­ing had oc­curred. Be­cause they’d clamped down on se­cu­rity, tele­vi­sion re­porters had been pushed aside; us ra­dio guys, with our small tape recorders, could sneak through. Ire­mem­ber open­ing my mic and hav­ing one piece of paper with the facts on it—no in­tro. We were on the air for over two hours. When we came back, that’s when one of the vice pres­i­dents at CBC said to me, “It’s time for you to do ashow.”

A: Mr. Rogers. In my early days at CBC, Ernie Coombs—Mr. Dres­sup—be­came a friend. When my pro­ducer came to me in 2001, on the day Ernie died, and asked, “Who do you want to talk to?” I said Fred Rogers. When Fred had started in kids’ tele­vi­sion in Pitts­burgh, Mr. Dres­sup was his pup­peteer and artist. Any­way, we found Fred on Nan­tucket Is­land. It was one of those sur­real mo­ments, where I’m in­ter­view­ing Mr. Rogers about Mr. Dres­sup’s death—and Fred, who had heard from my pro­ducer that we were friends, is con­sol­ing me on the air.

Q: Your father—a pro­ducer who worked for CFRB in Toronto—told you “don’t work for the CBC,” yet it’s clear the pub­lic broad­caster has been good to you.

A: I talked to Pe­ter Mans­bridge about this re­cently. The op­por­tu­ni­ties we’ve had—we re­ally did work dur­ing the golden age of broad­cast­ing. I walked across Check­point Char­lie, I stood in the DMZ in Korea, I was be­hind the Iron Cur­tain in the 1970s. It re­ally has been a re­mark­able ca­reer.

Q: Un­like Mans­bridge, you also didn’t drag it out for ayear.

A: On his last show, he said, “I hate long good­byes.” I texted him: “You told us the —fth of Septem­ber that you were go­ing to re­tire on July 1 the next year!” I looked sta­tis­ti­cally at it: there were 144,000 ba­bies con­ceived and born dur­ing that time. Q: You had quadru­ple by­pass surgery this past June, which played into your de­ci­sion to re­tire. What’s next? Are you go­ing to start hawk­ing in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, like Bill Good? A: No. I’ll do some­thing else, but Idon’t know what. The —rst thing I’m go­ing to do is noth­ing. I just want to sleep in.

We re­ally did work dur­ing the golden age of broad­cast­ing.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.