CTV announced Friday that Lisa LaFlamme will replace Lloyd Robertson as anchor of the CTV National News.
The move came after months of speculation. LaFlamme, a 20-year veteran at the network (she began her career as CKCO in Kitchener-Waterloo), was showcased to good effect on CTV's Winter Olympic Games coverage.
"To follow in the footsteps of Lloyd Robertson is an enormous honour and extremely humbling,” LaFlamme, 45, says in Friday's CTV release. “He is an institution, the very foundation that fair and honest journalism is built on, and has personally taught me so much about this business that I love.”
“I am so proud of Lisa and so very happy for her,” said Robertson. “She's an extraordinary talent and a wonderful human being. Canadians will appreciate it's the right choice.”
Speculation was running wild after Robertson told viewers he was stepping down on Thursday night's National News broadcast. Tom Clark and Sandie Rinaldo were also seen as logical successors.
The 76-year-old broadcaster will remain behind the anchor desk into 2011, marking 35 years as CTV's chief news anchor.
Before that, Robertson held a similar post at CBC News, covering everything from Expo '67 to the Moon landing. The Stratford, Ont.-native began his broadcasting career at CBC in 1954, just two years after Canada's first TV station went on the air.
I've goofed on Lloyd over the years, joking about his age, his changing hair colour, his early days at pyramid duty. The fact is, he outlasted all the great TV anchors of his generation and was a reassuring voice and presence for generations of Canadians. He consistently topped polls naming him Canada's most trusted newsman.
He also has a sense of humor. Once, when I took a shot at his age back when I was working at the Toronto Sun, he sent me an email: "Watch it or I'll sick Peter Worthington and Bob MacDonald on you."
Both Worthington and the late, great MacDonald were several years older than Robertson and still doing what they did best at the newspaper. Advantage Lloyd.
CTV's news scooped rival Global's plans to unveil their new news anchor Tuesday in Toronto. Kevin Newman is stepping down at the end of August. There had been some speculation that Newman might be CTV's big get today but his desire to jump off the news bus and spent more time with family must now be taken at face value.