In 1968, a 20-year-old baggage handler in Churchill, Man., subbed in at the mic to make flight announcements. Mansbridge’s honeyed baritone impressed a local CBC Radio manager, who recruited him on the spot. This month, he marks his 25th anniversary as anchor of The National. Television news viewership may be in decline, but the show’s audience is pulling in more than one million viewers nightly. “Most of the stuff that fills the Internet becomes irrelevant by end of day,” says Mansbridge. “People watch us to see major events reported in context.” Viewers also appreciate the Mansbridge Touch. He delivers the news without embellishment or manufactured urgency. And while he keeps his opinions to himself, his muted reactions— a hint of a smile, a slightly raised eyebrow—provide the perfect counterpoint to the Rex Murphys, Chantal Héberts, Andrew Coynes and other hyper-talkative pundits who surround him. We trust him because he plays it cool.
Lighting Round with Mansbridge:
How will you celebrate your 25th? Quietly. What’s the secret of your success? I love my job. Who do you trust most? My family, my colleagues and my instincts. And least? The Leafs with a one-goal lead.