July 24, 2015 by Speakers' Spotlight
CBC’s Robert Fisher Retires After 49 Years in Broadcasting
Award-winning journalist Robert Fisher began his career in broadcasting more than 49 years ago. His insightful perspectives are based on his in-depth knowledge of provincial, national, and international politics. Fisher, who retired from CBC Radio yesterday, provides his audiences with the most up-to-date information on the issues that concern Canadians most:
CBC’s Robert Fisher retired yesterday after 49 years, bringing to an end a remarkable career in broadcasting distinguished by his outstanding coverage of Ontario politics over a period that spanned eight premiers.
Today Fisher concludes a journalism career that began in 1967 at a 1,000-watt radio station in Oakville, Ont. From there Fisher would go on to work in both radio and television at the CBC and eventually earn a job as Global’s Queen’s Park correspondent.
“There is no one more knowledgeable when it comes to Queen’s Park politics than Robert Fisher,” said Metro Morning host Matt Galloway in an interview Thursday looking back on Fisher’s career. “He is one of the classiest people in broadcasting.”
A versatile journalist distinguished by his humble approach, rapier wit and flair for the written word, Fisher’s work spanned radio, television and column writing for CBC.ca. His insight played a pivotal role in CBC’s political coverage of Queen’s Park.
“I started on a typewriter and I’m ending on Twitter,” he quipped Thursday.
Stepping away from the microphone wasn’t an easy decision for the 67-year-old.
“It’s clearly a mix of emotions,” he said. “I have adored this business.”
His career highlights include meeting U.S. broadcast legend Walter Cronkite.
“I still haven’t washed my right hand from that handshake,” said Fisher.
So what’s next? Fisher said he’s often asked whether he will jump into the political fray after years spent covering it.
He was first asked about his interest in running for office back in 1983 by former Ontario Premier Bill Davis and his staffer John Tory, now Toronto’s mayor.
Davis asked Fisher if he’d ever thought of running, Fisher then quipped “but for which party?”
“Davis took his pipe out and said to John Tory ‘I think this interview is over,'” Fisher recalls.
Other offers to run for office have spanned the entire political spectrum, from the federal NDP to the Canadian Alliance.
“People have asked me will I run. Let me give you the Bill Davis answer: I have no plans to have any plans,” said Fisher.
Fisher said he’s looking forward to moving on from the short deadlines, long hours and angry phone calls that come with almost five decades in a demanding industry.
“I’ve asked tough questions and I’ve been a pain in the neck I’m sure for a lot of premiers,” said Fisher.
“I’ve had people call me this week and say ‘I used to kick in the TV set every time you were on.’ But people at the end of the day have said ‘you were tough but fair.’ I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that.”