Veteran CBC journalist and longtime radio host, Carol Off, today announced she will step down from hosting CBC Radio One’s AS IT HAPPENS to focus on developing new projects for CBC. Off’s last day of delivering the stories behind the news of the day from the host chair will be Friday, February 25.
“It’s been a wild and wonderful ride but it’s time for someone else to take AIH for a spin. After a decade and a half and—I estimate—25,000 interviews, I want to do something else,” said Off. “I have had so many great conversations on AIH. Some were difficult: Holding a politician’s feet to the fire; speaking with the woman who held Nathan Cirillo’s hand while he died; finding a doctor who is dodging bullets in Syria; talking with a man who spent years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Others were sweet and simple: a Scottish shepherd who found her lost lamb; a man who dug up a WW1 shell near his garden; a family that decided to return a million dollar lottery ticket; and even a woman who knits sweaters for her chickens.”
“Carol is one of the very best interviewers in the country. Full stop. Her journalism and journalistic excellence has received so many awards and honours that it would be impossible to list them all,’ said Susan Marjetti, General Manager of CBC News, Current Affairs and Local. “Of course, As It Happens will continue and Carol will still be telling stories this summer in a new series. So we will continue to enjoy her smart insights, never ending curiosity, probing questions and dry, droll wit for a little longer thankfully. She is an incredible person and a top talent.”
While CBC Radio conducts a search for a new host for AS IT HAPPENS, a number of guest hosts will fill in, alongside co-host Chris Howden, as the program continues to bring listeners unique stories and voices from around the world, as the show has been doing for more than 50 years.
Prior to taking the host chair at AS IT HAPPENS in 2006, Off was an international correspondent for CBC covering the Middle East, the Balkans, Afghanistan, the United States, the former Soviet Union and many other places. She has also covered Canadian military missions around the world, including combat operations in Kandahar after 9/11. She was a news and politics reporter based in Ottawa and Montreal, and began her career on the Arts beat for CBC in the 1980s.
Off’s many honours include a Gemini; two gold medals from the New York Festival of Television; a Gabriel Award; ACTRA’s John Drainie Award for Distinguished Contribution to Canadian Broadcasting; and most recently a Silver medal for Best Radio Personality in 2021 from the New York Festivals Radio Awards. She is the author of four books, including most recently, All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others, winner of the British Columbia National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2018.
Off is chair of Canadian Journalists for Free Expression’s Gala Fundraiser and has volunteered with Journalists for Human Rights to help Afghan journalists escape from the Taliban.
In the days leading up to Off’s final show as host, AS IT HAPPENS will broadcast highlights from her stellar career; from hard-hitting to humorous interviews, filled with moments of reflection and joy. The AS IT HAPPENS team will share some of Off’s best moments from the archive—the prize-winning journalism, the tough exchanges, and the laughs— along with tributes from her colleagues. Details about Off’s new summer series will be announced later this year.
Broadcasting weekdays at 6:30 p.m. (7 NT) on CBC Radio One and CBC Listen, AS IT HAPPENS first premiered on CBC Radio One on November 18, 1968, offering a simple but effective format that was a twist on the traditional call-in show; a call out show, where the hosts would interview people across the country and around the world.