For more than 20 years, British Columbians have been waking up to the warm voice of broadcaster Rick Cluff on CBC Radio One's The Early Edition.

Today, CBC British Columbia announced the retirement of its long-time host. Cluff officially signs off one last time from the hosting chair on Friday, December 22, 2017.

Dedication, drive, passion

"We thank Rick for his dedication, drive, and passion for broadcast news and morning radio all these years," says​ ​Johnny​ ​Michel,​ ​senior​ ​managing​ ​director,​ ​British​ ​Columbia​ ​and​ ​Alberta.​

"​Rick has this natural ability in creating conversations on important issues in our city."

"From interviewing Terry Fox during his Marathon of Hope, being in Prague when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Olympic games, to reporting on Vancouver's growing pains around gentrification and affordable housing, Rick's journalism career has spanned some of Canada and the world's most defining moments in the past four decades."

"His retirement is very much deserved."

Rick Cluff on first day hosting the CBC Early Edition

Rick Cluff began hosting the CBC's The Early Edition on September 1, 1997. The new season kicked off with live music and pancakes right outside the CBC Plaza. (CBC)

​"Rick has bridged Vancouver's many diverse communities and made The Early Edition a place where all are welcome to discuss the issues that affect our home and our city" says​ ​Shiral​ ​Tobin,​ ​director, journalism​ ​and​ ​programming​ ​for​ ​CBC​ ​British​ ​Columbia.​

"He's also a mentor to many young journalists in British Columbia."

A decorated career

Cluff first started hosting The Early Edition in September of 1997.

He has transformed the radio landscape by leading The Early Edition and CBC Radio One to be the number one morning program and radio station in Metro Vancouver's competitive broadcast landscape.

He and his team have received multiple awards for their coverage of local news such as the Robert Dziekanski tasering at YVR airport, B.C. education strife and protests over gentrification.

​Prior to The Early Edition, Cluff's award-winning career with the CBC began in Ontario in 1976 as a sports commentator and reporter.

He has covered eight Olympic games, five Commonwealth games, Super Bowls, Stanley Cup runs, and several Canada games as well as various world championship events from the South Pacific to the Arctic Circle.

Rick Cluff

This portrait of Rick Cluff was taken in February of 1977. (CBC)

'Thank you for being there'

Although he has interviewed prime ministers and presidents, Cluff often says ordinary people have the best stories.

"It has been a remarkable 41 years with the CBC, but all things must come to an end," says​ ​Cluff.​

"It has been both my privilege and my pleasure to be part of your morning as host of The Early Edition. To be invited into so many homes every morning, to be part of your morning routine, to be allowed to tag along on your morning commute is something for which I am extremely grateful and will treasure forever.

"Thank you for being there... thank you for listening."

Listeners will be invited to share their memories of Cluff, with many of their stories being aired during the annual holiday request show on Friday, December 22, 2017.

The Early Edition announces a new host Monday, December 11, 2017.

About​ ​The​ ​Early​ ​Edition

The Early Edition is CBC Radio One's flagship weekday morning show in Metro Vancouver.

From 5:00 to 8:30 a.m. PT on 88.1 FM, listeners tune in to the day's current affairs, local news, sports, traffic, and weather reports.