CBC anchor Maragos marks 20-year milestone

Costa Maragos, a co-anchor of CBC television's Saskatchewan newscasts, has reached a broadcast milestone: marking his twentieth year reading the news in the province.
CBC news anchor Costa Maragos has been reading the news in Saskatchewan for 20 years. ((John Weidlich/CBC))
Costa Maragos, a co-anchor of CBC television's Saskatchewan newscasts, has reached a broadcast milestone: marking his twentieth year reading the news in the province.

Maragos, 51, joined the newscast on Feb. 26, 1990.

"I was nervous," he recalled in an interview. "There was a thin film of perspiration all over my body."

"But once I got through the first minute or so, everything seemed to go OK," he said.

It was his television debut.

Maragos had previously worked for CBC radio as a news reader in Toronto. He also hosted CBC Windsor's local morning radio program.

In Saskatchewan, Maragos started as co-anchor with Holly Preston.

"What's so great about Holly was she made me feel so welcome," Maragos said. "She was just great to work with. And so was Howard Thornton, the weather guy."

Maragos has forgotten what the top stories of that day were but has kept the original line-up sheet as a keepsake, somewhere at home.

Costa Maragos, seen here at his office desk, says he still enjoys being on-air every day. ((John Weidlich/CBC))
Maragos was born in B.C. and grew up in Regina where his father owned a couple of pool halls "when it was politically incorrect to own one," he added.

One was called Regina Billiards, the other was Top Hat Billiards.

"A great place to learn about journalism was a pool hall," Maragos said. "Because of all the crazy characters that went to the place."

In a broadcast world where the lifespan of programs and hosts is increasingly brief, Maragos said the anniversary felt noteworthy.

"Simply surviving 20 years in this job is a highlight," Maragos said.

"Part of it is adapting to change. That's key," Maragos said. "There was a time when hosts weren't even allowed to do any writing."

Now on-air people are deeply involved in preparing newscasts.

"Every day I still enjoy being on the air," he said.

CBC promotional material, produced in 1990, shows co-anchors Holly Preston and Costa Maragos. ((CBC))
He said he is also pleased with some of the news items he has prepared.

"I'm proud of the Gemini nominations for work in the field," he said.

Currently Maragos is one of three anchors for CBC television in Saskatchewan. The 5 pm to 6:30 pm duties are shared with Kaveri Bittera in Saskatoon. Sandra Batson presents a late evening newscast.

Maragos is married to Kathy. They have two boys and a dog.

During his off hours Maragos enjoys "just hanging out with the kids."

He also wants to run a marathon.

"One of these days, I'm going to start jogging."