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Alison Smith, longtime journalist, leaves CBC this week

Alison Smith, longtime CBC News reporter and host of The World at Six on CBC Radio, will sign off for the last time this week.
Longtime CBC News reporter and host of The World at Six listens to her final sign-off for CBC Radio 1:12

Alison Smith, longtime CBC News reporter and host of The World at Six on CBC Radio, will sign off for the last time this week.

During Smith's 37 years with CBC News, she covered many major national and international stories.

She was in Soweto for South Africa’s first multiracial election, in Europe for the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, and in Washington for Barack Obama's first U.S. election.

Even though Smith has covered top stories and interviewed world leaders, CBC producer Janet Thomson says, she remains down to earth.

"She's the girl next door and the insightful journalist all rolled into one," Thomson said.

Smith took over as anchor of The World at Six in 2009.

"When we decided to rebuild and renew CBC News, I knew whom I wanted to anchor our flagship evening radio newscast," CBC News editor in chief Jennifer McGuire said.

Smith's colleagues spoke of her talents in both the studio and the field.

"Whether she was interviewing a prime minister about his government's budget or a refugee from Hurricane Katrina in a temporary trailer in Baton Rouge, Alison always produced work at the highest level," producer Alan Habbick said.

"Her range of work since those early days is amazing and speaks to her talent," said assignment editor Brien Christie. "She went to Saudi Arabia. she covered Royal tours and elections, and she even did a most memorable story about dumpster diving back in 2006."
 
In an email to CBC staff, McGuire noted that Smith once quoted Peter Gzowski's thoughts about interviewing: "Interviewing somebody is like sitting in the back of a canoe. You’re the one that’s steering and they’re doing all the work."

Watch highlights from Alison Smith's career in the player above.