George McLean, longtime host of CBC's The National, dead at 92

George McLean, a longtime CBC News journalist who hosted The National for nearly three decades, has died in Toronto.

Anchor focused on 'treating the viewer with respect'

George McLean went from serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force to hosting The National for nearly three decades. (CBC)

George McLean, a longtime CBC News journalist and host of The National, has died in Toronto.

McLean was born in Brandon, Man., and served with the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War before entering journalism.

He first worked at a small radio station in Kenora, Ont., before joining CBC in the 1950s. He would go on to host The National for nearly three decades.

McLean, known for his reliability and ability to stay calm in high-stress situations, would become one of the most recognizable faces, and voices, at CBC News. Before he retired, McLean marvelled at how audiences had begun treating him like a friend or family member.

In return, McLean said "treating the viewer with respect" was always his goal.

News, he said, should be presented "in as straightforward a manner as possible."

Knowlton Nash, another great CBC News host, said McLean gave audiences a feeling of comfort and calm. And most importantly: "The audience believes him."

McLean, who was 92, died last week in hospital in Toronto.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?