Wendy Mesley announces her retirement from Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Whether she was covering politics, consumer issues, or media, she was often in the thick of the action

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      One of the Canada's most recognizable broadcasters is calling it quits after 38 years with the Mother Corp.

      Wendy Mesley announced her retirement just over a year after being disciplined for using offensive language in two editorial meetings.

      She apologized for using the N-word, which marred what was otherwise a well-regarded career.

      In the 1980s, Mesley was a hardnosed political reporter on Parliament Hill. She later went on to become a ferocious consumer journalist at Marketplace. And she spent many years hosting the National on Friday and Sunday nights.

      In between these CBC gigs, she hosted a media and technology program called Undercurrents. Prior to her suspension, she hosted The Weekly With Wendy Mesley. That struck me as a consolation prize for CBC deciding to go with younger anchors to replace Peter Mansbridge upon his retirement.

      Then there was her relatively short-lived marriage to Mansbridge, which provided plenty of fodder for Frank magazine.

      More than a decade later, the country cheered for her when she was able to overcome breast cancer.

      As a longtime viewer of CBC, I enjoyed Mesley's ability to ask tough questions with a mischievous smile. It seemed to put her guests at ease before she plunged in a verbal dagger.

      If I had any objections until last year, it was her propensity for inviting too many right wingers onto her Sunday evening panel discussions.

      But there's no denying that Mesley had star quality on a newscast where there isn't always a hell of a lot of personality.

      Her departure marks the end of an era at CBC—one that I'm sure that some, in light of her final scandal with the N-word, are happy to see.