Rob MacDonald has hung up his microphone.

Our long-time news anchor retired tonight after nearly 41 years with CTV Saskatoon.

“I want to thank you for allowing me into your homes every night,” MacDonald told the audience as the seconds ran down on his final newscast.

“Without you, I wouldn’t have been able to do this. Thank you for your support. Thank you for being there.”

MacDonald, who began his broadcasting career in 1973 at CHAB Radio in his hometown of Moose Jaw, joined the CTV Saskatoon — then CFQC News — team in 1976. He took over our six o’clock news desk in the late ’80s, and has anchored the show ever since.

He’s spearheaded features such as Flashback and Saskatoon Stories. He’s interviewed nearly every prime minister since the 1980s, and he’s had more than his share of fun on Hometown Tour.

He’s emceed countless events throughout the city. He’s raised money sharing his lovely singing voice. He’s strut his stuff in support of the Ronald McDonald House, and he’s been honoured with a Saskatchewan Centennial Medal.

MacDonald is professional, passionate and a perfectionist, and his socks always match his shirts and ties.

“I feel so very fortunate to have been able to do what I love for more than 40 years,” he said during his goodbye. “CTV Saskatoon has been my second home since 1976. This has been my dream job.”

His first and longest-serving co-anchor was Cynthia Block, but he’s also shared the desk with others, including Trish Cheveldayoff and Teena Monteleone.

Chantel Saunders, MacDonald’s latest co-anchor, joined him on the desk 10 years ago. She fought back tears as the two signed off Friday.

“In the 10 years I’ve known you, you’ve not only kept me laughing, but you’ve taught me so much. You’ve mentored me. You’ve made me a better journalist, a better reporter and a better broadcaster,” she said.

“I am going to miss you.”

MacDonald, too, struggled with saying goodbye. He thanked Saunders and his past co-anchors. He thanked the many co-workers who’ve come through the CFQC and CTV Saskatoon doors, and he thanked the audience.

His final words: “Long live local television.”

We’ll miss you, Rob.