Loren McGinnis to leave CBC’s Trailbreaker radio show


Loren McGinnis is leaving his role as host of CBC North morning radio show The Trailbreaker after nine years.

McGinnis is moving to Calgary, where he will host the local CBC station’s morning show Calgary Eyeopener. He first joined CBC North as a reporter in 2007.

“It was our family’s decision. It has not settled in, in a lot of ways,” McGinnis told Cabin Radio.

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“It’s a cliché to say a mix of emotions. I feel overwhelming excitement about the opportunity and going on a family adventure to a new part of the country … but it’s really hard to think about leaving.”

McGinnis said his relationship with the northern audience felt like “a whole bunch of friendships.”

“That’s maybe not the most professional characterization as a journalist talking about the communities and the people we serve, but I have felt so much care from the people here, and I feel that to them as well. Caring, trusting friendship,” he said.

The news of his departure was announced by the CBC on Wednesday. His final show from the Yellowknife studio will be broadcast on December 9 before appearing on Calgary Eyeopener from December 12. McGinnis replaces longtime Calgary host David Gray, who retired in June.

The Trailbreaker is the CBC’s flagship radio show in the Northwest Territories, northern Alberta and western Nunavut. 

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Most recently, McGinnis won a Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) award for a show he anchored live from a “tent city” of flood victims in Fort Simpson last year.

Beyond his on-air work, McGinnis has featured as a comedian at northern stand-up events – he anchored Knife Knews, a short-lived video news satire – and appeared as a host at Yellowknife’s Folk on the Rocks music festival.

A replacement Trailbreaker host has yet to be announced.

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Speaking on Wednesday’s Calgary Eyeopener, McGinnis drew a similarity between the show’s connection to Calgary residents and the connection he enjoys in the North.

“It’s a massive geographic space but a small audience,” he said of broadcasting in the Northwest Territories.

“I feel like I know so many of them. Anywhere I go, people say hey.

“I did honestly experience that in Calgary. I wouldn’t have known what to expect about the relationship between the show and the city before I got there but, everywhere I went, people had a thing or two to say.”

He told Cabin Radio: “It is very emotional to think about leaving here and saying thank-you and goodbye to our audience and to the community and friends here, but I am, to be sure, very excited about this opportunity.”