Play-by-play of Leigh Chapple’s last broadcast


Screen capture from Leigh Chapple’s last show on CTV Ottawa on May 4, 2012.

On May 4, Ottawa’s “Queen of late night tv” (as Max Keeping calls her) anchored her final broadcast on CTV Ottawa.  Here’s what happened:




  • First mention of Chapple’s final broadcast – she teases “embarassing photos” and “final words on the subject” a little later, then reads the winning lottery numbers


  • J.J. Clarke does the weather and predicts “it’s gonna be nice” tomorrow.


  • Sports anchor Carolyn Waldo turns to Chapple and says, “Countdown minutes are ticking away Leigh!”


  • During the commercial break, @VanessaLeeCTV tweets: ” @CTVLeigh just said she has to keep it together for the next 10 mins or so…”


  • Chapple reports the that the average price of gas tomorrow will be 125.3 cents/litre. “We’ll be right back.”
  • During the commercial, I check the other channels. Anderson Cooper is walking onto Letterman, and Leno is playing some kind of Latin wheel of fortune game. (Chapple has had higher ratings than Letterman and Leno for years, according to Max Keeping.)


  • We’re back! Carolyn Waldo intros Michael O’Byrne piece on Leigh Chapple … lots of great vintage video. (You can watch it here.)
  • John Ruttle (I think): “No-one’s has been on local television longer than Leigh Chapple.”
  • J.J. Clarke: “Go to bed with Leigh Chapple and wake up with Michael O’Byrne.”
  • Carol Anne Meehan: “She’s pulled a long, hard shift for many, many years and she’s done it with grace…”


  • Trendsmap Ottawa tweets: ” Leigh Chapple, @ctvleigh is now trending in #Ottawa
  • Big hug between Carolyn Waldo & Leigh Chapple 
  • “My advice to you, get rid of all those bad hair photos before you retire,” says Chapple. “We’ll be back in just a moment and I’ll have a few final words.”


  • Back from commercial with Chapple’s final words.
  • “Well, it’s true, like the last penny being minted today, this is my final broadcast.”
  • “When I started in this business, so many years ago, there weren’t many women in Canadian newsrooms, certainly not many that were on air and I was lucky that Max Keeping took a chance, hiring me as his personal assistant until a reporting job in the newsroom became open.”
  • “I tried to … draw attention to and support local outreach organizations…. the people in the Ottawa region truly care… it’s a big reason why I love this city, I call it home, and I have never wanted to live anywhere else.”
  • “Thank you for welcoming me into your homes, for in a sense to tuck you in at night with assurances of a better tomorrow. For the very last time, I just want to say to you from all of us on the Nightside, thank you for watching. Good night, good morning and goodbye. Thank you.”
  • Big cheers heard from off-camera inside the studio, and another hug from Waldo who says “…and you pulled it off too!”


Congrats to Leigh Chapple and good luck with whatever comes next!

See also: Ottawa Media Guide
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OttawaStart Staff


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