CALGARY — A staple of Calgary television for decades, CTV Calgary chief meteorologist David Spence intends to step away from the cameras this fall.
“It is with true mixed feelings that I end my career by leaving the best news team I’ve worked with in all these years,” said Spence. “In 2012, I was diagnosed with intermediate prostate cancer, and it made me realize that life and health ought not to be taken for granted. I am healthy again. No one knows how long that will last. So, at 61 years old, I believe it’s best for me to step down in order to enjoy good health in my retirement as long as possible.
“My decision comes after a lot of thought and reflection on a successful, fun career. In short, it’s been a dream job.”
Spence’s broadcasting career began in 1979 as a DJ at a radio station in Campbell River, B.C. before travelling to the east side of the Rockies for the start of his first stint with CFCN Calgary in 1981.
“They needed a backup weather presenter – fast,” recounted Spence. “Rather hastily, Thompson (McDonald, vice-president of news at CFCN at the time) picked me.
“I had hair on my head and holes in my jeans. I had to buy a couple of suits, and they sent me out to get a perm.”
His career path continued with a move to Winnipeg that lasted several years until a rekindling with CFCN Calgary, which would become CTV News Calgary, took place.
Spence was named the station’s main weather anchor in 1992 and welcomed into the homes of Calgarians each evening as part of the city’s top newscast.
In 2017, Spence was honoured with an RTDNA Lifetime Achievement Award.
“David Spence’s character, dedication, and professionalism are simply unmatched, and he departs our station at the very top of his craft,” said Jeff Little, CTV Calgary’s director of news and public affairs. “David is sharp, consistent, and always makes the weather understandable and entertaining for our viewers.
“David has been a mentor to many of us, and we are so thankful to have worked alongside him,” added Little. “On behalf of everyone here at CTV News Calgary, and all who have had the pleasure to work with David in both TV and radio, we thank him for his leadership, friendship, and the impact he has made on the Canadian broadcasting landscape.”
Recognized as one of the most accurate meteorologists in the country, Spence has offered direction, guidance and reassurance to Albertans during some of the most disastrous weather events in Canadian history, ranging from the deadly Pine Lake tornado of July 2000 to the devastating 2013 floods in southern Alberta.
Spence has been a pillar of the community, providing his voice and time to numerous charitable organizations and raising awareness for prostate cancer research. He memorably shaved off his signature moustache on live television to promote the cause after disclosing his own prostate cancer diagnosis with viewers.