Bryan Dobson signed off after 21 years on the Six One news last night, telling viewers: "I hate to go, but I'm afraid I have to."
The broadcaster (57) said farewell to viewers and his long-time co-host Sharon Ni Bheolain as he prepared to join the on-air team on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland.
Ni Bheolain admitted she didn't want to look at her colleague while wishing him well for fear she might "get all teary".
"You've been a rock to us, figuratively and literally," she told her colleague at the end of last night's Six One.
"I'm not going to look at you now because I know I'm going to get all teary."
Ni Bheolain thanked Dobson for being both a friend and mentor to her over the years.
"From my point of view, you have been a great friend and a mentor and I'm sure the whole country joins me this evening and wishes you the very best," she said.
The programme featured highlights of Dobson's work on Six One, which Ni Bheolain called "Dobbo through the ages".
Viewers saw him reporting on significant world events, such as Barack Obama's election as the first African-American president of the United States, and the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The highlights also featured moments closer to home, including President Michael D Higgins' State visit to the UK and an interview with former taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
Dobson said his final goodbye while looking ahead to his new role on Morning Ireland, which he will begin next Wednesday.
"I'm completely taken by surprise. It's been a blast, it really has been fantastic," he said. "I'm looking forward to pastures new so I'll be on the radio in the morning from Wednesday next week. So, as they say, I hate to go, but I'm afraid I have to."
The broadcaster had told colleagues he did not want a big send-off in the lead up to his final broadcast but was nevertheless treated to a cake and speeches from the Six One team after going off-air.
Rumours had been rife in recent months that Dobson was set to depart Six One, before he confirmed the news in September.
"I will greatly miss Six One news but there comes a time to move on and grasp new opportunities," he said.
"Morning Ireland is the country's most-listened-to radio programme with an audience that is highly engaged in the debates, arguments and discussions that make up the national conversation.
"I am hugely looking forward to joining the Morning Ireland team and playing my part in serving our listeners and in continuing to meet, and exceed, their expectations."
RTE news presenter Una O'Hagan recalled starting out on Six One with Dobson.
"We worked on so many budgets, so many elections, so many big special programmes," she said. "He is just a thorough professional."
"When Bryan is the public face of Six One, you know you're in safe hands," said Six One editor Dympna Moroney.