"There has got to be a time when you say, 'I'm going to do it,' " Nourse, 67, said, looking back on a career at Channel 5 that began in 1964 when he was 23.
Nourse had been contemplating retirement for several years, but was always convinced to return through annual contract extensions. The last time renewal came up, he made it clear he wanted to spend more time with his family, especially his 10-year-old son Dayne, who suffers from the brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta.
"My wife Debi kidded me, 'What are you going to do now? You get so restless?' " he said, laughing. "Maybe I will, I don't know.
"There will be that time I'll fall into a depression or I think I wish I could have worked another year," he added. "But you realize that time has to come, and the world moves on."
Nourse began his broadcasting career at radio stations KDTA and KREX in Grand Junction, Colo., before he moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University. He joined KSL and advanced from reporter to anchor after just six months.
His presence on the desk solidified when weatherman Bob Welti and sports anchor Paul James joined Nourse and created an on-air news team that lasted 27 years, making them the longest-running local news team in the country, according to KSL.
"There definitely was a chemistry there that you could feel because people really welcomed us into their homes," Nourse said.
Viewers followed Nourse through his well-publicized battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer in the lymphatic system that he since has beaten.
He calls the highlight of his journalistic career visiting Utah soldiers in Vietnam for a month-long reporting trip in 1967. He returned in 1997 for a follow-up story.
Welti and James retired in the late '80s and early '90s. Nourse got his first co-anchor when Bruce Lindsey occupied the seat next to him for a short time in the late 1970s, followed by Shelley Thomas, Ruth Todd and Nadine Wimmer, who has been KSL's co-anchor since April 2002.
Those combinations, along with Nourse's familiar face and voice, have explained why KSL has led Utah's 10 p.m. news ratings since the 1970s, a dominance unheard of in any broadcast market.
"I believe they have been a leader for 20-plus years because he's been so well-known," said Jenny Love, KSL's research director.
Beth King with the national office of the Society of Professional Journalists believes Nourse could hold the record for the longest tenure of any local news anchor after Chris Clark from WTVF in Nashville retired earlier this year after 41 years.
"He's a consummate professional," KSL's news director, Con Psarras, said about Nourse. "He was always there, he never called in sick, he's hard-working, and he cares about the community he works in. We're going to miss him."
Lindsey, another KSL veteran who has worked at the station for more than 30 years, will replace Nourse for the 10 p.m. news.
"Dick is a remarkable legacy," Lindsey said. "He has earned his retirement and should feel good about his contribution to so many people."
Nourse is staying in Utah, where he has homes in Salt Lake City and St. George, and he plans to freelance stories for KSL as well as do occasional voice-over work for documentaries.
"I'll miss it. But if it gets that bad, I'll just do a story and see myself at night," he said, laughing. "I hope it's that easy."