Dave Hodge was one of the first to be Cherry's host. Then in 1987 when CBC refused to show the overtime between the Flyers and Habs, Hodge criticized the network on air and flipped his pen. He was fired. Enter Maclean and they've been together since. Cherry first started with CBC after his stint with the Rockies as a color commentator. I'm not sure how they created CC's, but I think Cherry wanted to be more critical and unorthodox. It just kind of happened I think.
I dread the day Cherry retires or otherwise. I've haven't always agreed with him and he's made me bloody angry at times, but he has been spot on with so many things. Once he dropped the European bashing he changed his focus to bettering the game. He really is an innovator. Most know that his stick is really dressed up, like his suits, but he is best when the real emotion comes through on something he cares about. He really is a compassionate guy. Great promoter of hockey and safety. How the NHL hasn't done anything about all the meaningless icing injuries is beyond me. Its like they just don't want to acknowledge Cherry is right, yet he has done so much to promote and popularize the game world wide.
I'd recommend watching Part 2 of the Don Cherry story movie. It covers the main parts. He also has two books, Don Cherry Hockey Stories and Stuff and More Don Cherry Hockey Stories and Stuff. Ron MacLean also wrote a book called Cornered which he talks in parts about Coaches Corner but the problem is that it contains too much biographical info relating to MacLean's non-hockey career and I just find it a bit annoying to read tbh.
Here's part 1 of 12 of The Wrath of Grapes (which was the 2nd part Don Cherry movie they made, the first one was The Don Cherry story but that one did not cover his Coaches Corner Career though it was more fun to watch):
Yeah it started in 1980 with Hodge. You would think that the highest paying coach in the NHL would have a job offer, but Cherry was a straight up guy, and wanted to do things his way. I am guessing that this was circulating after his Rockie stint and no other GM wanted to bother at the time. So instead he's had a platform for 33 years. It is strange because CBC is a more liberal station while Cherry's view are ultra conservative. Yet they won't fire him for the mere reason that the ink wouldn't even be dry on the pink slip before Sportsnet or TSN picked him up. CBC reluctantly knows that Cherry is really the only thing that makes them unique anymore.