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And it's goodnight to Kerry O'Brien.

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 02:19 AM
Original message
And it's goodnight to Kerry O'Brien.
'Kerry O'Brien, the veteran host of the ABC's 7.30 Report, has announced he is stepping down from the role.

O'Brien has been the current affairs program's editor and presenter for 15 years and says it is time for a new chapter.

"I've been in the pressure cooker of daily current affairs hosting and interviewing for 21 straight years, including six years at Lateline, and it's been something of a marathon," he said.

"It has been an absolute privilege to work with some of the most talented and dedicated professionals in the business."'

At least he'll be doing something new on the ABC, so we won't lost him altogether, but the show is never the same when he's on leave, so he's going to be a hard act to follow. He and Tony Jones are the twin pillars of current affairs reporting for Aunty.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 07:18 PM
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1. That will be a sad day, to be sure
Fortunately, a lot of the ABC board members appointed under Howard will have their terms expiring in the year or two.

Thoughts on possible replacements?

Tony Jones?

Leigh Sales?

Chris Uhlmann?

How about a dark horse: Annabel Crabb?

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 07:49 PM
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2. Quite a few people in polls have nominated Tony Jones,
but I would have thought that his post on Lateline and Q&A would be superior to 7.30 Report. No disrespect, but Lateline has more gravitas -you don't get any "human interest" stories there as you do sometimes on 7.30 Report. And he's brilliant as host of Q&A - I'd hate to see him leave.

I'd nominate Leigh Sales - she's improved since she first started co-hosting Lateline - I think she has the right amount of intelligence and humour for 7.30 Report. Not quite the heavyweight that Kerry O'Brien can be when it's called for, but then she hasn't the experience he has either. I'm sure she'd do a good job.

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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 08:19 PM
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3. Our guess is that is Tony Jones wants it, he'll get it
That would free up Lateline (which I agree has more depth & gravitas- though less exposure) for Leigh Sales on a permanent basis.

A sentimental favorite for us (and a comparatively new face) would be Annabelle Crabb, though even if management were so inclined, she's recently had a baby and might not want that sort of commitment at this point. She certainly has the wit and intelligence to make it interesting show.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 10:00 PM
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4. I don't know why he would want it though.
Lateline is the superior programme, although quite different in concept, and it's a bit like apples and pears. But note how Tony Jones has hung on to doing his two nights a week, even though he has Q&A. The prestige is important. 7.30 Report would be a backward step, and that's no disrespect to Kerry O'Brien. In fact, if O'Brien were to be moved to Lateline, that would be a positive career move, but would only happen if Tony Jones no longer wanted to do it.

And that brings us to Q&A, which is compulsory viewing for political junkies, and at times (such as its pre-election coverage) is one of the ABC's highest rated shows. It's only been around for a couple of years, and I can't imagine why Tony Jones would want to lose it. And he couldn't possibly handle both.

I'm also not sure about Annabel Crabb, although I like her. She has such an irreverent and cheeky style, and she'd have to tame it for 7.30 Report. She could, of course, but would she want to? It's serious journalism, and that's not the Crabb persona at all. She can often have a serious point to make, but it's done tongue-in-cheek, and that's not right for a news review programme.

I'd imagine if not Leigh Sales, then perhaps Tikki Fullerton could be moved from Lateline Business. I can't see them moving Chris Uhlmann from the new News Channel; it's only just started up, and he's an important front man for it, but there's always Barrie Cassidy; it would suit his style of reporting.
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gemini_liberal Donating Member (307 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-24-10 10:38 PM
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5. Yes. That made me sad.
It is truly the "lion's den" of Australian journalism. Nobody got off easily in the hot seat (despite the whining by right wingers)

Hopefully Tony Jones will get his chair, if not him then Leigh.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-13-10 09:43 PM
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6. O'Brien will be moving to Four Corners.
The show will return to its original format, with an on-camera host introducting each story.

"O'Brien will embrace a tradition that began with the legendary Michael Charlton and continued with names like Mike Willesee, Caroline Jones, Andrew Olle and Liz Jackson," the ABC said in a statement.

O'Brien added: "It will be like going home to the most enduring and respected name in Australian television."

I had forgotten that for so long, there was a host of Four Corners, who was also a working journalist, and part of the team. But that was back in the days when the stories were mostly Australian-produced, instead of so many overseas stories being incorporated. The days of groundbreaking local exposes have largely gone from Four Corners.

Does this mean that we will see more locally-produced stories again, with a host who is involved from the beginning? Or will Kerry O'Brien just be a figurehead? I know he's getting older now, as are we all, but he doesn't strike me as someone who'd just want to be a benign talking head for a few minutes each week.
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