Following a number of changes in the ABC Radio line-up, it’s been revealed that television newsreader Dan Bourchier will also be leaving his role. He announced the news on Thursday night’s bulletin.
Mr Bourchier replaced longtime newsreader Virginia Haussegger in 2017, combining the role with presenting Breakfast on ABC Radio Canberra.
He shared the television news reading role with Craig Allan and, in recent years, several other newsreaders, including Narda Gilmour and Adrienne Francis.
The combined Breakfast radio and television news reading role was abolished in 2020 after Bourchier approached ABC management about making a change, citing family commitments. The move was widely seen as an acknowledgment that the experiment in combining the ABC’s two highest-profile roles was unsuccessful.
While ABC Breakfast enjoyed an unbroken reign of more than a decade on top of the radio ratings under Ross Solly and Philip Clarke, that mantle has slipped significantly as Mix 106.3 FM and sister station 104.7 have battled for the Breakfast crown and overall top spot over the past four years.
ABC Radio National breakfast was third placed in the Canberra market, ahead of the local program in the final 2022 ratings period.
Mr Bourchier will move to dedicated ABC coverage of the planned referendum on enshrining an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice in the Constitution. He will continue to appear on The Drum as a current affairs commentator.
He grew up in Tennant Creek with Victorian Indigenous ancestry on his mother’s side and has spoken in the past about the discrimination experienced by an Aboriginal great aunt as a motivating factor in his own career.
The ABC has also announced the appointment of multi-award-winning journalist Suzanne Dredge to the ABC News executive. She will be the first Head of Indigenous News, leading a standalone team that includes ABC Indigenous Affairs Editor Bridget Brennan.
Ms Dredge is a Wiradjuri woman who joined the ABC in 2011 as a news intern and rose quickly through the ranks, reporting on the end of ISIS and investigating the Australians who travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight with al Qaeda-linked groups.
She has been recognised with three Walkleys, including one in 2019 for the film ‘Orphans of ISIS’, which she produced.
“This is going to be a really important year for all of us and I’m looking forward to hearing and sharing lots of voices and perspectives as part of this big national conversation”, Mr Bourchier said on Thursday.
“Have a safe and wonderful Christmas and New Year. And, one last time, ‘Yarra’. Good night.”