ABC Radio unveils content and presenter line-up for 2017, with Kim Williams to present RN program

ABC Radio has unveiled its content and presenter line-up for next year, with former News Corp CEO, Kim Williams, to present a show on ABC’s Radio National.

Kim Williams to present new show on ABC's Radio National

Kim Williams will present new show, What Keeps Me Awake? on ABC’s Radio National

Michael Mason, ABC director – radio, said: “We want to deliver radio that is relevant, respected and valued by the Australian population. In a media environment that continues to undergo rapid change, our goal is to reach at last one in two Australians across all platforms and services.

“We want to tune up our broadcast networks and we want to attract larger-scale digital audiences. The changes we’re outlining today will deliver an improved platform offering for audiences.”

Williams’ show, ‘What Keeps Me Awake?’, will focus on high-profile Australians discussing what they believe are the issues, ideas and concerns of the day.

Other new Radio National content next year includes: ‘The Edge’, a science and health content initiative led by journalist Natasha Mitchell; ‘Arts Weekly’, a weekly conversation podcast offering a digest of the best arts coverage, hosted by Cassie McCullagh; and an ongoing commission for 2016’s successful podcast pilot ‘The Real Thing’.


New shows also include a weekly program from ABC Radio’s religious unit, with the working title ‘God Forbid’, which will look at issues of the week from a religious and ethical perspective in a panel format presented by James Carlton.

ABC Radio is set to create a new Indigenous unit, housed within the RN network, but assisting and contributing across all platforms in ABC Radio, to be led by ABC producer and presenter Lorena Allam.

RN’s creative audio and features and documentaries units will merge in an effort to create a single team “with a sustainable and flexible structure”.

The change affects three roles, with ABC consulting with the affected members.

Next year will see ABC’s RN focus on its key specialist strengths, including the provision of specialist content and expertise to other parts of ABC Radio and the wider ABC, and will move away from music programming.

This will see shows ‘The Inside Sleeve’, ‘The Live Set’, ‘The Daily Planet’, and ‘The Rhythm Divine’ not return to RN.

RN’s flagship ‘The Music’ show will remain.

While RN will focus on spoken content, Double J will increase its capacity around live music recording with the channel’s 2017 music content offering including a daily ‘The Beat Eclectic’ program, the arrival of world music show ‘Fat Planet’, a new live music show, and ‘The Funhouse’ moving to a more prominent time slot.


ABC Local Radio will look to reinforce its ability to connect with local communities with its 2017 content and presenter line-up.

‘Nightlife’ will move to a seven-day format hosted by Phillip Clark on Monday to Thursday, with Sarah Macdonald hosting Friday to Sunday; however this means ‘Sunday Nights’ with John Cleary will no longer air.

And in ABC Radio’s capital city line-ups, 702 ABC Sydney welcomes news broadcaster Chris Bath to its NSW/ACT statewide ‘Evenings’ show while current statewide ‘Evenings’ host Christine Anu will move to present a new national ‘Evenings’ show on Friday and Saturday.

At 105.7 ABC Darwin, Mikaela Simpson and Maree Yoelu join the ‘Weekends’ presenting team.

ABC Classic FM will also see changes next year, with Margaret Throsby, host of ‘Midday Interview’, saying goodbye to weekdays and hello to weekends – presenting a new program on Saturday mornings.

In 2017, ‘Weekday Afternoons’ will being at 12:00pm and be presented by Mairi Nicholson while Australian soprano Greta Bradman will join the weekend line-up and Damien Beaumont will move to present ‘Evenings’ from Monday to Thursday each week with Russell Torrence taking over the reins on Friday and Saturday evenings.

ABC Classic FM’s current midnight to dawn selection ‘Overnights’ will be replaced in 2017 by ‘Night Music’, and ‘Weekend Afternoons’ with Julian Day will now begin at 12:00pm and broadcast up to two concerts each day.


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