Barrie Cassidy confirms Sky News’ David Speers as his Insiders replacement

After an initial report in The Guardian broke the story, Barrie Cassidy has spoken out this morning on ABC News Breakfast, confirming Sky News political editor David Speers will be his Insiders replacement.

Cassidy announced he would be retiring from the role earlier this year, although mentioned he would continue some involvement with the ABC after his departure.

The news has come as a shock to some, with Speers not being mentioned in the swirl of names thrown around before the announcement. ABC talent Patricia Karvelas and Annabel Crabb were favourites to take up the helm.

But Speers has long been regarded as the jewel in Sky News’ political reporting helm, and the role at ABC will allow him to step back from what some have considered the increasingly right-leaning Sky News. It was made clear on Twitter after the announcement, with many of Speers’ peers congratulating him on the career move, how highly regarded the journalist is in the industry.

Neither Speers nor the ABC have made a formal statement, with Cassidy saying on News Breakfast this morning that ‘bureaucracy’ had got in the way.

“There has been no formal announcement, and the bureaucracy gets in the way at times like this, but he’ll be there eventually,” said Cassidy when asked about the announcement by News Breakfast host Virginia Trioli.

“I couldn’t be more chuffed that somebody with his credibility and respect within the industry, which was so apparent on Twitter last night, wants to do Insiders. That really pleases me,” concluded Cassidy.

“It really is fantastic and it makes us feel really comfortable that it’ll be passed from your hands to an incredibly safe pair of hands,” said Trioli.

Trioli, who herself will be departing her role shortly to take over from Jon Faine as the presenter of the Mornings program on ABC Radio Melbourne, also mentioned in the segment that Cassidy would continue to be a regular on the News Breakfast couch after his retirement.

Cassidy has been the host of the Sunday political program since its inception in 2001. Prior to that he was the ABC chief political correspondent and a press secretary for Bob Hawke.

Speers has been with Sky News for over 10 years, primarily as the face of political reporting for the channel.


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