Fran Kelly departs ABC RN Breakfast after 17 years

Fran Kelly has departed ABC RN Breakfast after 17 years.

The announcement:

Respected ABC Radio presenter Fran Kelly announced on-air today that she will leave RN Breakfast in December, after an unparalleled 17 years informing and engaging listeners around the country.

Since 2005, Fran has been the voice that Australians wake up to on Radio National. Under her stead, RN Breakfast has helped set the news agenda with authoritative analysis of major events and issues at home and abroad.

A former ABC TV 7.30 political editor and European correspondent for the ABC, Fran will continue to play a key role at the national broadcaster in 2022 and beyond, including in its federal election coverage and as co-host of popular political podcast The Party Room, along with other special projects to be announced next year.

Fran said choosing to leave her role as RN Breakfast presenter on 2 December was the hardest decision she has ever made. “I’ve been in this role for 17 years and I have loved every second of it. Each morning is an adrenalin-fuelled, non-stop live ride interviewing some of the greatest and most interesting minds in Australia and the world. I thrive on the thrill of both setting the day’s news agenda and engaging in the public discussions we have as a society.

“Presenting RN Breakfast is the best journalism job in the country and it is very hard to walk away from it. But Breakfast is a hard taskmaster – 17 years of early mornings is tough on the body and soul and I am choosing to leave now because I never want to give this job any less than 100 per cent.”

ABC Managing Director David Anderson thanked Fran for her dedication to ABC listeners and public broadcasting over close to two decades. “Fran is no doubt one of Australia’s most respected political journalists but she’s so much more than that,” he said.

“I admire her ability to engage Australians in important conversations across a wide brief, from breaking news and national crises through to sport, music and the arts. She’s fearless when it comes to the tough political issues but also incredibly empathetic when talking to people about their lives. Fran is duly respected and admired by so many and has played a pivotal role in supporting future generations of journalists and presenters, within and beyond the ABC.

“Fran’s trusted and authoritative voice represents what so many people love about the ABC and I am looking forward to seeing and hearing more of Fran on the ABC for years to come.”

Fran also paid special tribute to the RN Breakfast team. “One of the greatest joys of this job is my colleagues,” she said. “The RN Breakfast team is small, enthusiastic and deeply committed to bringing the audience the best possible coverage of the stories that matter each and every day. I have never worked with a group of such tireless, dedicated and creative journalists, who refuse to default to close enough being good enough. We are truly a team and I couldn’t do it without them.

“I love the ABC. It’s been my home for three decades and while I’m very sad to be leaving my beloved RN Breakfast and my listeners, I won’t be leaving the ABC. I will still be here on projects throughout the election and beyond and look forward to being able to meet my listeners in other roles over the next few years.”

RN Breakfast Executive Producer Marina Freri said: “Fran has been waking up at 3.30am for the past 17 years and has never once walked into the studio grumpy. She comes in humming a song and makes herself and the team a cup of coffee before tackling a dozen interviews. She fearlessly holds politicians and the powerful to account. But they don’t go ‘on RN Breakfast’. They ‘talk to Fran’. She’s eponymous.”

The ABC will announce the new presenter of RN Breakfast later this year.

Source: ABC media release



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