Russel Howcroft leaves PwC to join 3AW Breakfast program in Melbourne

Russel Howcroft is departing his position of chief creative officer of PwC to pursue a career in radio.

He will be joining Nine Radio’s 3AW network, taking over from John Burns in the Breakfast slot from August.

Howcroft is switching PwC for a stint behind the microphone

Managing director of Nine Radio, Tom Malone, said Howcroft embodies what 3AW Breakfast is all about.

“He loves Melbourne. He loves footy. He loves telling stories. And he has a long-held ambition for radio. I know that his zest for life and passion for thought-provoking conversation will resonate with our loyal listeners, while also introducing a new audience to 3AW,” Malone said.

As well as his time at PwC, Howcroft has been executive general manager of Ten, as well as CEO of Y&R. He appears as a permanent panellist on the ABC’s advertising and marketing program, Gruen.

Howcroft is replacing John Burns, who announced his upcoming retirement last year. He will appear alongside existing co-anchor Ross Stevenson from Monday, 3 August. He is, he said, excited to extend his career to include radio.

“As a proud Melburnian, I’ve spent my life listening to 3AW and waking up to the brilliant, razor-sharp and distinctively Melbourne voice of Ross Stevenson and John Burns,” he said.

“To be asked to join the king of radio, Ross Stevenson, each morning as one half of AW’s award-winning Breakfast team is an honour and a delight. I can’t wait to jump in the chair, get the first cup of coffee into me and join in the daily chat that gets Melbourne talking and laughing.”

Both Malone and Stevenson paid tribute to the ‘legend’ that is Burns.

“I’d like to thank John for his enormous contribution to 3AW over decades and we’ll be sure send him off in style next month,” Malone said.

Stevenson, who has been on air with Burns since 2001, said it was the end of an era.

“He is an absolute radio legend and a bona fide legal genius, and it has been a true privilege and an unrivalled joy to sit alongside Burnso all these years. I’m also looking forward to welcoming Russel to the studio. He’s a Demons supporter like Burnso, he’s bald and he enjoys the occasional long lunch . . . so if I just squint my eyes . . .,” he said.

It’s the latest talent shake-up since Nine took full control of the former Fairfax asset, then known as Macquarie Media.

Steve Price exited Sydney’s 2GB Afternoon program last year, and was replaced by the former co-host of Today, Deb Knight. Afternoons in Melbourne also had a shake-up with radio stalwart Dee Dee Dunleavy joining 3AW to replace Denis Walter, who had moved into the Nights slot.

This year, the long-reigning leader of breakfast radio in Sydney, Alan Jones, left 2GB. He was replaced by Sydney’s Afternoons host, Ben Fordham in Sydney, and Neil Breen in Brisbane.

Nine is still looking for a local drive host in Brisbane.

Nine also paused the Macquarie Sports Radio stations before deciding to bring back heritage radio brands 2UE and Magic. Stevie Jacobs hosts breakfast across the returned stations.


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