Deb Knight started her last week on air as host of the 2GB afternoon show with an explanation.
“I have some personal news I would like to share with you,” she told listeners shortly after the program started on Monday afternoon. “I had hoped you would hear it from me first. As you may have seen in the paper yesterday, I am stepping back as host of afternoons.”
Knight woke on Sunday to a Sunday Telegraph scoop that said: “Hunt on for new arvo DJ as 2GB set to bone Deb Knight”.
“I’m not however leaving 2GB,” Knight further explained to the audience.
The decision that triggered Deb Knight’s move
A key factor that hadn’t yet been revealed that triggered the 2GB host shuffle was that the host of the daily evening program Money News, former Sky News Business anchor Brooke Corte, had told Nine Radio boss Tom Malone that she wasn’t ready to return from maternity leave.
Recent ratings of the 2GB afternoon slot were also a factor. Hosting an afternoon show on a talk station is the hardest gig in radio. Just look at the ratings for any talk station – commercial or ABC.
Tom Malone and his head of content Greg Byrnes were then faced with finding a new regular host to take over from interim host Scott Hayward. The answer they came up with for Money News was Deb Knight, as she explained on Monday:
“In fact I’m taking on a new, broader network role. I have been appointed to a new position as the new national host of Money News which is heard at 7pm around the country. Here on 2GB in Sydney [plus] 4BC in Brisbane, 3AW in Melbourne and 6PR in Perth.”
Knight then explained why she and her bosses thought it would be a good match.
“I hosted the Financial Review Sunday show on Nine TV a few years back so I have experience in the finance field which I will bring to bear in this new role.
“Scott Hayward [the current Money News host] will continue to play a large part in Money News. I will remain very much a part of the station and part of the Nine Radio Network.”
Deb Knight will be busy next year
Knight also detailed her other projects in addition to hosting Money News.
“I will also be involved in some new podcast projects and you will still see me on the tele. I will still be hosting Saturday A Current Affair and I will still be filling in for Ally Langdon as well as some other TV hosting duties in the New Year.”
After a short break starting at the end of this week, Knight will be back at the end of November to host the summer edition of A Current Affair.
Knight continued yesterday: “I will be continuing as a columnist for 9Honey and Nine.com.au where you will be able to read my regular articles I post online.
“I am not out the door by any measure. I am just stepping through a new door, here on the radio at least. I will be doing that after the Christmas break.”
Daily radio comes to an end this week
“Stepping back from afternoons is not easy. I love this show. It’s been a real privilege for me to keep you informed as we have done through breaking stories, of course through Covid.
“It’s been a lot of fun as well keeping you entertained. I’m very proud we have brought you a lot of big-name guests including the likes of Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Rod Stewart, rock royalty like Kiss, Spandau Ballet, Emma Thompson, Jamie Lee Curtis. Brilliant Aussies like Baz Luhrmann, Bryan Brown and Jimmy Barnes, who is a regular contributor here to Afternoons.
“My team and I have worked very hard to bring you the best guests we possibly can and the best show we possibly can. We have all done that each and every day for the past four years.
“I’m proud of my work here on afternoons and I am so proud of the small team I am lucky enough to work with and call not just my colleagues, but my dear friends.
“Best of all though from this job is the connection with you. The heartwarming stories I get to hear every day. The likes of Bill and Beryl, the brother and sister who have reunited after searching for each other all of those decades. And people like Yabbie, the wonderful Aussie larrikin who we lost last year. Yabbie who made us all laugh and then made us cry after we learnt of his passing.
“I will very much miss you my afternoons family. This new role will allow me to spend some more time with my own family.
“I don’t swan in here at five minutes to midday every day. I am a hard worker in here early and I’m up late at night prepping for the show. I have missed too many school drop-offs and pickups over the years. I do often put work first, so I am very much looking forward to being able to be there a lot more for my own family. My kids and my husband Lindsay, who always has my back through thick and thin.
“I thank you for the wonderful messages I have already received. It does mean a lot. Thank you to those who have been reaching out. I value our afternoons family greatly. Right now I do have a show to do and I will keep doing the best show I possibly can.
“I will be finishing here on Afternoons a little earlier than anticipated. I will be finishing up at the end of the week.”