The ABC’s managing director, David Anderson, has confirmed Judith Whelan (pictured) as director of ABC regional & local.
Whelan has been acting director of ABC regional & local since November 2018.
Anderson said Whelan’s considerable experience in senior media roles at The Sydney Morning Herald and more recently managing television, radio and digital content at the ABC, made her the perfect choice for the role.
“Judith has already made a significant contribution to the ABC’s leadership team and I look forward to working with her closely on our regional and local content which is so highly valued by Australians.”
Whelan said it was an honour to be appointed to such an important role within the national broadcaster. “The work done by the regional & local team is at the very heart of the ABC. Our capital city radio teams, our regional bureaux, our sports unit and our local television department, produce hundreds of hours of outstanding local content every week, telling Australian stories and sharing conversations with local communities in every corner of the country,” she said. “It’s where the ABC started 87 years ago, and it is still such big part of what makes us unique. The big difference today is that we reach our audiences across multiple platforms and in multiple ways.”
ABC’s regional & local team includes its eight capital city radio stations, 48 rural and regional teams, regional and local screen content including Gardening Australia, Backroads and Landline, Grandstand sport, live events such as New Year’s Eve, Australia Day and Anzac Day and emergency broadcasting.
Whelan came to the ABC three years ago as head of spoken content, in which she oversaw RN, Grandstand and the capital city radio stations. She went on to take the new role of head of specialist content, in charge of the national broadcaster’s coverage across all platforms – television, radio and digital – in arts, science, health and technology, religion and ethics, education, society and culture. She also oversaw audio studios, the ABC’s centre for digital-first, innovative podcasting.
Whelan was formerly editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as its news director and the editor of its weekend edition, a role she took on after more than seven years as the editor of Good Weekend. Her career in journalism spans more than 30 years and includes experience as a Walkley-nominated news and feature writer, senior editor and a foreign correspondent in both the Pacific and Europe.