“Nothing can be achieved in isolation”: Next of the Best winner Sarah Abo reflects on the transition from 60 Minutes to Today

Sarah Abo

“It hardly feels like a job when you get to collaborate with wonderfully talented and hard-working colleagues.”

On May 26th, Mediaweek’s Next of the Best awards celebrated the best of under-40s talent across the media industry – including TV, radio, media agencies and PR.

Taking home gold for TV – Talent was Sarah Abo, co-host of TODAY.

Abo has most recently joined Karl Stefanovic as the brand new co-host of the TODAY show on Channel Nine but started her career at Network 10, spending two years in the Adelaide newsroom before making the move to Melbourne where in 2013 she joined SBS as a journalist and presenter.

She has covered major international events including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, the 2016 US presidential election and the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, and the 2017-18 refugee crisis in Lebanon, Turkey and Greece.

Since joining 60 Minutes in 2019, Sarah has covered major investigations and interviewed former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, and secured Australian-first interviews with climate activist Greta Thunberg, Ukrainian first lady Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska, and one of the Taliban’s most powerful leaders Suhail Shaheen.

Mediaweek caught up with Sarah Abo about their Next of the Best win and the future of the industry.

Mediaweek: Congratulations on winning gold, how do you feel about the win?

SA: I’m very grateful to have been recognised among such an incredible field of broadcasters – I think the future of Australian media looks bright when you look at those coming through the ranks of the industry. This award celebrates the “next of the best” so, the next generation has a big responsibility and looks to be more than up to the job! 

MW: How does this award reflect the work of you and your team?

SA: Nothing can be achieved in isolation – we have a wonderful team at Today, both on the set and behind the scenes. It’s a team I am very grateful to be working with every day. It hardly feels like a job when you get to collaborate with wonderfully talented and hard-working colleagues, doing something we love. They’re incredibly supportive and this award is a reflection of their work as much as mine. 

MW: How has the transition been from your time on 60 Minutes to now being the co-host of the Today Show?

SA: Well the 3am daily alarm is new!! And in a strange way, the Today Show is the first time in my career that I’ve had a routine! With 60 Minutes I was traveling constantly – both locally and internationally – and at any hour or on any day. The biggest difference is obviously the 3.5 hour live component of the Today, as opposed to the lengthy format of interviews and time spent on individual stories for 60 Minutes. I’m very grateful I still get to do 60 Minutes stories because I loved my time there. 

MW: The Next of the Best is an under-40s award, how will today’s upcoming talent impact the industry in the future?

SA: Today’s talent has an exciting time ahead, helping inform audiences in a very different landscape these days – so many people are getting their news and information through various social platforms as well as traditional radio and television, so that’s something we have to be more mindful of these days. The media industry has always been about taking audiences on a journey with you, and these days it’s more immersive than ever, which is exciting.  

MW: What’s your outlook for the year ahead?

SA: Doing more of what I love! I get to wake up (albeit very early!) every morning and work with incredibly talented colleagues guiding audiences through 3.5 hours of television, aimed at informing our viewers, but also bringing a smile to their faces and helping them start their day the best way possible. What could be better than that?  

Read more: Mediaweek’s Next of the Best Awards: Winners Revealed

Top Image: Sarah Abo

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