Radio shakeup: Cassie McCullagh stepping down from ABC Radio for a good book

Cassie McCullagh

No word from ABC yet about who will get plum morning timeslot in Sydney

Listeners to ABC Radio Sydney this morning heard from mornings presenter Cassie McCullagh about a career change. Shortly after she came on air, McCullagh told her audience she would be wrapping her current timeslot on November 25 and heading back to Radio National.

Her new role at Radio National will include co-hosting The Bookshelf.

This is what McCullagh told listeners this morning:
“After five years of being with you here in the Morning on ABC Radio Sydney I will soon be finishing up and heading back to Radio National. It has been an incredible privilege and pleasure to have been with you all this time and to have had so many, many conversations over so many subjects from the most serious and important matters of the time to the absolutely silly and frivolous. We’ve been through a lot in the last five years together from those dreadful bushfires in the summer of 2019/20…and then of course as the pandemic began to unfold, we had to learn about the measures we had to take to protect ourselves and others…then the lockdowns and border closures.

“They were amazing times and amazing history we have lived through together and I will never forget it as long as I live. Throughout my entire time here in Mornings at ABC Radio Sydney over five years, it’s your stories, your calls, your text messages that has been the very best part of this job. The things you have shared with me, with other listeners, with your city, is what has made this job so special.

“Next year I’ll be heading back to Radio National where you may well know that I co-host a program called the Bookshelf and you probably also know with me it’s always about the books. I have a few things cooking up that I’ll be letting you know about so while I’ll be leaving Radio Sydney next week, I’ll be over at Radio National next year with some really great things which you might well be interested in and when I can, I’ll tell you more about. I want you know what a privilege it has been to have had your company over these last five years.”

The acting station manager for ABC Radio Sydney Steve Ahern said: “Cassie is one of those special broadcasters who brings sincerity, warmth and a great deal of joy to her shows and she is loved for it by her many fans. Cassie is part of our ABC family and I’m pleased to say that our listeners will be able to reconnect with from time to time on ABC Radio Sydney and will also hear her on Radio National. Her talents are not lost to the ABC.”

Since joining the ABC in 2007, McCullagh has presented and produced a wide range of programs across the networks Radio National (RN), Local Radio and Classic FM.

Most recently McCullagh presented the morning show at ABC Radio Sydney. Before that she hosted RN’s flagship social affairs program Life Matters, and the culture programs TV Club and The List, as well as presenting Best of the Festivals and reporting for Books and Arts. In the past she has also filled in for Philip Clark and Sarah Macdonald on Nightlife, and for Simon Marnie on Weekend Mornings for ABC Radio Sydney.

On television McCullagh was a regular commentator on ABC TV’s arts program The Mix, and in 2015 co-hosted Foxtel’s arts and culture program, Event, with Deborah Hutton.

Prior to joining the ABC, McCullagh was a senior feature writer, columnist and news reporter for The Illawarra Mercury, and as a staff writer for Good Weekend.

Readers flooded the ABC Radio Sydney text line this morning paying tribute to McCullagh, some wishing her well and others asking her to reconsider.

There has been no word from ABC management yet about who will get the plum morning slot at ABC Radio Sydney. One candidate is afternoon presenter Josh Szeps who missed out on breakfast a year ago to James Valentine.

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