Russel Howcroft has been chosen as the new co-host of the top-rating 3AW breakfast program. It’s the second time a member of the Gruen TV team has worked on Melbourne breakfast radio. Wil Anderson was with Triple M breakfast for two years until late in 2019.
Howcroft, best known for his role as a panellist on the long-running ABC TV series, will team up with Ross Stevenson from Monday, August 3.
Howcroft’s appointment will follow John Burns’ retirement after his 75th birthday next month, as announced by 3AW last year.
Howcroft developed a love for radio when he filled in on the Weekend Break program in 2011 and is excited about his latest career move.
“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,” said Howcroft.
“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.”
Tom Malone, managing director of Nine Radio, has welcomed Russel Howcroft to the 3AW team.
“Russ embodies the spirit of what 3AW Breakfast is all about,” said Malone.
“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. 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.”
Ross Stevenson, who has helmed the 3AW breakfast program for many years, paid tribute to Burns, his on-air sparring partner since 2001.
“Today marks the end of an era as we begin our farewell to the incomparable John Burns,” said Stevenson.
“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 . . .”
The move to 3AW means Russel Howcroft has resigned from his current position as chief creative officer with PwC, a role he has held for the past three years.
Prior to that, Howcroft was executive general manager of Network Ten from 2013 to 2017. With a marketing background, Howcroft held many positions in the field, most notably as CEO of advertising agency Young & Rubicam Brands.
He is also Chair of the Australian Film Television & Radio School and sits on the committee of the Melbourne Cricket Club.
John Burns’ final day with 3AW Breakfast will be Friday, July 31, after which he will continue to appear as a regular contributor across 3AW’s suite of programs.
Howcroft only started hosting a new podcast for SCA’s PodcastOne just three weeks ago.