The Daily Telegraph reports that ABC Radio Sydney has made major changes to its line-up, with big names set to depart their posts next year. James Valentine is out of the prime time breakfast slot with The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel to replace him in a bid to stop haemorrhaging ratings.
Indira Naidoo too will leave her evening show, although will stay with the TV arm of the broadcaster. It comes after the recently announced departure of Josh Szeps from the afternoon timeslot. Industry veteran Valentine meanwhile will return to the afternoon shift from mid-January.
ABC Sydney has struggled since the departure of Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck in the all-important breakfast slot in October, 2021.
Ratings wise, the pair peaked with a score of an audience share of 15.9 per cent of the breakfast market.
Most recently, Valentine’s breakfast show rated 8.4 per cent, well below market leaders Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O Henderson on commercial music station, KIIS FM, with a 16.3 per cent audience share.
Comedian Reucassel said: “I’m honoured to be joining ABC Radio Sydney as the station celebrates its centenary. I’ve got some big shoes to fill, following in the footsteps of some incredible broadcasters including James. I’m looking forward to getting to know the audience over breakfast and my morning coffee (from a reusable coffee cup of course). The bit about being excited to wake up at 3am was a lie though.”
ABC Radio Sydney manager Steve Ahern described Reucassel as “one of the ABC’s most versatile talents, able to ask the hard questions and still have a laugh about the quirky and the unusual things going on around the city.”
He continued: “Our afternoon audience will enjoy the return of James Valentine to the timeslot. They have missed his laconic sense of humour in the afternoon hours.”
Valentine announced the changes live on air.
“I’m delighted to be returning to my afternoon timeslot and reuniting with my afternoon listeners,” he said. “It’s been an incredible privilege leading Breakfast these past two years and I wish Craig all the best with the early starts.”
ABC RADIO SYDNEY 2024 LINEUP
Breakfast – Craig Reucassel
AM – Sabra Lane
Mornings – Sarah Macdonald
The World Today – Sally Sara
Afternoons – James Valentine
Drive – Richard Glover
PM – David Lipson
Evenings – Renee Krosch (Fridays Sirine Demachkie)
Nightlife – Philip Clarke (Fridays Suzanne Hill)
Overnights – Michael Pavlich (Fridays Rod Quinn)
Breakfast – Simon Marnie
Afternoon – Grandstand
Evening – Robbie Buck, Songs & Stories
Nightlife – Suzanne Hill
Overnight – Rod Quinn
Australia All Over – Ian Macnamara
Morning – Simon Marnie
Afternoon – Grandstand
Evening – Christine Anu