One of the country’s most influential news and interview programs will soon have another woman at the helm, with the ABC revealing that Sarah Ferguson will be the new host of 7.30.
Ferguson replaces Leigh Sales, who is leaving the show at the end of June, after 12 years of presenting.
The announcement comes after months of speculation on just who would take up the hosting duties after Sales made the announcement she was leaving on air back in February.
In the ABC’s announcement on the appointment, Ferguson highlighted the responsibility to deliver strong public service journalism every day, and the need to create a place for Australians to debate, think, be thrilled, entertained, and sometimes provoked.
She added that “no one in Australia should ever feel they have no voice.”
Ferguson praised Sales, as well as chief political correspondent Laura Tingle, for creating a “powerhouse program” with “superb current affairs journalism on the cutting edge of the genre.”
Tingle is continuing on with the program, with Ferguson describing the opportunity for such collaboration as “irresistible”.
“Working in collaboration with the inimitable Laura is irresistible. Adding myself into that mix sounds tremendously rewarding at a time when scrutiny of power is essential when our social structures are undergoing profound change.”
Ferguson celebrated Sales for her diligence and skills, which have enormously contributed to Australian journalism.
“What you don’t see in her calm studio presence is the huge amount of work she does in preparation. It will be a pleasure to take over from such a pro.”
Sales will step down after the Federal election and is set to take up another role with the ABC.
She praised her replacement, noting Ferguson’s “rigour and experience”, and saying she looks forward to becoming a 7.30 viewer to see where the new host takes the show next.
Ferguson has hosted 7.30 previously, for six months while Sales was on parental leave. She has been with the ABC since 2008, and produced stories for Four Corners as well as award-winning documentaries. Just recently, she spent ten days in Ukraine covering the conflict.