ABC’s Gerard Whateley jumps ship to SEN

“An irresistable opportunity…”

ABC Sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley has agreed to join SEN and Crocmedia as Chief Sports Caller to spearhead football and racing coverages and other yet to be announced broadcast assets.

He initially planned to complete coverage of the current Ashes Cricket Tour on ABC Radio before announcing the change but “circumstances have now changed,” and he has announced the move today.

Whateley will also host his own signature show on weekdays, to be known simply as Whateley, from 9am until midday, Monday to Thursday.

The move ends a 13-year run as the ABC’s chief commentator.

His first day on air at 1116 SEN will be Monday 29 January.

The following week he’ll head to Minnesota to front SEN’s Superbowl coverage.

Pacific Star Network chairman Craig Coleman said Whateley’s arrival heralds a new era at SEN, and signals its intent to strengthen its commitment to play-by-play broadcasting, analysis and opinion.

“Gerard might well be Australia’s best all round journalist, commentator and host,” says Coleman. “He is hugely respected by his peers, a twice Alf Brown Trophy winner for the AFL Media’s most outstanding performer. He is passionate about our vision for becoming the benchmark of Australian sports broadcasting and brings a unique new perspective to our audience. We are absolutely delighted to partner with Gerard and his wife Claire into the next phase of his broadcasting journey.”

Whateley was the inaugural Harry Gordon sports journalist of the year, is a fivetime winner of the Australian Sports Commission award for the best coverage of sport and has won four straight AFL Coaches Association Media Awards.

“This concept has become an irresistible prospect,” Whateley has told radioinfo:

“For so many of us, Melbourne is the sporting capital of the world. The opportunity to craft a program that reflects our unique relationship with sport and speaks to every level of that community, from fan to participant, is a challenge I crave.

“My work and style is well revealed and that is what I’ll bring to SEN. For those who treasure sport the way I do, I hope you’ll come with me. To be the station’s Chief Sports Caller is a great honour coming with the challenge and responsibility of doing justice to the wide range of events SEN will broadcast from the AFL season to the Melbourne Cup.”

Whateley began his career in journalism with Australia’s biggest selling daily newspaper The Herald Sun.

His cadetship included stints in police rounds, courts and state politics. Gerard assumed the role as the paper’s movie writer, then editor of HIT magazine. In 1999 came an approach from Channel Ten to take the job as the network’s Senior Sport Reporter. At the completion of his first year he was named the Young Journalist of the Year at the Melbourne Press Club’s prestigious Quill Awards.

Three years on he accepted the chief reporter’s position at Seven News, winning the Quill Award for the Most Outstanding News Report for an investigation that revealed a wanted US criminal had lied to enter Australia to win a Melbourne radio station’s Valentine’s Day competition.

Soon after, Ten reclaimed Gerard’s services to be a foundation member of the network’s AFL commentary team.

At the same time he joined ABC Radio’s AFL team and in his inaugural year calling football was named the Australian Football Media Association’s Most Outstanding Radio Caller, following in the footsteps of Tim Lane, a feat repeated in 2009.

Having been a regular voice on the national broadcaster for a couple of years, Gerard Whateley joined the ABC full-time in September 2004 to fulfil a childhood dream of broadcasting a wide variety of sports.

Adding race calling to his repertoire, Gerard became the seventh man to call the Melbourne Cup for the ABC dating back to 1925.

Michael Mason issued a statement thanking Whateley for his years of service to ABC Radio:

“Gerard joined the ABC in September 2004 and has established a reputation as one of Australia’s leading sports broadcasters and commentators across a range of sporting codes and events… The ABC congratulates him on his contribution and wishes him the very best for his future endeavours.”

Whateley tweeted news of his move, saying:


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