Project’s Tom Elliott to replace Hinch

I am in shock. Didn’t see it coming: Derryn Hinch

The statement from 3AW said, The station has decided not to renew his one year contract for another term. The Drive time presenter will finish up at the end of the year. A replacement will be announced in the next few days.

But Hinch says that he had heard five weeks ago that “Tom Elliott had told people at Channel Ten that this was my last year and he was replacing me.”

Apart from being the ‘money man’ on The Project, Elliott is currently a finance commentator on 3AW and 3RRR, and appears regularly on the ABC’s Inside Business program.

“I was called in to the general manager’s office after my 3AW program finished tonight and was told my services were no longer required,” said Hinch on his webpage

“I asked why and was told by the GM Shane Healy that they planned to ‘ take the station in a different direction’. Seeing my program is No. I on Melbourne I’m tempted to think that direction is down,” says Hinch.

Mr Healy, said “While Derryn will not reappear behind the drive microphone after December 3AW hopes to explore other opportunities with the respected broadcaster to enable him to remain in the Fairfax Radio fold.”

He then paid tribute to Derryn’s “fantastic” contribution to the station over the past 10 years.

“Derryn has been part of the fabric of Melbourne’s No.1 radio station for many years and we are immensely proud and grateful for his efforts over this time,” Mr Healy said.

“However, like all branches of the media it is impossible to stand still in a world of ever-accelerating change.

“3AW, Melbourne’s most successful radio station of the modern era, must position itself to take advantage of the exciting possibilities opening up in the digital world and changing audience expectations,” Mr Healy said.

Mr Healy said he hoped Derryn would consider the options that could be available to enable him to still play a role in broadcasting at Fairfax Radio.

Hinch has had two stints at 3AW. He established his broadcasting reputation on the station in the 1980s before he leaving for television current affairs.

In the past 10 years 3AW has stood behind the broadcaster through a series of controversies. Only last Friday 3AW gave the broadcaster the day off to fight in court a charge of failure to vote.

“Life will not be the same without Derryn around but we believe listeners will react more than favorably to the changes we have in mind,” Mr Healy said.

Hinch tweeted…

“Is this a newsflash? I’ve just been fired,

“As somebody once said. That’s life. Watch this space.”

On his website, he said, “I will be on air as usual tomorrow. Then on leave  for a couple of weeks  while I decide on future plans. I will fulfil my contractual obligations and finish the year in as professional a manner as I can muster.

“More tomorrow. Follow the [non] bouncing ball.”