Veteran broadcaster Mike Pritchard retires after 31 years with the ABC

Mike Pritchard is well known throughout the Upper Hunter, and was the first journalist in the Muswellbrook ABC bureau in 1990.
Now the Upper Hunter rural reporter and breakfast presenter will retire on June 4 and colleagues and locals say his contribution to regional journalism is unmatched.
Mike says, “I’ve been privileged to have had the opportunity to report on and share the stories of those in our region for so long, and also privileged to have had the opportunity to do it under the banner of ABC.
“The decision to bring the ABC to the Upper Hunter was probably a gamble in 1990, but it has long since proved its worth by employing three permanent employees to cover such a diverse region.
“I’ll not miss the 3.30 alarm but I’ll no doubt struggle with having to leave a story idea alone.”
The presenter of the New South Wales Country Hour, Michael Condon, has worked with Mike for 20 years, and says there were few people who had the sort of impact that Mike had.
“He will come across a story that nobody has heard of, way ahead of everybody else. Particularly in the coal industry and in the thoroughbred breeding industry, he has a real finger on the pulse there.”
“He was pivotal with our drought coverage, because the Hunter was one of the first areas to really go severely into drought.
“Mike was like a warning bell for us about what was likely to happen across the state.”
Mike Pritchard has mentored countless young journalists, and one of them was Matt Brann, who grew up in the Upper Hunter and is now a journalist with ABC Rural in the Northern Territory.
Matt says, “He’s the one that got me going with the ABC back in the day. I owe Mike Pritchard everything. Without him, I wouldn’t have the job that I do today.”




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