AustraliaDavid Speers to take over as Insiders host in 2020, ABC confirms
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Sky News political editor David Speers will take over as host of political discussion program Insiders in 2020, ABC News has confirmed.
In a statement issued this evening, ABC director of News Gaven Morris said the two-time Walkley Award winner would join "Australia's best and most trusted political team".
"David is a terrific journalist and presenter, an astute political observer and a great talent," he said.
"We are delighted to welcome him to this key role as the successor to the great Barrie Cassidy."
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Speers said taking over from outgoing host Cassidy, who announced his departure last March, was "an honour and a terrific opportunity".
"Insiders is essential viewing if you're interested in politics and understanding how Australia is being led," he said.
"[I'm] honoured to be taking over from the great Barrie Cassidy. I'm reminded how important good journalism is on a day when press freedom has been under question."
Cassidy last month said he "couldn't be more chuffed" someone like Speers wanted to take over the program, after reports of Speers's appointment drew congratulations from many politicians and journalists online.
Former Sky News host Peter van Onselen tweeted that Speers's reported departure was a "huge loss" for the News Corp-owned news channel.
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ABC journalists and presenters Annabel Crabb and Fran Kelly will "mostly be stepping in" to host the program until Speers begins.
Cassidy said he would leave Insiders on June 9, but would stay with the ABC.
He dropped the bombshell on stage at the Melbourne Press Club's Quill Awards for Excellence in Journalism, as he accepted the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to political journalism in a career spanning more than 50 years.
Launched in 2001, Insiders is the most watched morning show on Australian TV any day of the week.
Speers is widely respected for his straight-shooting style and probing interviews with politicians.
He started his career at Geelong radio station K-Rock before working for the Macquarie and Southern Cross radio networks, including stations 2GB, 2UE and 3AW.
The 44-year-old joined Sky News in 2000.
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