Shake-up for ABC Mackay’s morning show
ABC Tropical North’s Mornings program will run out of Townsville instead of Mackay from later this month.
The national broadcaster says there will be no job cuts in the sugar city, rather it gives Mornings presenter Cristy-Lee Macqueen an opportunity to get out from behind the desk and into the broader Mackay community.
The move was not so well received on Twitter after North Queensland rural reporter Tom Major shared his feelings on the change.
“Sad to hear of another regional program being cut in Queensland, with ABC Tropical North (Mackay) Mornings to be replaced by the Townsville show,” he wrote.
“Any loss of engagement with local audiences through a locally presented and produced show reflects poorly on regional media.”
Former Townsville ABC reporter Megan Woodward, who grew up in Mackay, also lamented the shift.
“That’s absolutely gutting for both staff and audience,” she said.
“Would love to know the rationale behind that decision. How such a move meets the charter defies belief.”
But ABC says Tropical North Mornings presenter Cristy-Lee Macqueen is simply getting out of the studio and into the region to bring her listeners a broader range of stories from Mackay and surrounding communities.
Share your thoughts on this issue through a letter to the editor:
From Wednesday January 27, Sally Rafferty will present the Mornings program from Monday to Thursday from 10-11am and feature stories from Ms Macqueen and the ABC Tropical North team.
Gardening Talkback with Tom Wyatt will continue on Fridays.
Ms Macqueen will be back behind the microphone every Friday to present ABC Tropical North Breakfast to allow Breakfast presenter Meecham Philpott to also get out into the community.
ABC Queensland regional editor Sue McVay said the new arrangement had been successfully trialled elsewhere in the state.
“The change to Mornings in northern Queensland is all about improving our regional news content,” she said.
“Freeing up a presenter to get out into the broader community will mean the region is far better served with more regional voices heard on air each week.”
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