• Decision means he won’t even complete his ABC Ashes Tour duties
With a merger of Crocmedia and Melbourne sports radio station SEN about to take place, the station has wasted no time in the new calendar year by unveiling its plans.
In one of the biggest media moves in sport, Gerard Whateley has quit the ABC and will move to SEN. Whateley is not even going to complete his work for ABC Radio on the Ashes Tour, the recently completed Melbourne Test was his last job for the broadcaster.
Whateley, 43, has agreed to join the radio station and Crocmedia as chief sports caller and will spearhead football and racing coverage and other yet to be announced broadcast assets.
Whateley will also host his own show each day, replacing Kevin Bartlett in mornings following KB’s move to drive where he will co-host with Dr Turf (aka John Rothfield) who is also an investor in Crocmedia and now SEN.
SEN’s new morning show will be called simply Whateley, and run from 9am until midday, Monday to Thursday.
The move ends a 13-year run for Whateley as the ABC’s chief commentator.
Whateley’s first day on air on 1116 SEN will be Monday 29 January.
The following week he’ll head to Minnesota to front SEN’s Superbowl coverage.
Whateley was the inaugural Harry Gordon sports journalist of the year, is a five-time 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 said of his decision to quit the ABC.
“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 added.
Whateley will also be giving up hosting the weekly ABC sports program Offsiders. He will continue to co-host AFL 360 on Fox Footy with Mark Robinson.
With Crocmedia branching out further into TV at its new purpose-built studio complex, it would be no surprise to see Whateley hosting a new sports TV program too. Crocmedia recently hired Nine’s Tim Clearly as chief content officer at the same time it announced the launch of its Rainmaker production business.