Leigh Sales' 7.30 replacement finally revealed

·Lifestyle Editor
·2-min read

A replacement for long-standing 7.30 presenter Leigh Sales has been announced.

The ABC journalist has been working at the program for 12 years, and announced in February she would be stepping down. She is due to end her time in the TV gig in June after the Federal Election.

Leigh Sales will leave 7.30 in June. Source: ABC/7.30
Leigh Sales will leave 7.30 in June. Source: ABC/7.30

It was revealed in a statement ABC's award-winning investigative journalist Sarah Ferguson would be stepping into the role.

The news comes after both Laura Tingle, 7.30's chief political correspondent, and Insiders host David Speers, were frontrunners for the coveted role.

Ferguson said in a statement she was delighted to take over from Sales.

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"Led by Leigh Sales and chief political correspondent Laura Tingle, the 7.30 team has created a powerhouse program, making superb current affairs journalism on the cutting edge of the genre. Working in collaboration with the inimitable Laura is irresistible. Adding myself into that mix sounds tremendously rewarding at a time when scrutiny of power is essential, when our social structures are undergoing profound change," she said.

"On Leigh's departure, I'd like to say that her diligence and skill have made an enormous contribution to Australian journalism. What you don't see in her calm studio presence is the huge amount of work she does in preparation. It will be a pleasure to take over from such a pro.

Four Corners journalist Sarah Ferguson (right) posing for a photograph with Hillary Clinton. Source: AAP
Four Corners journalist Sarah Ferguson (right) posing for a photograph with Hillary Clinton. Source: AAP

"Public service journalism has to deliver for the Australian audience, all day, every day. No one in Australia should ever feel they have no voice. It's our job to show how public broadcasting can create a place for everyone to come and debate, think deeply, be thrilled, entertained and sometimes provoked. This is the opposite of seeking to polarise in ways we are seeing in media worldwide."

Sales said she welcomed handing the reins to "a journalist of Sarah's rigour and experience".

"I look forward to finishing up and joining the viewers of Australia to see where she takes it next," she said.

Since joining the ABC in 2008, Ferguson has produced a number of investigative features for Four Corners, as well as the award-winning documentary The Killing Season, focusing on the Rudd-Gillard years.

She's no stranger to the 7.30 desk, and filled in for six months when Sales was on leave.

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