Australian radio icon Neil Mitchell bids farewell to 3AW Mornings after 34 years

Sep 01, 2023
Mitchell joined 3AW in 1987, commencing a journey that would lead to an illustrious career. Source: Nine for brands

After more than 30 years on the air, iconic radio presenter Neil Mitchell has announced he will be stepping down as host of 3AW Mornings. 

Mitchell made the announcement in a statement on Friday, September 1, telling his loyal fanbase that it was a “tough decision to step away from the daily program” and the “best job” he has ever had.

“Apart from my family, this has been my life and it has been a huge privilege,” he began.

“When a radio audience allows you into their lives you can’t help but feel the responsibility and the honour.

“As a broadcaster you cry with them, laugh with them, get angry as they do, and always fight for their interests.

“I have been acutely conscious of that privilege of the microphone every day I have been on air for over 36 years. It is a tough decision to step away from the daily program. It is the best job I have ever had.

“But I promise I will continue my philosophy and attitude through this new role. It is one I have crafted carefully with the approval of 3AW and Nine management because I want to continue to have an impact and continue to work for the audience as the media landscape changes.”

3AW Station Manager, Stephen Beers thanked Mitchell for his “ongoing desire to deliver the best radio every day”.

“Neil has been an enormous part of 3AW for decades, he reinvented talkback radio in Melbourne and the power of the audience in shaping our lives,” Beers said.

“No one story or campaign can sum him up, we can only thank Neil for his ongoing desire to deliver the best radio every day. I am excited for our next chapter with Neil across many of the Nine platforms. Neil has shaped the entire radio station, he is and always will be 3AW.”

Mitchell joined 3AW in 1987, commencing a journey that would lead to an illustrious career. He started part-time on weekends and filled in as a morning host for Derryn Hinch. By October of that year, he hosted the Drive program, and in 1990, he took on Mornings, becoming a key figure in Melbourne.

Mitchell’s achievements span across radio, TV, and newspapers, earning him Walkley, Quill, and ACRA awards. Notably, he’s the only person in both the Melbourne Press Club Hall of Fame and the Australian Commercial Radio Hall of Fame.

His other accolades include an impressive tally of eight Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards for Best Radio Current Affairs Report, complemented by another for his prowess as a columnist.

Notably, the Melbourne Press Club Graham Perkin Australian Journalist of the Year Award of 2011 found its rightful home in Mitchell’s hands, marking the first instance of a radio journalist securing this coveted recognition over a quarter of a century.

In a subsequent triumph, a Walkley Award was bestowed upon him in the radio/audio news and current affairs category, an acknowledgment of his incisive reportage that revealed the Ford Motor Company’s decision to cease vehicle manufacturing in Australia post-2016.

In 2007, he became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions to media and the community through charitable work.

With numerous Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) under his belt, including seven Best Talk Presenter awards and eleven Best Current Affairs Presenter awards, Mitchell’s legacy remains strong.

Neil’s replacement is expected to be announced in the coming days.

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