After more than a decade in the role, Leigh Sales has announced she will be stepping down as presenter of ABC‘s nightly current affairs program 7.30.
Sales made the announcement at the end of 7.30‘s February 10 program, telling viewers she would step away from the 7.30 desk in June 2022 following the federal election.
“I’ve asked my bosses at the ABC to allow me to step down from anchoring 7.30 later this year, once the federal election is over,” she said.
“I was appointed to the job on the 3rd of December 2010, so this my 12th year in the seat. That was five Prime Ministers ago! It was so long ago that Donald Trump was still just a guy with a bad orange hairdo hosting The Apprentice.
“I feel a strong sense of it being time to pass the baton to the next runner in the race and to take a break. The end of an election cycle feels like a good time to move onto something new at the ABC.
“I’ve always approached this job with one goal and that is to ask frank questions of people in power, without fear or favour, that a fair-minded, reasonable person with some common sense watching at home might like to ask if they were sitting in my position.
“The team at 7.30 is unparalleled in the media and I could not have more admiration or more gratitude for what they all do. It is an incredibly important program, there is no other show that does what 7.30 does night after night. I know the program is going to keep going from strength to strength, as it always has.”
Although she’s stepping away from her current anchor duties, Sales hinted she will remain with the ABC in a new role.
“I’m looking forward to having a good break and then figuring out what I do next at the ABC,” she said.
Some news from me, with love to our viewers and my colleagues. https://t.co/fY6SRIpnq2
— Leigh Sales (@leighsales) February 10, 2022
ABC Managing Director David Anderson praised Sales’ broadcasting abilities and said he’s “really looking forward to the next stage of her career here at the ABC.”
“Leigh’s integrity, intellect and courage are evident in everything she does,” he said.
“Our audiences have always seen Leigh as a journalist and broadcaster who challenges her subjects and asks the questions we all want answers to.”
Sales joined the ABC in Brisbane in 1995 as a junior reporter and went on to hold a number of senior roles within the news organisation, such as NSW State Political Reporter and National Security Correspondent.
She covered the Iraq War, the 2004 US Presidential election, Guantanamo Bay and Hurricane Katrina as ABC’s Washington correspondent from 2001-2005.
The Walkley Award-winning journalist was appointed as presenter of 7.30 in December 2010, since then her role has seen her cover the terms of five Prime Ministers, nine federal budgets and two federal elections. She has also covered several major news events, including Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory and the death of Nelson Mandela in 2013.