The ABC’s political editor Chris Uhlmann is switching to the commercials, with news today of his defection to Channel Nine.
Uhlmann is set to replace the retiring Laurie Oakes.
In a statement, Nine described the recruitment of Uhlmann as “a new era” in its news coverage. “He is a man of integrity, talent and possesses the hunger that drives the truly great reporters,” it said.
Uhlmann said: “I am joining Nine because of its long and proud news culture and I am excited by the prospect of continuing the tradition.”
However, he added he left the national broadcaster with a “heavy heart”.
“It is hard to leave the ABC. I do it with a heavy heart and a profound sense of gratitude. I go simply because I am seeking another challenge and believe that the time is right,” Uhlmann said.
“The ABC is a national treasure. It has given me opportunities I never dared dream of, is home to some of the best journalists in the world and many of my best friends.
“I have not forgotten that the ABC took a risk appointing me to parliament in 2006 and remember what I said at the end of my [second] interview: ‘I promise I won’t let you down.’
“I have tried to honour my side of that pledge and know the ABC has honoured its end of the bargain.
“I will not be a commentator on what you do but I will be avidly watching and listening,” he said.
Uhlmann has been at the ABC for almost two decades and will join Nine in October.