After a glittering media career spanning 50 years, legendary Nine Network sports presenter Ken Sutcliffe has announced he will retire from full-time news reading and presenting at the end of 2016.
Making the announcement in last night’s Nine News Sydney bulletin alongside close friend and colleague Peter Overton, Sutcliffe called time on a long and illustrious career that has seen him become a household name in Australia.
From modest beginnings in the central western New South Wales town of Mudgee, Sutcliffe honed his skills in regional radio and television before joining the Nine Network in 1979. Sutcliffe cited a desire to spend more time with his family and the opportunity to travel as key factors in his decision to retire from full-time duties.
“I have always said you retire while they still want you and that’s the case at Nine. I have worked with and alongside some of the giants of Australian television including Brian Henderson, Graham Kennedy and Ray Warren,” he said.
“After 50 years of broadcasting it’s time for new challenges which I am looking forward to, including living in Mudgee and travelling with my wife Anne.” Overton praised Sutcliffe for his extraordinary contribution to not only Australian television but for mentoring so many journalists and presenters at Channel Nine.
“I will miss his warmth, friendship, sparkling smile and laugh, as will the millions who have got to know Ken so well over the decades via their TVs. Ken is a rolled-gold Australian television legend,” Overton said.
Sutcliffe will not be lost to Nine altogether, with the network adopting an open-door policy should he wish to appear across any news or sports programming. He leaves Nine News in great shape, having already won the ratings year in Sydney for 2016.
“Nine has left the door open for me to return from time to time, which I appreciate. Also, working with Peter Overton, a dear friend, has been a joy,” said Sutcliffe.
Replacing Sutcliffe on the coveted Sydney Nine News desk alongside Overton and Georgie Gardner will be seasoned sports presenter Cameron Williams, who will assume the role of Sports Editor.
Cameron Williams said: “It was an easy decision to rejoin the best news and sports team in the business.” “Like anyone who loves sport and TV I was saddened to hear Ken is calling time on his wonderful career. We have spoken at length and he was as kind and encouraging as he was the first day we met. “It’s an honour to be asked to sit in his chair alongside Pete Overton five nights a week and continue a tradition of breaking news to Nine viewers.”
Williams joins one of the most exclusive clubs in Australian television history. Only three other people have held the positon before him. Ron Casey, Mike Gibson and Ken Sutcliffe.