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ABC music guru, Richard Kingsmill has today announced he will be stepping down from his role as group music director, after 35 years at the national broadcaster.
Starting out as a radio announcer, Kingsmill worked as a music journalist heavyweight in an array of different ABC formats – working his way up to the crown jewels of Group Music Director of triple j, triple j Unearthed, Double J and Local Radio.
As a pioneer of the Hottest 100 countdowns and the station’s Unearthed initiative, Kingsmill is also remembered for tormenting music industry A&R representatives by only talking to them by looking up into a mirror above his desk.
While he is loathed by many music label executives who resented how much power he wielded over the last three decades, he is also credited with discovering and platforming some of the biggest stars in Australian music – namely Missy Higgins, Grinspoon, and Genesis Owusu.
The ABC is now faced with the gruelling task of replacing Kingsmill with a new all-powerful taste-maker in Australian music.
Initially the public broadcaster’s 81-year-old Managing Director, Ita Buttrose was tipped to fill the role of the acting Kingsmill.
However, her interim duties are no longer required after an expression of interest from the 78-year-old former ABC 730 presenter Kerry O’Brien.
Speaking to The Betoota Advocate today, Mr O’Brien says on top of his decorated career as a national news anchor, he has always kept a close eye on what is happening in the streets.
“I look forward to picking up where Kingo [Richard Kingsmill] left off” said O’Brien.
“I’ve been right across the rise of Polynesian drill rap in Australia, as well as this burgeoning punk renaissance out of Geelong”
O’Brien says much like his predecessor, he will not be bowing to any of the big wigs from the major labels.
“There will be no industry plants under my watch. I take my new role at the youth broadcaster very seriously. About as seriously as I take my music festivals”
“Personally, I cannot wait to head up to Splendour next year and get absolutely blasted in the Tackle Shack.”
“One of the perks of the jobs my new friend Dave Woodhead tells me haha”