How Sarah Abo landed one of the biggest hosting roles on Australian television

At the same time last year, 60 minutes Reporter Sarah Abo appeared as a guest presenter for the first time today Show. While she was nervous about the new challenge and knew that three and a half hours of live TV five days a week starting at 5:30 a.m. would not be a breeze, she recalls, “From day one it felt really comfortable.” . As she enjoys working collaboratively and is a seasoned media artist with a solid history at three networks, she attributes this sense of ease to “an amazing team, so you never feel like you’re on your own”. And she adds: “I liked that too 60 minutes; this sense of collaboration, that everyone has the same goal.”

Abo, 37, recalls her friends telling her they knew she was relaxed today Roll as they heard the throaty cascade that is “The Laugh of Sarah”. Darren Wick, director of news and current affairs at Nine (the owner of this masthead), also recognized that the summer rep seemed at home on set. “She was warm, engaging, curious and funny,” he says, “everything Aussies want in a morning TV presenter. It’s a difficult and nuanced program to host, but it was evident that Sarah had a natural flair for it.”

According to her boss, Sarah Abo is

According to her boss, Sarah Abo is “warm, engaging, curious and funny…everything Aussies want in a breakfast TV host.”Credit:Simon Schlueter

Abo hosted for about eight weeks until 2022, one time she was late because she overslept her alarm clock (apparently three alarm clocks). It was a lot of fun for co-host Karl Stefanovic and the producers to set up a segment in which A topical matter‘s news dog Steve Marshall attacked her in the parking lot, put a microphone in her face and asked her to explain her delay. Everyone had a great time, except maybe Abo, who probably won’t be sleeping that well at 3:30am on a workday.

Given their success last year, it came as no great surprise afterwards today‘s 2020 co-host Allison Langdon has been announced as Tracy Grimshaw’s replacement ACA that Abo would move to the chair Langdon vacated. It seemed like a predictable handing over of the baton, although Wick says the appointment was no cheapskate: “It’s one of only a handful of major hosting roles on Australian television,” he notes. “It was highly sought after and we had a lot of talented journalists both internally at Nine and externally that we spoke to about the role.”

Wick also says that longtime anchor Stefanovic was “heavily involved” in the selection process. “The two main hosts have to come together,” says Wick. “Their chemistry has to be authentic and they have to respect and like each other. Karl has a unique insight into what it takes to lead the team to success. He knows what kind of personality will bring out the best in him and the team around them.”

Sarah Abo to moderate the 2022'screaming' leaders debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition leader Anthony Albanese.

Sarah Abo to moderate the 2022 ‘screaming’ leaders debate between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition leader Anthony Albanese.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

When Abo’s appointment was announced today, Langdon offered her follow-up some advice on her new screen partner: “He’ll bug you, but he’ll have your back, he’ll take care of you… just call me for a consultation about ‘Oh what’s he up to now?’ Both women seem to treat Stefanovic like a cheeky brother, with affection and respect, but are also willing to give whatever they can. And Abo notes that seeing him work up close was like a master class: “He’s an incredible presenter. You won’t survive that long in the industry if you’re not good at it. He really is a powerhouse: he brings that energy to life every day. He keeps you busy, but you have to keep him busy too, and he loves that.”

It is crucial to ensure that the couple works well together today operates in one of the most closely watched and fiercely contested arenas in free TV. The breakfast shows are huge revenue streams for commercial networks, and gaining ratings brings prestige and bragging rights. The zone attracts intense scrutiny, particularly from female anchors. As we now famously know, Stefanovic wore the same blue suit for a year and nobody noticed, but if the woman sitting next to him showed up twice in the same outfit, social media would quickly buzz.

Described by Abo as “equal parts funny, equal parts journalism,” the breakfast shows hop between news, weather, entertainment and lifestyle segments, and their hosts become trusted companions as viewers go about their morning routines. She has no problem with a format that requires adaptability and flexibility, where an interview with the Prime Minister or a live report from a flooded city could be followed by a segment about baking scones or a talk about her housecleaning habits (she’d rather be ironing than vacuuming). She welcomes the change: “It’s like the taste of life. You don’t always want to be serious, you don’t always want to be frivolous.” How Sarah Abo landed one of the biggest hosting roles on Australian television

Jaclyn Diaz

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