The new era of radio station SEN has begun with a stunning coup - the arrival of acclaimed Australian sports broadcaster Gerard Whateley.
Whateley, 43, has agreed to join the station and Crocmedia as Chief Sports Caller and will spearhead football and racing coverages and other yet to be announced broadcast assets.
Whateley will also host his own signature show each day, to be known simply as Whateley, from 9am until Midday, Monday to Thursday.
The move ends a 13-year run as the ABC’s chief commentator and comes into effect after the SCG test. His first day on air on 1116 SEN will be Monday 29 January.
The following week he’ll head to Minnesota to front SEN’s Super Bowl coverage.
Pacific Star Network chairman Craig Coleman said Whateley’s arrival heralded a new era at SEN, and signals its intent to strengthen its commitment to play-by-play broadcasting, analysis and opinion.
“Gerard might well be Australia’s best all round journalist, commentator and host,” Coleman said.
“He is hugely respected by his peers, a twice Alf Brown Trophy winner for the AFL Media’s most outstanding performer.
“He is passionate about our vision for becoming the benchmark of Australian sports broadcasting and brings a unique new perspective to our audience.
“We are absolutely delighted to partner with Gerard and his wife Claire into the next phase of his broadcasting journey.”
Whateley was the inaugural Harry Gordon sports journalist of the year, is a five-time winner of the Australian Sports Commission award for the best coverage of sport and has won four straight AFL Coaches Association Media Awards.
“This concept has become an irresistible prospect,” Whateley said.
“For so many of us, Melbourne is the sporting capital of the world. The opportunity to craft a program that reflects our unique relationship with sport and speaks to every level of that community, from fan to participant, is a challenge I crave.
“My work and style is well revealed and that is what I’ll bring to SEN. For those who treasure sport the way I do, I hope you’ll come with me.
“To be the station’s Chief Sports Caller is a great honour coming with the challenge and responsibility of doing justice to the wide range of events SEN will broadcast from the AFL season to the Melbourne Cup,” Whateley added.