Fans of Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes’ acerbic style should savour the popular show’s upcoming episodes because he won’t be behind the desk much longer.

Crikey understands a replacement for Holmes has been chosen, with the ABC set to make an official announcement on his successor at the end of May. ABC sources say this is likely to be followed by a speedy baton change from Holmes to the mystery new host — the eighth in Media Watch‘s history.

Holmes, an ABC current affairs veteran, flagged last August that he was likely to step down in the middle of this season. Although the handover has been carefully planned for months, the identity of the new presenter is a closely-guarded secret within Aunty.

Holmes, who declined to comment when contacted by Crikey, took over as host in 2008, making him the second-longest serving Media Watch host since it launched in 1989.

Founding host Stuart Littlemore served for nine seasons, Richard Ackland two, Paul Barry one, David Marr three, Liz Jackson one and Monica Attard two.

A former host could be in the mix, while a fourth successive host from inside the ABC establishment would be likely to provoke complaints from critics of the program.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey