Wiradjuri journalist Stan Grant is joining the ABC in the newly created role of editor of indigenous affairs coverage.

From December, Grant will oversee the ABC’s coverage of the area, heading a team of journalists, though few details on how large it’ll be are currently avaliable. From next year, he’ll also be hosting a Friday night current affairs program in the slot currently occupied by 7.30, and the ABC expects he will fill in for Leigh Sales when she is away. Grant’s show will be headed by executive producer Jo Puccini.

ABC news director Gaven Morris described Grant, currently host of SBS NITV’s indigenous affairs program The Point, as one of the nation’s top journalists:

“He is also one of our leading voices in the area of Indigenous affairs. As such, he is ideally suited for both of these key roles, and we are thrilled he has agreed to take them on.

“Indigenous affairs is an area of great importance to our nation and one ABC News has always comprehensively covered. Stan will lead the way in extending and better structuring our reporting on it throughout our news and current affairs coverage.”

In the release, Grant said his appointment was part of the ABC “engaging in a more structured way with indigenous issues. These issues go to the heart of the country – to who we are as Australians – and these initiatives will put the ABC at the heart of the conversation.”

Grant has in recent years become one of Australia’s most prominent voices on indigenous issues. After saying in a newspaper interview he would be open to entering politics, he was courted by both major parties in the lead-up to the last federal election, but he ultimately decided to stick to journalism.

Grant has worked for Sky News as international editor, as well as overseas with CNN. It was considered a major coup for NITV when it signed him up for The Point last year. NITV axed its daily news show to make way for the program.

Gran’t program will take place in the slot that used to air the state-based 7.30 editions, before they were axed in 2014 in the midst of a major funding cut. Since then, the Friday edition of 7.30 which replaced them has been the worst-performing of the week — it rarely has more than a million people watching it, and ratings are down on last year. — Myriam Robin and Glenn Dyer

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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