David Speers
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

David Speers is moving from Sky News to host Insiders on ABC, showing there's life (and credibility) in free-to-air TV yet. His decision underlines the still very relevant fact that there is nothing like the lure of free-to-air's big audiences to attract talented media mavens.

Speers’ move has shocked a lot of people in the media, but it shouldn’t have (in fact, he was on Crikey's list of predictions for replacement hosts back in March). It is also the latest in a long history of similar moves.

Alan Reid (AKA the Red Fox), the great political journalist from The Bulletin was also Nine's political correspondent and interviewer when the company was owned by the Packer family in the '50s through to the '80s. Laurie Oakes continued the trend back in the late '70s and early '80s, moving from The Herald Sun (when it wasn’t owned by News Corp) to Ten and then to Nine where he dominated Australian political broadcasting.