ABC Classic FM loses another of its high profile presenters when Julia Lester, host of the network’s Classic Drive program for 12 years, retires from the ABC in September.
Lester, who joined ABC radio in 1985 as a programmer, said in announcing her decision: “I’m fortunate enough to have been able to say ‘I love my job…’ Thanks ABC, and thanks to you, listeners/viewers from around the country and now around the world.”
The Classic Drive show is broadcast from Adelaide and it is understood Lester’s position will be replaced by a yet-to-be appointed staff member based in Sydney or Melbourne. An ABC spokesperson is quoted as saying the reason is to bring the drive-time show “closer to other prime time presenters in the eastern states”.
The news is seen as a further blow to Adelaide’s ABC Collinswood Centre, where ABC Classic FM was established in 1976. Last November, ABC managing director Mark Scott announced a decision to close the Centre’s entire TV production.
Erstwhile Breakfast host Emma Ayres left the station at the end of last year and now teaches cello in Afghanistan.