“Broadcasting is a privilege”: WA radio veteran Russell Woolf on his return to ABC Perth

Former Assistant Editor

Perth broadcasting veteran Russell Woolf is returning to ABC Radio for a new Breakfast show kicking off next week.

He’ll join Nadia Mitsopoulos for the show, at a station where he hosted Afternoons, and later, Drive from 2005 to 2013.

After getting his start at 6SE Radio West, Russell then moved to 6KG before starting his ABC career as a reporter in Karratha.

Speaking with Radio Today Russell says he’s better for the experience of spending the last few years in the US with his family.

“It was an opportunity to go away and experience a new culture. We were always coming back after two or three years, but I was really excited at being offered the chance to come back and do this Breakfast program here on ABC Perth.”

The plan had always been to return to Perth, and Russell is thankful for the good timing and luck that’s afforded him the chance to return to ABC Perth.

“I’ve always kept an interest in things back home while I was away,” he says. “You can feel an extra connection to people, and to the history and to the places.”

“I love the radio industry. Going away for three years can be a long time in terms of maintaining a presence in listeners minds.

“I was never arrogant enough to think that I had a gig to come back to. You just don’t know what’s around the corner.”

For a man that’s done a lot in the media industry, Breakfast will present its own unique challenges, and Russell is more than up for it.

“It’s that thing in the morning where you’re governing the start to people’s days,” he says, excitedly.

You arm them with the information they need in order to head out into their day. That’s the friend that Breakfast radio can be to a listener. I’m honoured to play a role in that.”

In the end, the greatest lesson to be learned is that radio broadcasters need to understand that they are in a position of privilege.

Radio is a privilege, broadcasting is a privilege,” says Russell.

“We talk to people and they’re listening to us and responding to us. That’s a privilege. Most people aren’t afforded that.

“The average punter… If you ask them the right question at the right time, who knows what they’ll say next?

“It can be pure gold. It’s about getting that sort of relationship with your listeners where they share intimate things that they might otherwise never have spoken of.”

Head here for ABC’s full 2019 presenter lineup.

Russell Woolf and Nadia Mitsopoulos will kick off Breakfast on ABC Perth next Monday, 21st January.

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