Queen of Australian sports radio: ABC farewells Karen Tighe


Award winning sports broadcaster and ABC SPORT presenter Karen Tighe has announced she will leave the ABC to focus on her health.

Tighe joined the ABC in 1989 as part of the TV sports team where she spent eight years as a sports researcher, broadcaster and presenter.

In 1997 she made the move from TV to radio and became synonymous with the ABC’s sport coverage as presenter of the national weekend sports program Grandstand, a role she has held ever since.

The move to radio fulfilled Karen’s dreams of covering the Olympics working on the Sydney, Athens, Beijing and Rio Games along with six Paralympic Games for ABC TV in Barcelona, Lillehammer, Atlanta, Sydney, Beijing and London.

Tighe says “Leaving the ABC has been a very difficult decision, but I depart celebrating the increasing opportunities for talented women in sports media and commentary and similarly on the field with teams like the Matildas in football and the Australian women’s cricketers.”

“As for the Olympics and Paralympics, I will always be following! It has been a privilege to be part of the ABC Grandstand family.”

A trailblazer for female sports broadcasters, Tighe is the first person to win a Sport Australia Media Award twice. In February 2020, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Australia Media Awards in Sydney.

In 2020 Tighe was hospitalised with encephalitis. During her recovery, she became an advocate for encephalitis awareness in Australia by publicly sharing her experiences for World Encephalitis Day which is today, February 22.

Fellow ABC SPORT Broadcaster Quentin Hull paid tribute, saying “Karen Tighe is the undisputed Queen of Australian sports radio.”

“From her early days as a television anchor, right through to her final summer as host of Grandstand, Karen has been the ultimate professional and a pioneer for women in the Australian sports media.”

“Karen’s unabashed love for sport and its people has been evident in every broadcast she made. She is as authentic as she is thorough, and her name will rightfully sit alongside the likes of Alan McGilvray, Norman May and Jim Maxwell, as sports broadcasting icons for the ABC.

“In recent years, Karen’s return to the airwaves after illness has not only been an inspiration, but the ultimate reflection of her work ethic and passion.”

“Away from the microphone, Kaz is the most wonderful colleague you could hope for. All of us at ABC Sport have been blessed to work with her and we wish her all the best.”

Karen will farewell listeners on Summer Grandstand this weekend.

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K Watson
22 Feb 2024 - 10:05 am

Summer Grandstand this weekend? Penciled in.
Suggestion; You Tube “I don’t care as long as we beat New Zealand.” {Mullet warning]


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