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Media veteran Keith Conlon retires

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Keith Conlon has called time on a 50 year media career.

The FIVEaa breakfast announcer told listeners this morning of his decision to retire at the end of November, adding he’ll miss some things, but not the early starts.

“I love the adrenaline rush of producing a breakfast show; you’re live, don’t know what the day’s script will be and have to have your wits about you,” he said.

“I’ll have adrenalin withdrawal and will miss the fantastic team but the hardest part of a breakfast show are the early starts and I’ve been doing that for 13 years.

“I’m looking forward to having more family time and reading books that aren’t just research for the next day’s interviews.”

Conlon started his radio career in 1972 at the University of Adelaide’s community radio station 5UV.

He presented the weeknight edition of ABC TV News from 1989 to 1992 and later worked at ABC radio as a mornings host before moving to FIVEaa.

He became a household name as the host of TV program Postcards SA on the Nine Network from 1995 until 2011.

Postcards saw him dubbed “Mr South Australia”.

Conlon told InDaily today’s decision came easily.

“In the end, I just felt the time was right.

“It’s my third attempt at retiring and while I enjoyed being lured back, I just felt that with my 70th coming up next year, now is a good time to call it quits.”

The occasional muso and stage performer said he might consider returning to the stage.

“The last time I was in the Fringe it hadn’t even been invented.

“We used to hang out the shingle on the edges of the festival back in the 60s and I’m keen to have a go at that sort of thing; just for fun.

“I might even get the drums out.”

Conlon said he had no inkling of possible replacements.

The once-dominant FIVEaa breakfast program has had several changes in the last couple of years and slipped in the ratings as a result.

Long-time co-presenter Tony Pilkington left two years ago, comedian and co-presenter Jon Blake defected to Triple M, Jane Doyle made way for Jane Reilly and John Kenneally left at the end of last year.

Peter Maynard, dmg Radio Adelaide General Manager paid tribute to Conlon’s contribution.

“Keith has made a major contribution to the media landscape and talk back radio over the past 50 years,” he said.

“His passion and commitment to South Australia is unparalleled.

“I would like to congratulate him on a fantastic career and wish him well with the next exciting stage.”

Maynard now has the task of rebuilding the breakfast team; he’ll be joined next week by ABC radio program manager Craig Munn who resigned this week to be operations manager at FIVEaa, the station he left to join the ABC in 2009.

 

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