ABC denies overwork claims


The ABC has denied it is working one of its leading on-air personalities too hard.

The Bug understands that concerns have been raised with ABC hierarchy as high as the corporation’s chair Ita Buttrose about the workload of David Speers.

Mr Speers started at the ABC earlier this year as host of the Sunday morning chat show Insiders after being poached from Sky News.

“But since then David… sorry, since then Speersie has been popping up all over the place on ABC programs,” an ABC insider not linked to Insiders said.

“He’s wheeled out at the drop of a hat whenever there’s any sort of medium to big political story running.

“He was part of the coverage of state elections held this year and appeared as a commentator during the ABC’s coverage of the US elections.

“He’s also substituted for Michael Rowland on ABC News Breakfast and he’s often interviewed by various ABC Radio hosts around the nation about federal or state political events.

“Certainly Barrie Cassidy (pictured) didn’t have to shoulder the same workload when he hosted Insiders.

“It seems to a lot of us that the ABC must have paid David…. sorry, the ABC must have paid Speersie a shitload of money to come across from Sky News and now it needs to work him like a dog to get some value for its outlay.

“There’s even talk of David…. sorry, there’s even talk of Speersie taking over the hosting gig for Gardening Australia from Costa Whatshisname when the show returns for 2021.

“That rumour has grown legs because David…sorry, Speersie has been spied around the corridors at the ABC growing out a full bushranger beard,” the insider said. (main picture)   

ABC chair Ita Buttrose declined to be interviewed on the allegations, but an aide said Mr Speers…. sorry, Speersie was not being overworked and nothing should be read into Ms Buttrose’s decision not to comment.

“It’s not that Ms Buttrose doesn’t want to comment, it’s just that she has incredible trouble pronouncing ‘Speersie’,” her spokesperson said.