Scott Burchill
2 min readJan 12, 2024


Why I was disinvited from ABC News Breakfast

I began appearing on ABC News Breakfast when it first started on ABC2 (TV) over 13 years ago: in fact during its first week on air when the studio crew was probably larger than the audience.

Initially I provided commentary on international politics before shifting to reviewing the day’s newspapers when that segment was subsequently created. In those days Barrie Cassidy and Virginia Trioli were the show’s co-presenters.

At some stages over the course of those 13 years I was on every fortnight, getting up at 5am to be at the studio an hour later. I was not paid, nor did I expect to be. In that way I could always say that the ABC was getting its money’s worth out of me!

It was a form of community outreach which my University encouraged because it generated free publicity. At one stage it became so time consuming I had to quit my fortnightly segment on Jon Faine’s morning radio show (ABC Melbourne) where I was discussing world politics, so that I could still teach and research at my day job.

I enjoyed the segment, even when I dialled in via Skype whilst on holidays in Europe and North America. I liked my interlocutors and admired their professionalism, the wide scope of subjects they had to be across each morning, and their endurance day in, day out. We often had lots of laughs at my expense, which made things more entertaining for them and the audience.

Then suddenly, about 14 months ago, bookings to appear on the program suddenly dried up. Initially there was no explanation. When I enquired, a producer and a presenter told me that I hadn’t been blackballed, just that they were trialling new presenters and would soon be in touch. I have never heard one word since. No thanks for the years of helping out, often at short notice after a cancellation, nor an explanation for why I had suddenly become persona non grata.

Of course they have every right to dump me, but the failure to even confirm this — in fact it was twice denied — or explain why, was discourteous and disappointing.

I can only speculate that I offended someone powerful, say the LNP when I suggested Scott Morrison was “toast” shortly before his political demise, or perhaps I attacked News Corp mastheads once too often. Ironically, whenever I was more provocative or critical my twitter (now X) follows increased exponentially, though one should be wary about using this metric as indicating too much.

One follower warned me that as a result of my comments during the last federal election campaign, I won’t be back on the ABC any time soon. I laughed. He was right.



Scott Burchill

Dr Scott Burchill taught International Relations at Deakin University for 30 years