herald

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Sarah seen as 'ideal candidate' to step into Sinead's shoes

Sarah McInerney has been linked with Ireland AM
Sarah McInerney has been linked with Ireland AM
Presenters Sinead Desmond and Alan Cagney

Broadcaster Sarah McInerney has been linked with Sinead Desmond's vacant slot on Ireland AM after announcing her decision to leave her weekend show on Newstalk.

The journalist has confirmed she is leaving the station less than four months into her current role and will host her last show on Saturday, December 23.

Her announcement comes only days after her former co-presenter Chris Donoghue also announced he was leaving the station, to work with Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney's team.

Commit

Speaking about quitting Newstalk, which is in a huge state of flux, McInerney told the Herald she had lots of plans for 2018.

"I'm writing a book, and between that and The Sunday Show on TV3 I could no longer commit to the weekly show on Newstalk," she said.

"I've really enjoyed working at the station with some great colleagues. I'm looking forward now to the future."

While no reason was given for her departure from her Between the Lines show, her name is among those that have been linked with the high-profile presenting slot on TV3's flagship morning show.

Given that she hails from a similar journalistic background to Desmond and already works for TV3 on The Sunday Show, an inside source said she has been mooted as a strong contender for the role.

"Sarah has a proven track record in broadcasting and is equally capable on TV as radio," the source said.

"She would be a huge addition to the Ireland AM team and already works for TV3, so it wouldn't be a huge shift for her.

"She has loads of experience so she could handle everything from politics to soft news, and would be considered an ideal candidate to step into Sinead's shoes."

Desmond left the station seven weeks ago after an alleged dispute over pay, which is now the subject of a legal matter with TV3's owners Virgin Media.

McInerney, who took home two accolades from the IMRO National Radio Awards, was shifted to her 8am Saturday slot after the Drivetime show she co-presented with Donoghue was axed to make way for Ivan Yates.

The reshuffle in August was widely criticised at the time.

Newstalk hit the headlines for the wrong reasons again last month after Dil Wickremasinghe had her Saturday show cancelled.

The move came after she criticised controversial comments on rape made by George Hook.

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