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Richard Kingsmill Leaves Triple J After 35 Years

11 December 2023 | 12:57 pm | Staff Writer

"I’ve given my heart and soul to everything I’ve done here."

Richard Kingsmill

Richard Kingsmill (Supplied)

After a jaw-dropping 35 years at the ABC, legendary music journalist, presenter and coordinator Richard Kingsmill has left his post.

The unexpected exit was announced today (December 11) in a press release issued by the ABC, farewelling Kingsmill as the Group Music Director at triple j and its ancillary stations (triple j Unearthed and Double J) as well as ABC Local Radio. Kingsmill first joined the triple j team as a producer in 1998.

In a formal statement, Kingsmill said of his ABC origins: “I started with a lot of passion, but pretty modest skills to be honest. I’m incredibly grateful in how the ABC kept encouraging me to grow and gave me time to develop. I’ve worked with so many amazing and talented people, you can’t help but learn and be inspired every single day. I started with two main loves – music and radio. Those have been constants for me across all these years.”

When pressed on his fondest memories, Kingsmill expectedly reflected on the team he fostered at triple j: “When the triple j team works together, at Splendour In The Grass or on a Hottest 100, it’s the greatest feeling ever. We drive each other, we all pull our weight, and we think about the audience, and what they expect and want from us. The dedication to what we do is something I’ll never forget. It’s such an important thing for all of us because we know the difference we make.”

He said of his decision to step away from the ABC now, “I’ve given my heart and soul to everything I’ve done here. The best feeling now, at the end of all that, is knowing how much I’ve still got left in the tank in continuing to contribute to the Australian music industry.”

During his time with triple j, Kingsmill notably launched the Unearthed program to champion up-and-coming Australian artists. He said of the accomplishment: “Coming up with the Unearthed brand and initial concept was one thing. Being able to uncover the likes of Missy Higgins, Grinspoon, G Flip and Genesis Owusu is one of the great thrills and privileges for me.”

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Kingsmill also pointed to another major feat he achieved at triple j, doubling the amount of Australian artists given airtime by the national youth broadcaster – from 30 percent of its across-the-board rotation to 60 percent – calling it “the single thing [he’s] proudest of”. He added: “For years, all I ever heard from the commercial radio sector was Australian music was bad for ratings. Well, we did what we did, and more than doubled our audience reach in the process.”

The iconic presenter went on to highlight some of the other stations he worked on. “Watching Double J grow across the years, and to see ABC Country reaching bigger and bigger audiences is a testament to the talent of the team around me,” he said.

Lastly, Kingsmill referenced triple j’s latest endeavour, a spin-off station dedicated to its Hottest countdowns (plainly titled triple j Hottest). “Building and establishing that station was something we’d long talked about,” he said. “The audience reaction and appreciation for it has been swift and incredibly satisfying, given how much work we’ve put into that brand.”

At the time of writing, Kingsmill’s replacement is yet to be confirmed; have reached out to the ABC for comment.