Kay McGrath to step down from anchor role
AFTER 40 years on Australian TV, Kay McGrath has decided her time as a newsreader is up.
The icon of Queensland television will read her final weekend news bulletin next month, after deciding that the time is right to step away from the desk to pursue other passions.
"It's something I have thought about for a long time, it's not a decision I've made lightly - it's the end of a decade and it's more than 40 years,'' McGrath, 63, told The Sunday Mail.
"There is a lot of change going on in the industry, there has been change in my life, I have had other opportunities come in since stepping off the Monday-to-Friday newsdesk and it just seems like the right time to transition into another challenge.
"So I've decided it's not goodbye, but hello to the next adventure.''
McGrath said a health scare in 2018 with Ross River virus had been one of the contributing factors.
"I think you reach an age where you realise that life is short, and we can't take our health for granted,'' she said.
"I didn't want to be regretful that I didn't chase other opportunities.''
While McGrath will step away from presenting, she will still "remain part of the Seven family" to do special reports and to run mentoring and training sessions for younger journalists.
"I couldn't envisage walking away altogether,'' she said.
"I'm very grateful to Seven for the opportunities I've been given, to my loyal viewers, and grateful that I'm able to do this on my terms. It's my decision and it's rare in this industry - which is known for its robustness - to be able to go on your terms, particularly as a woman over a certain age.''
McGrath said she believed it was important to have older women represented on television screens and did consider "soldiering on".
"Part of me wants to stay in front of the camera simply to help with the age diversity because we do need more older women in front of the camera - I feel sad in that regard,'' she said.
"And some people are going to think I have got rocks in my head for stepping away from the newsdesk, which is a prized role, but I have to be true to myself and the time just feels right to step down.''
McGrath's replacement will be Katrina Blowers, 43, a senior reporter and presenter who has been with the network for eight years.
"I'm overwhelmed and immensely grateful, Kay is an actual legend and she is someone every woman in media looks up to,'' she said.
McGrath said Blowers took over the weekend presenting role - which she has held for the past seven years - with her blessing.
"It's rare in this industry where one presenter hands over happily to another,'' she said.
"I can't think of anybody nicer, I know she will do a fantastic job.''
McGrath will read her final bulletin on January 26.
She said she was looking forward to spending her weekends with fiance Richard Moore at their new Sunshine Coast hinterland property.