After three decades with Channel Nine, Richard Wilkins got ‘boned’ on Friday.
The veteran broadcaster, known to millions of Australians as ‘Dickie’, is being replaced by 31-year-old former Triple J newsreader Brooke Boney.
An Indigenous woman with no commercial TV experience, Brooke is certainly an unexpected choice.
However, she could be just what Channel Nine needs to drag the low-rating Today show in the 21st century.
Meet Brooke Boney! The Indigenous Triple J newsreader who will take over from Richard Wilkins on Today in 2019
Brooke has covered two election campaigns in Canberra for SBS, hosted her own ABC show and presented the news on Triple J Breakfast.
Having only worked for public broadcasters over her career, Brooke will join Nine in the 2019 as an entertainment correspondent.
This makes her one of few Indigenous women on commercial television.
Meet Brooke! This is the millennial woman set to become Nine’s newest star in 2019
Brooke is a Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman who grew up in the Hunter Valley on Wonnaruah country with her mother and five younger brothers and sisters.
She studied journalism at UTS and got her first taste for reporting during a work experience placement at a radio station in grade 10.
While Brooke has only been working as a journalist since 2010, she has already made an impressive mark on the industry.
‘Who do you wake up with?’ Brooke (L) shared a story which labelled her as Richard Wilkins’ (R) replacement shortly after the news broke
She’s a Bondi babe! Brooke is a Gamilaroi Gomeroi woman who grew up in the Hunter Valley on Wonnaruah country with her mother and five younger brothers and sisters
Up-and-comer! While Brooke has only been working as a journalist since 2010, she’s made an impressive mark on the Australian media, and was even tipped as one of the ‘top talent to watch in 2018’ by Radio Today
She was even named by industry publication Radio Today as one of the ‘top talent to watch in 2018’.
From reporting on Indigenous and foreign affairs for ABC News and unpicking political spills for SBS to providing colourful Eurovision coverage, Brooke has certainly had a varied career.
Her most recent position was at Triple J, where she would begin her news bulletins with the traditional Indigenous greeting ‘Yaama’.
She has also written for several websites, including the Huffington Post Australia, about issues concerning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
‘If young Aboriginal people can see other blackfullas kicking goals, they can imagine themselves doing it too,’ she said in January.
Big fan base! On social media, the reporter has a whopping 54,000 Instagram followers – whereas Richard has only 44,000 followers despite being on commercial TV for almost a quarter of a century
Will she bring her signature greeting to Today? Brooke was known for using the Indigenous greeting ‘Yaama’ at the start of every Triple J news bulletin (Pictured with Triple J breakfast hosts Ben Harvey and Liam Stapleton)
She looks fun! Brooke is relatable to her fan base and often responds personally to comment on her Instagram posts
Meanwhile, Brooke has 54,000 Instagram followers – 10,000 more than Richard.
Her social media content consists of behind-the-scenes videos from work, quirky videos and photos of herself posing in bikinis at the beach.
Speaking to Radio Today earlier this year, Brooke revealed that her biggest blunder on air had fortunately slipped under the radar.
She revealed: ‘I accidentally said “a** slapper” on air to describe a Nick Murphy song. I’ll just blame the lack of sleep for that one!’
Giving back: As an avid Indigenous rights activist, Brooke has also written for the Huffington Post’s Australia and US websites on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
‘If young Aboriginal people can see other blackfullas kicking goals, they can imagine themselves doing it too’: Brooke has previously stated she chose to study journalism so she could empower her community
However, Brooke’s comments will no doubt be under the microscope in 2019 when she takes over from Richard’s role on the Today show.
Richard, who spent almost 25 years in the role, will be redeployed to second-tier show Today Extra, but remain the entertainment editor at Nine.
Brooke boasted about the new role moments after news broke, sharing an article about being Richard’s replacement on Facebook alongside the caption: ‘Who do you wake up with?’
Interestingly, when announcing her departure from Triple J on November 27, the ABC reported that she was moving on ‘to make exciting new content across other parts of the ABC.’
News of her appointment to the Today show was confirmed on Friday by Channel Nine’s National Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick.
‘I accidentally said ‘a** slapper’ on air’: Speaking to Radio Today this year, Brooke revealed her biggest blunder on air, which luckily slipped under the radar from media scrutiny at the time
Not just Dickie! Richard’s move to Today Extra is the latest in a handful of staff shakeups at the Today show
Richard’s move to Today Extra is the latest in a handful of staff shakeups at the Today show.
On Tuesday, Weekend Today co-host Peter Stefanovic was released from the Nine network after his contract came to an end, while his brother Karl was removed from his position as Today show co-host, but will remain with Nine throughout 2019.
Brooke’s move into Richard’s role fuels recent reports that Nine is considering a female line-up on Today, in a bid to win back female viewers.
Gone! On Tuesday, Weekend Today co-host Peter Stefanovic was released from the Nine network after his contract came to an end, while his brother Karl was removed from his position as Today show co-host, but will remain with Nine throughout 2019