ABC star Lisa Millar has announced she is leaving ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday

Two names at the ABC are the major frontrunners to replace News Breakfast co-host Lisa Millar, who announced her departure this week.

On Wednesday, Millar announced live on air that she is leaving ABC News Breakfast after five years co-hosting of the program.

Bridget Brennan and Emma Rebellato are two big contenders to replace the longtime co-host, according to TV Tonight.

Brennan is currently news presenter of the ABC’s breakfast program and was previously the ABC’s Indigenous Affairs Editor, Europe Correspondent in London and the National Indigenous Affairs Correspondent.

Rebellato joined the ABC in 2008 and has worked in a range of newsroom roles in Adelaide.

She previously worked at FiveAA in Adelaide before becoming the first breakfast newsreader at Nova 919. 

Millar’s final day at ABC News Breakfast will be on Friday, August 23.

‘What a blast the past five years has been, whether it was interviewing prime ministers and global thought leaders or getting karaoke encouragement from my childhood idol Gladys Knight,’ Millar said on Wednesday’s program. 

ABC star Lisa Millar has announced she is leaving ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday

ABC star Lisa Millar has announced she is leaving ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday

‘In 35 years of journalism I’ve never done anything so exciting, unpredictable, and fun. It’s only worked because of the awesome team in front of the cameras and behind the scenes who kept me laughing.’ 

Millar will remain with the national broadcaster in a project-based role.  

‘I’m going to be having more adventures with Back Roads and Muster Dogs. Muster Dogs keeps getting bigger and bigger. So much to do, and exciting new projects. That means it’s goodbye,’ she said. 

Millar’s stint on the show included last year’s controversy when she wore a skirt with a high split that some viewers felt revealed too much.

Millar said she was sickened by the comments especially given they were made so close to International Women’s Day.

Bridget Brennan (right) is one of two frontrunners to replace the longtime co-host. Pictured with Michael Rowland

Bridget Brennan (right) is one of two frontrunners to replace the longtime co-host. Pictured with Michael Rowland

‘The fact that what I wore on Monday attracted obnoxious commentary on Twitter, foul disgusting personal abuse that I wouldn’t and couldn’t repeat here – it was upsetting,’ she said at the time.

‘I am angry, on this International Women’s Day. Angry on behalf of myself and also on behalf of other women, young women, who see those stories and see someone like me being violently abused day after day, for whatever reason bullies can find.

‘I worry it might make you think that no progress is being made and it’s not worth it being a woman in the public arena.’

Millar went on to say she had received a wave of support in the wake of the trolling which had given her ‘hope’.

Millar had first presented ABC News Breakfast in 2018 and became a permanent host alongside Michael Rowland the following year. 

Emma Rebellato, who joined the ABC in 2008, is also a top contender. Pictured with Lisa Millar

Emma Rebellato, who joined the ABC in 2008, is also a top contender. Pictured with Lisa Millar

She joined the ABC in 1993 and is one of the network’s longest-serving foreign correspondents, having worked as Bureau Chief in both the US and Europe.

Director of ABC News, Justin Stevens, said the network valued Millar ‘immensely’.

‘Lisa Millar is a superb journalist and broadcaster who personifies the very best values and attributes of ABC journalists,’ he said.

‘While we’re sad to lose her from News, I’m excited to see her take up this opportunity and continue to go from strength to strength at the ABC.​

‘She’s done a fantastic job presenting News Breakfast over the past five years – one of the toughest jobs in Australian TV. 

‘The relentless hours never impeded her incredible warmth and energy, or her passion for delivering the best program for the audience.’

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