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News December 11, 2023

Triple J Legend Richard Kingsmill Announces Departure

Senior Journalist, B2B
Triple J Legend Richard Kingsmill Announces Departure

The King has left the building.

ABC veteran Richard Kingsmill, who during his lengthy stint as group music director at triple j earned him the reputation as a champion of Australian music and one of the singular most powerful characters in the industry, is hanging up the mic.

Kingsmill’s departure after a “remarkable three-decade career” was announced earlier today (Dec. 11) in a statement from the Corporation.

“After all this time,” he comments, “the single thing I’m proudest of was seeing triple j increase its Australian music content from 30% to 60%. And 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.”

With “The King” at the throne, the youth broadcaster saw its five capital city audience lift from 980,000 in 2006, to upwards of 2 million in 2017, a year which saw Kingsmill step into a new role as triple j’s group music director, overseeing music content at triple j, triple j Unearthed, Double J, ABC Country and ABC Local Radio.

In 2022, that number surpassed 2.3 million — an all-time record.

A strong argument could be made that Australia’s music community would be considerably worse off without the input of Kingsmill.

Triple J was able to transfer its influence and reach to festival stages around the land, where any punter could spot the performers who had made their mark with triple j exposure. Music power-brokers abroad looked at triple j with a mixture of admiration  and envy. 

It was Kingsmill, a broadcaster and journalist, who planted the seeds for triple j Unearthed back in 1995, now a multi-platform launch pad for Australia’s finest rising acts.

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,” Kingsmill explains.

“When the triple j team works together, at Splendour In The Grass or on a Hottest 100, it’s the greatest feeling ever,” he comments. “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.”

Kingsmill signs off after his 35-year reign: “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.”

The music community is lining it to thank Kingsmill for his contribution.

“His dedication and passion for supporting Australian music and musicians has shaped our industry,” reads a statement from APRA AMCOS. “An absolute a radio her. Big bravo.”


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