Former newsreader Natasha Exelby: ‘ABC didn’t do the right thing’

ABC newsreader Natasha Exelby got a shock when she was caught daydreaming on the job.

ABC newsreader Natasha Exelby got a shock when she was caught daydreaming on the job. Photo: ABC

Former ABC presenter Natasha Exelby has spoken out for the first time since her on-air blooper, saying the public broadcaster did not do “the right thing” by her.

Exelby was caught daydreaming live on air on ABC News 24 last month, with her surprised reaction making international news.

The ABC swiftly removed her from newsreading duties, and insisted she continue “various shifts” as a producer.

But in a recent interview, Exelby hit out at the network after maintaining her silence throughout the ordeal.

“Even though they [the ABC] didn’t do the right thing by me I wanted to do the right thing by them,” she told The Daily Telegraph.

After the incident, the ABC received significant backlash over its decision, making a number of statements about Exelby’s position, insisting her newsreader shifts had not been cut as a result of the blooper.

“Media reports that Natasha has been ‘banned’, ‘barred’ or ‘fired’ are untrue. Natasha is a freelance journalist who works as a contributor,” ABC news director Gaven Morris said at the time.

“She has been rostered for various shifts and has been assured since yesterday that we want that to continue.

“While she is not currently doing any on-air shifts, this will be subject to normal performance management. I have spoken to Natasha and conveyed our regret that this has attracted such attention.”

However, despite ABC’s claims that “no one would ever be punished for a blooper”, the benching of Exelby went viral, with journalists and media personalities across the country sharing their bloopers in support.

Exelby also put to bed rumours that the on-air gaffe was an orchestrated trick for publicity.

“If that was the case I think some people give me way too much credit … and I should have been an actor,” she said.

ABC confirmed last week Exelby had left the broadcaster, but is open to working with her again with the “possibility of future presenting shifts”.

“Natasha Exelby has chosen not to do some casual shifts she was rostered for. Natasha was not taken off-air because of a ‘blooper’ and ABC News has been clear that we’re open to working with her again, including the possibility of future presenting shifts,” an ABC spokesman told News Corp.

Exelby is now working in crisis management and consultancy for her company XLB Media.

Stay informed, daily
A FREE subscription to The New Daily arrives every morning and evening.
The New Daily is a trusted source of national news and information and is provided free for all Australians. Read our editorial charter.
Copyright © 2024 The New Daily.
All rights reserved.