Farewell Karen Tighe

Farewell Karen Tighe

The ABC has farewelled another popular female presenter, Karen Tighe, who has left as a result of illness. We look back at this pioneering sports journalist’s impact. 

Karen Tighe in front of a sports stadium

Much loved and respected ABC Sport presenter, Karen Tighe, has left the ABC to concentrate on recovering from a debilitating illness.

Karen has spoken previously about her health battle – and, particularly, the impact on her memory and recall - since contracting Herpes Simplex (HSV-1) Encephalitis in 2020. 

During her recovery, she became an advocate for encephalitis awareness in Australia.

Tighe has been dubbed the “undisputed Queen of Australian sports radio” by fellow ABC Sport broadcaster, Quentin Hull.

“From her early days as a television anchor, right through to her final summer as host of Grandstand, Karen has been the ultimate professional and a pioneer for women in the Australian sports media.

“Karen’s unabashed love for sport and its people has been evident in every broadcast she made. She is as authentic as she is thorough, and her name will rightfully sit alongside the likes of Alan McGilvray, Norman May, and Jim Maxwell, as sports broadcasting icons for the ABC, “ he said.

Tighe joined the ABC TV sports team in 1989 before transferring to ABC radio in 1997. She presented Grandstand from then until she left last month.

Tighe was the first person to win a Sport Australia Media Award twice and, in February 2020, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sports Australia Media Awards.

Between 1991 and 1994, Tighe was part of the ABC TV sport comedy program, Live and Sweaty, hosted by Andrew Denton and later Libbi Gorr as Elle McFeast. 

Announcing she was leaving the ABC, Tighe said it had been a “very difficult decision, but I depart celebrating the increasing opportunities for talented women in sports media”.

Thank you Karen Tighe.

Sophie Arnold
Enews Editor