Sandra Sully marks 30 years at 10

Congratulations to Sandra Sully who today marks 30 years at 10.

She appeared this morning on Studio 10 reflecting on her career and how she stumbled into News, but fell in love with it.

Sully is much-loved by audiences for her professionalism, composure and sense of humour, whether on 10 News First (and various incarnations), with Brad McEwan as part of TEN Late News / Sports Tonight, telling Big Brother housemates the news or even hosting Wanted or Australia’s Brainiest Kid (don’t pretend you don’t remember). She is also prolific on social media.

Last year she told TV Tonight, “I have to pinch myself that I’ve been there that long!

“For too long it felt like we were walking on quicksand. After CBS took over I feel like we’re on solid ground. There is a deliberate investment and rebuild which is slow and methodical.

“It’s a really nice place to be. It’s been a long time, but lovely to feel like we’re in a strong growth phase.”

5 years ago news veteran Peter Meakin said, “Sandra has been the jewel in our crown, a constant and reassuring voice. She has been here whether the network was in the jungle or the wilderness.”

10 Chief Content Officer, Beverley McGarvey recently described her as: “…one of the best and most admired television news presenters and reporters in Australia…”

Like it or not Sully will always be synonymous with the breaking news of the 9/11 World Trade Centre when she was Live on Air.

Back in 2011, on its 10th anniversary, I reflected on that night….

I’ll never forget the night Sandra Sully told me a plane had struck one of the towers of the World Trade Centre.

I was sitting up late working at my computer (as I am ten years later) and the first reports sounded like a terrible accident had taken place. Early reports were sketchy, but it sounded like a light plane may have hit the building. Smoke was streaming from the side of the building.

I’d always remembered seeing the towers in movies. Jessica Lange was carried up it by Dino De Laurentiis’ King Kong. Godspell had staged a song and dance number on the roof. The Wiz had a lavish number on the plaza. Homer Simpson had tried to take a pee in them.

I discussed the news with my housemate who was getting ready for bed.  How could such an accident have taken place? Had an aggrieved pilot committed suicide? It was all rather terrible, but it seemed so far away in the craziness that is America. I went back to my work.

I think the next time I checked in a second plane had hit. This time it had been caught on camera and was being replayed. It was no light plane, it was a passenger jet. Fireballs exploded. I dropped everything and so did my housemate. What I watched unfold was a night we’ll never forget.

Sandra Sully stayed on air through an extended TEN Late News talking us through the devastating and inexplicable events. Ever the professional, she kept relaying the facts as they came to hand. I have no idea how she remained so composed through it all. At home I was ringing friends late at night trying to say “Are you seeing this?”

2 Comments:

  1. Yep, Sully “stumbled” into news at BTQ7 where she was PA to the EP of State Affair when it was canned by 7 Sydney execs in 1987. Ian Duncan, BTQ Program Director, then asked “can you turn Sully into a newsreader – you’ve got 6 weeks!”. We did an audition for a weekend double-header with her and Jason Cameron which was rejected so News Director Larry Somerton started her in the newsroom. The following year I was helping to set up Prime TV and Sully called and asked if she could get a job as a journalist with the network and she got a gig with Jon Bok in Canberra. She then jumped ship to the 10 bureau and the rest, as the say, is history.

  2. Congrats Sandra….Amazing how anyone can stay at the one network nowadays for that long…and especially considering the ups and downs at 10 over the 30 years.
    Living outside of Sydney…I do miss seeing Sandra on the Late News with Brad on Sport. It was good viewing.

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