As a rising radio talent, this CQUni alumnus will be 'up with the sparrows'

Published:15 December 2016

CQUni Alumnus Craig Zonca pictured in an ABC promotional image.

The ABC has identified him as a rising talent which means that CQUni Alumnus Craig Zonca will soon be 'up with the sparrows' at 3.30am each weekday to prepare for a coveted new role.

After three years as the voice of Queensland Country Hour, Craig has earned a flagship shift as weekday Breakfast presenter with 612 ABC Brisbane, starting from 30 January next year.    

He will also keep his TV role as ABC News Queensland's Sunday evening weather presenter, causing a tight turnaround before his Monday morning shift.    

"It will be worth the early starts as this new role is one that I've always been keen on ... I'm ready for the new challenge and will give it a red hot go," Craig says.    

He does admit he will miss his time with the Country Hour; especially the opportunity to get out and meet people in rural and regional areas.  

"It was amazing to be able to travel by four-wheel-drive for thousands of kilometres to reach isolated towns on outside broadcast road trips, and to be able to broadcast live from the middle of cattle stations in the Gulf Country and beyond.

"I will be a little more studio-based in the new role but not entirely.    

"Over more than a decade with ABC Local Radio based in Rockhampton, Townsville, Toowoomba and Brisbane, it's been a privilege and a humbling experience. I've travelled widely in the regions - including covering natural disasters - and I've always found people to be open and honest and willing to share their stories.    

"I hope to bring that spirit of story-telling into my new role."    

Craig grew up in Rockhampton before swapping 'RockVegas' for 'BrisVegas' and still has family ties to the Beef Capital.    

He originally enrolled in Engineering at CQUniversity before heading to Brisbane to study Journalism and then returning to Rockhampton complete a Bachelor of Business (Management) in 2006.    

"My CQUni Business studies have proven valuable in terms of my need for people management skills with the Country Hour, as we have a team of 10 reporters across Queensland," Craig says.

"In addition, I've drawn on my Business degree knowledge to scan financial reports of major agri-businesses and to plan interviews and build a greater understanding of the challenges farmers face."

Craig has completed many thousands of interviews over the years but says he still gets a spark of adrenaline when he's due on air.    

"After an interview experience with musician John Butler at Rockhampton's Great Western Hotel I can say a key lesson of my career is to always pack spare batteries for my recorder!"

ABC Local Manager, Jen Brennen says "we are very excited to welcome one of the ABC’s rising talents into our team".

"Craig has had a remarkable broadcasting career ... he brings with him a wealth of radio experience and he is trusted and well-loved by our Queensland audience."