Ellen Fanning

Ellen Fanning is an Australian journalist, and currently the host of the flagship news and current affairs program The Drum on ABC TV and ABC News Channel.

She was previously host of the Nine Network's Sunday television program.


Fanning started a career in commercial radio in 1988, after graduating with a communications degree from the Queensland University of Technology.[1][2] She later joined the ABC, presenting the ABC Radio National national current affairs program PM for two years, AM and occasionally The 7.30 Report on ABC TV.[3]

After a stint producing the ABC's late-night current affairs program, Lateline, she was appointed North America correspondent for network in 1997, based in Washington, D.C.[2]

In 2000, Fanning moved to the Nine Network, working first as a reporter with 60 Minutes, then as a reporter for A Current Affair, before becoming a substitute presenter for A Current Affair and Today. In 2005, she became presenter of Nightline, replacing Helen Kapalos.

Fanning wrote and directed a six-part documentary series titled Fine Line for SBS TV in 2002.[4] The series dealt with the ethical questions of journalism.[2]

In 2006, Fanning became co-host of Sunday with Ross Greenwood, who was then replaced by Ray Martin in 2007. Martin left the Nine Network in 2008 leaving Fanning as the sole host of the program, alongside Michael Usher presenting the news and Stephanie Brantz presenting the latest sports news.

In 2013, Fanning hosted the 20-episode series The Observer Effect on SBS TV,[5] and from September 2014 became the presenter of ABC Classic's Classic Breakfast, having replaced Emma Ayres.[6]

In 2017, Fanning returned to ABC TV to become host of The Drum, a role she shares with Julia Baird. In 2019 The Drum became an hour long program broadcast in the primetime slot of 6pm weekdays.

Personal life

Fanning was born in Brisbane, Queensland, and attended All Hallows' School. She is married with two sons.[1][7]


  1. "Chris Beck talks to Ellen Fanning", The Age, Green Guide, 9 November 2006. scan
  2. "The Who's Who of News: Ellen Fanning". Ninemsn. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 2 April 2007.
  3. "Ellen Fanning: Politics, Media, Intl Relations, Current Affairs, Compere, Facilitator, Business, Culture, Keynote Speaker, MC:". Celebrity Speakers. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  4. "Fine Line". SBS Television. Archived from the original on 29 August 2006. Retrieved 5 April 2007.
  5. "SBS Commissions The Observer Effect hosted by Ellen Fanning". Retrieved 16 June 2013.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 March 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Ellen Fanning". 60 Minutes. ninemsn. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2009.
Preceded by
John Barron
The Drum
Co-host with Julia Baird

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Jana Wendt
Co-host with Ross Greenwood and Ray Martin

Succeeded by
Program ended
Preceded by
Helen Kapalos

Succeeded by
Michael Usher
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