Peter Donald Beauchamp Hitchener OAM (born 21 February 1946) is an Australian television presenter. He has been the chief news presenter for GTV-9 of their flagship bulletin Nine News Melbourne since 1998, and prior to that was the weekend news presenter.
Hitchener at the 2012 U3A Carnival of Learning at Federation Square, Melbourne
Peter Donald Beauchamp Hitchener
21 February 1946
|Residence||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Years active||1965 - present|
Originally from rural Queensland, Hitchener began his media career in 1965 at the Brisbane radio station 4BH where he wrote, edited and presented news bulletins. Hitchener then moved on to ABC Brisbane where he undertook roles as a television news and radio presenter. Still at the ABC, he moved to Sydney in 1973 where he was a relief presenter on the evening news for James Dibble.
Hitchener moved to the Nine Network after one year at ABC Sydney, presenting National Nine News first in Sydney and then in Melbourne as the co-anchor of News Centre Nine, Australia's first nightly networked newscast. In 1977, Hitchener began hosting the breakfast show on 3AW before moving to 3AK in 1979. At about this time, Hitchener also became chief weekend news presenter and understudy to chief weeknight news presenter Brian Naylor. In 1985, Hitchener resigned from 3AK.
When Brian Naylor retired in 1998, Hitchener took over as presenter of Nine News Melbourne on weeknights. In 2008 Hitchener celebrated 10 years as the weeknight news presenter, and in that time has become one of Melbourne's most respected news presenters. In October 2010, Hitchener signed another three years as presenter of Nine News Melbourne.
In January 2013, the Nine Network celebrated Hitchener's 40-year career with the network at a gala dinner where many speakers paid tribute to his work in news and the community. In July 2014, it was announced Hitchener had signed a new contract to remain presenter of Nine News, believed to be for five years
Charity and community work
In 1998, Hitchener became the patron and active supporter of Able Australia (formerly the Deaf Blind Society of Victoria), an organisation supporting people with multiple disabilities. Since 2011, he has been the patron of Dogs Victoria, an organisation representing breeders and owners of pure bred dogs in Victoria. He is also an Ambassador for the Lort Smith Animal Hospital. In addition he is a regular supporter and guest speaker for many other charity and community events in Melbourne. He is also Patron of the Barwon Health Foundation and Eastern Health Foundation.
Hitchener was awarded an Order of Australia medal in the 2017 Australia Day Honours list "for services to the broadcast media and to the community".
In April 2008, in a Herald Sun article regarding his 10 years as head presenter of Nine News Melbourne, Hitchener acknowledged he is gay. Online commentators criticised the circumstances of Hitchener's personal revelations, saying that he was "pushed" into discussing his private life. Hitchener's spokesperson denied this.
- Carbone, Suzanne (30 January 2013). "Hitchener's Nine life for 40 years". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Meet the Team". 9News. ninemsn Pty Ltd. 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- Byrne, Fiona (6 April 2008). "Nine's prime fighter". Herald Sun. Retrieved 6 April 2008.
- Knox, David (31 January 2013). "40 years for "Hitch"". TV Tonight. TV Tonight. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Channel 9 newsreader Peter Hitchener inks deal to become Australia's longest running newsreader". Herald Sun. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
- "Our Patron". Able Australia. Able Australia. 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- Carbone, Suzanne (23 November 2012). "Hitchener stars in dog rescue". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Ambassadors". Lort Smith Animal Hospital. Lort Smith Animal Hospital. 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Subscribe to the Herald Sun". www.heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- Simons, Margaret (11 April 2008). "The outing of Peter Hitchener: nothing straight about it". Crikey. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
| Nine News Melbourne
1998 – present
| Nine News Melbourne
1978 – 1998