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‘King of talkback’ Howard Sattler dead at age 76

Tod Johnston
Article image for ‘King of talkback’ Howard Sattler dead at age 76

Former 6PR presenter and the ‘king of talkback’ in WA, Howard Sattler, has died at the age of 76 after a long illness.

He started his media career as a cadet at the Sydney Morning Herald.

His national service led him to a posting in defence public relations, before returning to newspapers – and then radio as a current affairs commentator.

Mr Sattler’s dogged journalism and passion for local issues played an important role in the state’s political agenda.

In 1991, he led a 30,000 person strong protest on the steps of WA’s Parliament, demanding tougher penalties for juvenile criminal offenders.

The Crime (Serious and Repeat Offenders) Sentencing Act was passed six months later.

Former producer, Carla Shearman, told 6PR’s Tod Johnston he always stood up for the underdog.

“He uncovered so many stories, he broke so many major news occurrences in Perth,” she said.

“He was just one of those people that thought, if something’s happening that’s not right or if people are being affected by something, I need to stand up for the average person.”

Mr Sattler was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame in 2018.

In recent years, he voiced his support for voluntary assisted dying legislation – revealing on 6PR he would be one of the first to line up when the laws come into effect in July.

He had been living with a rare neurological disorder, known as progressive supranuclear palsy, for 10 years.

Press PLAY to hear more 

Steve Mills and Paul Murray reflected on the life of Howard on air with Simon Beaumont.

Click below to listen to the interview.

Harvey Deegan also paid tribute to Howard Sattler in a special episode of Remember When on Sunday night.

During the program he looked back at the highlights of his extensive media career.

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Tod Johnston