Nine to produce local news in 2017

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) and Nine today announced that in 2017 SCA will broadcast 15 dedicated local Nine News bulletins to viewers in its regional markets in Queensland, Southern NSW and regional Victoria.

The one-hour Monday to Friday news bulletins will contain local stories that matter most in their communities, dedicated local sport and weather reports, together with all the State-based, national and international news that viewers have come to expect from Nine News.

Vanessa O’Hanlon will present the bulletin in Southern NSW and Canberra. Jo Hall will front the bulletins to be broadcast in regional Victoria. And Samantha Heathwood will front the regional Queensland bulletins.

The bulletins will be rolled out progressively starting in February, first in Canberra and then in Wollongong with other markets following.

In one of the largest rollouts of news operations in Australia, in total more than 110 staff will be employed by Nine in the regional news division. Staff will be based in Sydney, regional NSW, Brisbane, regional Queensland, Melbourne and regional Victoria to produce and put the news services to air in each of the regions.

The production and broadcast of the local regional news bulletins was agreed between Nine and SCA as part of their new programming affiliation agreement, with Nine meeting the necessary employee and capex costs.

Grant Blackley, Chief Executive Officer of SCA, said: “We are committed to our local communities and this local news project is an investment in these local economies and local jobs. Nearly 80 dedicated news staff including journalists, camera operators and editors will be employed and located in 18 regional centres to bring the news to our regional viewers, with another 30 working on the bulletins in Nine’s metropolitan newsrooms.

“If there is breaking news in Cairns, in Orange or in Albury, National Nine News will be on the ground to cover it and our viewers in those communities will be able to rely on Nine News to bring them the best television coverage.”

Mike Dalton, Head of Nine News Regional, said: “This is a big win for regional Australia. The Nine News brand is synonymous with bringing viewers an unrivalled news service, with a proud history going back 60 years.

“For the first time, our brand will be extended into country areas, offering regional viewers the very best in news gathering and reporting. We can’t wait to start telling the stories that matter the most to people in the new regions into which we’ll be broadcasting.”

The launch date for each market will be announced in the weeks leading up to the first broadcast in each market.

Local news will be broadcast to the  15 television sub-markets:listed below

Southern NSW

·         Canberra

·         Wollongong

·         Central West (Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo)

·         Wagga Wagga

Regional Victoria

·         Ballarat

·         Bendigo

·         Albury/Shepparton

·         Gippsland

Regional Queensland

·         Cairns

·         Townsville

·         Mackay

·         Rockhampton

·         Wide Bay

·         Toowoomba

·         Sunshine Coast