Behind the Media

Conversations with Australia's leading media identities

Stephen Brook, The Australian's media diarist speaks with journalists, writers, editors and analysts about the state of Australia's media industry, as well as their own careers.

Ita Buttrose is a media figure who needs no introduction. She founded Cleo magazine in the 1970s, then became editor in chief of the Australian Women's Weekly and later the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers. She has been a magazine founder, media executive, Australian of the Year and now appears on Studio 10.

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Janet Albrechtsen is an opinion columnist with The Australian who came to the paper after a career in law. She sat down with Stephen Brook to talk about the #metoo movement going too far, writing her centre right column but turning against liberal party prime ministers and the time she was called a "shanky ho" by Mark Latham. ​

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Russel Howcroft, an industry veteran who this year celebrates a decade on The Gruen Transfer, the hit ABC advertising panel show, says the dynamic has shifted among business clients coming to consultancy firm PwC to seek insights from its CMO advisory consultancy.  Howcroft, who is also PwC chief creative officer, tells The Australian’s Stephen Brook that the digital media business is maturing. He also lifts the lid on how the Gruen program changed his life. 

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The Chaser has been a unique part of the media landscape and at its centre has been Julian Morrow, who trained as a lawyer, negotiated the contracts with the ABC and took the frantic phone calls from management during the many crisis prompted by their infamous stunts, which included a tasteless Make A Wish Foundation sketch, the APEC security breach and infamous Chris Kenny dog sex sketch.

Julian Morrow tells Stephen Brook about Andrew Denton making it all possible, creating the satirical consumer affairs genre with The Checkout, getting arrested, getting sued, suing and if the gang will ever get back together for another TV show.

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The MamaMia founder sits down for her first extensive interview after her annus horribilis, and discusses why she continues to put herself out there, how she's learned to be a better boss, and why she thinks she's been able to stay ahead of rapidly shifting media trends.

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