Nine News axes European correspondent

Channel Nine News is to end its tradition of having a permanent European correspondent. Reporter James Talia, who has been based in London, will conclude the position at the end of September.

The move follows cost-cutting in the Channel Nine News department that has also seen Sunday and Nightline axed.

In speaking to the weekly television podcast, Boxcutters, Talia said Nine had opted to go down the same road as Channel Seven in deciding to run without a European correspondent.

“They’ve decided there’s no longer a need for a presence in Europe. I was told about this some weeks ago at the time Sunday and Nightline were axed. And it’s clear that there’s a fair bit of financial pressure around for Channel Nine at the moment.

“I think I said at the time about Sunday and Nightline that from a news and current affairs point of view it was very sad, but I think we all have to be realistic about the difficulties of running a free to air network right now and I have to say the same thing about the situation I find myself in,” he said.

Nine had already been trimming back on production crew for its correspondents utilising freelance cameraman and requiring reporters to add more administrative tasks in place of office staff.

“Once all the staff were gone and there wasn’t even a staff cameraman anymore it became a hell of a lot tougher just to get things done day to day,” said Talia.

“I think we have had an advantage over Channel Seven. Clearly it’s not enough of an advantage to warrant continuing when you consider that the competition is so intense among the networks in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Talia, who has been with Nine since 1999, said international news feeds were now much more advanced and commonplace than in previous years -an advance that has contributed to the decision by Nine.

“Compared to 20 years ago there’s a lot more material available now. We have a permanent line open from London to Sydney on the satellite and on fibres and Sky News comes down that line from London 24 hours a day. So unless it’s an Australian-themed story that Sky isn’t covering that story can just as easily be done out of Sydney. Yes it’s preferable to have an Australian voice and face on that story from London but it’s not completely necessary anymore.

“Having said that, when the big ones happen, people will be scrambling for planes which is what Channel Seven has done for the past four years.”

Nine still has two US correspondents in Rob Penfold and Peter Stefanovic, both of whom are based in Los Angeles.

In ending its European correspondent, this means the only Australian commercial network with a correspondent in London will soon be Network TEN.

TEN established a correspondent last year with Sydney reporter Danielle Isdale. Talia said her appointment had been very successful for TEN.

“She’s on her own using freelance camera people and doing a lot of it herself, but they’re very, very happy with that arrangement and they’re still going to be getting the yarns out of Europe, which is kind of ironic.”

When Talia finishes his European tenure, he plans to have a few weeks’ holiday before returning to the Melbourne newsroom.

“There have been points over the last few weeks when I have considered myself lucky just to still have a job at all. They could have very easily laid me off.

Source: Boxcutters


  1. James Talia,

    I need to have you touch base with me please or anyone associated with the situation regarding Britt (Back packer).

    I have read your articles and believe the same, there are to many ties undone.

    Things are not right, it is up to the media to push this through, being in the media myself, I see that the links have not been put together.

    James, if you read this please contact me, I believe I have some keys for the family, that you need to share with them.

    I also agree with Britt’s father, there is something larger here, this is just the beginning of the “News” .

    I urge all of you over there or people here to keep persuing this and do not stop until the answers come.

  2. I agree the state of news offered by the BIG 3 is a joke. They all pander to celeraties these days. Like Nicole comes home with baby sunday. Who cares about that. How about some interesting, informative journalism which is what you are paid for.

    Oh sorry wrong century. Journalism is dead, most presenters and networks make the stuff up or go with fluff pieces they totaly treat the viewer with disrespect and think we have no intelligence.

  3. Australian news is one of the worst in the world. We are heading up our own bums like the US now.

    There is little to no international news on the full commercial networks anymore. A story about Stephanie Rice promoting undies would get preferance over the threat of World War III if it ever happened…

  4. Seven’s news coverage is equally as weak as Nine’s (especially in Queensland) but it appears the almighty dollar will contiunue to dumb down what is presented as news and a current affairs for a long time to come.

  5. In speaking to the weekly television podcast, Boxcutters, Talia said Nine had opted to go down the same road as Channel Seven in deciding to run without a European correspondent.
    There is one thing you learn from TV networks: monkey see, monkey do.

  6. Little wonder that folks like me turned off the NINE news ages ago.
    The DOTS used to be the leader in all thingsnews, now the are alsorans.

    But they(9) probably dont get that, as I have never seen a people meter or known anyone that has one (and most of the folks I know avoid NIne news like the plague.

    Gimme 10, SBS or ABC.

  7. I understand that the have axed Nightline and Sunday, but its strange as I watch the news at around 11pm every night and then last Sunday Morning I was watching the hews and Laurie Oaks has a pretty lengthy Political Segment, its not really so much an axing more just ‘we don’t call those shows by those names no mo’, but its still pretty much the same thing.

  8. hmmm…not terribly happy with the descriptions there, David.

    ‘big 3 networks’

    i guess you mean 7, 9, 10.

    But the ABC is #2 for news…and is almost elvel with 10 for viewers in primetime.

    I know what you mean, but it just seems odd.

    I don’t know why anyone would watch commercial news, anyway.

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