Vale: Brian Naylor

Veteran and former Channel Nine Newsreader Brian Naylor has died in Victorian bushfires, along with his beloved wife Moiree.

brian-naylorFormer Nine Newsreader Brian Naylor has been confirmed dead in Victorian bushfires.

Naylor, 78, perished in the fires that ravaged Victoria on the weekend. His beloved wife Moiree also died.

The Naylors had been residents at a property in Coombs Road, on the western edge of the Kinglake National Park, for many years. Kinglake was one of several towns razed in the infernos which have claimed over 180 deaths.

Naylor, who retired from Nine News in 1998, reached the pinnacle of newsreading during his many years at both Channels Nine and Seven.

Anchoring National Nine News in Melbourne for twenty years Naylor’s popularity was so crucial to Nine’s crushing evening shares, his contract with Kerry Packer spearheaded a transformation of salaries for newsreaders across Australia.

His signature sign-off, “May your news be good news and goodnight,” is well remembered as well as his association with the network campaign, “Brian told me.”

He began his career in 1956 as a radio announcer. In 1958 Naylor he joined Seven Melbourne hosting a children’s programme Brian and the Juniors. Running until 1969, it provided a stepping stone for performers such as Debbie Byrne, Rod Kirkham, Jane Scali, Peter Doyle, Patti McGrath, Anne Watt, Vikki Broughton and Jamie Redfern.

He became Seven’s chief newsreader in 1970 and switched to Nine in 1978.

Naylor also hosted Carols By Candlelight for ten years before it was assumed by Ray Martin, and a series of specials featuring his other love, sailing.

He was also an active worker for many charities and stayed connected with Nine with stints in media training.

Naylor was also a recipient of the Victorian ‘Father of the Year’ Award. Last year his son Matt, 40, died in a light plane accident.

Naylor oversaw many stories during his time at Nine and Seven. During the Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983 Naylor reported on the disaster from Kinglake…


Tonight reporting from Whittlesea, newsreader Peter Hitchener, who succeeded Naylor, and Tony Jones spoke of Naylor’s devotion to his family and his success as a leading news presenter.

Michael Venus, director of news at Channel Nine in Melbourne, said, “Brian Naylor was the consummate professional – he’s the best I’ve ever seen and I doubt in my lifetime if I’ll ever see anyone better.”

Former Nine news director John Sorrell said of Naylor and his wife, “They are the sort of people who might have even died in each other’s arms – as silly as it sounds.”

“When they looked at each other, there was light in their eyes. They were very much in love.”

Naylor’s friend, TEN Network Melbourne newsreader Mal Walden, praised his former colleague and rival.

“He was the best communicator of the lot – a born communicator. That’s why he rose so far. We were good friends despite the fact we were competitors,” he told The Age.

Veteran performer Peter Smith said, “We grew up together really, he remembered this morning. “My wife Jackie and Moiree were also very close. It’s just devastating.

“Brian was such an old friend and we went back before the Nine days. They were the pioneering days of TV. Anyone working in radio in those days was required to do the same thing on TV when it started.

“The people of Victoria knew him so well too. He had that ability to reach people and they felt that they knew him.

“He was a very natural talent – he had that ability to speak to people through the TV like he was talking to you in person.

The Nine Network has also expressed its deepest condolences to the Naylor family.

“Brian was a true gentleman, inspirational leader and devoted family man and all of us at Nine, as will so many Victorians, mourn his loss,” said Jeffrey Browne, Managing Director of GTV9 Melbourne.

“Our thoughts are with all the victims and their families who have lost their lives, loved ones and homes as a result of this horrendous tragedy.”

Source: Herald Sun, The Age.

30 Responses

  1. I was shocked to hear this on the car radio last night. Very sad indeed. His was always a familiar face on the TV each evening in our house. It was sad when he retired and it’s even worse to think he and his wife lost his life in this way.

    Condolences to all who are suffering lost ones as a result of the bushfires.

  2. Was a foreign student in Melbourne in the 1980s and remembered Brian Naylor fondly with his gentlemanly manners and his signature sign-off. Through the years, had wondered now and then about him and was shocked to be greeted with news of his death this morning on the front-page of The Straits Times. Condolences to his family and to all those who loved him.

  3. Tragic news – this whole issue is such a terribly sads event. My thoughts to both Mr Naylor’s family and to all those suffereing through these fires. As somebody said earlier on a post, I have actually been quite impressed with the coverage from both Nine and Seven. I guess even commerical networks realise when it’s appropriate to sensantionalise a topic, and when a topic is so awful it needs no embellishment.

  4. Very sad day – used to live in Melbourne from 1977 – 1987 (now back in Denmark).

    Remember ash wedensday when we lived in Glen Waverley, and had the fire very close in the Dandenongs. We used to watch Brian Naylor, and the photos of him brings back nice memories.
    Condolences to all who have been affected by this tragedy.

  5. One of the worst weekends in victorias history,so many lives lost and homes.So tragic for so many people and now as a tv viewers it hits us all in victoria, someone who l grow up watching every night has now made the news ,so tragic a great talented man who give so much too victoria as someone l regard as the best newsreaders in this country,after 40 years in the industry he retired too enjoy his retirement and dies in the this tragic event.RIP Mr Naylor and my deepest sympathy to the Naylor Family,and to all the others who have lost loved ones too.A very sad day for so many people here in victoria,and l must say it was heartbreaking too hear tony jones and peter hitchner annouce mr naylors death,as his friend it was l imagine one of the hardest things they had to do in there tv careers.

  6. Just terrible news to hear, who would’ve guessed on Friday that by the end of the weekend we would hear such terrible news. As Coxy mentioned this we definately must not forget those others families that have suffered through this hell, and unfortuanetly we are only going to see the Death Toll rise even further, but this will certainly ensure that no one forgets the events of this weekend in Victoria.

    Condolences to all who have lost family members in this terrible tragedy and I hope that those who have lost their homes are able to rebuild their homes and lives long after the dust has settled with the support of the rest of the community
    RIP 🙁

  7. Just tragic. I only mentioned Brian in a post in here the other day about the stability of Ch 9 newsreaders in Melb. 3 of the best Sir Eric Pearce, Brian Naylor & Peter Hitchener. They all seem so connected.

    Such a vibrant family man – condolences to his family and friends

  8. Yes, very sad.
    But, we must not forget the many other families that are going though exactly the same as what Brian’s family is – these people hurt too. Just because Brian was a person we “knew” does not make him or his wife a bigger victim than those that we don’t “know”. All these families need our support now – every one of them. My heart certainly goes out to all who have lost in this disaster – may all your loved ones RIP and may you & others that have lost property rebuild your lives as soon as you are able. Australia – lets pull together and help these people.

  9. Very, very sad.
    I just saw a special edition of Channel Ten Late News with Mal Walden and Mal was emotional when he said that Brian had died. Naylor and Walden were colleagues in the Channel Seven Melbourne newsroom in the 1970s if I am correct.

  10. I watched Tony Jones and Peter Hitchener just now and they were very obviously shaken by the news after trying to reach him and Moiree all day, but also showed how much they had learnt from him and remained professional. They acknowledged that there were so many other families and friends who had also lost loved ones, but they were going to be a little indulgent as they had lost a member of the Nine family.

    Another tragedy for the Naylor family. A consummate professional who shall be missed.

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