Deborah Knight, personality plus.

Deborah on SetFor 11 years Deborah Knight was a reporter and newsreader on TEN, where she did an immaculate job bringing us the News from Australia and abroad.

Now after 4 years on Nine, she is finally getting to show us more of who she is, having expanded to a co-hosting role on Weekend Today, and she is loving it.

“I’d been an on-the-road journo, US correspondent, Parliament House bureau, covering world affairs and politics and presenting the 5pm News for Channel TEN,” she tells TV Tonight.

“But in the hosting role you get to put your news guard down, because as a news reader you have your guard up to some degree and you don’t show much of your personality. So it’s been nice to show a bit of me!”

Knight has a diversity of roles at Nine, which has been her TV home for the past four years.

“They are investing in News which a lot of other networks aren’t.”

In varied roles, Knight has been asociated with 11 & 4:30 News, the 6pm bulletin in Sydney, Inside Story, Weekend Today and Financial Review Sunday.

“So I’ve got my fingers in a lot of pies but I really enjoy it. It’s really varied so it means you don’t get stuck in a rut.

“It’s a huge cultural shift moving from somewhere where you’ve been for 11 years. Nine is such a heritage network and they are so committed to news which, as a journalist, is fantastic. They are committed to it in their DNA but also in their resourcing, the journalistic skill of everybody on board, and they are investing in News which a lot of other networks aren’t.”

“They take it seriously. When a big news story happens they put all their resources into it and go hell for leather to over it. As a journalist it’s where you want to be,” she explains.

Despite the varied duties, Knight says her schedule doesn’t give her grief, not even those early morning rises.

“It’s not as early as the weekday (Today) guys, we get an extra sleep in because we’re on air at 7:00 as opposed to 5:30. But I do a lot of other stuff at Nine and I’ve become adept at juggling.”

That’s job satisfaction for you.

In hosting Financial Review Sunday at 10am Sundays, Knight wraps her role on Weekend Today at 10am and makes a hurried studio switch. It’s so fast there isn’t even time to change outfits.

“I’d love to wear a pedometer on a Sunday morning for the amount of footwork I do between the various studios!

“I was looking at doing (a frock change) at one stage, but too hard, didn’t have time. So I just go from one studio to the other and pick up the baton.”

“There are a lot of heated arguments that take place, which I think is healthy.”

Knight also says that while Financial Review Sunday partners with a Fairfax publication, it differs from TEN’s former Meet the Press, produced by News Corp.

“When Meet the Press moved to their outsourcing they moved the whole production off the station and basically the newspaper was producing the whole thing. Whereas Financial Review Sunday is a Channel Nine production, in-house. We have a Channel Nine EP and Nine reporters, and we also have Fin Review reporters, who are involved in contributing to the shows. It’s not as if the show has been taken over by the newspaper, it’s very much a collaboration,” she continues.

“There are a lot of heated arguments that take place, which I think is healthy, trying to get the balance between newspaper sensibilities and putting it into a television format.

“Often we have different ideas about what makes a good story. A print journo thinks a great story is different to a TV journo (story). But we try to marry the two together, in-house using Channel Nine graphics, Channel Nine set, and it’s a TV show driven by Channel Nine show with Fairfax and Fin Review input. But no one party is controlling it, it’s collaborative.”

Having moved from the straight-laced newsreader to the more-relaxed breakfast host, Knight is grateful at the way her universe has aligned. Admitting she has no ‘5 year plan’ methodology, she is happy with her deck of cards.

“I’m really enjoying doing Inside Story yarns with long-form journalism. But I’m a journo so I like the on the road stuff. I’m really enjoying a mix of reporting, presenting, newsreading and hosting,” she insists.

“Doing a bit of everything which some people would hate, but I actually really enjoy it.

“It’s a mix that’s working quite well!”

Weekend Today airs 7-10am Saturdays and Sundays on Nine with Australian Financial Review at 10am Sunday.

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