Paul Barry to depart Media Watch in December

"I’ve been in the hot seat for 11 years and it’s time to give someone else a go," says Paul Barry.

Media Watch host Paul Barry has announced 2024 will be his last season after 11 years in the presenter chair.

Barry first hosted Media Watch in 2000 and returned in 2013 with weekly commentary, analysis and robust discussion about the media industry and its ethics – or lack thereof.

“It’s a great privilege to host Media Watch and I’ve enjoyed it enormously. But I’ve been in the hot seat for 11 years and it’s time to give someone else a go,” Barry said.

“Thanks to all our viewers. I’ll be with you until December. And I’m sure the program will go on to great things without me.”

Executive Producer Tim Latham will also be leaving at the end of the year, having commenced in 2014.

Media Watch is independent of ABC News division and continues to rate well for ABC on Monday nights.

The ABC will announce a new host later this year.

27 Responses

  1. I shall miss Paul’s sense of humour and Media Bites. A new EP may mean less reaction to Sky News and NewsCorp opinion pieces. A non-ABC presenter would be ideal esp one with a legal background. Stuart Littlemore created and presented the show for many years and fought hard to keep the format intact.

  2. Many good ideas and suggestions here (longer timeframe, more diversity of media criticism and some of the suggested presenters).

    But I would go with someone a bit more left field and I can’t recall his name, but he writes the occasional article (I think in the SMH) criticising media. He comes from academia and I wouldn’t want the show to be an egg head discussion, but the few articles I read from him, he makes some very valid and insightful points that tend to get to the role and responsibility of media. There is still a role for picking up factual inaccuracies, but that could almost be relegated to a addendum to their website.

  3. Personally, I believe that in this politically charged era amid point scoring from both left & right, that a non-ABC and hopefully non-aligned/politically neutral presenter is a must. Yes to other’s comments earlier that the titles & background set should be refreshed, but not the music, which with its long tenure and familiarity creates a sort of “call to action”. And while refreshing the presentation style on-air, please, please, please get rid of the cheesy over-the-top announcer voice-overs of quotes in graphics. If those quote graphics & front pages were simply treated as B-roll/overlay, then more time would be made available for the presenter to comment – even maybe time for another subject to be discussed. The twee VOs simply stop the flow of the presenter’s comments.

  4. I think this is good news, no offence to PB but it was all getting a bit tired. Then there were the constant trans stories… but seeing as though the EP is also departing it might signal a whole new approach to the show which can only be a good thing.

    I echo others who want Janine Perrett, she was a great fill-in host.

  5. As both presenters have done fill-in Media Watch presenting over a few weeks during recent years, you’d think Janine Perrett and John Barron would have to be among the favourites to become the next fulltime host.

    I’d assume a long overdue On-Air Presentation relaunch for the new host is reasonably likely, fingers crossed because the current set and graphics are positively ancient now. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they got Roi Huberman to compose a new version of the theme music either, as the current variant has been used since 2008.

    That aside, I generally agree that MW is an important program and long may it continue, but a change in direction under a new host would be welcomed as they do over-rely on a handful of topics/sources sometimes.

    Don’t get me wrong – they make pretty fair points for the most part, but after a while it can get a bit boring hear them go on about integrated content on commercial TV along with the obvious failings of 2GB, The Daily Telegraph and Sky News.

  6. The only problem I have with Barry is his obsession with Sky News. Whether he is right or wrong is not for me to decide but gee there are lots of other things to have a go at in the media than just about every week having a go at them, especially Chris Kenny!

  7. Go well bazza 🙂 I preferred the previous guy Jonathan Holmes. Who can forget stalwart ABC journo Monica Attard (who I enjoy online with her banter such as during the tennis with The Age’s Neil McMahon & Co) and her brief run in the mid-2000s, with the whole Seven TT Naomi Robson (her last year) vs Nine ACA Tracy Grimshaw (her first year) saga with the Wa Wa child!

    1. Jonathan Holmes was dedicated. He replied to almost everyone that had a valid issue to raise on the forums or message boards. I can’t compare with the other hosts, as the ABC message boards had ended or moved and I was engaged in other work at the time. Though Jonathan was dedicated.

  8. I do question whether the quality of Media Watch is as good as it used to be with previous hosts, going back to Stuart Littlemore. I remember posting topics years ago and they’d follow it up, or at least provide a response.

    It’s a good program and should be more than 15 minutes given the ratings.

  9. I don’t agree with everything Paul Barry has done over the years. But unlike others, at least he admits to his mistakes and fixes them. A lot of others in the industry, should take bloody note.

    1. It’s a no from me. I’m sick of divisiveness and bias, of which Laura was censured for. It doesn’t help the ABC when half of the population doesn’t vote Labor. I want to watch ABC without the attitude of it being a Labor mouthpiece or a solely left-wing channel. ABC should be for everyone. It’s shouldn’t be just the Labor families channel. I understand the union influences. ABC bias is also a TV Tonight poll option. It doesn’t help to alienate well wishers.

  10. I hope they bring in someone new. Maybe Rick Morton from The Saturday Paper. He’s extremely bright and relatively young. If you watch some of his interviews, he’s not afraid to say what needs to be said.

  11. I like Paul….but nothing is wrong with a change, hope they get someone with credibility

    I bet the gang at Sky News “after dark” will be sad! or pleased!

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