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Croft's time up at Reckoner

By Craig Daveson in Media News on
Reckoner founder and co-editor James Croft has decided to step back from his work at the independent Aussie tech site.
Speaking to Influencing, Croft explained that he decided to take a break because he is soon to become a parent.
“Reckoner has always been my after-hours project (I have a full-time gig elsewhere) so it felt like the right time,” said Croft.
Reckoner first began in 2013 when Niche Media jettisoned staff from its MacTalk website, leading Croft, Peter Wells and Anthony Agius to form Reckoner.
At the time, Croft told ITJourno: “We're not chasing the breaking news scene… I think we'll do a very small amount of content compared to most other sites, but we will do it really well — they'll be big, they'll look good, they'll have personality and I hope they'll make you think.”
The prediction was not far off the mark either, as the Reckoner team quickly won its first Best Independent Media award at The Lizzies soon after. An achievement which Croft attributed in part to Anthony Agius who was contributing heavily at the time, and also listed as one of his own personal highlights from his time at Reckoner.
In more recent years, Raj Deut has been the most visible member of the Reckoner team, updating the site every week with news, reviews and podcasts.
“He’s done an outstanding job,” said Croft.
“I've just been hosting the podcast (which was the easy bit, to be honest). So if you're a PR person reading this you should get in contact with Raj, because he's one of the best indie consumer tech writers in Australia right now.”
James Croft is on Twitter at @jamescroft, and the Reckoner team can be reached via

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WHIMN marked for closure

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

News Corp Australia women’s content portal With Her in Mind (WHIMN) is closing down on 30 June 2020.

A staff directive by News Women’s Network MD Richard Skirmin stated that the WHIMN material will be integrated into the said brand, which already contains Body+Soul,, Stellar Australia, and 

Body+Soul and WHIMN liftout Stellar are also set for merging on 5 July, with current Stellar editor Sarrah Le Marquand still in charge while Body+Soul editor Elin Tough is exiting the company.

Kidspot editor Melissa Wilson will report to editor Kate de Brito. De Brito, in turn, is now under News Corp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller’s aegis. 

“Operating as the one News Women’s Network will enable us to better collaborate to create brilliant storytelling that resonates with consumers and their lifestyles, while also developing advertising and custom marketing solutions using our data insights to

5 Minutes with Peter Wells

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
What do you do and where does your work appear?
I write about technology and podcasts for the Sydney Morning Herald. It’s a lot of fun. I also have a day job in IT, which is less fun but pays the bills.
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
I guess I fell into this by convincing my good friend (and Mactalk owner) Anthony Agius we should do a podcast. This was 2007, when only Apple nerds listened to podcasts, so we’d often outrank Hamish and Andy back then.
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
The first job I really wanted was as a radio DJ - completely by chance, I was probably 12, delivering Chinese food to a radio station (helping my mum on a casual job) and everything about the studio was cool as hell. Radio kept me sane during uni, and then I discovered podcasts, and I’ve always loved that intimate connection of audio.
Which story or stories are you most proud of?
I’m not sure I’ve eve

SKY News taps Joe Hockey

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Former Australian Ambassador to the US Joe Hockey has joined the SKY News team as a politics contributor.

Based in Washington DC, he will play a critical role in SKY News’ coverage of the US presidential elections, through analysis pieces on shows such as Murray Live. The coverage will include the Democrat and Republican candidate nominations, Election Day, up to Inauguration Day in 2021.

“There’s never been a more important time to understand events in the United States. What happens here can have a deep impact on Australia and the world. As we face great political and economic challenges, I’m privileged to be able to witness events here in Washington and bring them to Sky News viewers,” said Hockey. He stayed in the capital after turning over his diplomatic responsibilities to Arthur Sinodinos last January.

Tune in to Hockey on Twitter @JoeHockey.

Byers takes on more magazines

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Australian Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief Nicole Byers now has two extra hats to wear: group editor-in-chief/associate publisher for Country Style and Better Homes & Gardens.

Mediaweek reported that the new responsibilities came as a result of Bauer Media acquiring Pacific Magazines last month. 

Byers herself has been occupied with work-from-home solutions, although she appeared at the Bauer offices to oversee the integration of Pacific’s titles into the workplace, plus cover the production of The Weekly’s first issue after the lockdown was announced.

“We have learnt a lot. We even did a story not long ago about people’s body clocks and how some are more creative and prolific in the evening while others are more morning people. Where we can we will be flexible around peoples’ working preferences. It is also about lifestyle choices. Some of our staff enjoy being able to go for a walk in the middle of the day, maybe even go horse riding, be

Junkee repurposed in Ooh Media overhaul

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Ooh Media has completed an organisational restructuring, with digital publishers Junkee Media being put under its creative and marketing division.

The move will now see Junkee co-founder/CEO Neil Ackland assume chief marketing officer-level duties while still overseeing Junkee’s content and creative work. 

“Ooh’s content and creative proposition is unique in out of home, and we saw an opportunity to leverage this and become a true public space medium under the leadership of Mr Ackland and our talented content, marketing and creative team,” said Ooh Media CEO Brendon Cook.

Other parts of the reorganisation include national sales director Tim Murphy becoming chief sales officer and chief commercial and product officer Robbie Dery will assume data and insights, customer strategy and network duties under a product strategy team.

Social media as news novelty is a disastrous relic that needs to end

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
We’re in the thick of quite the horror show when it comes to chaos, conspiracies and disinformation on social media. Add the loudest voices in the world doing more to fuel the problem than calm it and it’s hard to know how any of this ends.
Right alongside this is, of course, the local fight to force social media and search to pay for access to news media. That’s its own debate, but there’s no question that social media is front and centre in how the world is being shaped and represented in the media ecosystem today.
What blows my mind is that Australian media still treats social media formats as something to be mocked, feared or shrugged at. It’s OK for media professionals to giggle and say they “don’t get it”. TikTok is still a weird thing the kids are doing, regardless of the fact it’s got hundreds of millions of active users.
It should be analysed. It should be criticised. But it’s tiring to watch s

Hass Dellal stands down from SBS

By Jonas Lopez in Media News on

Dr Bulent Hass Dellal is stepping down as the chairman of SBS, effective 2 June 2020.

The exit is in line with the SBS Act which mandates board memberships of no more than ten years. 

Hass Dellal joined the team as director in 2010 but was reappointed for three more years in 2015. He had been acting chairman for a year when the board made his role permanent in 2017. The SBS board has yet to appoint a successor.

“I have had so many proud moments, in particular, during these unprecedented times as SBS has responded to the coronavirus pandemic. The content and services that SBS has been providing to keep so many Australians informed and safe exemplify its vital role and value to our society,” said Hass Dellal of his time in the company. 

“I want to thank everyone at SBS – the board, the executive team, and all of the incredible staff throughout the organisation – for their ongoing support. It has been a privilege to work with people so passionat

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