John Singleton’s Macquarie National News –
run from the studios of Sydney’s 2GB – is continuing its push to position itself as
a force in radio news by enhancing its offering to now include video – with
news bulletins and newly-announced video podcasts for rugby league fans.

On Friday, presenter and current affairs
director, Jason Morrison, announced that after six months of persistent
chasing, he’d signed Australian media veteran Ian Ferguson to take over the
news director role.

Ferguson, as public affairs director at the Australian High Commission in Singapore,
was the man that largely dealt with the media barrage during the recent and
controversial execution of Van Nguyen for drug trafficking.

Ferguson joins the MNN newsroom in June, with experience covering TV, radio
and multimedia. In fact, his CV reads like an international media guide, having
worked at outlets including 2UE, 2GB, Triple-M, CNN, BBC, Sky News UK & Australia,
Network Ten, Channel NewsAsia, TVNZ and Channel 5 Singapore.

He’ll be expected to use his extensive
experience to make big changes in news at the network.

Morrison, a former chief of staff at
Network Ten who has overseen news during the search for a successor to departed
news director Justin Kelly, will still have plenty on his plate.

He will remain the network’s current
affairs director and looking after its digital product offering including the
aggressive push to provide enhanced content to listeners via the internet and
portable technology.

Morrison will also continue to fill in
across the spread of 2GB’s shifts while other presenters are away. That
includes Alan Jones, who remains in hospital for skin grafts and was expected
to be away for a couple of days last week.

Ray Hadley, who is filling in for the last
hour of Jones’ show – 9am to 10am – said on air today that Jones is expected
back on air “later in the week”.

Good news for Jones though was the horse he
part-owns, Miss Finland, won the Golden Slipper on the weekend. “And he wasn’t even there to see it”,
Hadley told listeners. “But he saw it on television.”

Peter Fray

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