World First: The Official Crikey Register of Journalist Couples

Sunday, February 18, 2001

We journalists constantly write about other people’s relationships so for the first time Crikey can bring you the official Australian register of journalistic couples which even the BBC and Matt Drudge found interesting enough to do a story on. Maybe this is a world first. Which country will be the first to follow?

As part of this endeavour to increase public awareness of the profession and encourage some journalistic introspection, we have produced several lists and registers to demonstrate the evils of PR and the close links with the major political parties.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial and get Crikey straight to your inbox

By submitting this form you are agreeing to Crikey's Terms and Conditions.

The media is the biggest single feeder of talent to political parties yet this is a little known fact in Australia.

Whilst this latest list is a touch on the frivolous side, it is still very interesting to examine the romantic links in Australia’s fourth estate. We have also avoided all affairs and only concentrated on publicly acknowledged relationships.

Seeing that we got to more than 100 couples without even trying, we suspect that couples are more prevalent in the media than other industries because of the long and unusual hours, the all-consuming life-style and the gregarious nature of many of its players.

Journalists spend so much time socialising with each other that we appear to have a higher coupling rate than other industries. No doubt this will spark some debate so let’s bring it on. Can anyone think of an industry with more romance than the media?

So here we have it, a register of journalistic couples. What do they talk about in bed each night? When Kate Legge was a feature writer on The Australian, did she get the inside drum on what was happening at Fairfax’s Fin Review from then editor in chief Greg Hywood.

How on earth did Peter Wilson and Pilita Clarke work being the competing News Ltd and Fairfax Washington correspondents and a de facto couple at the same time?

What would Stan Grant be doing at Seven now if he had not taken up with intended Olympics host Tracey Holmes which led to them both departing the network?

And will Kylie Johnson keep reading the news at 2GB whilst her fiancée Mike Jeffreys is suing the boss for more than $500,000 after losing his Drive time gig?

The other interesting trend is the way foreign postings are handled with journalistic couples. When Fairfax CEO decided Paul McGeogh was to be punted as Sydney Morning Herald editor, the compromise of a posting to New York saw the Fin Review sending its best investigative reporter and McGeogh’s partner, Pam Williams, to the Big Apple as well.

We did not originally intend to publish the list on the website. However, a story about this list and the lack of media scrutiny in general by Pilita Clarke for the Sydney Morning Herald finished up on the front page of and that led to an interview with the BBC’s Radio Five on Sunday morning.

The Howard Government’s decision to remove two staffers who were having affairs with the opposition also strengthened the arguments for publishing these lists. Several journalists have dined out big time on this story. News Ltd’s Jim Dickins even wrote a story referring to the Attorney General’s office being filled with Bardot-like attractive lawyers, implying their legal talents had nothing to do with their positions.

I know a few people have objected to this list, but given that we journalists constantly write about other people’s relationships, why shouldn’t the public know a bit more about what we’re up to. We’re not saying that any of the relationships are inappropriate or who has been married three times, it is simply a factual list.

Subscribers can view the various other journalistic lists we have assembled at

Anyway, here is the list we have assembled so far and we’d be keen to add any more couples you can come up with. Tell us about any mistakes and omissions too.

Cheers, Gloria Gossiper

Crikey’s Register of Journalistic Couples

Peter Wilson, deputy editor (news) at The Australian and Pilita Clark, feature writer SMH and former editor of The Eye.

Marco Bass, head of ABC TV and radio news in Victoria, and Tracie Winch, ex ABC now Age contributor.

Greg Hywood, editor in chief of The Age and Kate Legge, former feature writer The Australian.

Colleen Ryan, editor Fin Review and Stephen Wyatt, contributor Fin Review.

Phil Hudson, political reporter at The Age and Lyndal Curtis, political reporter at ABC radio in Canberra.

Andrew Butcher, News Corp hacked turned flak in New York and Sara James, reporter/presenter on The Today Show on NBC.

Francis Leach, Triple J morning show host and Lynne Haultain, breakfast presenter 774 ABC Melbourne.

Virginia Trioli, drive presenter 774 ABC Melbourne and Russell Skelton, business editor The Age.

Jock Rankin, former head of ABC Television Victoria and Mary Delahunty, former presenter of The 7.30 Report in Victoria and current Labor Education Minister.

Justine Ferrari, reporter Sunday Telegraph and Scott Coomber, The Australian.

Madonna King, deputy editor The Daily Telegraph and David Fagan, reporter, The Australian.

Paola Totaro, SMH reporter and Robert Wainwright, SMH transport reporter.

Jessica Rowe, Channel 10 newsreader and Michael Willessee Jr, former Channal 9 reporter now with family company Transmedia.

Jana Wendt and cameraman Brendan Ward.

Paul Barry, former Media Watch host and Lisa McGregor, ABC.

Lenore Taylor and Paul Daley, in London with Fairfax.

Roy Eccleston and Carolyn Collins, The Australian.

Stephen Romei and Sally Jackson, both in New York for The Australian.

Fiona Buffini and John Davidson, both in San Francisco for the Fin Review.

Jon Casimir, editor of Metropolitan in the SMH, Hellen Greenwood, contributor to Metropolitan.

Alan Kohler, Fin Review columnist and ABC economics reporter and Deborah Forster, columnist on the Sunday Age.

Michael Brissenden, ABC radio, and Tracey Sutherland, The Australian.

Sue Dunleavy and Stephen Spencer, Canberra political journalists.

Mike Seccombe, SMH in Canberra and Lauren Martin, Canberra reporter.

Barry Cassidy, ABC TV Brussels correspondent and Heather Ewart, ABC TV.

Col Allan, Daily Telegraph editor in chief and Sharon Bowditch, former Daily Telegraph TV critic.

John Hartigan, News Ltd CEO and Gerri Sutton, former Daily Telegraph TV reporter.

Damon Johnston and Kim Wilson, News Ltd in New York.

Phil Gardner, former Herald Sun sports editor and Tracey Linguey, former News Ltd Sunday Magazine editor.

Kerry O’Brien, presenter The 7.30 Report and Sue Javes, freelance radio critic.

Sally Neighbour, Four Corners reporter and Michael Doyle, Four Corners deputy executive producer.

Mark Maley, former Four Corners producer and Karen Maley, former SMH and Fin Review business reporter.

Alan Ramsey, SMH political columnist and Laura Tingle, Age political reporter.

Phil McLean, Sun Herald editor and Jacqui Lunn, reporter The Australian

Roy Masters, sports columnist SMH and Elaine Cante, ABC broadcaster

Paul McGeogh, SMH reporter at large in New York, and Pam Williams, Fin Review reporter at large in New York.

Amy Ewan, ex Telegraph and Mark Whittaker, The Australian.

Stuart Washington, magazine editor in Singapore and Alana House, Packer’s Cleo editor in Singapore.

Stephen Gibbs, police reporter SMH and Candy Sutton, columnist Sun Herald.

Stan Grant and Tracey Holmes, both formerly of Channel Seven.

Simon Hoyle, Fin Review Smart Money editor and Jocelyn Eastway, BRW

Andrew Cornell, AFR Tokyo and Sally Fisher, ex Oz, Hun and BRW, now news editor

Lynne Cossar, formerly with The Age and David Burgess, executive producer AM.

Bruce Guthrie, editor Who Weekly and Jan Applegren, Text Media)

Andy Byrne, Daily Telegraph news editor, and Louisa Byrne, senior editor NW Magazine.

Steve Howard, Daily Telegraph editor and Maryanne Bilkey, Who Weekly.

Jeni Cooper, editor Sunday Telegraph and Jim Maher, former Channel 7 political reporter.

Paul Sheehan and Susan Wyndham, both at the SMH.

Alan Howe, editor Sunday Herald Sun, and Carmel Egan, editor News Ltd Sunday Magazine

Candida Baker, editor The Australian’s Weekend magazine and Robert Drewe, writer.

Mike Safe, Australian Magazine writer and Jenny Gilbert.

Mark Westfield, Oz business columnist, Anne-Marie Nicholson, ABC TV arts reporter.

Liz Knight, SMH business columnist, and Alex Pollack, former journo now media analyst Macquarie Bank.

Anne Hyland, AFR banking writer, Andrew Burke, AFR/freelance

Brendan Donohue, Seven political reporter, Caroline Wilson, Age chief football writer.

Michael Yiannakis, ex Fin Review now Asian Wall St Journal, and Andreea Papuc, ex Oz now wires in HK.

Jacinta Tynan, ABC News and Chris Reason Ch 7 Sydney.

Clive Mathieson, ex Oz now Times in London, Miranda Murphy, ex Adelaide Advertiser now wires in London.

Gareth Boreham, Channel 10 Melbourne and Julia Baulderstone, ex Weekly Times now Hill & Knowlton.

Michael Gleeson, sports writer Herald Sun and Michelle Edmonds, reporter Herald Sun.

Steve Price, 3AW program director, Wendy Black, former junior reporter 3AW.

Nick Creech and Deborah Jones; Fin Review.

Michelle Gunn and Scott Henry, The Australian

Annabel McGillivray and James Jeffries

Michael McGuire, sports business on The Australian and Rachel Rodda, Telegraph reporter.

Ian Shedden and Chris, The Australian.

Geraldine Doogue and Ian Carroll, ABC.

Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun columnist and Sally Morrell, former Herald Sun chief of staff.

John Hurst, Fin Review investment editor, and Sue Angell, former Fin Review property editor.

David Potts, business editor Sun Herald, and Kim Nicholl, former Careers editor SMH

Peter O’Brien, Features on The Australian and Irene O’Brien, former Illawarra Mercury then ASIC PR, now ABC PR.

Tracey Grayson, deputy biz ed The Australian, and Ian Grayson, Oz Computers Editor.

Karen Peebles, ex AAP, Bloomberg and lately of and Damon Frith, ex Australian and now freelance in Perth.

Angus Fontaine, freelancer, and Kylie Keogh, Daily Telegraph.

Frank Walker, Sun-Herald, and Esther Blank, Australian correspondent for German TV

Verity Chambers, Sun-Herald Pic Ed and Rohan Sullivan, AP Kuala Lumpur

Chris Henning and Judith Whelan, SMH

Jennifer Cooke and Brad Norington, SMH

Steve Warnock and Nicole Silverman, freelancers

Nick Leys, SMH and Jackie Dent, Media Watch

Jacqui Lee Lewes, Daily Telegraph TV writer and Ken Anderson, freelancer

Bruce Walkley, sub-editor Sun-Herald/Fin Review and Pam Walkley, editor Money Magazine

Robin Oliver, SMH and Daphne Guinness, SMH

Anne Summers, SMH, Chip Rolley, freelancer

Deborah Thomas, editor Womens Weekly and Vitek, men’s columnist, The Sunday Telegraph

Nathan Vass, COS Sunday Telegraph and Sarah Blake, Sunday Telegraph.

Peter Fitzsimons, SMH and Lisa Wilkinson, ex Cleo magazine now Channel 7.

James McCullough, business columnist on the Courier Mail and Wendy Yewdale former 2GB producer.

Sid Maher, chief of staff Courier Mail and Lisa Millar, ABC TV reporter in Brisbane.

Matthew Franklin, state political editor Courier Mail and Caroline Fisher, ex ABC radio reporter, now Beattie government press sec.

Michael O’Meara, ex Financial Review now Beattie press sec and Lindy Rowett, ex Courier Mail now Queensland transport corporate communications.

Tony Grant-Taylor, Courier Mail’s senior business writer and Tracey Lowis, ex Radio.

Deborah Light, ex-AFR editor now Bulletin and Phil Ruthven, economics commentator and nation’s highest paid business speaker.

Eric Ellis, ex-AFR foreign correspondent, now Time S-E Asia columnist and Sara Webb, ex-FT now WSJ in Asia

Tony Patrick, Dow Jones bureau chief in Sydney and Sk Withcher, Wall Street Journal Sydney.

Rowan Callick, AFR Melbourne, Jan McCallum: BRW

Angus Grigg, ex AFR and Lisa Murray, ex Bloomberg both heading off to Indonesia on some sort of English-teaching program.

Brett Clegg and Annabel Hepworth, reporters on Fin Review.

Corrine Lim and Bill McConnell, reporters on the Fin Review.

Jim Parker, Fin Review and Lesley Parker, freelance.

Shane Burke, Herald Sun news editor, Prani West, former ABC radio producer.

Gary Tippet, Age senior writer, Jeni Port, Age wine writer

Terry Durack and Jill Duplex, SMH restaurant critics now in London.

Paul Syvret, Bulletin Brisbane correspondent, Anne Delaney, ABC political reporter Brisbane.

Mike Jeffreys, sacked 2GB Drive host, Kylie Johnson, 2GB newsreader.

Tim Pegler and Kristen Owen, ex Herald Sun.

Sophie Scott, ABC TV health reporter in Hobart and Michael Gleeson, Seven political reporter in Hobart.

Tom Burton and Anne Davies, SMH.

Cathy Job, ex ABC and Ian Hanke, ex ABC now Peter Reith spindoctor.

Sharon and Alan Hill, News Ltd in Sydney.

Laural Irving and Nick Talbot, ex ABC Radio Newcastle.

To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Crikey’s 10th birthday, every day for the rest of the year we’ll be dipping into the vault to publish an item from the very same date from one of the past 10 years.