Puccini to 7.30. The ABC national reporting team’s editor, Jo Puccini, has been named the new executive producer of 7.30, filling a vacancy left by Sally Neighbour after she announced in February that she’d be leaving for Four Corners.

Puccini worked at 7.30 as a commissioning editor for almost two years before being appointed inaugural editor of the national reporting team. She’s also had experience at Four Corners, where she worked as a researcher and producer, and Media Watch, where she’s been an executive producer. She’s the joint winner of three Walkley awards, all for her work on Four Corners.

The 7.30 EP role is highly scrutinised, particularly after Neighbour earned high praise for raising the program’s ratings through tougher, punchier interviews and stories. ABC director of news Kate Torney said Puccini was one of the ABC’s “finest editorial leaders”. “Under her leadership the national reporting team has become a vital part of ABC News, further developing our investigative capacity and delivering original reporting for television, radio and digital news audiences across the nation”.

Puccini said she was “excited and honoured to be taking over as executive producer at 7.30″. “I look forward to working with Leigh Sales and the team to continue to deliver the agenda-setting journalism, analysis and interviews the program’s audience expects.”

Recruitment to fill Puccini’s current editor of the national reporting team will start this week. — Myriam Robin

Heath to PoliticoMeanwhile, former Rudd campaign adviser and NUS president Ryan Heath — who’s spent the past few years kicking around the European Commission writing speeches for Eurocrats the likes of Jose Manuel Barroso and Neelie Kroes — will be an integral part of American beltway bible Politico’s push into Europe, details of which were published this morning. Heath will write a daily column modelled on Mike Allen’s Washington Playbook — Politico’s signature morning column on Washington’s obsessions. Heath has been an opinion contributor to The Sydney Morning Herald and in 2006 wrote anti-boomer tract “Please Just F* Off: It’s Our Turn Now”. In the announcement, the founding Politico Europe editors revealed a healthy slate of high-powered hires they hope will translate Politico across the Atlantic. The European edition will launch on April 21 with 40 journalists, and will have an initial print run of 30,000. — Myriam Robin

Hey Presto, a bad deal for Ten. Despite all that macho talk from Ten and News Corp papers about how the Ten Network is on the way back thanks to  new and higher-rating programs such as I‘m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here and Shark Tank, an agreement reported between Presto (Foxtel/Seven West Media) and 20th Century Fox overnight for streaming video on demand programming tells us us the true view of Ten by the Murdoch clan — they don’t really care.

The Presto agreement has effectively locked Ten out of some of its highest-rating programs from Fox. Current shows not offered to Ten include Modern Family, Homeland, Louie, Sons of Anarchy, The Americans, Glee and American Horror Story. Past shows that Ten also won’t get include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, The X-Files and My Name is Earl. The loss of Modern Family must be particularly galling for Ten. It is the network’s most popular foreign program.

So far as the Murdoch clan is concerned, Ten is a worrying mess to be cleaned up by Foxtel and Discovery, if possible (with Discovery paying for most of the clean-up costs). — Glenn Dyer

How to bore political junkies. Margie Abbott has given what’s being billed as her first solo interview to Women’s Weekly. Teasers in the press, and on the AWW website, have focused on how Margie and Tony met (mere weeks after he left the seminary — he talked non-stop about the DLP on their first date), impressions of long-time friends like former Oz editor-in-chief David Armstrong on what makes them tick as a couple, and comments from Abbott in defence of her husband’s controversial chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

So what made the front page? Why, how Margie Abbott lost 20 kilos. Naturally. The edition hits stands tomorrow.

Peter Fray

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