It’s been an emotional first month of the new decade with the raging bushfire crisis, the ongoing drought, and the gruesome coronavirus. January is usually a tough month for journalists with not much happening and everyone away on holidays, but with all of the current tragedies it’s been a busy time for Allison Langdon in her new role as co-host on Nine‘s Today show. Langdon shared with Mediaweek what attracted her to the role, her relationship with Karl Stefanovic, and what she hopes to bring audiences when they tune in at brekkie time.
For Langdon, the appeal of Today was a new challenge. After being on 60 Minutes for nearly a decade now, Langdon said it’s been the most extraordinary job and that she’s absolutely loved it. “I have two young kids now – a three-year-old and a 10-month-old – and the travel aspect becomes really tricky,” said Langdon. “It becomes a real juggle and you get to a point where you realise you’re compromising too much, so Today was a great opportunity and I was really excited.”
When we asked if Langdon was planning to continue reporting for Nine’s 60 Minutes program like Stefanovic has in the past, she explained there is a lot that she wants to achieve and she wants her entire focus to be on the Today show. “It doesn’t mean from time to time I won’t pick up the odd 60 Minutes story, but for me I’m feeling like that was then and this is now and it has my whole focus. It’s an exciting opportunity and it’s nice to have weekends now as family time.”
Langdon has known Stefanovic for around 15 years. “It’s been a really long time,” said Langdon. “We’ve been doing different jobs for the last couple of years and we haven’t seen a lot of each other, but whenever we do we always have a great catch up.
“I’ve known him forever, so I’m comfortable to pull up a chair beside him as we already have that familiarity and I hope that’s coming across to the audience – there’s a genuine rapport there. I know when to back off when Karl is on a roll with something – and vice versa – and I really love how we’ve worked that out about each other very early on.”
Langdon commented on how they’ve been really respectful and letting that other person shine and be brilliant. “I don’t think you can fake that genuine affection and respect for another person for three and a half hours every morning for five days a week. You’ve got to be a pretty good actor,” she laughed.
“We agree, and we also disagree on a lot of things, but I like that. Between all four of us sitting at the desk, I love how we have authentic debates but how it’s still really respectful.”
Langdon said she understands how chaotic households can be in the morning.“I think about what we’re doing in the mornings; getting the kids ready, feeding them breakfast and trying to get them out the door for school. I think our role is to be familiar faces in the background bringing the news and laughs, so that when you go off to work you feel good about the day ahead.”
Langdon shared with Mediaweek some of the female journalists she’s looked up to. Christiane Amanpour is someone she’s always admired, as a female journalist interviewing male presidents in countries where it’s very difficult for a woman to be taken seriously. “We’ve seen her break through the glass ceiling.
“Liz Hayes and Tara Brown are some of the most extraordinary women I’ve worked with. I remember when I first started on 60 Minutes and they both took me aside and said if I wanted any help or wanted to bounce ideas off someone, to give them a call.”
Langdon has always admired strong, brilliant female journalists who have helped those coming up the racks. “It’s so important in our industry to be supportive of each other and pass on skill sets, and I’ve learned that from amazing women and I’m very focused on giving back in that sense too. It’s not even a female thing – we should all give each other a boost, and it’s honestly really rewarding.”