Last year, the inaugural Mediaweek 100 created debate within the industry about people ranked too high, too low, people who shouldn’t be on it and others who missed out.
After the success of last year’s countdown, the list is expanding with the Star Power 25.
The Star Power 25 will count down the top 25 most powerful talent on screen and on air, considering factors such as the average number of listeners/viewers, influence to shape the future, and commercial value.
Will and Woody
Will McMahon and Woody Whitelaw have the spent the last few years establishing themselves with a national audience, after taking the KIIS national drive slot off the departing Dave Hughes and Kate Langbroek – who left to launch a rival programs for SCA. The hard work has paid off as the pair are now one of the top drive programs in the country, including at times holding the #1 spot in Sydney this year according to the GfK Radio Ratings Survey. The pair met as friends in school and started their radio careers together back 2012, eventually hosting the national weekend breakfast show on the Hit Network. After 2 years, the pair moved to Perth to host 92.9fm’s breakfast show with Heidi Anderson. After a four-year stint, they then moved back to their hometown of Melbourne to join the KIIS network’s drive show.
Kate Tim and Joel
Nova’s national drive show has been a dominant force in the time slot for quite some time, with the original iteration launching in 2010. At the time it was Meshel, Tim and Marty: a team made up of Meshel Laurie, Tim Blackwell, and Marty Sheargold. Laurie would depart the show in late 2013 to join Nova 100, and in her place, Kate Ritchie would join the show. This line-up persisted for some time until Sheargold departed in September of 2020, replaced by Joel Creasey. The program is #1 national drive according to the Gfk Radio Ratings Survey. Its hosts have enjoyed success outside of the radio medium with Ritchie recently returning to Channel Seven to judge Australia’s Got Talent, and Creasey hosting the Australian coverage of Eurovision. The show was also ranked #106 in the September Podcast Ranker by Triton Digital with 40,397 monthly listeners and 508,646 monthly downloads.
In 2020, Andy Allen, Melissa Leong, and Jock Zonfrillo joined MasterChef Australia as the new look judging lineup, replacing the long serving, George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan, and Matt Preston. The first season for the fresh trio, MasterChef: Back to Win, came during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic and had gangbuster ratings. While the numbers for the show – like many others – are no longer at that Covid induced peak, the new lifeblood injected in the show by the three has seen it become perhaps 10’s most valuable property. The show has a 842,000 national total audience, making it #1 in its timeslot in total people and key demographics. MasterChef will be back in 2023 with a shorter season, with expectations this will help boost its audience even further.
Eddie McGuire, a former CEO of Nine, has been a TV staple since 1994 when he first hosted the AFL iteration of the Footy Show for Nine. In 1999, McGuire began hosting the primetime quiz show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, and since 2009 has hosted the afternoon iteration Millionaire Hot Seat, which has been a stable ratings performer ever since. He also hosts Footy Classified on Wednesdays for the Nine Network during the AFL season. McGuire has also held prominent roles outside of Nine, recently wrapping up an 11-year stint hosting the Triple M breakfast show in Melbourne and ending a 10-year run at Fox Footy earlier this year. In November, McGuire will return to the 10 Network for the first time since 1993, when he helps host the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Brooke Boney got the job as the entertainment reporter for the Today show in 2019, and has become a prominent member of the program in the time since. Boney also writes a column for The Sydney Morning Herald, most recently penning a stirring piece discussing the Hawthorn AFL racism scandal. Since 2021, Boney has co-hosted The Dream Club podcast with long-time friend Linda Marigliano, who she met at triple j where she first gained prominence in 2016 as a newsreader. In late 2021, Boney was the winner of Lego Masters: Bricksmas Special.
Larry Emdur is currently celebrating his 40th year in television as he hosts two high-rating programs in The Morning Show and The Chase Australia. Emdur was originally best known for hosting both the Wheel of Fortune and a record-breaking 1500 episodes of The Price Is Right. In 2007, Emdur joined Kylie Gillies to co-host Australia’s #1 morning television program, The Morning Show, which has spent the past 14 years as the top program in its timeslot. The show has a total national audience of 252,000 viewers. In late 2021, Emdur was announced as the new host of Australia’s #1 game show, The Chase Australia. In 2021, the show had an average total national audience of 694,000. In 2015, he was also named Men’s Health Celebrity Man of the Year and became the magazine’s oldest-ever cover man. Emdur has been twice nominated for the People’s Choice “Most Popular Host” and twice nominated for a Logie.
Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones
Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones’ long running breakfast radio show for WSFM is currently ranked #4 in Sydney with a share of 7.7%. The pair also have the #65 ranked podcast in Australia with Jonesy & Amanda’s JAMcast! According to Trition Digital’s August Podcast Ranker. Jones joined WSFM from Triple M in 2003, before Keller joined in 2004 – originally as a part time co-host on Wednesdays. Jones had extensive experience hosting Morning, Afternoon & Drive shifts at 2NM Muswellbrook, i98fm Wollongong and B105 Brisbane before he landed at Triple M Brisbane, hosting Drive before moving back to Sydney to host the drive show. In 2017 Jonesy released his first book 50 Shades of Fifty. Keller’s first role in breakfast radio was also in Sydney, where she co-hosted the Breakfast show for Triple M with Andrew Denton in the 90s. Until recently Keller was also one of the hosts of Network 10’s The Living Room, the winner of the 2015, 2016 & 2017 Logie Award for Best Lifestyle Program. In 2016, Keller was awarded the Order of Australia medal in the Queen’s Birthday honours list, in recognition of her service to broadcast media and the community. In 2017 at the Commercial Radio Awards, she was the first female on-air presenter to be inducted into the ACRA Radio Hall of Fame.
Hughesy, Ed, and Erin
Erin Molan, Dave Hughes, and Ed Kavalee joined forces in 2021, following Hughes and Kavalee’s move from the national drive slot to 2DayFM’s breakfast team. The program most recently had a share of 3.6% in Sydney according to the GfK radio ratings survey. Both Hughes and Kavalee share a long history with Channel 10 where Hughes was a long-time contributor on The Project before more recently hosting Hughesy We Have a Problem and being a judge on The Masked Singer Australia, which had an average 815,000 national audience. Kavalee has been a fixture on 10 for a long time thanks to his work on Have You Been Paying Attention? which has dominated the 8:30pm timeslot this year with an average national total audience of 1.01 million. Molan had a long history at Channel Nine prior to the appointment, mostly on the station’s NRL coverage and anchoring its sports reporting on news bulletins. She is currently a primetime contributor to Sky News Australia and a columnist for The Daily Telegraph.
Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley
Laura Byrne and Brittany Hockley both originally came to fame off the back of their appearances on The Bachelor (Byrne in 2017 and Hockley 2018) but both are now arguably more famous than the beaus they were competing for. In 2019, the close friends launched the podcast Life Uncut which quickly gained traction amongst existing and new fans of the pair. As of the most recent Podcast Ranker by Triton Digital, the podcast is #4 in Australia with 420,677 monthly listeners and 1,241,139 monthly downloads. The Life Uncut brand has recently expanded from beyond the podcast as well with the duo recently releasing a book We Love Love and hosting the pairs first live show in October in front of a sold out crowd of 1200 people.
Sam Pang, Chrissie Swan, and Jonathan Brown
The Melbourne breakfast team for Nova has been in place for six years now, and the show has seen its audience share explode this year. After closing 2021 with an audience share of 6.1%, the show had 9.5% in its most recent GfK radio ratings survey, its best result ever. All three members of the show have also been experiencing success outside of the show. Sam Pang may be the king of 8:30pm with his roles on both HYBPA? and the Front Bar. Chrissie Swan hosts Would I Lie to You? Australia, and is a judge on The Masked Singer Australia. Jonathan Brown is a major part of Fox Footy’s AFL coverage.
Carrie Bickmore might be the most in demand woman in media at the moment following the announcement of her departure from The Project, which she helmed for 13 years. Rumours have had the former Gold Logie winner (2015) going everywhere from 2DayFM breakfast to the Today show. For now, she is continuing to helm her national drive radio program with Tommy Little for the Hit Network, which is regularly one of the top programs in each metro market with a total audience of 1,776,000. Her career has included a stint on Rove Live for four years as well as 10 years at Nova. Bickmore has one of the strongest social media followings in the industry with an Instagram following of 761,000.
Scott Cam has had a long history on Australian television, with the 2014 Gold Logie winner appearing on programs such as Backyard Blitz, Renovation Rescue, Domestic Blitz, Reno Rumble. He is known for hosting The Block. Cam has hosted The Block since 2010, helming the show after its return from a six-year hiatus. Since its return The Block has been a dominant force in the TV ratings surveys, a streak which has continued in 2022 where the show has averaged 1,541,000 total TV viewers. In 2023, Cam will host a new show for Nine, Australia’s Most Identical, which will present the search for the nation’s most identical twins, with Cam a father of twins himself.
Neil Mitchell is a member of the Melbourne Press Club’s Hall of Fame and one of the country’s leading journalists, having worked as a reporter and executive at The Age, an editor of The Herald, and at all three commercial television networks as well as Sky News. Since 1990, Mitchell has hosted the morning program for 3AW where he has been a dominant force, including the most recent GfK radio ratings where he was easily #1 in his timeslot with 16.2%.
Ray Hadley’s morning radio show for 2GB has rated #1 in Sydney since 2004 with 144 consecutive wins. The show also airs every weekday morning on 4BC in Brisbane. His most recent survey result for Sydney was again a market leading 15.6%. Hadley has won 32 Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs), and in 2017 he was inducted to the ACRA Hall of Fame. Hadley is the most awarded broadcaster in the history of the ACRAs.
Ross and Russ
The 3AW breakfast show has achieved over 100 consecutive winning surveys in the Melbourne breakfast slot. Since joining 3AW breakfast in July 2020, Russell Howcroft has cemented his position, alongside Ross Stevenson, as a radio ratings powerhouse. The duo grew their cumulative audience by 17% from Survey 2 – Survey 6 2020 – and their share of audience grew by nearly 50% or 9.5 share points. Former lawyer Stevenson and marketing guru Howcroft have been number one for 17 consecutive surveys, and 3AW Breakfast has continued its overall success, celebrating the number one position for 161 consecutive surveys (dating back to Survey 1 2002). In the most Recent GfK radio ratings survey, the pair had a dominant 19.3% share, easily leading the timeslot in Melbourne.
Tracy Grimshaw has had a career that has spanned over 30 years and is most recognisable for her current role, the host of A Current Affair. Grimshaw joined the Channel Nine Melbourne newsroom in 1981 as a general reporter and in 1985 began presenting the National Nine News. From 1987-89 Grimshaw presented Nine’s national 11.30am half-hour news bulletin. She worked on A Current Affair – Summer Edition for several years, firstly as a reporter. Grimshaw joined the revamped Midday in 1995 as co-host with David Reyne. After her departure from Midday in 1996, she presented Today on Saturday. In November 1996 Grimshaw became co-host of Today with Steve Liebmann – a role she held for nine years. On January 30, 2006, Grimshaw began presenting A Current Affair, replacing previous host Ray Martin. In 2009, Grimshaw won a Walkley Award for Broadcast and Online interviewing after sitting down with Matthew Johns and his wife in relation to allegations of sexual assault. Grimshaw was also nominated for a Gold Logie in 2018. In 2022 so far, ACA has had an average total TV audience of 930,000 viewers, regularly performing well in its timeslot.
Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon
Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon have hosted the long running Today show together since January 4, 2020. So far, throughout 2022 the Today show has averaged just over 300,000 total TV viewers. In 2011 Stefanovic won the Gold and the Silver Logie for Most Popular TV Presenter. Stefanovic has more than 25 years’ experience in television and has worked as a TV journalist in America, New Zealand, and Australia. He took over hosting duties for Today between 2005 and the end of 2018. Stefanovic also hosted Nine’s This Time Next Year, returned to Today at the start of 2020, and has also regularly reported for 60 Minutes. Langdon started with the Nine Network back in 2001 as a producer for Nightline. After working a variety of news roles for the network, in early 2007 she was appointed as the news presenter on Today, filling-in for Georgie Gardner while she was on maternity leave. In 2008, Langdon was appointed as the Friday presenter of Nightline and in 2011 became a reporter for 60 Minutes. In December 2017, Langdon was appointed co-host of Weekend Today replacing Deborah Knight. In late 2019, Langdon was made the co-host of the new look Today show with the returning Stefanovic.
David Koch and Natalie Barr
David Koch and Natalie Barr have helmed Sunrise together since March of 2021, but both have a long and storied history with the program. Koch is currently in his 20th year co-hosting Sunrise, a role he has held since 2002, making him one of Australia’s longest-serving breakfast television anchors. Sunrise has celebrated 18 consecutive years of ratings wins in the breakfast timeslot during Koch’s tenure. He is also one of Australia’s foremost business and finance commentators and is the owner of Pinstripe Media, Startup Daily, and co-founded ausbiz. Since 1994, Barr has been part of Channel Seven, and for the best part of 19 years, she has been an integral part of Sunrise. In March 2021, she took over from Samantha Armytage as co-host alongside Koch. This year marks Natalie’s 19th year with Sunrise, making her one of Australia’s longest-serving breakfast television anchors. So far this year, the pair has been a dominant force in breakfast television with a total TV audience of over 400,000 viewers.
Sonia Kruger is one of the busiest women in television. In the past year alone she has helmed Channel 7’s The Voice, The Voice Generations, Big Brother, and co-hosted Dancing With The Stars: All Stars alongside Daryl Somers. She has been a consistent ratings winner for Seven with her shows performing well especially when looking at average total TV audiences:
The Voice 1,386,000
Big Brother 771,000
Kruger first joined Seven in 1997 as a member of the morning and news show 11AM as its entertainment reporter. She remained with the program for two years before moving to Today Tonight. Between 2004 and 2011 Kruger co-hosted 11 seasons of Seven’s Dancing With The Stars. She was also a regular guest reporter for the network’s weekly current affairs program Sunday Night. Kruger moved to the Nine Network in 2012 where she hosted Big Brother and The Voice Australia, and was on TV every weekday morning on Today Extra. In 2020, Kruger returned to the Seven Network and has been one of the network’s primetime staples ever since.
Osher Günsberg has been the go to man for 10 in recent years, hosting The Masked Singer Australia, The Bachelor Australia, The Bachelorette Australia, and Bachelor In Paradise, as well as narrating Bondi Rescue. In 2023, Günsberg will host a new format of the Bachelor franchise, The Bachelors. From 1999-2009, Günsberg worked as a music VJ on Foxtel’s Channel [V], hosting national hit radio program Take 40 Australia and co-hosted Network 10’s Australian Idol. Günsberg’s radio career began in 1994 at Brisbane’s B105, he then went on to host Take 40 Australia, The Hot Hits Live from LA, Hit105’s Stav, Abby & Matt with Osher breakfast show and Osher’s Love Line nationally on the HIT Network. Günsberg has also hosted several podcasts including Better Than Yesterday, DadPod with Charlie Clausen, Idle Australians with James Mathieson, ABC’s Tall Tales & True and Love Life with Leanne Hall. His Better Than Yesterday podcast has had over 9.6million downloads and has 37,000 listens a week. He also recently appeared for SBS hosting the documentary A Matter Of Life And Death in 2021.
Christian O’Connell has become a dominant force in Melbourne breakfast radio since launching The Christian O’Connell Show on Gold 104.3. Before joining ARN, O’Connell was the host of the Christian O’Connell Breakfast Show on Absolute Radio in the UK. He is the youngest ever inductee into the UK’s Radio Academy Hall of Fame and has won more Radio Academy Awards than any other person. In 2008 he joined Absolute Radio UK, where his national Breakfast show was broadcast to over 2 million people. In 2018, O’Connell joined Gold where he grew his audience share to 10.2% in the most recent GfK radio ratings survey, establishing the program as the undisputed leader in FM breakfast in the market.
Abbie Chatfield has done a lot since 2019, where she was the runner up on Matt Agnew’s season of The Bachelor. Since then, Chatfield has gone about establishing herself as one of the fastest rising stars and most talked about names in the industry, cultivating a large online following with almost 430,000 Instagram followers. Achievements include winning I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here in 2021, creating and hosting the popular It’s A Lot podcast, hosting a national radio show Hot Nights with Abbie Chatfield on the Hit Network, as well as TV hosting which included Love Island Afterparty, Abbie Chats, and being a panellist on The Masked Singer. At the end of 2021, Chatfield moved her popular podcast from Nova to SCA’s LiSTNR where it most recently was ranked the #13 podcast in the country with 246,202 monthly listeners and 599,946 downloads according to the Triton Digital Podcast Ranker. Chatfield also moved into live events in 2022, hosting A Hot Night with Abbie Chatfield which had sold out shows in Adelaide, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney. She also launched her popular clothing line Verbose and partnering with Vush to sell her own brand of vibrator.
Ben Fordham is the top show in town, and that town is the biggest market in Australia: Sydney. Since Fordham moved from the drive slot to take over breakfast from Alan Jones in 2020, he has grown the show’s market leading share to 16.9% in the most recent radio ratings survey. Fordham is a Walkley Award-winning journalist who spent a decade as 2GB’s Drivetime host where he consistently topped the ratings. He has also worked extensively in TV, mostly for Channel Nine where he had stints on the Today show, A Current Affair, 60 Minutes, and Australian Ninja Warrior.
Hamish Blake and Andy Lee
Hamish Blake and Andy Lee have been industry leading entertainers, writers, producers, comedians, and media performers for over two decades. Blake and Lee started their radio careers in 2003 hosting the 10pm slot on Monday nights for Fox FM, before moving to Saturday mornings in 2004 and eventually a national drive show in 2006 for the Hit Network. At the end of 2017, they moved solely to podcasting where their podcast, Hamish & Andy, has regularly dominated the podcast rankings. In 2020 they launched another podcast, Hamish & Andy: The Remembering Project. The Hamish & Andy podcast is currently the top podcast in the country according to the Triton Digital Podcast Ranker with 966,714 monthly listeners and 2,145,919 monthly downloads. Hamish & Andy’s Remembering Project is also the #40 podcast in the country with 110,428 monthly listeners and 274,750 monthly downloads. Blake and Lee have also had success as TV personalities, producers, and creators producing programs together such as Caravan of Courage, Gap Year, True Story with Hamish & Andy, and Hamish & Andy’s ‘Perfect’ Holiday. In recent years, Blake and Lee have also had successful solo TV careers. Blake is the host of Lego Masters Australia on Nine which has average of 1,288,000 total TV viewers. Lee hosted The Cube for 10 before hosting The Hundred on Nine, and hosts the popular Australia Open segment Guess Whom? Lee is also a celebrated children’s author for Do Not Open This Book and Hamish is co-author with his wife Zoë Foster Blake, of Textbook Romance – a User’s Guide to Successful Romancing.
Kyle Sandilands / Jackie O
Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O Henderson have had a historic run in FM radio, dominating the breakfast slot since 2004 across two different stations. The pair is still going from strength to strength after winning a 30th consecutive survey (FM breakfast) and registering its highest cumulative audience ever in the most recent radio ratings survey. Sandilands and Henderson also have the #6 podcast in the country according to Triton Digital Podcast Ranker, with its catch up podcast having 404,700 monthly listeners and 1,720,820 monthly downloads. In 1999, Sandilands joined Henderson on the 2Day Network’s nightly Hot 30 Countdown, shifting to the Drive seat at the Network four years later. In the summer of 2004, Sandilands and Henderson took over the reins of the 2DayFM Breakfast Show. In January 2014, the pair moved to Sydney’s newest station, KIIS 106.5 (formerly Mix 106.5), to host the breakfast show. They went on to help establish KIIS as one of the most popular FM stations in Sydney and won a record seven ACRA Awards for Best On-Air Team. The duo has also been successful on TV, with the pair co-hosting Big Brother in 2008. Sandilands was also a judge on Network 10’s Australian Idol from 2005 – 2009 and in 2010 Sandilands was a judge on Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent followed by X-Factor in 2011. Henderson started her television career in 1997 on 10’s Ground Zero. Since then, she has hosted Popstars, Undercover Angels, Access All Areas, Australian Princess, The Masked Singer and Logie and ARIAs red carpets.