Aspirational luxury travel supplement ‘Highflyer’ takes off

Helmed by the Financial Review’s travel editor, Fiona Carruthers, Highflyer is out tomorrow (Friday 23 February) as a supplement insert in the March issue of AFR Magazine as well as on

For anyone who has always wondered which airline has the longest beds, who does a sliding privacy door in business class, or how the various champagnes they pour compare, Highflyer is unashamedly aimed at the luxury travel market. 

The new annual 44-page guide in print will be regularly updated on, and seeks to make frequent fliers’ lives easier by curating a “one stop shop” guide to the front end of the plane specifically designed for the Australian market, focusing on the airlines most relevant to us.

Fiona Carruthers, Financial Review Travel Editor, said: “Flying up the pointy end tops many aspirational travel lists these days. Australians are hostage to the tyranny of distance – when we take to the air, we want to do it in style. A 24-hour flight can end up comprising a reasonable chunk of your overall holiday experience; the time and research consumers put into understanding what the various airlines offer reflects that.”

In a nod to how hot the travel and aviation sectors are, the Financial Review welcomes back Rear Window’s Joe Aston as a guest columnist in Highflyer. Aston’s trademark style will be applied to the topic of how you can survive landing at LAX or Heathrow. He also shares his tips for where to eat, stay and dine in Los Angeles (where he lived for a number of years) and in London, a city he visits regularly. Drinks writer Max Allen’s guide to the best drops in the sky is also not to be missed.

With the luxury travel and aviation booming, Highflyer has allowed Nine to strengthen its offering in those sectors. Brands that feature in Highflyer include Silversea as our media sponsor, as well as other valued partners including Virgin Australia, Scenic, Captain’s Choice, Celebrity Cruises, Orlebar Brown and Paspaley.

Amanda Upton, Nine Publishing’s head of luxury, said: “I am so proud of this new venture. From a commercial standpoint as soon as Fiona proposed the idea I knew it would be an outstanding success. Knowing how well airline content resonates with our audience, there is an insatiable appetite for content about the pointy end of aviation and this magazine and digital collection will not disappoint!”  

With Highflyer, the Financial Review cements itself as the home of “news you can use” when it comes to aviation, and especially to turning left on boarding your flight. The first issue also covers how the big airlines that fly to the US, UK and Europe stack up at the front of the plane; route maps with handy hacks such as the best stopover locations; expert tips on packing; road testing airline amenity kits and how best to use frequent flyer points.

Highflyer will appear as a 44-page bound supplement in the March issue of AFR Magazine tomorrow Friday, February 23.

For further information, please contact:
Adrian Motte
Senior Communications Manager – Trade & Publishing

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Penrith Panthers meet Wigan in World Cup Challenge on Sunday

Panthers halfback and 2023 NRL Grand Final hero Nathan Cleary will have his troops fired up to claim the silverware after their upset defeat in last season’s World Club Challenge. 

Stars Brian To’o, James Fisher-Harris, Dylan Edwards and Liam Martin will all line up to bring home the missing piece in the Panthers’ mighty run of rugby league dominance.

Channel 9 expert commentator Phil Gould said: “After winning three consecutive NRL premierships, the Panthers really need to have the title of World Club Champions on their list of achievements. 

“They missed a golden opportunity to win that title when they hosted St Helen’s at home last year. I’m sure that loss will be burning inside them. 

“Wigan are a proud rugby league club with a great history and will provide stern opposition. It should be a great game.” 

In commentary on Nine’s Wide World of Sports will be Phil Gould, Brad Fittler, Paul Gallen and Brenton Speed with host James Bracey.


Sydney/Melbourne AEDT      6.30am LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now
Brisbane AEST                      5.30am LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now


Before their clash with the Wigan Warriors on Sunday at Wigan’s home ground, relive the Panthers’ epic charge to a third successive NRL premiership in 2023, when episode 2 of Undisputed drops exclusively on 9Now this Friday, February 23, at 12 noon AEDT. Watch here.


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘Nobody wants a podcast about advertising’ – AdMission pod launches with Russel Howcroft and Freddie Young

AdMission tells the uncensored stories behind the world’s most talked about brands, ideas, campaigns, advertising news and industry screw ups, as well as offering sharp insight into some of the greatest creative ideas and businesses. 

Bringing their own unique perspectives to the pod, Russel and Freddie offer listeners the ‘then’ and ‘now’ of advertising. Russel is Melbourne’s number one rating breakfast radio host (on 3AW with Ross Stevenson), with a lifetime of knowledge and experience shaped in the glory days of advertising, and Freddie; a millennial working in a fragmented media landscape dominated by strict standards, an ever changing sociocultural landscape, and not to mention TikTok.  

Together, they bicker, agree to disagree, and reveal the tricks, history and philosophy behind some of the world’s most recognisable brands, all while attempting to answer some of the biggest marketing dilemmas facing the industry: How has Donald Trump become the favourite again to win the US Election? Why doesn’t traditional advertising make money anymore?  How has Taylor Swift become the most marketable person on the planet? Why is wine the hardest product to advertise?

Russel Howcroft said: “I’m actually really excited to see the results of this experiment. I’ve challenged 26-year-old Freddie Young, from Good One, to prove that he knows way more about advertising than I do. Good luck, Freddie. Tune in to find out.”

Freddie Young said: “I’m really looking forward to us having the time to sit down and flesh some of these ideas out. I like giving him a hard time but, truthfully, we’re yet to broach a subject about which he hasn’t got an honest-to-god opinion. Whenever something in the news catches my attention, he’s the first person I’ll ask about it; for context, for colour. He’s a walking library of Australian business, media, and culture. Except libraries could probably teach him a thing or two about how to shut up.”

AdMission launches today, Tuesday 20th February and will be dropping weekly wherever you get your podcasts.


For further information, please contact:
Caitlin Lynch 
Senior Communications Manager, Nine

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Victoria Racing Club, Tabcorp and Nine enter landmark deal for Melbourne Cup Carnival

The landmark agreement will see the VRC and Tabcorp enter a game changing partnership combining enhanced year-round sponsorship, and domestic and international media rights for the Carnival.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival will be broadcast on all SKY platforms and the TAB app, with Tabcorp having the right to on-sell the coverage to wagering providers.

Nine will be the free to air partner of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, including audio-visual rights for broadcast, streaming, mobile, digital and social platforms. Tabcorp will be the exclusive wagering integration partner for Nine’s broadcast of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

The new rights package means that Nine will be the broadcast home of Penfolds Derby Day, Lexus Melbourne Cup Day, VRC Oaks Day and TAB Champions Stakes Day. All four days of the Carnival – one of the nation’s most significant cultural events – will be broadcast live and free in high-definition on Channel 9 and streamed on 9Now.

The partnership allows the VRC to invest strategically for the long term in the key areas of the Melbourne Cup Carnival, member engagement, the year-round racing program, Flemington Racecourse tracks and facilities, and the broader community.  It will also bring significant new investment to the racing industry which will support and fund innovations on and off the track, create new jobs, and further enhance equine welfare initiatives.

The agreement represents a partnership encompassing broadcast, content, partnership rights and race naming rights. This partnership will create significant exposure for the brands and their partners as it brings together the biggest names in sport.

VRC Chairman Neil Wilson said that this was an important strategic announcement for the industry, Tabcorp, Nine and the VRC. 

“The VRC is delighted to extend and enhance its long-term partnership with Tabcorp. As Australia’s first major event, the Melbourne Cup Carnival will sit very appropriately in the calendar of Nine’s Wide World of Sport major event coverage,” Mr Wilson said.  

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is Australia’s pre-eminent racing event, and the partnership continues the VRC’s unwavering commitment to showcasing the very best the sport of racing has to offer and attracting new fans to the sport.  

“The iconic nature of the event was highlighted by a successful 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, with more than 262,000 racing fans at Flemington and millions more engaging with the Lexus Melbourne Cup at home and abroad.

“The Melbourne Cup Carnival is one of Australia’s most culturally and economically important major events, and it is right here in Melbourne – considered by many as the sporting capital of the world.

“As its custodians, the VRC places significant emphasis on protecting the history and tradition of Cup Week, which is loved by so many Australians, while innovating for the future and investing in our club and the major event that is the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“This landmark partnership is not only good for Melbourne and Victorian racing, but it also guarantees our sport has primacy across multiple platforms and channels.

“The partnership will enhance the community engagement and economic contribution that followed the 2023 Melbourne Cup Carnival, which saw more than $500,000 raised for different charity groups, an estimated 16,000 jobs generated and the delivery of thousands of visitors to Victoria from interstate and international locations, highlighting the broader impact of the event,” Mr Wilson said. 

The Melbourne Cup Carnival delivered $422.1 million in economic benefit to Victoria in 2022, making it the largest economic contributor to the state of any major annual sporting event in the past decade, with early modelling suggesting the 2023 economic impact will be even greater than 2022.

In 2022, one in two adult Australians engaged with Lexus Melbourne Cup Day in some way and in 2023, the race itself was broadcast to 209 countries and territories with a potential global reach of 750 million people. 

A key component of the partnership will see the VRC take the reins on managing the production for racing coverage through VRC Media, working closely with Tabcorp and Nine to elevate the way racing is broadcast across the globe. 

VRC Chief Executive Officer Steve Rosich said the partnership underlined the club’s strategic commitment to being a world leader in racing, media, sponsorship, and event experience. 

“The partnership with Tabcorp and the arrangements with Nine have been developed by our close strategic alignment and a desire to grow and innovate in our industry,” Mr Rosich said. 

“We are thrilled that in 2024 the Melbourne Cup Carnival will join the Nine big event stable alongside the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Australian Open and State of Origin.

“Nine’s capability to showcase coverage of Melbourne Cup Carnival racing and events across the depth of their leading broadcast and streaming assets make for a compelling partnership outcome.”

Mr Rosich also thanked previous Melbourne Cup Carnival broadcast partner Network 10.

“The VRC acknowledges and thanks Network 10 for bringing together exceptional coverage of the Melbourne Cup Carnival since 2019. In partnership with Network 10 the VRC has expanded the range and reach of Cup Week across domestic and international audiences, and we were delighted to finish the partnership on a high, with increased viewership on Network 10 and 10 Play.”

Tabcorp CEO, Adam Rytenskild, said: “Tabcorp’s partnership with the VRC and Nine is the most innovative in Australian sport and we can’t wait to bring our entire digital, broadcast and retail ecosystem together to grow and promote the Melbourne Cup Carnival together.”

“This partnership builds on Tabcorp winning the 20-year Victorian exclusive wagering licence and will be a key pillar of our growth strategy. Together with our Brand and Customer transformation, this partnership gives us a terrific platform to grow in Victoria, throughout Australia and around the world as we beam the Cup to more than 60 different countries through Sky Racing.”

Nine CEO, Mike Sneesby said: “The Melbourne Cup is an iconic Australian sporting event and has been part of our nation’s cultural fabric for more than 160 years. It has a rich heritage, synonymous with legendary sporting names such as Phar Lap and Makybe Diva, and Nine is honoured to be able to broadcast this world-renowned event across our platforms from 2024.”

Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines said the arrangements were important to the Victorian racing industry for many reasons. 

“The Government looks forward to the VRC working with Tabcorp and Nine to grow the Victorian racing audience and find new and innovative ways to showcase this iconic sporting and cultural event to the world.”

During the Melbourne Cup Carnival, Flemington hosts 37 races worth more than $30 million including eight Group 1 races, highlighted by the $8.4 million Group 1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).

For further information, please contact:
VRC – Kelly Price, 0430 044 742 or
Tabcorp – Kat Morgan, 0467 072 535 or
Nine – Caitlin Lynch, 0432 047 721 or

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The NRL’s ultimate top 50 revealed

Nine’s publishing and digital brands have combined to bring together an incredible judging panel featuring rugby league Immortal Andrew Johns, State of Origin and NRL Premiership winning captains Darren Lockyer and Brad Fittler, respected journalists Andrew WebsterRoy Masters (former Dally M Coach of the year), Michael ChammasEmma LawrenceAdam PengillyDanika Mason and former Australian Jillaroo Allana Ferguson.

Revealing 10 names a day from today to Friday, February 23, the Herald and will give footy fans the definitive list of top 50 players from the best judges available in the game.

Each judge has picked their top 30 players in the NRL, ranking them 1-30, with their No.1 being allocated 30 points with points decreasing by one all the way down to pick 30. After votes were cast the points were tallied and the final list was determined, with the judges writing their analysis of their chosen players throughout the week. 

Will it be wonder kid Reece Walsh, the Prince of Penrith Nathan Cleary, Melbourne’s magic man Cameron Munster, Rabbitohs fullback Latrell Mitchell or another one of the NRL’s galaxy of superstars? 

Head of Sport at The Sydney Morning Herald, Ian Fuge, said: “What makes this list particularly fascinating for me is that we drew on the expert opinions of 10 judges to compile what I think is a pretty definitive list. Our judging panel included former playing greats, an immortal and journos from across Nine’s platforms, WWOS and the Herald. 

“They did a terrific job and the list they came up with shows just how much amazing talent there is in the NRL at the moment, including one very special player, our No.1, who picked up a maximum of 300 votes out of 300. Surely we are talking about a future immortal.”

Read the 50-41 in The Sydney Morning Herald today here.

Monday, February 19, 2024

New travel site to tap into Australia’s love of travel

The new travel site is a destination for travel news, reviews, guides, travel tips and hacks and a dedicated section for cruising and exclusive deals.

9Travel was developed after demand from audiences and advertisers, along with exclusive Nine research, showing that one in two readers are planning on travelling in the next 12 months. *

Previously travel content sat within the 9Honey vertical, but for the first time will have a stand alone site dedicated to travel.

“Despite cost of living pressures, Australians are saving to support their love of travel, both at home and overseas. Our new site will help families find the best deals and latest travel news to help them plan their dream trip,” said Director Kerri Elstub.

“With a focus on popular destinations like Queensland, New Zealand, Bali, Fiji, and Hawaii, plus a selection of cruising, short trips and weekend getaways, we’ll have something for every traveller.”

9Travel will be run by editor Kristine Tarbert, who is currently on maternity leave, Acting Editor is Jemima Skelly and media personality Sami Lukis has joined the site as an ambassador and a contributing writer.

“I’m beyond excited to be joining the team!” said Lukis.  “As someone who has always been travel obsessed, it’s a dream come true. I can’t wait to hit the road, and the air, and the oceans and share my fabulous travels with the 9Travel audience!”

9Travel will sit alongside, 9News, WWOS, 9Honey, Product Reviews, Entertainment and Property to make up the offerings on which reaches 10 million Australians every month. (IPSOS November)

*Nine Audience Insights survey across 9honey on 17th – 30th October 2023.

For further information, please contact:
Adrian Motte
Senior Communications Manager – Trade & Publishing 

Monday, February 19, 2024

No challenge off the table for The Block’s Eliza and Liberty in ‘Try Before You Die’ podcast

In every episode the girls challenge themselves and each other to push beyond their boundaries. Whether it’s attempting speed dating, life drawing, larping, veganism, stand-up comedy, or any other trend capturing the zeitgeist – Eliza and Liberty want to Try Before You Die.

The podcast also allows the self-confessed ‘spinster sisters’ to passionately debate topics at hand, whilst sharing their own real and raw life experiences. They want to hold themselves accountable and face their fears head on, no matter how overwhelming they seem.

Liberty said: “I want to continue doing things that scare me and challenge me, as this is where the magic happens. I hope this resonates with our listeners, and they too can join us outside of their comfort zones.”

Eliza feels differently, saying: “To be honest, I’m not that excited about feeling uncomfortable and inevitably making a fool of myself, but doing this stuff is teaching us a lot about ourselves and making us feel alive!”

Try Before You Die launches on Thursday 15th February with new episodes dropping weekly everywhere you get your podcasts. 


For further information, please contact:
Caitlin Lynch 
Senior Communications Manager, Nine

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Footy season fires up with NRL All Stars Indigenous vs Maori

The Indigenous All Stars feature the finest NRL and NRLW players in the game with Latrell Mitchell, Nicho Hynes and Tamika Upton all lining up at Queensland Country Bank Stadium in Townsville for a ripping evening of footy. 

The freakishly fast Hamiso Tabui-Fidow (Dolphins), Josh Addo-Carr (Bulldogs) and Alofiana Khan-Pereira (Titans) are all set to jet, as well as Broncos lethal weapon Kotoni Staggs.

The Māori All Stars, led by Brandon Smith and Joseph Tapine, are out for revenge after going down on home soil in New Zealand last year, Brandon Smith and Joseph Tapine to lead the charge for them.

Indigenous All Stars player, and reigning Preston Campbell Medalist Nicho Hynes, said: “This game is a very special fixture and hugely important because it allows us to reconnect with our culture and then go out on the field and express that to the whole nation.”

“We’ve got some of the most entertaining and skilled players in the game in our team with Latrell, Kotoni Staggs, Josh Addo-Carr and Hamiso Tabui-Fidow, I can’t wait to get out there and defend our win from last year.

“What we do out on the field we hope inspires the next generation of Australians to learn about First Nations culture, because this is more than a game.”

Three Indigenous All Stars v Māori All Stars clashes will play out with coverage beginning at 4.30pm AEDT with Touch Football, followed by the Women’s and Men’s fixtures. 

Featuring on Nine’s Wide World of Sports coverage of the 2024 All Stars fixture will be proud First Nations people Johnathan Thurston and Marlee Silva live from the ground in Townsville, while host James Bracey is be joined by experts Andrew Johns, Billy Slater, Ruan Sims andmatch callers Mat Thompson and Brenton Speed.


Touch Football NRL Indigenous All Stars v Māori All Stars
Sydney/Melbourne AEDT      4.30pm LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now
Brisbane AEST                      3.30pm LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now

Women’s NRL Indigenous All Stars v Māori All Stars
Sydney/Melbourne AEDT      5.30pm LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now
Brisbane AEST                      4.30pm LIVE on 9GemHD, stream free on 9Now

Men’s NRL Indigenous All Stars v Māori All Stars
Sydney/Melbourne AEDT      7.30pm LIVE on Channel 9HD, stream free on 9Now
Brisbane AEST                      6.30pm LIVE on 9GemHD, 7.00pm switching to Channel 9HD, stream free on 9Now


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Nine Radio live streaming snapshot January 2024

January figures for Nine Radio, verified by Triton, show huge spikes in both session starts and listening hours, compared with the same time last year.

+25% YoY
+24% YoY

January highlights include:

  • The fresh new 3AW lineup has helped boost the station’s live streaming growth 26% YoY, with Mornings with Tom Elliott +30% YoY, Afternoons with Tony Moclair +38% and Drive with Jacqui Felgate +26% YoY. 
  • New 2GB Afternoons presenter Michael McLaren also grew live streaming audiences +52%, and Money News with Deb Knight increased a staggering +77% YoY.  
  • The key Breakfast and Mornings shifts increased across the network, with 2GB’s Ben Fordham Live +28% YoY, the Ray Hadley Morning Show +31% YoY, and 3AW’s Breakfast with Ross and Russ +21% YoY. 

Nine Radio Head of Content, Greg Byrnes, said: “This surge in streaming sets up another dominant year of talk radio and reinforces the strategy behind the content and line up changes across the country.

“Last year’s Radio360 data showed Nine’s talk stations absolutely dominate the live audio streaming market and these figures demonstrate that even more Aussies are engaging with our live and local content through a connected device in 2024.”

Nine’s Director of Sales, Total Audio, Ashley Earnshaw, said: “There has never been a better time for advertisers to drive more impactful campaigns through a Total Audio approach with Nine.

“With audiences continuing to increase in Nine’s live audio streaming environment, we have more opportunity than ever before to harness our premium data segmentation with Nine Tribes, which ultimately leads to more effective solutions for brands.”

Source: Triton Streaming Metrics, January 1-31 2024, Session Starts, Total Listening Hours (TLH), Nine – 2GB, 3AW, 4BC, 6PR Unless otherwise specified.

For further information, please contact:
Caitlin Lynch
Senior Communications Manager, Nine

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Australia to wake up with the country’s most renowned journalists on ‘The Morning Edition’

Hosted by journalist Samantha Selinger-Morris, the podcast – which will drop every weekday at 5am – will feature the Herald and Age’s award-winning journalists such as Kate McClymont exposing Australia’s biggest scandals and fraudsters; Nick McKenzie revealing his latest blockbuster investigation, or Ross Gittins explaining economics as only Ross can. 

The Morning Edition have two regular episodes: Peter Hartcher every Thursday to dissect the biggest issues at home and abroad, and on Friday Jacqueline Maley and David Crowe take you behind the biggest stories in Canberra.

“I have a burning desire to understand what’s going on, and here I get to speak to some of the finest – and most experienced – minds in the business,” said Samantha Selinger-Morris. “What a joy and relief it is when they help me, and by extension our listeners, to understand the swirling political, environmental, and often criminal forces that surround us.” 

The Morning Edition is the latest iteration of the Please Explain podcast, which launched in 2018. Originally a weekly insight into the news it has evolved into Australia’s best daily news podcast, and has been the recipient of Best Daily Podcast at the 2023 Australian Podcast Awards.

“Our podcast has evolved considerably over the past six years and we’re incredibly excited that evolution continues today as the name becomes The Morning Edition,” said Chris Paine, Head of Premium Content for the metro mastheads.

“It may be a new name and a new look, but the DNA remains: the story behind the story with the best journalists in the country. And with Sam behind the microphone, I cannot wait to see The Morning Edition grow to become every Australian’s news podcast of choice.”

Head of podcasting, Ruby Schwartz, said: “I am looking forward to seeing where Sam takes The Morning Edition in 2024. She is a brilliant and inquisitive host who helps me better understand the big stories of the day through her rigorous and thoughtful questions. And with a US presidential election just around the corner, and geopolitical struggles not seen in generations taking place, that’s never been more important.”

The Morning Edition is available through The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, WAToday and major podcast platforms Spotify, Google and Apple.

For further information, please contact:
Adrian Motte
Senior Communications Manager – Trade & Publishing

Monday, February 12, 2024