Punch’s Penbo pushes into TV. But he’s not king of all media just yet

The Punch editor David Penberthy is to take his brand into a third medium with the debut of a weekly politics show on Sky News tomorrow.  

Like the former Daily Telegraph editor’s website and newspaper column, the TV show will also be called The Punch.

It will air on Sky News at 12.30pm AEST on Thursdays during parliamentary sitting weeks. Penberthy launched The Punch’s comment-driven website just over two months ago.

In the US, TV radio and movie star Howard Stern is known as king of all media. When Mumbrella put it to Penberthy that he could be the Australian equivalent, he said: “Please don’t write that. There’s a very big difference between schlepping into a TV studio and being yourself and trying to run it as a presenter. I’m actually quite nervous as I’ve had no real TV training.”

He said the format would feature himself plus a couple of guests drawn from The Punch’s staff and contributors. He said: “A typical show could be 50% Turbull, 50% talking about something like the Kyle Sandilands schemozzle.

“Because I haven’t done any TV I don’t want to turn up and turn myself into a multimedia extravaganza from the beginning. I just want to get the thing on the air. But later on we may have someone in another studio monitoring email, comments on the site and what people are saying on Twitter and feeding it back in.”

Meanwhile, he said that the online audience for The Punch had exceeded expectations. He claimed: “We’ve done about twice as well as we thought in the first two months.”

Sky News is also launching a second new politics show called The Contrarians in the same timeslot on Fridays featuring columnist and author Peter van Onselen.


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