Sharri Markson named new media editor for The Australian, vows to bring more ‘attitude’



The Australian has this morning announced Sharri Markson has accepted the role of media editor, with the former Cleo editor signalling there will be no let up in the battle between News Corp and the ABC telling Mumbrella: “I enjoy a good media war”.

Markson replaces Nick Leys who announced earlier this week that he had accepted a role at the ABC as head of corporate communications, after just a fortnight in the role.

Speaking to Mumbrella this morning Markson, the section’s sixth editor in five years, said it will have “attitude” under her editorship.

“It’s going to be an exciting section every Monday. An addictive must-read media section with attitude and breaking stories”, said Markson.

“I accepted the job yesterday, it is one of the best jobs in journalism. It is a really exciting area there is huge potential for the section — it’s a must read for anyone in the marketing, media and public relations industry and I can’t wait to break stories and get stuck in,” she said.

Sharri markson tweet

“My approach will be to break stories and make sure we are ahead in every single area and to make sure we beat Mumbrella, AdNews and the Financial Review on every single yarn. I’m the most competitive person around.”

Markson’s competitive nature was revealed last year, by the section she will now edit, when she found to have rifled through the bin of rival Bauer title Cosmopolitan for information about their upcoming edition. She has also appeared on the ABC’s Media Watch program which criticised her in the wake of the London 7/7 bombings for sneaking into a hospital with flowers to find Australian victims of the attack.

In November, last year Markson announced she was leaving Bauer Media after the publisher announced it was merging the editorial teams of Cleo and sister publication Dolly to be led by one editor, with Markson who had been in the role for only 11 months, reportedly choosing not to apply for the role which went to Lucy Cousins.

Asked how she would cover her former employer Markson said she did not see an issue.

“Everyone who has worked as media editor has worked at different companies before I don’t think that’s a drama at all. I have worked at News Limited, I’ve worked at Channel Seven, I’ve worked at Bauer I think that just gives me more experiences and more contacts to do the job really really well,” she said.

With The Australian focusing much of its coverage, in recent days, on the ABC and the government’s criticism of the public broadcaster Markson said she had no problem with the editorial line taken by editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell.

“I enjoy a good media war. I welcome it,” she said.

However, she also added that she was perplexed by her predecessor Nick Leys’ decision to move to a corporate spin doctor role.

“I find it hard to understand if you’re a journo and you’re a true journo why you would take a job doing PR like Nick Leys has,” said Markson. “It will be interesting to see what he does.”

Markson is a former chief of staff at the Sunday Telegraph and senior producer at Channel Seven. While at Seven Markson was part of the team that won a Walkley Award for its coverage of how NSW Government favoured big political donors with its decision to support ethanol blended petrol.

She will start at The Australian on February 17.

Nic Christensen 


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