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‘We’ve never been more confident’: Shameless Media set for huge 2024

Shameless Media has this week announced a new content series and expansions to its existing pillars at its inaugural upfront events in Melbourne and Sydney. Speaking exclusively to Mumbrella, co-founders Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews dove into the new news.

While February is not the typical time for upfronts, McDonald explained that Shameless likes to “do things differently”.

“We’ve always joked about it, but we are very good at staying in our own lane and doing things on our timeline in a way that suits us, rather than sticking to a regular calendar,” she told Mumbrella.

“We can create the same buzz and excitement, be it in February or the typical end of year time.”

Co-founders Zara McDonald and Michelle Andrews at the Melbourne upfront on Tuesday

Launching in May, Shameless’ new venture ‘Style-ish’ will aim to redefine how Australia speaks about fashion.

Made up of a new podcast, newsletter and social content series, the offering will blend the latest trends, expert insights, business background and behind-the-scenes exclusives into all things fashion.

“Our audience is already loving the fashion content we put out, and we only do a little bit. The click through rate and engagement has just been a really wonderful confirmation for us in the decision to launch a new show,” Andrews said.

“We’re not going to launch something we’re not passionate about, but fashion feels so authentic to us and it’s something our community has been loving already. We’ve never been more confident about a launch because of that.”

Shameless’ commitment to inclusivity and authenticity will be spotlighted through Style-ish, with three new co-hosts – a beauty aficionado, fashion fanatic and fashion insider – talking to a variety of industry contributors and content creators every week.

It will aim to be the go-to destination for fashion fans, according to Andrews.

“Given how visual fashion is, it’s going to have a really thriving social element too, and we’re so excited to involve so many fresh faces,” she told Mumbrella.

“We’re currently working on an incredible columnist roster and we’re looking forward to bringing Style-ish to life with a bunch of different women from all walks of life.”

Also announced this week, Shameless’ existing Everybody Has A Secret and The Shameless Book Club pillars will be getting a “glow-up”.

Everybody Has A Secret will move from a seasonal show, to a weekly one, starting in April.

To meet the new frequency of the show, Louis Hansen will join existing host Annabelle Lee as the permanent co-host. Rounding out the pillar’s ecosystem, the popular Ask Shameless newsletter will move under the Everybody Has a Secret umbrella.

Andrews said: “The way EHAS [Everybody Has A Secret] has exploded has taken us so by surprise. This was a show we had always planned to be seasonal, but we’ve had about 4 million downloads and over half a million social followers.

“People are so obsessed with this series, and now we’re in a position as a business to take it weekly.”

The Shameless team. (L-R): Rhiannon Joyce, Michelle Andrews, Zara McDonald, Anjana Khallouf, Lucy Hunt

Also in response to audience appetites, The Shameless Book Club will become an (almost) weekly show with four regular features – The Book Club Review, Author Interviews, Stranger Than Fiction and the newly launched The Adaptation.

“We’re doing four episodes a month,” McDonald explained.

“And each episode is different so there is something for everyone.

“We want to remind our community that it is not exclusive – you don’t even have to read a book for three out of four of the episodes! The point of expanding the book club is for our audience who just love stories, content and literature.”

This move aims to allow Shameless’ book enthusiasts a deeper dive into the world of literature, by exploring more diverse genres and engaging in thought-provoking conversations without always needing to read a book.

As part of the expansion, Shameless has also announced a new partnership with Irish whisky brand Baileys called The Tastemakers.

“This has been a huge investment and about a year in the making,” McDonald continued.

“It’s this incredible bespoke video idea where one of our hosts, Gemma Dimond, interviews people about how they indulge and read, and we’re really excited to launch that.

“To now have four shows that are always on, that is a huge hurdle for a business of our size, but we have built out a team now where we have the resources to push ourselves and keep building momentum.”

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