News 'sticking to podcasts' in Oz as UK butts BBC

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News Corp Australia - which last week launched a new news podcast - says it has "no plans" to follow its UK sister company into the talk radio arena.

While News UK's move has been seen as a bid to lure listeners from the cash-strapped BBC, the Australian operation - which is a strong critic of national broadcaster the ABC - says it is sticking to podcasts.

"Our audio strategy remains focused on creating original, high quality podcasts and maturing our voice strategy and presence," a News Corp Australia spokesperson told GXpress.'s new weekday podcast, From the Newsroom pitches "busy millennials" with "bite-sized news" presented by two former entertainment reporters. News promises the 'Bucky and Bronte' team of Andrew Bucklow and Bronte Coy will deliver breaking news and the biggest headlines of the day "in an engaging way" in under seven minutes.

Available on the homepage from 7.00am weekdays or via Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify, the podcast is sponsored by telecom giant Optus.

In a statement at the announcement, head of audio Del Fordham said short-form podcasts are where News sees the market going for this audience: "They work well on smart speakers, and respect listeners' time during the busy morning period."

Last Tuesday, News UK flag-bearer The Times confirmed plans to launch a talk radio station pitching news, analysis and commentary nationally on DAB radio, online and via smart speakers. It will be complemented by a new podcast series, Stories of Our Times.

News UK bought Wireless Group - which owns Virgin Radio - in 2016, with chief executive Rebekah Brooks saying the acquisition would bring their audio expertise to News' newsbrands. This week The Guardian reported that staff at Virgin had feared Times Radio would replace their station completely, but have been told both stations will operate in parallel, in the belief that they will serve different audiences.

Pictured: Bronte Coy and Andrew Bucklow in a News promotional visual

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