The Seven Network’s new state-of-the-art newsroom and studios in Sydney have been officially opened by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
The high-tech facility, purpose-built across two floors of Seven’s head office at South Eveleigh is the new home of the network’s Sydney and national news operations, including 7NEWS, Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Latest, 7NEWS Spotlight and 7NEWS.com.au, bringing together Seven’s Sydney-based broadcast and operational staff for the first time in four decades.
Also in attendance at the event were the Premier of New South Wales, Christopher Minns; the NSW Minister for Roads and Minister for the Arts, John Graham; Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek, Seven West Media Chairman, Kerry Stokes AC; and Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “Seven has long been part of our shared story – entertaining us, informing us, creating shows that bring us together. They’ve shown how to adapt, how to innovate, how to look to the future and be ready for what’s coming.
“The recent broadcasts of every Matildas game is an example. What a joy that was. What an amazing moment in Australian sport. You did a great job at bringing it to all the millions of Australians who couldn’t squeeze into the stadiums.
“Congratulations on the move into your new home. It’s impressive, and above all, it’s a clear demonstration that Seven is serious about staying at the heart of the Australian experience,” he said.
The Premier of New South Wales, Christopher Minns, said: “I want to acknowledge the enormous investment that the Seven leadership has put into news, journalism and current affairs in New South Wales and Australia. It’s the hallmark of a free and democratic country and these four walls will be a place where senior journalists mentor and train the next generation of cadets and journalists coming through. It’s an investment in the future of Australia and I want to thank Seven publicly for that.
“Their investment in entertainment – using Australian actors, Australian accents and Australian stories is a way that young Australians in particular, can learn the story of Australia and not just something homogenised from overseas, particularly the United States. It’s an investment in Australia’s story.”
Mr Stokes said: “Our new studio is state-of-the-art. It provides our people with the best they can have. It’s true to say that the news and current affairs we’ve built today is state of the art itself. But as good as it all is, it isn’t as good as the people we have who work here.
“We’re welcomed into the homes of Australians all around the country, every day and night. They tune us in because they like us. There’s a special bond and commitment we’ve developed, which has taken a long time.
“When we look at the future, we also look at 7plus, and 7plus is our future in a digital world. As we go forward, we need to have a gateway that allows us to continue to grow, and 7plus does that through BVOD. And that’s an important part of our future,” he said.
Mr Warburton said: “This evening is more than simply the opening of a new studio. It’s proof – and a celebration – of our commitment to news and public affairs.
“We also want to acknowledge the Albanese Government’s commitment to legislate the prominence of local TV services on connected devices, to ensure that Australians can continue to easily find their local news services. It is critical to the ongoing sustainability of trusted and local news.”
Seven’s Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said: “Television networks are shaped and defined by their news and public affairs content. They are the conduit to our communities. In news they are often, in the most trying of times, a vital source of information. Reliable, relentless, trusted, they are what Australians turn to when they need to know.
“Every day, we produce 24 hours of news and public affairs nationally. That is about 8,800 hours a year. Delivering live and local news – for free – it is part of our DNA.”
Sunrise co-host Natalie Barr and 7NEWS Sydney presenter Mark Ferguson hosted the evening. Also in attendance were 7NEWS reporters and presenters and Seven stars including Big Brother, Dancing With The Stars and The Voice host Sonia Kruger; Sunrise co-host Matt Shirvington; Chris Brown; MKR judge Colin Fassnidge; Home and Away’s Ray Meagher, Emily Symons, Georgie Parker and James Stewart; and The Morning Show hosts Larry Emdur and Kylie Gillies.
After 19 years broadcasting from Martin Place in the centre of Sydney, Seven’s new news and public affairs centre is part of a significant transformation of the network’s head office over the past two years.
The world-leading studio space is five times larger than Martin Place and allows for permanent sets for all programs, with two complete control rooms and more than 40 square metres of LED screens.