'Gleeso' leads multimedia charge as face of Queensland
GONE are the days of editors with a single-minded focus on the newspaper hitting the press.
More than ever before news is a 24-hour cycle. Leading that charge is Sky News Australia and at the coalface is former Grafton lad Peter Gleeson.
A print editor for the past 10 years, Gleeson's multi-faceted approach to journalism makes his latest promotion to a five-day TV broadcast role a natural progression.
Rather than a career change, as it would have been perceived a decade ago, it's the strategic shift of a key News Corp player to a consumer sweet spot in response to evolving audience and customer behaviours.
"I think that's the great thing about it in News Corp," Gleeson said. "Our company is going down this path more and more where traditional newspaper journalists transition to broadcast.
"We're very much a 24-hour news organisation. It will be nothing for me to break a story online, talk about it on TV, then analyse it in the next day's newspaper.
"It's an endless cycle. We set the agenda and continue that agenda."
Gleeson has been the editor of The Sunday Mail since 2013 and during that time has built a strong fan-base as a regular guest commentator on Sky News and weekend host of its late night national affairs program Heads Up, which he will continue to host. He will also remain a weekly columnist for The Courier-Mail and News Corp's national Sunday newspapers network.
"This is an opportunity that reflects the changing nature of journalism today - combining Peter's strong newspaper pedigree with a broadcast platform," NewsCorp Australasia executive chairman Michael Miller said.
"He has an exceptional news sense, the best contact book in Queensland and is not afraid to stand up for the interests and the issues that matter to the community."
Gleeson is not afraid to speak his thoughts - or perhaps those of the general populace that no one else is prepared to voice. In February he drew the ire of the media for comments on Sky News TV show Credlin that the average Australian looks at people who don't speak English at home as "failing to integrate properly".
"I think that a lot of people, the average Australians, are sitting at home thinking 'well OK, I want to buy a house in Sydney, but because of the immigration policies of the previous Federal governments, because the way they have allowed a lot of people into this country with plenty of dough, I can't afford a house in Sydney," Gleeson said.
"It's a privilege to come to this country and be in our country and that privilege goes with speaking our language... If I went and lived in France, I would be very keen to learn French. And I would embrace learning French."
Sunday Mail editor Peter Gleeson: The average Australian is sitting back and looking at some of these people and going 'well you don't speak English at home, you're failing to integrate properly' - we just want these people to be Aussies.— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) 20 February 2018
MORE: https://t.co/n7D8QtxZDY #Credlin pic.twitter.com/No7tROhhUS
Gleeson's shift to a full-time TV role now means his face will become one of Queensland's most recognisable, and his opinions among the most influential.
Australian News Channel CEO and managing editor Angelos Frangopoulos said: "Peter has been a regular guest commentator on Sky News for many years and more recently our weekend host of Heads Up. I am delighted he has joined us in a full-time capacity.
"A well-connected and experienced editor, Peter will provide viewers with a unique perspective on the big issues affecting Queenslanders."
Gleesons's illustrious life in journalism started from humble beginnings. While at Grafton High School, he would send in the greyhounds form to the DEX. In 1981, aged 16, he applied for a cadetship. Editor Lauretta Godbee picked Gleeson and David Bancroft (who later became editor) out of 43 applicants.
As a young boy, he enjoyed filming the world around him with his Super 8 video camera. For a career dominated by print, it's a homecoming of sorts to now find himself in the constant glare of the camera.
"I remember the infamous storm that hit Grafton in 1977," he recalled. "I remember the storm looming, it was colour video, and the storm cell was green. You know it's going to be a good storm when the dark clouds go from grey to black to green. It was an absolute belter of a storm.
"That afternoon I ran around and took some shots of all the damage, then had to go down to the chemist shop to process it all before I could go home to watch it.
"Now it's turned full circle.
"I started talking to Michael Miller and (Australian News Channel CEO) Angelo Angopoulous and the idea is that I'll be the face and voice of Queensland for Sky. It's a great transition for me.
"I've had 10 years as an editor, I've enjoyed that immensely. But to get into a national broadcasting role is very appealing and exciting, and I'm really looking forward to it."
The name Gleeson is synonymous with greyhound racing in Grafton and Peter is looking forward to some more hometown nostalgia when he visits for the upcoming July Racing Carnival.
"I'll be heading down for the Ramornie and Grafton Cup and will definitely pop down to the dogs as well."
- Gleeson began his journalism career as a cadet at The Daily Examiner in 1981 and was editor of the Townsville Bulletin and Gold Coast Bulletin before taking on the role at The Sunday Mail. Kelvin Healey has been appointed to editor of The Sunday Mail. Mr Healey has been deputy editor of The Courier-Mail for the past two years, and prior to that, deputy editor of The Daily Telegraph.