Jessica Rowe

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Jessica Rowe
Jessica Rowe (17597749022).jpg
Born Jessica June Rowe
(1970-06-22) 22 June 1970 (age 47)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Residence Sydney
Education Charles Sturt University
University of Sydney
Occupation Journalist, author and television presenter
Years active 1993–present
Known for Ten Eyewitness News, Today, Weekend Sunrise and Studio 10
Spouse(s) Peter Overton
Children 2
Awards Member of the Order of Australia (AM)

Jessica June Rowe AM[1] (born 22 June 1970) is an Australian journalist, author and television presenter. She is the co-host of Studio 10 on Network Ten and is Member of the Order of Australia for her mental health advocacy and contribution to Australian media.

Early life[edit]

Rowe attended Sydney Girls High School[2] and Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communications in 1993. During her studies she was a broadcaster with on-campus community radio station 2MCE-FM. Rowe later graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of International Studies degree in 2003.


Jessica Rowe

1996–2005: Ten News at Five and The Best of Times, The Worst of Times[edit]

At 22 years old, Rowe started her media career at Channel Nine as a receptionist. It was here that she made her on-air debut as a weather presenter on Prime Television in Canberra.

Rowe was later spotted by Network Ten executives, and was made a main news presenter in 1996. She presented Ten Sydney's flagship Ten News at Five bulletin alongside Ron Wilson for almost 10 years. Rowe finished her hosting duties at Network Ten in 2005.

In October 2005, Rowe published her first book; The Best of Times, The Worst of Times (Allen & Unwin) was a recollection of Rowe's experiences of her mother's battle with bipolar disorder. The book was co-written by Rowe's mother, Penelope Rowe.

2006–2008: Rowe joins Today and moves to the Seven Network[edit]

In 2004, Rowe signed a contract with the Nine Network to host the morning breakfast TV show Today alongside Karl Stefanovic, replacing former co-host Tracy Grimshaw. Upon the announcement, Network Ten pursed legal action over Rowe's defection to the Nine Network, citing a clause within Network Ten's contract that prevented Rowe from working with a competing broadcaster until June 2006. The case was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 30 December 2005, allowing Rowe to debut on Today on 30 January 2006.[3]

Rowe's arrival at Today was met with initial criticism when an on-air gaffe involving Australian Brigadier Michael Slater occurred, which revealed during a live cross that the interview from Dili, East Timor was being stage managed.[4][5] During this time Nine Network CEO Eddie McGuire made a public statement in June 2006 falsely stating the claims Rowe was to be "sacked" were part of "a malicious and unprecedented vilification campaign"[6] This followed the sworn evidence in an affidavit from Nine Network's former Head of News Mark Llewellyn that McGuire had threatened to "bone" Jessica Rowe during a meeting with executives.[7]

In May 2007, during her maternity leave, Rowe left the Nine Network following a dispute with the network over her future role with the network.[8][9]

On 6 May 2007, it was announced that Rowe had left the Nine Network due to "payment disputes".[10]

In 2007, Rowe returned to TV and joined the Seven Network as a news presenter for Seven News in Sydney. She was also announced as a cast member on the seventh series of Dancing with the Stars[11] alongside Patti Newton and Mark Beretta. Rowe finished seventh place on the show.

2009–2012: Rowe joins Weekend Sunrise[edit]

In December 2010, Rowe was appointed news presenter on Weekend Sunrise replacing Sarah Cumming and Sharyn Ghidella. She also held other presenting roles on the Seven Network until her departure from the network in 2013.

In 2011, Rowe published Love, Wisdom, Motherhood (Allen & Unwin),[12] a collection of interviews by Rowe with other Australian mothers on their experiences with motherhood.[13] The book included interviews with the likes of Quentin Bryce, Lisa McCune, Wendy Harmer and Tina Arena.

In April 2012, Rowe appeared as the narrator in the stage production of Side By Side By Sondheim at the Theatre Royal in Sydney as part of a Gala Concert featuring Ruthie Henshall.[14] The gala was held to support White Ribbon Australia, a charity which seeks to raise awareness of violence against women. [15] The gala was part of an ongoing tour, which had started in April 2011 at Sydney's Seymour Centre.[16]

Since 2013: Studio 10, Order of Australia[edit]

Jessica Rowe (8738343130)

In September 2013, it was announced that Rowe would be returning to Network Ten to co-host their new morning TV show Studio 10.[17] The show premiered on 4 November 2013 and alongside Rowe was fellow co-hosts Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand, and has been likened to an Australian version of The View. In 2015 the show welcomed Denise Drysdale as its fifth co-host and on 12 October 2016 it celebrated a ratings win, coming in second on the OzTAM TV ratings ahead of Today Extra.[18] Studio 10 is on air 8.30am – 11.00pm Monday – Friday on Network Ten.

In January 2015, Rowe was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia at 2015 Australia Day honours for her mental health advocacy and contribution to Australian media.[19] Rowe said she was "incredibly humbled and just blessed" to receive the honour and joked, "I was hoping I might get a tiara. It's the little girl in me!" [20]

In July 2015, Rowe played The Empress in Bonnie Lythgoe's stage production of Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia. Ian Dickson and Beau Ryan also appeared in the production.[21]

In August 2015, Rowe published her memoir Is This My Beautiful Life? (Allen & Unwin), where she shared insights into her professional career as well as her battles with postnatal depression.[22] The memoir was well received by critics, with The Sydney Morning Herald saying, "The impact of her revealing memoir should not be underestimated."[23]

In September 2015, Rowe fronted a television and print campaign for Woolworths supermarkets that promoted the supermarket chain as a strong choice for teenagers and young adults to work at during secondary and tertiary education years to gain experience and grow skills and work ethic. Rowe had worked as a checkout assistant at her local Woolworths supermarket during her schooling years in 1987.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Rowe is married to Australian television journalist and Nine News and 60 Minutes presenter Peter Overton.

On 21 July 2006, Rowe announced on Today that she was 3½ months pregnant. Further, in an interview with The Australian Women's Weekly of 22 August 2006, she said that her baby was due on 22 January 2007. Rowe gave birth to daughter Allegra Penelope Overton on 18 January 2007, four days ahead of the due date. Allegra was conceived after four IVF attempts.[25] On 9 April 2009, Rowe gave birth to daughter Giselle Charlotte Overton and it was announced by husband Peter Overton on Nine News Sydney on 10 April.

After the birth of her first daughter, Rowe suffered from severe post-natal depression.[26] " I had everything in life I could possibly wish for and finally I had this beautiful baby girl but I never felt more desperate and sad... (I felt) like there was a panel of glass between me and the outside world," said Rowe.[27] Rowe has been very vocal about her experience with the illness and her use of anti-depressants and counselling, saying, "To me, asking for help is one of the bravest and best things you can ever do. It saved me."[28] Since overcoming the illness, Rowe has been a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and initiatives. Most notably, Rowe is a longstanding ambassador and spokesperson for beyondblue, and lends her name and services to several other foundations championing mental health awareness and initiatives. In January 2015 Rowe was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia at the 2015 Australia Day honours for her mental health advocacy and contribution to the Australian media.

Rowe has also voiced her support for gender diversity in Australian media and the overall support of working women. In July 2016 Rowe publicly slammed Eddie McGuire on Studio 10 for comments he made about sports journalist Caroline Wilson and wanting to pay AUD$50,000 to see Wilson stay under a pool of iced water. "I'm really sick of these pestering blokes thinking they can get away with stuff because they think it's funny. No, it's not funny. There are a lot of women sick and tired of feeling belittled and undermined and for it to be just brushed away as a joke," said Rowe.[29] Rowe later challenged McGuire to donate AUD$50,000 to the White Ribbon Campaign, an initiative supporting women who have been subjected to violence.


  1. ^ "ROWE, Jessica June". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 30 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Distinguished Old Girls". The History of Sydney Girls High School. Sydney Girls High School. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Brigadier tells it like it is". The Age. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Brigadier catches Nine off guard". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "McGuire forced to back star". The Australian. 29 June 2006. [dead link]
  7. ^ "McGuire hits back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006. 
  8. ^ "Rowe quits Today over pay". The Sunday Telegraph. 6 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  9. ^ Harvey, Adam (6 May 2007). "Nine finally 'bones' Jessica Rowe". The Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 25 October 2016. 
  10. ^ "Rowe quits Today over pay". The Sunday Telegraph. 6 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. 
  11. ^ "Rowe lands Seven gig after postnatal depression" The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 2007
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Cassie Tongue (28 April 2012). "Side by Side by Sondheim: a star-studded event". AussieTheatre. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  15. ^ John P. Harvey. "Side by Side by Sondheim". Stage Whispers. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  16. ^ "Side By Side By Sondheim". Enda Markey Presents. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  17. ^
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  25. ^ "A Rowe of hurdles". The Daily Telegraph. 22 August 2006. Archived from the original on 13 September 2006. 
  26. ^ Jessica's honesty over baby blues, The Age, 8 December 2008.
  27. ^
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  29. ^

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Program started
Studio 10
Co-host with Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris &
Joe Hildebrand

November 2013 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Sarah Cumming & Sharyn Ghidella
Weekend Sunrise
News Presenter

December 2010 – September 2013
Succeeded by
Talitha Cummins
Preceded by
Tracy Grimshaw
Co-host with Karl Stefanovic

30 January 2006 – 8 December 2006
Succeeded by
Lisa Wilkinson
Preceded by
Juanita Phillips
Ten News at Five Sydney
Presenter with Ron Wilson

Succeeded by
Deborah Knight