Nine News Sydney

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Nine News
Nine News Sydney title.jpg
Opening title
Genre News
Presented by News:
Peter Overton (Sun-Thurs)
Georgie Gardner (Fri & Sat)
Ken Sutcliffe (Sun-Thurs)
Cameron Williams (Fri & Sat)
Amber Sherlock (Mon-Fri)
Theme music composer Frank Gari
Opening theme Cool Hand Luke: The "Tar Sequence" by Lalo Schifrin
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 55
No. of episodes Everyday since 1956
Location(s) Sydney, NSW
Running time One hour (including commercials)
Original network Nine Network
Picture format 576i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release 1956 (as Channel 9 News)
1970 (as National Nine News)
1976 (as 9 Eyewitness News)
1980 (as National Nine News)
2008 (as Nine News) – present

Nine News Sydney is the weeknight, flagship news bulletin of the Nine Network. It is screened in Sydney, and across New South Wales.

Like all Nine News bulletins, the Sydney bulletin runs for one hour.[1] from 6pm every day. It covers the days latest local, national and international news, as well as sport, weather and finance.


The Sydney bulletin was presented by Brian Henderson for 38 years – a record that still stands today. Henderson retired in November 2002, with then-Sunday presenter Jim Waley taking over as weeknight presenter. Waley was the main weekend presenter around the time of Henderson's retirement.

At this time, The "Tar Sequence" cue from the musical score of the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, composed by Lalo Schifrin, was introduced as the theme music. The score included a telegraphic-style melody appropriate for a newscast, used from November 10, 1969 until September 5, 1983 as the opening and closing theme and re-used again from June 2, 1986 to October 7, 1988 as the opening theme. On March 5, 1984, TCN-9 started using News Series 2000, an updated version of the original Schifrin theme, composed by Gari, that had been originally commissioned by WLS-TV in Chicago and WABC-TV in New York. It was re-used again as opening and closing theme from October 10, 1988 to June 30 1995

However, in the early 1990s, Schifrin raised his royalties for using the Cool Hand Luke "Tar Sequence" music and its variations to a level that effectively priced the theme out of the local news market. As a result, in July 1995, Gari was commissioned by Nine Network's flagship TV station TCN-9 to compose a new music package called Eyewitness News, replacing "News Series 2000". This new package, based slightly on the "Tar Sequence" theme, has been updated several times. TCN-9 currently uses the Series 4 version, which was specifically updated for the station in December 2002, days after the retirement of Henderson and still used the theme during the time of Jim Waley and now Mark Ferguson.

In 2005, Waley, who was one of the Nine Network's longest serving presenters, was dropped following a year of poor ratings (despite the fact that National Nine News Sydney was the leading 6pm news program throughout the 2003-4 ratings seasons) and replaced with then-weekend presenter Mark Ferguson. In 2004, National Nine News Sydney won only 27 out of a possible 40 ratings weeks. By this time, the 6pm bulletin had lost its long-time ratings lead to the rival Seven News Sydney.

Mike Munro was the previous weekend news presenter, until he resigned from the Nine Network in July 2008. He presented his last bulletin on Sunday 26 October 2008. He was replaced by Michael Usher.

In January 2009, Mark Ferguson was replaced as weeknight presenter by Peter Overton. Ferguson returned to his weekend news presenting position, which he previously held during Jim Waley's stint as weeknight presenter.

In July 2009, it was revealed that weekend news presenter Mark Ferguson would move to Seven News from October. Ferguson, who had been with Nine for 17 years, was removed immediately from the Sydney weekend bulletin and was replaced by Georgie Gardner. Ferguson continued to present Nine Afternoon News bulletin on until his contract expired in September 2009.

Mike Bailey presented weather forecasts on Fridays and Saturdays, until he was sacked in early 2009. Jaynie Seal, who had previously presented weather from Sunday to Thursday, returned to weekday weather presenting. In February 2010, Nine announced that Natalie Gruzlewski will be presenting the weather from Monday to Thursday and also filing lifestyle and entertainment reports for Nine News with Seal presenting weather on Friday to Sunday.

Nine News Sydney is also broadcast on WIN Television in regional southern and central New South Wales & the ACT. It is presented from the Nine Network's TCN-9 Studio 1.

On 6 January 2014, all Nine national channels permanently extended their 6pm news service to one hour pushing A Current Affair into the 7pm timeslot.[1]

Notable presenters[edit]





Weekend Weather:


The bulletin was traditionally by far the most popular service in NSW. However, when long-serving anchor, Brain Henderson retired, and Nine heavy-weight Ian Ross defected to Seven, ratings quickly declined; this is despite Nine outrating Seven during Jim Waley's tenure in 2003-04. This showed with Nine winning only 27 out of a possible 40 weeks in 2004. Nine replaced Jim Waley with a much younger, Mark Ferguson, then aged just 38. Whilst ratings were starting to slightly increase, the bulletin slip to third, behind both Seven News and ABC News. Following a dismal 2008, not winning a single week in Sydney (a far cry from five years ago when it won every single week), Ferguson was relegated back to the weekend position and replaced by Peter Overton. For his first month, ratings slipped to fourth, behind Ten News, before quickly catching up to trail ABC News and since November 2009 Nine News Sydney has started to regain its dominance in the Sydney market. Nine News Sydney came very close to victory in 2010 and has won the 2011 and 2012 ratings season. In the current 2013 ratings season, Nine News is currently leading.


  1. ^ a b Kalina, Paul; Ellis, Scott (6 January 2014). "Nine quietly switches to hour-long news". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 7 January 2014.