PRIME7 & WIN make changes ahead of Nine Regional News launch

Madelaine Collignon and Kenny Heatley
images - Prime7

From Monday 13 February PRIME7 News at 6PM will be delivered by a new tandem news reading team of Madelaine Collignon and Kenny Heatley.

PRIME7 produces five half hour local news bulletins each weekday servicing the regions of Inland NSW, North Coast NSW, Central West, Wagga Wagga and Albury/Wodonga.

The refresh for PRIME7 News comes at the same time as rival broadcaster Nine Network begins the rollout of 15 additional 1-hour news bulletins that will serve regional communities in Victoria, Southern NSW and Queensland.

PRIME7 News Chief Paul Patrick said:

“Madelaine and Kenny will be a formidable duo up front in what is only the first of many changes PRIME7 is unveiling over the coming weeks as we herald a new approach to news reporting. PRIME7 is committed to a full half hour of local news to ensure that every local issue is investigated, every local event celebrated, and each and every government decision affecting our viewers is scrutinised and interrogated.”

Madelaine returns to the PRIME7 news desk from the recent birth of her son Darcy, while Kenny has been combining weather and news presenting roles with the network since 2015. Kenny has also recently become a first-time dad to baby daughter Riley.

Former PRIME7 News Presenter Freya Cole has confirmed she is joining the Seven Network to further her reporting aspirations.

Meanwhile the WIN Network has also confirmed changes to its local news services with the appointment of Stella Lauri to the role of Network News Director.

Stella Lauri - WIN Network News Director
image source - WIN

Wollongong-based Lauri, who has spent the past 10 years as WIN’s NSW Director of News, will oversee newsroom development and production across the country, leading a consolidated push to target “the network’s longstanding vision of giving viewers the broadest and most indepth local coverage of events and issues within their regions.”

In the role of Network News Director, Lauri will oversee 16 news bulletins across regional Australia. WIN’s local news service has been struggling in the ratings. Particularly since the signing of a new affiliate deal with TEN last year.

WIN Network CEO Andrew Lancaster said the appointment reflected Lauri’s comprehensive experience as both a reporter and producer and her understanding of what regional audiences wanted from their nightly half hour local bulletins.

“Stella’s record in the industry speaks for itself. From the moment she started at WIN in 1993 as a reporter, she has built a reputation as a tireless advocate for the community and a journalist with a strong sense of news value,”