Jessica Rowe has long been a fixture on Aussie screens and has enjoyed traditional network television success, but now Rowe has ventured into the new world of podcasting.
Rowe, left her last major television role as co-host on Studio 10 in 2019, to focus on her family. Rowe has done it all, from newscasting to morning show host, to becoming a Dancing With The Stars contestant.
She has also always managed to reinvent herself, from her turbulent time on The Today Show with Karl Stefanovic, (she was fired while on maternity leave), to winning Australian hearts as a co-host on Studio 10.
So her latest move into podcasting with, The Jess Rowe Big Talk show, should surprise no one, nor should it surprise anyone that the show reached number 1 on Apple Podcasts after its first episode.
Rowe could have easily thrown her efforts into landing another high paying television gig, so her move into podcasting is worth noting.
Rowe told B&T, “It’s something that is purely from my heart, and something I really want to do.”
The podcast has a rather simple formula, Rowe sits down with a different guest every week to discuss the things that matter. “It’s people who fascinate me, the overriding theme is having difficult conversations with people. Sure, we have a laugh but it’s really cutting past the crap and small talk, to talk about the big things.
“It’s the long-form interview and podcasting is perfect for that long conversation, I love talking to people, and I missed that during this lockdown, chatting to people. There’s an intimacy to podcasting you don’t get anywhere else.”
While the concept isn’t exactly reinventing the podcast wheelhouse, Rowe brings it to life with her warmth, genuine interest in people and her unique guest pool. Everyone from her former co-host on The Today Show, Karl Stefanovic to the right-wing politician, Pauline Hanson, is set to appear in the first season.
While Stefonavoic got an invite, it doesn’t appear likely Eddie Mcguire will, according to news.com.au, allegedly he called for the sacking of Rowe and referred to it as “boning.”
Rowe said: “In terms of that whole Eddie thing, the older I get the less I care about what people think. Yes, there’s a part of me that does still hold a level of resentment but for me, the best revenge is living well, and I’m happy.”
Of course, it’s also easy to see why podcasting would appeal to Rowe, podcasting has long been hailed as a place talent can go, to create their own shows without network restrictions, everyone from Osher Ginsberg to Abby Chatfield has their own podcast now.
Another huge attraction for Rowe was also the opportunity to work with experienced producer Nic McClure, McClure comes from a radio background. She is the award-winning producer and talent behind some of FM’s most successful and beloved radio shows, including The Kyle & Jackie O Show, and Merrick & Rosso.
Mcclure is now a heavyweight at LiSTNR and is the reason Rowe’s podcast is under the LiSTNR umbrella. Rowe said: “I’ve done this series with an incredible producer, Nic McClure, to work with her on this has been such a joy. It’s thanks to Nic, that it’s on LiSTNR .”
Rowe and McClure have worked closely on the podcast. “For me, both Nic and I came up with a wish list, some of them friends, some are people I’ve admired and been fascinated by.
“Pauline Hanson is someone I’ve butted heads with over the years, I don’t agree with her politics, but she fascinates me as a person. Regardless of what you think of her views, her resilience and strength is something, she does not give up.”
Though the joy doesn’t eliminate the fact that getting the podcast off the ground was a process, Rowe explained: “It’s taken nine months to get to this point, in terms of coming up with the concept and pitching it.”
Rowe is also not bashful and thrilled by the podcast’s success, “It’s beyond my wild expectations that we went to number 1, it’s just like,- Oh my God!”
The podcast host also recognises, she’s hit a groove. Rowe has successfully built her own brand outside of her television career, for being a ‘crap housewife,’ something that has also amassed her a sizeable social media following, “I’m in a sweet spot.”
Of course, the success of the podcast doesn’t mean Rowe won’t return to television, “I would return for the right thing. I never rule anything, in or out.”
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