Critical eye on women in the news
MAGGIE Tabberer is on a mission. The 71-year-old is out to lift the lid on sexism in news and current affairs.
Her latest TV special, Maggie with Women of News focuses on three of TV’s best known female news and current affairs presenters — Tracy Grimshaw, Geraldine Doogue and Tracey Spicer— and the pressures they face on and off the screen.
Tabberer calls for more female TV news executives to combat what she sees as entrenched sexism in television newsrooms.
‘‘Grimshaw, Doogue and Spicer are unanimous more female TV news executives will help speed the change,’’ Tabberer says.
‘‘There’s not as much change as there should be. Age and attractiveness are still a very big influence on their (female news presenters) careers.’’
Getting the usually reticent Grimshaw to talk is quite a coup for Tabberer. The 48-year-old A Current Affair presenter reveals her pride in still being able to host a prime-time current affairs show (‘‘when I first started you were old at 30 and out by 40’’), and opens up about her love life (‘‘I’ve been on the verge of getting married once or twice but nobody’s known’’).
Spicer talks about her controversial sacking by Channel 10 in 2006, saying ‘‘It was such a shock’’, and reveals her thoughts of ending her mother’s life when she was slowly dying from cancer.
‘‘I went over to her with the pillow and thought I could do it,’’ Spicer says.
Doogue reveals the stresses of being a mother and stepmother after leaving her first marriage to set up house with ABC executive Ian Carroll (the pair are now married).
‘‘I’ve been around so long that I think most of those girls have grown up with me,’’ Tabberer says, explaining her success at getting the women to talk.
‘‘I’ve had similar experiences and I’d like to think they feel comfortable with me and trust me.’’
Tabberer’s career longevity would have to be inspiring for her interviewees.
An award-winning model, the face of TV shows including Beauty & the Beast, Maggie, and The Home Show, two-time Gold Logie winner, a fashion columnist and fashion editor for the Australian Women’s Weekly and the brains behind the Maggie T range of women’s clothing are just some of her accomplishments.
Mission: Maggie Tabberer ventures into the TV newsroom.