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Country Channel Confirms its Presenters

Media Release

16th September 2008

For Immediate Release

16 September, 2008

Country Channel Confirms its Presenters

A broadcasting veteran and a former Taranaki farm girl will be the new faces of the Country Channel when the rural issues based news and information channel launches on Sky Channel 99 on October 1.

Mark Leishman is well known to many New Zealand television viewers for a variety of hosting roles including the Young Farmer of the Year and Wonder Dogs while Kelly Loney is a former Taranaki print and television journalist now based in Auckland.

“I can’t wait to be part of a pioneering collaboration between New Zealand’s most important industry and television,” says Leishman. “Over the years my involvement with the Young Farmer contest has given me a real empathy with the rural sector and it will be great to be involved in a start-up channel that is looking to connect directly with rural issues and what drives New Zealand’s most productive sector.”

Kelly Loney says that growing up in the Taranaki meant always having a connection to farming and the rural sector.

“Dairy cows and energy are what makes the Taranaki economy tick and I lived on a dairy farm as well. The Farmgate show will give rural viewers a real news view of what’s happening in the rural sector rather the rustic, lifestyle offerings we see currently on television.”

Country Channel producer and investor Andy Tyler says he was pleased to team the experienced broadcast talents of Mark Leishman with the rural and journalism background of Kelly Loney.

“Mark’s a journalist, documentary producer and radio broadcaster with nearly 30 years experience and provides that level of credibility and commitment you want in launching a new channel. He’s familiar with the rural sector and familiar to the audience we are targeting.

“Kelly might not have the same broadcasting background but has the talent and skills to relate well to the audience while again delivering credible news and information to our viewers.”

The two presenters will jointly host the flagship Farmgate programme for the Country Channel.

“Farmgate will be the window into what’s happening in the rural sector in New Zealand,” says Andy. “It is focusing on the news, events and issues that drive the success of our rural economy and will give rural sector service providers a chance to talk directly to an audience that is traditionally difficult to reach.

“The initial response we’ve had from potential advertisers and sponsors has been fantastic and we’re building both local and international content to provide a successful and topical launch next month.”


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