Jessica Rowe

Jessica June Rowe AM (born 22 June 1970)[1] is an Australian journalist, author and television presenter. She was the co-host of Studio 10 on Network Ten until March 2018, and is Member of the Order of Australia for her mental health advocacy.

Jessica Rowe

Rowe at the 2015 Instyle Awards
Jessica June Rowe

(1970-06-22) 22 June 1970
EducationCharles Sturt University
University of Sydney
  • Journalist
  • author
  • television presenter
Years active1993–present
Known forTen Eyewitness News, Today, Weekend Sunrise and Studio 10
Peter Overton (m. 2004)
AwardsMember of the Order of Australia (AM)

Early life

Rowe attended Sydney Girls High School[2] and Charles Sturt University, Bathurst, completing a Bachelor of Arts in 1993. During her studies she was a broadcaster with on-campus community radio station 2MCE-FM. Rowe later graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of International Studies degree in 2003.


1996–2005: Ten News at Five and The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Rowe started work at Channel Nine as a receptionist and later as a weather presenter. In 1996 she began working as a news presenter for Channel Ten. She presented Ten Sydney's Ten News at Five bulletin alongside Ron Wilson. Rowe finished her hosting duties at Network Ten in 2005.

In October 2005, Rowe published her first book; The Best of Times, The Worst of Times (Allen & Unwin), a recollection of her experiences of her mother's battle with bipolar disorder. The book was co-written by Rowe's mother, Penelope Rowe.

2006–2008: Rowe joins Today and moves to the Seven Network

In 2006, Rowe joined the Nine Network to host the Today breakfast show, alongside Karl Stefanovic, replacing Tracy Grimshaw. Network Ten pursued legal action over Rowe's defection to the Nine Network, citing a clause within Network Ten's contract that prevented her from working with a competing broadcaster until June 2006. The case was dismissed by the Supreme Court on 30 December 2005, allowing Rowe to debut on Today on 30 January 2006.[3]

Her arrival at Today was met with initial criticism including "on-air giggling, absence of serious journalistic credentials and lack of chemistry with co-host Karl Stefanovic".[4] Rowe was also criticised over an on-air gaffe involving Australian Brigadier Michael Slater, which revealed during a live cross that the interview from Dili, East Timor was being stage managed when Rowe tried to use old looting and violence footage, even though Brigadier Slater told her it was a "couple of days old".[5][6]

During this time Nine Network CEO Eddie McGuire made a public statement in June 2006 stating the claims Rowe was to be "sacked" were part of "a malicious and unprecedented vilification campaign"[7] This followed the sworn evidence in an affidavit from Nine Network's former Head of News Mark Llewellyn that McGuire had threatened to "bone" Rowe during a meeting with executives.[8]

On 6 May 2007, Rowe left the Nine Network due to "payment disputes" after her return from maternity leave.[4]

In 2007, Rowe returned to TV and joined the Seven Network as a news presenter for Seven News in Sydney. She was also announced as a cast member on the seventh series of Dancing with the Stars[9] alongside Patti Newton and Mark Beretta. Rowe finished seventh place on the show.

2009–2012: Rowe joins Weekend Sunrise

In December 2010, Rowe was appointed news presenter on Weekend Sunrise replacing Sarah Cumming and Sharyn Ghidella. She also held other presenting roles on the Seven Network until her departure from the network in 2013.

In 2011, Rowe published Love, Wisdom, Motherhood (Allen & Unwin),[10] a collection of her interviews with other Australian mothers on their experiences with motherhood.[11] The book included interviews with the likes of Quentin Bryce, Lisa McCune, Wendy Harmer and Tina Arena.

In April 2012, Rowe appeared as the narrator in the stage production of Side By Side By Sondheim at the Theatre Royal in Sydney as part of a gala concert featuring Ruthie Henshall.[12] The gala was held to support White Ribbon Australia, a charity which seeks to raise awareness of violence against women.[13] This was part of an ongoing tour, which had started in April 2011 at Sydney's Seymour Centre.[14]

2013–2018: Studio 10

In September 2013, Rowe returned to Network Ten to co-host their new morning TV show Studio 10.[15] The show premiered on 4 November 2013 and alongside Rowe were fellow co-hosts Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand. In 2015 the show welcomed Denise Drysdale as its fifth co-host. On 12 October 2016 it came in second on the OzTAM TV ratings.[16] Studio 10 is on air 8.30am – 12.00pm Monday – Friday on Network Ten.

In January 2015, Rowe was announced as a Member of the Order of Australia at 2015 Australia Day honours for her mental health advocacy.[17] She said she was "incredibly humbled and just blessed" to receive the honour and joked, "I was hoping I might get a tiara. It's the little girl in me!"[18]

In July 2015, Rowe played The Empress in Bonnie Lythgoe's stage production of Aladdin and his Wondrous Lamp at the State Theatre in Sydney, Australia. Ian Dickson and Beau Ryan also appeared in the production.[19]

In August 2015, Rowe published her memoir Is This My Beautiful Life? (Allen & Unwin), in which she shared insights into her professional career as well as her battles with postnatal depression.[20] The Sydney Morning Herald said "The impact of her revealing memoir should not be underestimated."[21]

In September 2015, Rowe fronted a television and print campaign for Woolworths supermarkets. She had worked as a checkout assistant at her local Woolworths supermarket during her schooling years in 1987.[22]

In March 2018, Rowe announced her departure from Studio 10, citing a desire to spend more time with her children.[23] However it is widely reported that Rowe did not leave the station voluntarily but instead Channel 10 was planning to fire Rowe for over a year.[24]

Personal life

Rowe is married to Australian television journalist and Nine News Sydney presenter Peter Overton and has two children.[25]

After the birth of her first daughter and as a result of her legal battle with channel 9, Rowe had from severe post-natal depression. She also stated that separate to her more recent postpartum depression, she had previously been on antidepressant medication and had been receiving psychiatric therapy for the past eight years for clinical depression an anxiety disorder and panic attacks.[26]

"I had everything in life I could possibly wish for and finally I had this beautiful baby girl but I never felt more desperate and sad... (I felt) like there was a panel of glass between me and the outside world... I used to think about the carving knife in our top kitchen drawer and how easily it could pierce her skin."[27] [28]

Rowe has been very vocal about her experience with her mental disorders and her use of anti-depressants and counselling, saying, "To me, asking for help is one of the bravest and best things you can ever do. It saved me."[25] She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and initiatives. She is an ambassador and spokesperson for Beyondblue.


  1. "ROWE, Jessica June". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  2. "Distinguished Old Girls". The History of Sydney Girls High School. Sydney Girls High School. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  3. Porter, Jeni (24 December 2005). "Ten sues Rowe over Nine defection plan". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  4. "Rowe quits Today over pay". The Sunday Telegraph. 6 May 2007. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007.
  5. "Brigadier tells it like it is". The Age. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
  6. "Brigadier catches Nine off guard". The Sydney Morning Herald. 30 May 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
  7. "McGuire forced to back star". The Australian. 29 June 2006.
  8. "McGuire hits back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 July 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
  9. "Rowe lands Seven gig after postnatal depression" The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 July 2007
  10. "Mum in profile: Jessica Rowe". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  11. Cruickshank, Melina (31 May 2011). "Mum in profile: Jessica Rowe". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  12. Cassie Tongue (28 April 2012). "Side by Side by Sondheim: a star-studded event". AussieTheatre. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  13. John P. Harvey. "Side by Side by Sondheim". Stage Whispers. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  14. "Side By Side By Sondheim". Enda Markey Presents. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  15. "Jessica Rowe joins Studio 10 team". 12 September 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  16. "Studio 10 pips Today Extra". 12 October 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  17. "Subscribe to The Australian - Newspaper home delivery, website, iPad, iPhone & Android apps". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  18. Koziol, Michael (25 January 2015). "Australia Day honours: TV presenter Jessica Rowe appointed AM for mental health advocacy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  19. "TV Week, Logies 2018". Now To Love. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  20. "Jessica Rowe opens up about 'those' devastating headlines". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  21. Rosemarie Milsom (30 August 2015). "Book review: Jessica Rowe's Is This My Beautiful Life?". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  22. "Jessica Rowe, Mikey Robins and Chris McQueen in latest Woolworths careers ad - Mumbrella". 9 September 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  23. Knox, David (9 March 2018). "Jessica Rowe quits Studio 10". TV Tonight. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  24. Lallo, Michael (9 March 2018). "Drama brews behind the scenes as Jessica Rowe quits Studio 10". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  25. Rosemarie Milsom (23 August 2015). "Jessica Rowe: I no longer feel compelled to hide behind a mask". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  26. Jessica's honesty over baby blues, The Age, 8 December 2008.
  27. "Jessica Rowe has been on anti-depressants for eight years". Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  28. "Jessica Rowe Talks Candidly on Her Battle with Postnatal Depression". Retrieved 5 August 2018.

Media offices
Preceded by
Program started
Studio 10
Co-host with Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris &
Joe Hildebrand

November 2013 – March 2018
Succeeded by
Angela Bishop
Preceded by
Sarah Cumming & Sharyn Ghidella
Weekend Sunrise
News presenter

December 2010 – September 2013
Succeeded by
Talitha Cummins
Preceded by
Tracy Grimshaw
Co-host with Karl Stefanovic

30 January 2006 – 8 December 2006
Succeeded by
Lisa Wilkinson
Preceded by
Juanita Phillips
Ten News at Five Sydney
Presenter with Ron Wilson

Succeeded by
Deborah Knight
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