Breaking big stories: Tony Boyd's Chanticleer playbook

After 13 years as the lead Chanticleer columnist Tony Boyd is calling time on his impressive career with the Australian Financial Review.
Matthew Kidman

Centennial Asset Management

We have a treat for you today. Historically the show has focused on outstanding investors and leading executives. Today, we are delving into the other cog of the share market machine - the fourth estate, or as most of us know it, the media. 

Tony Boyd has been a finance journalist for more than 40 years. The latest 13, he's been writing the preeminent finance column in Australia, Chanticleer. Affectionately known as 'The Chook',  the Chanticleer column has held pride of place on the back page of the Australian Financial Review since 1974. 

The Chook columnists include such luminaries as Robert Gottliebsen, Ivor Ries and Alan Kohler. No one, though, has lasted as long as Boyd. 

Writing Chanticleer is a monumental task. 1250 words on the issues of the day, every day. 

It might sound simple enough, but to be cutting edge and relevant all the time takes an extraordinary person. Not only do you need to know the full spectrum of company issues, but you must talk to the key people involved. Conversations with the top echelon of corporate Australia is only reserved for the respected few. 

Boyd started out as a copy boy at Rupert Murdoch's News Limited. From there, he enjoyed stints in Europe, and Japan, and edited sections on banking and IT. A short secondment to investor relations saw him return to the fourth estate to write Chanticleer in 2010. At the end of March this year, Boyd put down his pen for the last time. 

Tune in to the latest episode of Success and More Interesting Stuff via the player below or through your preferred podcasting platform.


  • 0:00 - Introduction
  • 2:41 - Meeting the demands of a daily business column
  • 7:00 - Early years, education and growing up in Sydney
  • 11:40 - Developing an interest in newspapers and publishing
  • 14:15 - Starting as a copy boy with News Limited
  • 22:22 - A trip to London as a finance correspondent
  • 30:34 - The first time Alan Kohler offered Tony a job
  • 36:06 - A brief career change and the second time Alan Kohler offered Tony a job
  • 39:25 - Tony’s approach to writing opinion and the first time a banker lied to him
  • 42:10 - Rejoining the Australian Financial Review
  • 43:28 - The responsibility of writing Chanticleer
  • 47:05 - The best story Tony covered
  • 49:36 - Interviewing the big names including a run in with Kerry Stokes
  • 54:45 - The role of the Chanticleer column in Australian business
  • 1:01:45 - Closing remarks and the next chapter 

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Matthew Kidman
Principal and Portfolio Manager
Centennial Asset Management

Matthew is the Principal and Portfolio Manager at Centennial Asset Management. Prior to this, Matthew was the CIO at Wilson Asset Management between 1998 and 2011, achieving 18% p.a. over the period.

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