A Channel Nine spokesman yesterday confirmed Mark Ferguson’s demotion from his role as Nine’s Sydney Newsreader but insisted: “He’s not being boned. He’s on the payroll. There’s no blood on the floor.”
Ferguson, whose role is to be taken by Peter Overton from Monday, will take a weekend newsreading role with Nine when he returns from leave.
The spokesman said the move was unrelated to rumours the Seven Network was trying to lure Overton.
“We just think there’s more cut-through with Peter. It’s arguable he’s the most experienced newscaster on television today.”
Meanwhile news boss John Westacott told the Sunday Telegraph, “I want to strengthen the anchor team at six o’clock, and I think we have the best chance of improving the performance with Pete on Monday to Friday and Mark on Saturday and Sunday.
“Sunday night is the biggest night of the week, so Mark’s role remains crucial to our performance, but this also gives him a chance to get out from behind the desk and report on some of the major events.”
Westacott said there was no plan to replace Overton on 60 Minutes.
The Nine spokesman said Ferguson was philosophical about his axing, adding: “Nothing is forever in television.”