There is no more ‘welcome home’ mat greeting five Channel Nine producers who were sacked by the network on Friday, including two long-serving senior news producers, The Australian reports.
They include Craig Sullivan, who produced the short-lived THIS afternoon, and Phil Hind who produced afternoon and late News bulletins for the network.
Sullivan only lasted a week in the role as Executive Producer of THIS afternoon before being replaced by Today’s weekend EP Kerri Elstub. At the time Nine said he would remain with the network.
Three freelance assistant producers were also dismissed as CEO David Gyngell looks at cost cutting within the network.
The sackings follow talk last week of the network’s secret plans to axe its Canberra bureau.
The newspaper notes Gyngell had wanted to close down the expensive political operation at Parliament House but retain the services of veteran Laurie Oakes.
But the plan was scuttled before Gyngell could tell Oakes or Nine’s news chiefs Mark Calvert and Darren Wick about it, when someone leaked the news to veteran Oakes.
On Friday a Nine spokesperson told TV Tonight, “It, like many others, didn’t go any further than that. Indeed there are always many more options than those cost-cutting measures which are adopted.”
When contacted by The Australian, Oakes declined to comment.
The plan to create a mega bureau came unstuck when Gyngell and Sky’s Angelos Frangopoulos extended it to include Seven.
But according to Sky sources, the move is “inevitable”, one saying “Laurie won’t be around forever”.
Source: The Australian