Don Burke shovels dirt on Nine

Don Burke has dished out some advice for free to his former network, Channel Nine, saying the network has lost its way.

Former Burke’s Backyard host Don Burke has dished out some advice for free to his former network, Channel Nine, telling David Gyngell the network has lost its way.

“[Gyngell’s] failing is he’s surrounded himself with people who are not very good at their jobs. I love David Gyngell as a person, I love him as a TV person, I have no respect whatsoever for him as a TV executive because he is not surrounding himself by people of his own calibre and that is a terrible mistake,” he told the Sunday Telegraph.

Burke blamed Nine’s programming department for Nine losing to Seven. In December last year Andrew Backwell was given charge of Programming and Production after Michael Healy was appointed Director of Television.

Meanwhile Jeffrey Brown became Nine’s Managing Director as Gyngell took on the top job across the parent company, Nine Entertainment Co. (formerly PBL Media).

“If Gyngell would back his own judgement and get better people around him, Nine would come back in a heartbeat. His mistake, and it is a huge one, is to stay with those that have failed. Programming is the problem at Nine – it has killed Nine.”

2011 has not been a good one for Nine so far, but 2010 saw a good performance in Nine’s key demos, considering it has been light on with content in recent years.

Nine’s output deals haven’t delivered many hits of late, which has seen Nine turn to the UK with BBC progamming including Top Gear, Sherlock and David Attenborough series.

Burke says Gyngell concedes losing Burke’s Backyard was their biggest mistake, but would not reverse the decision.

Don Burke was instrumental in the lifestyle genre in Australian television. Even formats such as Better Homes and Gardens owe much to his early work, while names such as Jamie Durie were given their break on his show.

In 2009 Burke returned to Nine for appearances on A Current Affair.

But Burke also has a strong reputation for producing TV in a determined if ultimately successful managerial style. No surprise then that Nine spokesperson David Hurley labelled him as “arrogant.”

It isn’t clear what has triggered the latest advice to Nine bosses, but presumably there are no plans to change his gardening leave just yet.

29 Responses

  1. Nine should be embarrassed. Their programming over the past few years have been a joke. Shows like TBBT and Two and a half men should have been kept to one or two nights a week. This is a major downfall for 9 and if they are to turn around their performance, they need a new programming team. Don Burke is saying how it is and I would make him in charge of the programming dept.

  2. The issue of the Win owned Adelaide and Perth stations is that Nine cannot do anything to “fix” them when they are in trouble. Nine Perth is in trouble more so than Adelaide. Local Today Tonight hurts ACA but really no one should be watching TT, its rubbish but people are too blind to see that. Nine News usually wins on weekends in Adelaide though especially with Postcards as a good lead in on Sundays.

    With the AFL from a business perspective, it would only benefit Melbourne if Nine got the rights. Ratings from the Win owned stations will increase and give Nine slightly more affiliate revenue but not enough to make it worthwhile. It would give the whole network a big Friday night though but a massive bill to pay in the end. NRL is a better option for Nine which boosts Sydney and Brisbane but they need more to be still the one!

  3. The biggest problem for nine is they only run stations on the eastern seaboard. Seven and Ten also run their stations in Adelaide & Perth. In a more competitive market now with multi-channels, every ratings point counts and while 2 metro city stations are run by WIN,nine will suffer. Look at 7 v 9 news rating in Adel and perth, 7 lead both cities by big margin, with locally produced Today Tonight. Ten news at 5 outrages 9 news in Perth.

  4. This morning I saw on the online guide on yourtv and freeview that Mike and Molly and CSI were new tonight while CSI Miami was new in Syd but not Adelaide or Melbourne. I did not check Bris or Perth but I am assuming CSI Miami is catching up but Melbourne is still ahead with CSI. Very silly on Nine’s behalf that they put new eps on with little or the likely case of no advertising but in the end they finish up quicker and there is not much else on anyway. Nine (plus the others) should not move shows around especially without warning and I wonder how many CSI fans thought Eddie was on tonight. Hope to see Nine and Ten’s post Easter lineup on here soon. I expected these shows to be in repeats with new eps returning in their previous timeslots. Nine have themselves to blame if they do not rate. Nine News, 60 Minutes, AFL Footy Show, Today and Hot Seat rate well enough yet have they moved many times over the years? No!!!!!! No wonder some shows are flopping, people are confused as to when they are actually on and if they are new ones or not. Too many good shows on tv yet become flops due to poor programming decisions.

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