The Nine Network is sticking to its guns after dismissing three staff and accepting one resignation, following the “Choppergate” scandal.
While former employees are consulting legal advice, a source tells TV Tonight that Nine’s internal inquiry has revealed audio evidence of conversations between the sacked reporters and a producer. It was enough for them to act swiftly and firmly.
Mike Dalton from Nine in Sydney is understood to be assuming the Acting News Director role at QTQ following the resignation of Lee Anderson.
Today’s Courier Mail details how two Seven staff near the Mt. Coot-tha studios heard the Nine chopper on Saturday night despite Nine’s on-air bulletin alleging it was “Near Beerwah.” On Sunday night Seven even filmed the chopper on the Nine helipad.
Seven began advising media of the falsehoods on Monday. By Wednesday it had sourced data from Australian Airservice to confirm the location of the chopper on both evenings.
Nine initially attempted to explain away the Sunday night incident, claiming it had been ordered to touch down by air traffic control because of bad weather and the producer was unaware until it was too late.
But Sydney management responded with an internal inquiry later leading to the sacking of Melissa Mallet, Cameron Price and producer Aaron Wakely.
Price was due to move to Nine Sydney yesterday but is now seeking legal advice.