“Mutual decision”: Sam Newman exits Nine Network
End of an era as Nine parts company with Footy Show star.
The Nine Network and controversial Footy Show star Sam Newman have parted company today, ending a rollercoaster association that lasted some 3 decades.
It was a “mutual decision” according to both parties.
Let’s see how this gets reported. Can’t wait. The 9 network and I have MUTUALLY decided that, in the station’s best interests, I withdraw form appearing on their programs – forthwith. And, for me, the last 35-odd years have been fantastic. Really! @Channel9
— Sam Newman (@Origsmartassam) June 19, 2020
TV Tonight understands Nine management met with Newman this afternoon following his latest outburst on social media.
“Sam was a master at Live television”
A Nine spokesperson said in a statement, “Sam Newman announced today that he would no longer appear on Nine. The decision was made mutually and amicably.
“Sam Newman has been a part of the football landscape in Melbourne for generations. He enjoyed an illustrious playing career, notching up 300 games for the Geelong Football Club. Sam parlayed his playing days into a highly successful media career.
“We thank Sam for his service with Nine over several decades. His contribution to The Footy Show was paramount to the enormous ratings success the show enjoyed over many years.
“Sam was a master at Live television and attracted a legion of loyal fans to The Footy Show with his comedic and insightful input. We wish Sam all the best with his future endeavours.”
The fallout comes just days after he returned to the Sunday Footy Show.
Newman, who joined Twitter in 2018, this week questioned AFL players ‘bending a knee’ for the Black Lives Matter movement and again took aim at Nine’s Footy Classified presenter Caroline Wilson describing her as “a piece of work.”
On a podcast, Newman also made derogatory remarks about slain US man George Floyd. He has also hit out at a statement by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James after the death of a black man who was shot while jogging and more recently protested over COVID-19 rules preventing golfing in Victoria.
He has also been the target of online petitions and social media campaigns aimed at Nine’s advertisers.
Sam Newman joined Nine in the late 1980s, for Nine News appearances. He appeared on The Sunday Footy Show from 1993-1998 and starred on The Footy Show from 1994 – 2018.
At its height, The Footy Show drew unbeatable ratings across consecutive years, known for its breaking AFL news and Live TV antics including “Street Talk” and “Sam’s Mailbag.”
Regardless of who was hosting, Newman was always considered the star of the show, with Live TV charisma and unfiltered opinions on everything from sport to politics.
But in more recent years whilst there were those who only tuned in for Newman, there were arguably those who tuned out because of him.
Transgressions have accumulated
Newman’s transgressions have accumulated over many years, frequently creating headlines and problems for Nine management.
- breaching the ACMA Code of Practice after provoking ridicule towards a Malaysian man
- breaching the ACMA Code of Practice after mocking Caroline Wilson with a “mannequin” stunt
- criticised for repeated racial, homophobic and misogynistic comments
- stood down by Nine management
- derogatory comments at Tasmanian politician Paula Wriedt
- derogatory comments on Caitlyn Jenner
- allegedly assaulting skateboarders
- referring to 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg as an “annoying little brat” and a “shit”
- blackface sketch in 1999
- exposing himself on air
- criticising Nine management
- road rage incident
- Nine sued for defamation by Western Bulldogs board member. The comments cost $220,000 plus costs.
In 2010 Nine agreed to pay $200,000 to charity in the event of any future breach by Newman for a period of six months. He was forced to undergo anti-discrimination training.
The Footy Show ended in 2018, save for a farewell special in 2019.