“Mutual decision”: Sam Newman exits Nine Network

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.

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.

They include:

  • 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.

20 Comments:

  1. Victoria Pharey

    Relief..Sam Newman is over.
    Him leaving is not about Political Correctness, he’s been beyond cringeworthy for years making angry racist comments with regularity. He made me embarressed to be Australian. Just because some Ppl in the public may think it, doesn’t mean we need a Public figure “legitimising & justifying” this for them. He was a national disgrace.

    • I agree. Most disgusting mouth on TV, lowest form of human behaviour. So glad we won’t have to tolerate hearing about him again hopefully. His disgraceful, salacious, toilet mouth and racist outbursts were tolerated by the Boys Club top end of Ch.9 for way far too long. Another embarrassing egocentric Z grade ‘personality’ hits the dust. Finally.

  2. “exposing himself on air”? I don’t think this is true David. If I recall correctly, it was fellow panelist Shane Crawford who ‘dacked’ or pulled down Sam’s footy shorts, which led to much laughter at him being ‘exposed’? I don’t think the offending scene was ever broadcast with the exposure visible either, it was blurred out or pixelated, so not really true that he “exposed himself” is it?

  3. I used to find Sam very funny, and definitely unpredictable. He was always polite when I ran into him at GTV9 and around Melbourne. My values and possibly even my sense of humour have evolved as I’ve aged, and consequently I find Sam’s humour quite off these days.

  4. John Jackson

    I mainly tuned into The Footy Show for his street talk segments. He didn’t do them all the time (sometimes Shane Crawford and others did them) but that was usually my main highlight of the program as well as seeing what other crazy live shenanigans would happen. So when they stopped doing Street Talk for whatever reason it stopped me feeling like I had to tune in, and if The Footy Show was still on and they said Sam was leaving whilst it was still on I feel a lot of the crazy fun would be missing.

  5. themanfromoz

    Whilst not an AFL fan, I do think he had well and truly past his ‘best before’ date.
    His comments regarding Caroline Wilson were surely the straw that broke the camels back.

    • Agree 100%. Check out his weekly podcast with Mike Sheahan and Don Scott, very funny stuff. Will be an interesting one that comes out on Tuesday.

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