Nine News boss “an open secret” reports SMH

Even Nine's own newspapers are now reporting inappropriate conduct was brushed aside by those at the top.

The Sydney Morning Herald has now taken a deeper dive into allegations around former Nine News boss Darren Wick following bombshell claims in media last week.

It refers to alleged behaviour as “an open secret” for more than a decade -despite the fact it only reported such after other media headlines.

SMH quoted three women recalling allegations of inappropriate behaviour at workplace events, Logies, Christmas parties -none went on the record.

In January, the network received a formal complaint about Wick relating to a historical incident. It is understood that three executives were aware of the complaint, one of which was chief executive Mike Sneesby.

Wick was reportedly asked to step aside while an external review was conducted into the complaint.

During this time Nine sources told media Wick was taking a break but would return.

Months stretched on with no word from Wick and no decision about his future.

The allegation could not be substantiated due to the complainant declining to be interviewed, but Nine management ultimately decided there was no way back for Wick, who had previously being over the limit drink-driving, following a staff function.

He departed in March, citing the need for a break in an email to staff sent forwarded to media at 6:45pm on a Friday night, when the Quill Awards were underway in Melbourne.

The complainant is now said to be taking legal action against the network.

Last week CEO Mike Sneesby sent an all-staff email encouraging staff to report inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.

But SMH notes Sneesby’s email landed badly in the newsroom, with many women angry at what they claim is management expressing their shock at the recent allegations despite the inappropriate behaviour being widely known. Staff were also upset at management’s failure to be upfront about the reasons for Wick’s departure in March.

“They’ve played us all for fools, pretending that there was no issue and that he’s just on holiday,” one unnamed television employee said. She said that while his appalling behaviour had been there for all to see for years, “they certainly didn’t do anything to stop it, or they just brushed it off as ‘It’s just Wicky’.”

Indeed the Daily Telegraph reported four of Nine’s most high-profile operators protected one another at all costs, allowing allegations of inappropriate behaviour to go unchecked for years. No names were published.

It also stated Wick was calling in to the newsroom for daily ratings updates and to be across operations as recently as last week and is still on the books, being paid, until June.

On Friday Nine appointed ACA‘s Fiona Dear (not inferred to be one of the quartet) to the top role, now oveerseeing news and current affairs.