Nine orders review into newsroom complaints, “toxic” culture.

"It is critical we face up to any failings with integrity," says Nine boss as review is announced.

Nine CEO Mike Sneesby has pledged to hold an investigation into the behaviour and concentration of power in the Nine newsroom.

The review will be executed with external partners to ensure independence and follows complaints around former news boss Darren Wick, who departed in March.

Speaking at an extraordinary meeting in the Nine newsroom on Monday afternoon, newly-installed news boss Fiona Dear was flanked Sneesby in a bid to quell staff dissent.

“I acknowledge the distress and frustration the substance of these reports has caused,” Sneesby wrote in an all-staff email.

“I believe we have taken positive steps in recent years at Nine to improve our culture … but the recent reports that detail alleged serious failings of leadership in television news clearly tells me more work needs to be done to ensure we have a safe and inclusive workplace throughout Nine.”

Sneesby (pictured above) said an investigation by an external law firm into the complaint against Wick began as soon as it was received, with actions based on “limited” information available at the time.

“Since then there have been a series of media reports about multiple complainants,” he wrote.

“At this stage we have not directly received any information about those complaints so I would encourage those individuals, or anyone else with information, to provide it … so it can be independently investigated.”

Nine’s own Sydney Morning Herald has heard allegations from three unnamed women linked to events such as the Logies and Christmas parties.

There are also complaints about a “toxic” environment in the newsroom.

“I worked in the newsroom over that period,” Fiona Dear told Nine News staff yesterday.

“I know what it’s like to decide to get a different taxi, to walk away rather than say something, to move to another table. I know why you didn’t say something at the time.”

Several staff members told the Herald they no longer had any faith that their complaints would be handled efficiently.

Sneesby also denied signing any non-disclosure agreements regarding any employee’s inappropriate behaviour, including Wick’s, but did not say whether Nine had issued any NDAs signed by others.

“A key part of this is ensuring everyone feels safe to raise concerns and to speak up when they see something inappropriate happening in the workplace,” he wrote.

“We want to listen, we want to hear about your experiences and we want to support you.

“I am very proud of the work we do at Nine. It is critical we face up to any failings with integrity.”

Former Nine CEO Hugh Marks also told the Herald, “I am really sorry that people have had terrible things happen to them. I am sorry that has occurred as a result of that decision (to return Wick after a drink-driving conviction),” he said, adding that “this is the Darren Wick I didn’t know”.

“In hindsight we should have asked more questions, rather than wait for information to come to us.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian