The news was all around the Nine network’s Sydney home this afternoon – Mike Munro was coming back, to read the 4.30pm News. A joke? No, it’s true, supposedly, really! No comment from Nine though, but the story swept through Willoughby on Thursday like a fire.

Munro was flicked from A Current Affair at the end of 2002 after David Gyngell had insisted that that wasn’t to happen. It did and Ray Martin was brought in. Now Ray Martin is under pressure at A Current Affair, losing to Seven’s Today Tonight.

Munro has been fronting the series, This is Your Life, which didn’t set the world on fire late last year. When told of the story today, a former Nine staffer wondered when Brian Henderson would be brought back from retirement.

Other Nine News people say that as of Monday or Tuesday of this week there was talk the under-watched 4.30pm News would be scrapped by Nine to try and hold audience numbers for the 6pm bulletin with Mark Ferguson in Sydney. But then the Munro story erupts this afternoon.

It’s the talk of a farewell lunch for the new Los Angeles correspondent, Chris Spiteri. Some disbelief, but others argue that its been driven by Max Uechtritz who apparently is finding life tough at Nine. By late Thursday there was new talk that Munro might be a candidate to front Nightline. But that would require a change of host with Helen Kapalos moved out to a new gig.

Is this why she’s just hired an agent? To protect her interests? What about PBL CEO, John Alexander, who is a big fan of her efforts? Talk around Nine is that Nine CEO, David Gyngell is not happy.

And then news from the Nine foyer at Willoughby. Jim Waley’s picture has gone, been ‘de-hung’. The former presenter of the 6pm News in Sydney is gone, after 36 years, joining that growing list of non-people at Nine. He’s out, now what about his picture on the second floor?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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