Is Sky News really serious about business? It’s almost a month now since the Palamedia mob, led by David Koch and Michael Pascoe, departed and the rest of the Sky Business Report people were brought inhouse under the comforting wings of the Sky empire.

And there’s no sign of any improvement. Stand-in host Brook Forster may be easy on the eye for all those suits who tune in, but she’s only 21 for goodness sake. On Tuesday night she distinguished herself by referring to the “Copper Basin”. That’s not something which stores cooking oil, it’s the vast inland oil and gas field called the Cooper Basin which is run by Santos and supplies South Australia, NSW and Queensland.

There used to be three daily business shows on television, but when the ABC’s Business Breakfast and CNBC pulled the plug a couple of years back Koch and co were left to gloat as the only players in the space.

I got into quite a groove watching Sky Business Report most nights and also persuaded a relative to subscribe to Foxtel on the strength of this. An 8:30pm half hour wrap of the day’s business stories works well for those hard-working suits who don’t get home from work until after 7pm.

We can understand the absence of Koch because of the success of Sunrise, but Michael Pascoe? Is he still persona non grata with the Nine representatives on the Sky News board, chairman Sam Chisholm and John Westacott? Pascoe was “departed” by PBL CEO John Alexander back in early 2003. Chisholm is also a director of PBL, a director of Foxtel and also chairman of Prime New Zealand, 50% owned by PBL.

This situation will be worth watching because right now there’s no credible daily business show on television.

Peter Fray

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