In an announcement that has staff gobsmacked, the
Nine Network has invented a management position to give producer John
McAvoy a job. McAvoy, along with his boss, John Westacott, were removed
from overseeing the faltering A Current Affair in early April.

David Hurley, the former executive producer removed by John Alexander several years ago, returned to ACA
from the wilderness position of Nine’s chief spinner to the media for
news, current affairs and sport. Over the last month McAvoy has done
little except hang around 60 Minutes, where he was one of about seven senior producers.

Now
he’s been made head of Factual Programming. Nine staffers wonder
whether this really means that all current affairs program chiefs
report to him, or whether this is a much narrower remit, along the
lines of the position at the ABC occupied by Denise Eriksen, who is
head of General Factual Programming and oversees programs like Gardening Australia.

Nine staffers can’t see McAvoy being put in charge of powerful producers like Westacott, Hurley or John Lyons at Sunday and Business Sunday.

Peter Fray

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