The Nine Network is planning a prime-time special on the Schapelle Corby story, to go to air after the Indonesian judges make their decision. Corby is due back in court tomorrow, and the judgment is expected on Friday week.

Events in Bali, especially the Bali Nine, are causing angst in the Nine newsroom in Sydney, especially over the attitude of news director, Max Uechtritz. Relations between him and senior reporter Mark Burrows have fallen on hard ground. The problems have not been helped by the Ten Network’s scoop in obtaining the freelance camera tape of the search of the Bali Nine at Denpasar airport.

The ABC thought it had that tape, but Ten scooped the lot. Uechtritz apparently asked for an explantion from the Nine staff in Bali (up to 20 from all programs at one stage) and wasn’t happy with what he was told. His reaction has not endeared him to the staff. Nor has frequent absences and allowing a culture of blame and finger-pointing (“how very ABC” was one newsroom reaction). (One nickname for Max is HO, Hands Off, to describe his management style).

Also not helping has been the constant drubbing at the hands of Seven and Ian Ross in Sydney. Nine’s Melbourne newsroom is solid, buoyed by the scoop on the Victorian state budget.

Peter Fray

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