Is there yet another covert attempt by Nine management to replace a Sydney newsreader? Rumours are circulating that Mike Munro is being positioned for the weekday 6pm gig in Sydney.

When Brian Henderson stepped down from the Sydney 6pm lot he had dominated for years a number of people at Nine were interested. Jim Waley of course succeeded Hendo at the end of 2002. He read the news in Sydney from the start of 2003 to the end of 2004. He was flicked in January of this year and Mark Ferguson was slotted in to much fanfare by Nine management.

But it has now emerged that one person who was also interested was Mike Munro. At the end of 2002 Munro was in the process of being replaced by Nine management as the presenter of A Current Affair. The program’s ratings were sliding and Nine was looking for a new host, despite assertions to the contrary from Nine’s then head, David Gyngell.

Then at the end of 2002, Munro was brushed aside and put on indefinite duties and Ray Martin was parachuted into ACA by Sam Chisholm and David Gyngell.

Fast forward to late last year and early this year and Mike Munro’s star seems to rise. Then, after Waley was removed and Ferguson became the 6 pm reader, Munro was dropped into the underperforming 4.30 pm News slot.

That was instead of Kim Watkins. Munro was then named as host of the Saturday evening news to replace Georgie Gardiner when she went on maternity leave. She took legal action against Nine over her downgrading (which happened when she was on maternity leave) and won an estimated $500,000.

Jim Waley also sued and won a lot of money ($2 million was one estimate) over his downgrading.

Now Ferguson has been replaced as the reader of the Sunday night news.

Some at Nine wonder whether Munro is being positioned to shove Ferguson aside. Munro is hosting the Schapelle Corby coverage for Nine tomorrow. The justification is that he’s the 4.20 pm News host. but in the past the main evening news reader or someone like Jim Waley would do such a gig if it was going live to the country, as tomorrow’s broadcast is.

With Peter Hitchener in Melbourne senior in experience (and appeal, the audience in Melbourne for Nine News is much bigger)to both Munro and Ferguson, there’s some wonder down south at all these manoeuvrings.

Meanwhile Munro’s news reading efforts on the weekend drew this letter to the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.

“I watched Mike Munro read the Nine news on Sunday. He seemed to disapprove of every item, even the weather. Perhaps he shouldn’t do it if it upsets him”.