He’s not Stalin or Mao, but Sam Chisholm is
rapidly re-writing the history of the Nine Network. A month since the
surprise departure of David Gyngell as CEO, it’s clear that the
temporary management group led by Chisholm has been horrified by how
far Nine has been allowed to slip.

Chisholm has found a shortage of product, gaping holes in the line
management (for example the Network hasn’t had a head of graphics for
four months), and has issued programmer Michael Healy, Sydney news boss
Max Uechtritz and A Current Affair head David Hurley with one of his famous “pick up your game” messages.

But
Gyngell’s effect on the network’s financial performance can’t be erased
so easily. Costs at Nine have grown dramatically, with reports of some
suppliers pressuring Nine to fix up outstanding invoices. A TV supply
company recently refused to supply a replacement microphone to a Nine
crew because its bills had not been settled.

As for Gyngell,
he’s keeping his head down, with the word coming back from other
networks that they don’t want him, now or in the future.

According
to one source, Gyngell’s farewell speech to Kerry Packer was said to be
along the lines of: “You haven’t done a f…ing thing right in this
company since you fired Nick Falloon.”

If true, that has changed now – with venom.