By Glenn Dyer

Sam Chisholm’s in his element … sacking
staff, freezing people out, whispering to selected media, commissioning
new programs, slashing budgets. He’s right in the thick of things like
a pig in mud.

And it’s a busy time at Nine today, the last day
of the financial year, making sure all the costs that can be found
appear in the results for the 2005 year so the departed David Gyngell
can be blamed.

Sambo has two ways of dealing with unwanted staff: he either fires them
or ignores them in the hope they’ll disappear. And over recent weeks
he’s being doing plenty of both.

Chisholm has also put the entire Today Show on-air
staff and production crew on notice – perform or you’re out. His
warning came at the same lunch where he sat and counted drinks consumed
by the Today crew.

Now news has reached Crikey of how Chisholm dealt with the man known in Sydney media circles as The Muppet – Today
co-host Karl Stefanovic – at the same lunch. When Stefanovic apparently
asked whether it was true that Chisholm had offered his job to David
Koch, co-host of the Sunrise show on Seven, Chisholm turned on the youngster and let fly with a few well-aimed blasts that silenced everyone.

whatever’s happened to those Nine lunches that included a good meal,
some good drink and a late arvo monstering from David Leckie and a
gentle touch-up from Peter Meakin? Both are now at Seven, ministering
to staff in their own unique ways.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey