At least two executives sacked from Nine in last week’s purges – Steve Wood, the former boss of daytime TV and Stuart Clark, Nine’s former head of reality and lifestyle – are understood to have consulted a leading Sydney employment lawyer to discuss their lowball offers from Nine.

While both are believed to have some time left on their contracts, Nine has apparently reverted to the usual tactic of offering contracted employees less than contracted payouts and challenging them to sue the Network. Some old hands at Nine (and there aren’t many left) remember Sam Chisholm in past years saying this was his “you be reasonable and I’ll be reasonable approach.”

One Nine insider said it reminded him of the time when Chisholm sacked a host of A Current Affair in the days when it was losing to Mike Willesee on Seven. The employee pointed out that his contract still had some time to run and he wanted to be paid out, to which Chisholm reportedly replied that the employee should look again at the contract and a clause that said “or any reasonable alternative.”

“Humphrey B Bear is a reasonable alternative to me,” Chisholm is said to have declared, quickly winning a negotiated payout from the sacked employee.

Peter Fray

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