A week ago channel Nine held a lunch to
introduce Jenny Gilbert as the network’s new director of publicity, a
job that has become something of a hot seat in recent years. And after
just a week in the job, Gilbert lobbed in her resignation yesterday and
walked. It was all smiles, but behind the scenes it was a case of
someone’s bark being unsettling.

She becomes an oddity – a person who jumped rather than pushed from the listing ship known as the Nine Network.

Sam Chisholm’s command approach to executive motivation and guidance apparently proved too much for her.

Gilbert stepped into a job that was filled for around a year by David Hurley, now back as EP of A Current Affair.
Coming from TV, he understood the message and the way to spin for Nine.
Gilbert admitted yesterday that she didn’t know how to spin for TV,
commenting that she came from a print background. This isn’t the first
time a newspaper journo has failed in the role – in 2003 Wendy Squires
(a mate of John Alexander and David Gyngell) lasted a year in the spin
queen role.

Gilbert obviously understood the problem and jumped early.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.


Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey