The
Nine Network is downgrading the station manager roles at its stations in
Brisbane and Melbourne with the news that Cameron Murray, head of QTQ 9 for the
past two years, left earlier this week.

But
Murray will not
be replaced by Vance Lothringer, the former head of
the Nine Network’s sales operation. He and
his wife are in the process of changing house in Sydney and he’s been off work this week on
holidays attending to that painful task.

Murray
had been in Brisbane since October 2003 when former CEO, David Gyngell sacked Neil Mooney, a long time Nine current affairs
producer and executive. Mooney
is now working for the Seven Network running Today Tonight from Melbourne.

Murray
was brought in from New Zealand where he had been running Prime New Zealand in
which PBL, Nine’s owner, has the right to buy a half
interest. Murray
joined Nine in 1989 in direct sales and became Gold
Coast Sales Manager in 1990 and Group Sales Manager at QTQ-9 in 1992.

He left
in 1995 and returned two years later as Director of Sales at QTQ-9. He had been
CEO at Prime New Zealand since early 2002. His
replacement at prime NZ was Chris Taylor, another sales executive from Sydney.

Nine
CEO, Sam Chisholm is chairman of Prime NZ, which is doing well, but faces some
problems this year from a couple of failed programming
ideas. Nine
insiders say the network is downgrading the position of station manager and they
will be effectively run from Sydney by Nine chief operating officer, Ian Audsley, who has been
assuming more power in recent months.

Peter Fray

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