The
Bulletin
magazine’s recent 12 page spray of former Prime Minister Paul Keating has resulted in some tough action from Sam Chisholm,
the CEO of the Nine Network.

He’s
reportedly told John Lyons, the Executive Producer of the Sunday program and the
author of the Keating spray, not to write for The Bulletin.

Lyon’s
Bulletin efforts over the years – he’s been with Sunday as a reporter and now EP –
have raised eyebrows with some of the reports he’s authored for the magazine and
not done for Sunday.

Chisholm apparently thought the Keating story in The
Bulletin
wasn’t all that good and said so. Nine staff describe the process as “Sam clipping John’s
wings.”

Still,
it’s part of what seems to be a tough approach by Chisholm towards the
co-branding of Nine programs with ACP
magazines. For
most of this year Business Sunday was known as (and had on screen logos saying) “Business Sunday with The Bulletin.”

There
were Bulletin ads placed in both Business Sunday and
Sunday and at least one Bulletin reporter did a couple of stories for Sunday
this year on sharks.

Business Sunday reporters such as Ross Greenwood have
written for The Bulletin and Money magazine.

Another
Business Sunday reporter, Katrina Nicholas, authored that now controversial story
about the new Telstra boss that saw the magazine apologise the next week.

Some reports
said Sam Chisholm was the source of the original information but he has gone out
of his way to deny that. The experience would not have increased his
appreciation of The Bulletin.

We
remarked on the sudden loss of the co-branded logo on Business Sunday a couple
of weeks ago and now comes word of the Chisholm edict, which really flies
against the perceived wisdom at PBL and ACP about the value of cross-platform
synergies.

That’s
been a big belief of PBL and ACP CEO, John Alexander, to whom Sam Chisholm
reports. Clearly he’s confident enough to establish his own grand
rules.

Peter Fray

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