By Glenn Dyer

Nine Network boss, Sam Chisholm, is to be paid $4 million in consulting fees over the next two years, plus GST – as disclosed in the PBL annual report, released early yesterday evening. The structure of the deal means he will be at Nine at least until May 2007, making the revival a two year crusade.

It’s more than double what David Gyngell was being paid to run the Nine Network, and more than the $1.7 million that David Leckie received from the Seven Network in 2005, although he already has a new contract that will see his 2006 pay exceed that of Chisholm.

The report also discloses that Sam Chisholm was paid a total of $928,247 in the year to June, including $831,662 for “other services”. Both Chisholm and Chris Anderson (who was paid his $85,000 fee and $834,618 for “other services”) are now executive directors. Anderson’s main gigs are Hoyts, Foxtel and Premier Media Group (Fox Sports).

The report also shows that John Alexander, the CEO of PBL was paid a touch over $4 million in the year to June 30, making him the highest paid executive on the board, well ahead of Casinos boss, Rowen Craigie, who was paid $1.615 million.

John Westacott, the executive producer of 60 Minutes and the man who was replaced as EP of A Current Affair in April was paid more than 1 million dollars in 2005, not bad for a man who “failed” at ACA and has had trouble winning back control of 60 Minutes from the man appointed to fill his place, Mark Llewellyn.

The report shows Westacott was paid a total of $1,020,410 (made up of $812,455 in basic salary, $108,613 in non-monetary benefits and $99,343 in super), less than Ray Martin, host of ACA ($2 million or so) and Mike Munro (well over $1 million).

But Westacott is paid a lot more than his old boss at Nine, Peter Meakin, who is now running the Seven Network’s News and Current Affairs and doing far more damage to his old employer than Westacott has done to Seven, especially in the 6.30pm current affairs ratings battle. The Seven Network financial report disclosed that Meakin was paid a total of $780,000 or so in 2005 – so Seven is definitely getting more bang for its buck.

Peter Fray

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