My colleague, Glenn Dyer, observed on Wednesday: “Staff in the Nine Network’s newsroom at Bendigo St Richmond are watching nervously to see how news director, Michael Venus, handles the developing situation amidst sapping morale.” Blud oath. And the nerves haven’t been eased by the recent visit from Nine’s CEO Sam Chisholm, who took time out to speak with Venus’s predecessor, John Sorell, about solving the ratings rollback.

Word is that Chisholm was so impressed by Sorell suggestions, he’s offered him his old job back. Venus should be afraid. But instead, the news director has launched a reward and recognition system for Nine hacks that’s sure to get Nine kremlinologists tuning in. Venus has instructed his video grapics department to rewrite the credits after each Saturday night bulletin, with the best performing reporter appearing on top for all to see.

His inventive solution to the poor morale at Bendigo Street should make for interesting viewing tomorrow night. Insiders are wondering how the news director will rate the performance of one particular news hackette, Kelly Curtain – also known as Mrs Michael Venus.
Sorell will be watching with interest, too. Since he left the news directors’ job, he has been putting in regular appearances at the office as a consultant. Whether he claims his old job back from Venus now is up to him.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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