The
Nine Network’s 60 Minutes has just come off its best year in three years with
audience up and the money rolling in. But as
we know from previous reports, it wasn’t without some tension after Executive
Producer, John Westacott was sent back to the program
after losing his other role of overseeing a faltering A Current Affair in early
April.

He
arrived back to find the man he installed there, Mark Llewellyn, safely in the
chair as managing editor and doing a good job, albeit with no opposition from
Big Brother, X-Factor, Idol, Seven or anything on the ABC, unlike previous
years.

Westacott’s arrival back home
caused some tension with Llewellyn successfully resisting his return and
influence on the program until a new operating method was adopted late in the
year between the two long time friends.

Complicating matters was the disclosure in the PBL
annual report that Westacott earned more than a
million dollars in the year to June, with a base salary of almost that
figure.

That
led to the phrase “a westie” being used at Nine to describe amounts of money in multiples of a million
dollars and fractions of the same amount.

Last
week though was a big shock as Mark Llewellyn was elevated to network Director of
News and Current Affairs, over Westacott. 60
Minutes
insiders say he returned to the Richmond street on
Thursday and told Westie “I’m now your boss,” a
moment that some described as perhaps the biggest shock in
years.

On Friday, Nine renegotiated a new arrangement with Westacott that
resulted in him taking a financial “haircut'”of “around half a Westie,”
according to 60 Minutes staffers.

He’s
staying on as EP of 60 Minutes next year. Friday
saw drinks at the Oaks Hotel in Neutral Bay for the departing Charles
Wooley and another staff member. Staff said relations were cordial, it
was a pleasant time and Llewellyn and Westacott propped up the room at
opposing ends like a couple of old bookends.

Wooley is returning to Hobart to start a career in
regional radio for Macquarie Regional Radio. His
audience will be around 90,000 to 100,000 most mornings: the audience for the
final 60 Minutes of the year last Sunday night in which Wooley hosted the final segment, a look back at 2005, was
watched by around 1.7 million people.