John Howard hit the nail on the head last week when he said politics
was governed by “remorseless arithmetic” – and it’s not alone.
There’s also a fair bit of remorseless arithmetic going on at
Channel Nine. According to one former Nine staffer, the budget for
program A Current Affair is now about 25% less than it was just
six years ago – even though the show is locked in a bloody ratings
battle with Today Tonight.

According to staffers the result is a workplace of underpaid,
under-resourced and overworked employees. Add to the mix that for the first
time in history ACA is up against a very formidable opposing show being run by Peter Meakin, plus a recent
ad-revenue drop expected to further reduce budgets, and you’ve got a pretty ugly equation.

Nine staffers say the Nine business model, which aims at 5-10% profit
increases year-on-year is no longer achievable and the network needs to
invest in people and facilities or risk further walk outs. But it ain’t
going to happen – David Gyngell quit, in part, because his plans to keep good people and upgrade facilities were stymied.

Meanwhile at A Current Affair under David Hurley staff are
walking out the door. Here’s an incomplete list of recent ACA
departures sent in by a a staffer who says there are four more to quit
soon and it’s “hell on earth” there.

Helen Kapalos

to Channel
Emma Albericito ABC
Simon Hobbs, producer Channel
Paul Barry Quit
Jane Hanson Quit
Chris Hill Quit
Ray Martin, host. Special Projects

Mike Munro, host. Nine news
Gia Dwyer Quit
Dan Keens Munro, producer London Bureau
Steve Barrett Quit
Richard Lenerduzzi, supervising producer NSW Political
Scott Bevan Quit
Hugh Nailon, producer 60 Minutes

Fiona McKenzie, producer. Quit

Penny Robinson, producer Beyond

Matthew Brown, sound engineer.
Georgina Matthew, researcher Gold Coast News

Lyndal Burke, manager Special Projects

Joanna Townsend, producer Business

Glenn Connolly, journalist Today Tonight

Mimi Kwa, journalist SBS
Campbell Munro, senior cameraman Freelance
Nick Colkoun, producer Big Brother

Brad Gustafen, researcher Brisbane Extra
Ruth O’Toole, researcher. Quit

Sonya Madigan, journalist
Darren McDonald, cameraman Nine news
Andrea Steere, researcher. Quit
Paul Bowen, cameraman News