The advertisements for Channel Nine’s
documentary on the life of Kerry Packer are starting to run and we’ve
already seen a grab from James Packer saying that he now reckons there
might be an after-life.

However, the final arrangements for both
Thursday night’s documentary and Friday’s taxpayer-funded memorial
service at the Sydney Opera House are certainly not finalised and there
is apparently some last-minute scrambling going on.

At the
centre of these is a certain Russell Crowe, who will feature
prominently in both events. Will Ridley Scott be flown over at the last
minute to direct Rusty’s piece to camera? The lad is a well-known
perfectionist and we’re hearing that this Packer send-off is no
exception.

Meanwhile, John Lyons is well and truly in charge at Sunday as he was featured on Nine’s Sunday evening news greeting John Howard when he turned up for his interview with Laurie Oakes.

Sam
Chisholm and Nine’s news boss Mark Llewellyn attempted to sack Lyons
over the trumped up charge that he’d appointed a freelancer,
Christopher Zinn, to work on Sunday’scover story on the Cronulla riots, which went to air on Sunday.

Zinn
and his producer Steve Barrett did a solid job and now we’re hearing
that Lyons could soon find himself promoted to the position of director
of news and current affairs once Park Street’s man, Eddie McGuire,
settles into the CEO chair and ensures Sam Chisholm has been relegated
to humble non-executive director.

Even Eddie’s friends
acknowledge that he’s got a brutal edge so those who attempted to fire
Lyons, who is close to PBL CEO John Alexander, won’t be feeling too
comfortable this week, although the bullets probably won’t be fired
until after the Big Fella’s send-off.

It would be interesting
to know if the PM offered any light-hearted small-talk to Lyons on
Sunday, such as his comment to Bob Sercombe last week that he hoped his
Parliamentary career wasn’t about to be “Shortened.”

“I thought
you’d been thrown to the Lyons,” the PM might have chortled, in between
grumbling that he should have been greeted by Eddie or Sam, given that
David Leckie routinely turned up for this sort of meet-and-greet work
when he was running Nine.

Peter Fray

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