Since 1956 the Channel Nine Network has relied – and continues to rely – on the pulling power of personalities.

Just
walk into the offices in Nine Melbourne or Sydney and you can see the
cornerstone of their culture – the large portrait shots of TV
personalities (as Nine likes to call them) all over the walls. First
and foremost , the network’s marketing programme is about pushing the
sexiness, smarts and savoir faire of a particular individual.

This culture is so ingrained that it even expresses itself in the hiring of a new CEO – or in the death of its proprietor.

Nine
clearly sees successful TV being the result of pushing a personality.
And it is incredible to see, in hyper focus, this culture in action via
the death of Kerry Packer.

The personality cult, and the belief
that this drives ratings, is so ingrained that the network uses the
death of its owner – the biggest photo on the wall of them all – as an
opportunity to drive the business. It’s a case of literally bringing an
old TV personality back from the dead in an effort to re-confirm the
old model is still viable.

Eddie McGuire has a massive job ahead
of him to try and make a declining media not so self centred. And it is
even more massive when you are a product of this very factory.

Peter Fray

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