Is Eddie McGuire serious?

He told ABC Radio on Monday that the
“business has been challenged” by its opponents but is about to restore itself
to its former glory. The CEO said despite the recent
axing of 100 jobs in Sydney and Melbourne, the network
still has a healthy budget – he estimates around $20 million a year more than
its opponents. McGuire says the way forward
will include a more aggressive approach and a hunger for
exclusives. “We’re going to break stories and be
relevant,” he said, “not just sort of covering what might have happened during the
course of the day or rewriting what was in the paper this

Some programs will have more of an
entertainment focus while others will be geared toward investigative stories,
with new appointee Garry Linnell helping to change the network’s news culture, said McGuire. “My
background is news. That’s how I made my name. So, we might just look at things
a little differently and try and make them a bit more relevant for where we are

Oops, did Eddie say news? And what
news would that be? Team selections for the AFL and the latest scandal in the
changing rooms at Carlton? Hardly earth-shatteringly important
stuff and not the sort of news that sees Business Sunday probing Qantas CEO Geoff
Dixon. It’s not the sort of news Laurie Oakes would be breaking from
Canberra, or Sunday would normally be reporting
on from Timor (if it had the budget to get

Meanwhile, new appointee Garry
Linnell starts a round of meetings
with the various programs and their staffs this
week. Sunday and Business Sunday plus the
Today show are still very upset at being singled out for a purging without any
explanation. While reports say 50 people have put
up their hands, there are a few Nine is trying not to lose and there are fears
that the retrenchments might have to be forced.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey