She was one of the last remaining people at Nine who could be regarded as a
producer of quality television. Catherine Hunter, a long-time field producer on
Sunday, has, according to The Oz,
put her hand up for an exit package in the latest round of redundancies at the
Packer Pleasure Palace.

While she was capable of tackling any yarn, Hunter
developed a reputation, almost unique in commercial television, as a producer of
compelling and beautifully packaged arts stories. Hunter was held in very high
regard by arts producers at the ABC, who saw her as the only serious competition
Aunty had in arts television. And in recent times Hunter has pretty much had the
field to herself, given the laughable quality of what now passes for arts
coverage on ABC TV.

It says everything about the prevailing attitude at Nine that someone of
Hunter’s calibre is allowed to walk while management is reported to have refused
to accept the resignation of ACA‘s foot-in-the-door man Martin King.
King’s work represents tabloid television at its trashiest. Hunter’s work was
proof that intelligent journalism was still possible on a commercial network,
albeit tucked away in the sleepy zone of Sunday morning.

Where to for Hunter now? Believe me, Catherine, the ABC is not an option,
at least not if you want to make arts television of any substance.

Peter Fray

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