Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

Just who is running things these days? UK comedian Stephen Fry, writer of the ABC’s new PR industry spoof Absolute Power,
thinks it’s the spinners. Over the past few days
Rupert Murdoch has shown moguls are still
in charge by instructing the Government to drop its proposed cross
media laws. But for my money there’s a powerful argument that a fair
chunk of power in this country rests with media buyer Harold Mitchell.

Which is why it is so fascinating that he’s being quoted at length in
the papers this morning offering kind “advice” to Nine CEO Eddie
McGuire, the kind of kind advice you ignore at your peril. He’s warning
Nine, which is considering issuing subpoenas to try and find out who
leaked the sensitive Llewellyn affidavit, to call off the dogs. Helen Westerman in The Age reports:

Influential media buyer Harold Mitchell, a long-time associate
of the Packer family, warned against issuing the subpoenas.

“This probably isn’t the occasion for the courts. I think the
matter will pass quickly enough,” he said.

“This doesn’t mean there’s a need for any change at the top for
Nine. I think there is plenty of support for Eddie McGuire.”

Meanwhile proceedings continued yesterday in the NSW
Supreme Court over the Llewellyn affidavit affair. Counsel for Fairfax
and News will return to court next Friday to make their case for the
injunction preventing publication of the contents of the affidavit in
NSW, to be lifed.

And in breaking news as we go to press, The Age is also reporting that Nine has released Lewellyn’s statement of claim.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey