While
Eddie McGuire is in Sydney trying to run the Nine Network, things
are falling apart in his own home town at GTV 9.

Eddie
was at Wednesday night’s State of Origin game
in Melbourne
with his close adviser, Sam Newman (who said the 100 people made redundant last
month were all “mediocre people”).

So
perhaps Eddie, with such talented people around him, is missing what’s really
going on at Bendigo Street.

Those
rumours of a property sale just won’t do away. The Network says nope, it’s
staying, but the future says digital broadcast centre (just like the Seven
network), so a big Melbourne presence will not be
needed.

That’s
why Nine is likely to leave the Artarmon
Road premises at Willoughby and move to the fully digital building at
North Ryde occupied
by Foxtel and Sky News (a third owned by
Nine).

Eddie
and management, though, are likely to relocate to Park Street in the
CBD to be closer to the overseers of the Network, John Alexander and Pat
O’Sullivan (the former Optus toe cutter).

But if
Eddie had looked in at GTV on Wednesday and asked around he may have noticed an
empty office or
three where publicity used to be. Colin Vickery was “boned” a fortnight or so
ago and the two replacements have marched, so unhappy were they with the
place.

Nine is
now trying desperately to woo a former Seven publicist,
Michelle Stamper. She’s at Telstra Dome and was hard at work on Wednesday
night.

Nine’s reputation as a miserable place to work is not helping with
this, however, or the other couple of positions they want to fill
around the network (yes, really, after sacking 100 people!).

You
could argue that with Eddie and Sam Newman on board, Nine doesn’t need any publicity people – that dynamic duo
generates more than enough news on their own (much of it “mediocre”, to quote Sam
again).

Peter Fray

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