Glenn Dyer writes:

Jana Wendt was on the Sunday program
on the Nine Network yesterday, hosting as if the damaging attack on her by unnamed network management in last Friday’s Daily Tele never happened. After those unnamed executives
attempted to destroy her on the Tele‘s front page with their suggestion that Ellen Fanning was set to replace her, Jana’s appearances in The Weekend Australianand Sunday Telegraph
represented a defiant counter-attack from the Sunday
host. She gave every impression she wasn’t
moving or allowing the snide attacks to undermine
her.

And then there was this story in the
Sunday Telegraph,
complete with pictures taken Saturday in Hyde Park of
Jana. It was a defiant, ‘sack me’
confrontational approach to McGuire and others in the Nine management. Coming so soon after the PR disaster
involving the Mark Llewellyn affidavit, the crude attempt in Friday’s Telegraph
has backfired. If Wendt is sacked or removed or
replaced and given another gig, it will trigger a nasty PR disaster that Nine
and Eddie cannot win, not so soon after the ‘boning’ Jessica Rowe allegations in
the Llewellyn affidavit.

Watch for McGuire and Nine
management to deny everything, just as Nine management
have done in the past, and then act on the initial
impulse. Watch also for Nine to try and move Wendt to another program to try and use
the ‘changed business conditions’ excuse for removing her or closing down Sunday and
offering her a lesser role.

It
is a real battle of strength and after the Mark Llewellyn and Jessica Rowe PR
disasters, McGuire and the management team around him (and at Park Street) can ill
afford a third PR disaster of equal magnitude.

And
a footnote: Nine sources say that despite the denials, a new hosting team for
the Today Show is being sorted. Nine will wait until Jessica Rowe goes on
maternity leave but there will be new male and female hosts in
2007.

Peter Fray

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