Why
did Kerri-Anne Kennerley go so public in Saturday’s
Daily Telegraph and yesterday’s Sunday Herald Sun about her problems with the Nine Network?

Nine Network star Kerri-Anne Kennerley would consider crossing to Seven because she feels neglected by her employer –
including being refused her own business cards. The TV
veteran of more than 25 years feels left out of Nine’s main game despite
generating publicity and $18 million annually for the network on her Mornings
with Kerri-Anne
program. She was disheartened that Bert Newton –
whose Channel Ten Good Morning Australia program she killed off – was then
signed by Nine as a returning prime-time star while her
ideas for similar roles were ignored.

Some points arise from this rather amazing
outburst. Yes, the Nine Network is scrimping and
saving on business cards (though not for the third floor executives), as a result of the cost cutting work
of Ian Audsley, Nine’s chief operating officer, and Brent
Cubis, chief financial officer (both of whom take their orders from Pat O’ Sullivan at PBL).

All three would not know the importance of
small things, like flowers, business cards and a bottle of “bubble”,
in keeping people like KAK happy. She has simple tastes and craves a bit of
attention. After all, her program is one of the most
profitable in the network and generates all those millions a year on little
outlay.

Kerri-Anne won’t be poached by Seven, which worked on a morning infomercial-type show like hers but
concluded they could make more money by investing in Sunrise and the
mid-morning news. But she’s obviously feeling lonely and unwanted
at Nine. Eddie McGuire knows how to keep his Footy Show mates happy with
trips and promotion but he lets someone like KAK, a solid revenue earner,
go public with this sort of attack.

That’s a bad look: the third female star at Nine (after Jessica Rowe
and Jana Wendt) to be in the public eye over management attempts to do
them in somehow. Her contract is obviously in some stage of negotiation
and the man responsible, Jeff Browne, obviously thinks that KAK can be
told to eat a “s—t sandwich” like Mark Llewellyn was in June. Unlike
Llewellyn, KAK has a solid public profile, good contacts and the
ability to go public in the press of her choosing. And a good agent!

Peter Fray

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