Former Nine head David Gyngell sent word yesterday afternoon: ”No go” to the rumour that he was poised to replace Eddie McGuire at the Helm of Nine.

But the talk won’t go away that James Packer is talking to Gyngell and would like to see him return.

PBL is actively looking for a new CEO. Everyone understands that.

Independent producers and media analysts share the view that if Gyngell returned with something like the dream team of Southern Star’s Rory O’Callaghan and Fremantle’s Mark Fennessy, Nine would be seen in the TV world as being back in the game and serious about rebuilding.

They would also have a trio of executives who understood TV: Eddie does at the moment but from the front of the camera, not behind. Programmer Michael Healy knows, but is restrained by the PBL bureaucracy.

Others said that if Gyngell didn’t return and PBL found a new CEO to replace Eddie seamlessly the new person would insist on reporting to James Packer and not John Alexander. Alexander’s interference drove Gyngell out and unless he gets clear of him in any return, there won’t be any return and the people from CVC Asia now understand the problem.

Alexander and his mentor, PBL executive deputy chairman, Chris Anderson, were spotted strolling in the Sydney sunshine yesterday with a third person (not Peter Yates) to a lunch in a trendy harbourside eatery.

Some analysts suggest that Alexander has a bit of time on his hands: Ian Law is running Nine and the magazines (the sharp slowdown in revenues and profits at Alexander’s old stamping group has to be fixed) and Rowen Craigie, James Packer and David Courtney are running the gaming business after last week’s re-organisation.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.