Garry Linnell joined the Nine Network midway through last year as Director of News And Current Affairs at the Nine Network.

The press release announcing the appointment was from Linnell’s mate and former fellow AFL writer, Eddie McGuire, who waxed fulsomely about new directions and Mr Linnell’s abilities.

Buried at the end of the release was the news that there would be job losses at Nine in the news and current affairs area, the very area Linnell was taking over.

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Up to 100 people at Nine, mostly in news and current affairs, were to go: in the end the figure was around 85, mostly in Sydney.

Business Sunday was axed and the Sunday program lost 15 people, many of whom had to be brought back to keep it on air until the ed of the year. Its budget was also sliced.

Veteran former A Current Affair producer David Hurley was brought in to help Linnell with the TV side of the business because Mark Llewellyn, the existing Director of News and Current Affairs, refused to accept a demotion to allow Linnell to slide seamlessly into the top job.

Llewellyn’s messy and unnecessary removal precipitated the defining moment for both Eddie McGuire and his mate, Jeff Browne, who is now the reason Linnell has walked.

That defining moment was detailed in the now famous affidavit from Llewellyn which detailed a conversation between McGuire, Browne and Llewellyn, who was asked to eat a “sh-t sandwich” and accept a big pay cut.

That conversation was about Jessica Rowe, then co-host of the Today Show. Llewellyn said McGuire had asked about the timing for “boning” Jessica, thus defining his time as CEO.

Now Linnell is going, railing at the lack of support from Nine management. That’s because Jeff Browne tried to recruit Adam Boland from Seven to “smash Nine’s news and current affairs culture”: that presumably included Linnell.

So Garry Linnell is upset that Nine management didn’t have confidence in him, when he gained the role in exactly the same way. It was a mate, Eddie McGuire, who landed him the role, no doubt pushed by John Alexander, the PBL CEO. Getting the Nine job involved the incumbent, Mark Llewellyn, being pushed without warning.

Really, why should anyone cry for Garry Linnell? That’s why the some of the reporting about him this morning is a bit nauseating.

So far we have seen John Lyons leap from running Sunday to The Australian, Eddie McGuire leap from the CEO’s role to being a high paid member in near retirement, and Deeta Colvin, a close friend of JA, depart PBL after five years as head of corporate relations and throwing parties.

So now for the other impediments to Nine’s advance, Jeff Browne and Ian Law, two other appointments smiled upon by Alexander. Law can go and run Hoyts when it is sold by PBL and his old employer, West Australian newspapers; Browne can return to vetting AFL contracts where I understand there are “buckets” of them.

60 Minutes EP John Westacott has already tried once to move against Linnell, now the way is open for his ascension.

If he gets the gig, he should be asked about his ideas for Nine’s News and Current Affairs. They should remember his CV: EP of 60 Minutes, time at Today, running Business Sunday, and at the ABC where he was part of the team (with mate Ian Carroll) who brought us The National: which failed spectacularly.

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