John Westacott is on his way out at Nine as head of current affairs, but is his ghost lingering on in the form of the man they call Little Britain, Mark Calvert, Nine’s head of Network News?

In a press release spruiking the start of the much-hyped 4.30pm program, THIS afternoon, Nine revealed the hosts:

This afternoon will feature three outstanding news presenters: Katrina Blowers, Andrew Daddo and Mark Ferguson. Katrina Blowers is a radio presenter, author of Tuning Out and Sunday Telegraph columnist who came to prominence working on the Merrick & Rosso breakfast radio show for five years. Andrew Daddo is a television presenter, children’s book author and radio host. Mark Ferguson is Nine’s weekend news presenter. They will be joined by a team of reporters who will file stories from around the nation.

(No mention of Leila McKinnon, wife of Nine boss, David Gyngell, who was offered the gig, but wasn’t interested.)

Mr Calvert said in the release: “Our hosts are great company and keen to try something different. They’ll be bold, and at least one of them is beautiful.”

What? Why should the appearance of the hosts be a major selling point? At least he didn’t say that one of them would be better off at SBS, as Mr Westacott said of former Nine reporter, Christine Spiteri.

Mark Ferguson isn’t beautiful, but he’s been without a full time gig since John Westacott punted him from the Sydney 6pm slot and dropped him to read at weekends. If Mr Ferguson is co-hosting (and not doing news updates) will he really be working seven days a week?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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