Is it time to dump Eddie McGuire?

Wednesday, 28 June, 2006

Stephen Mayne writes:

Is this another celebrated case of the curse of Crikey? Wind the clock back to August 2002 when Good Weekend produced a tough cover story on yours truly, written by a certain Garry Linnell. Eddie McGuire, who has known Linnell for 20 years on the Melbourne sports circuit, was quoted as follows:

“I wouldn’t even cross the street to give him a backhander — or a writ for that matter — because I don’t want to give him the oxygen he craves. His reputation is of having no credibility and of having dudded every person who’s tried to lend him a hand.

Lo and behold, Eddie’s bungled shafting of Mark Llewellyn has now become the second biggest oxygen generator in the 2324-day life of Crikey — trailing only behind

Christian Kerr’s famous Democrat leaks of 2002 which precipitated the resignation of then leader Natasha Stott Despoja and effectively destroyed the party electorally.

Linnell has clearly accepted the ultimate hospital pass in replacing Llewellyn and driving the removal of 100 news and current affairs staff at Nine while learning about the television industry for the first time. It seems Eddie was so insecure that he felt the need to surround himself with Melbourne sporting mates.

It’s clear now that Eddie and his deputy and long time manager, Jeffrey Browne, are a laughing-stock at Nine. James Packer should install someone over the top of them both and halve their pay.

Sure, they are gun managers of people. But they are being played out of position. PBL has made a terrible mistake and a return to Melbourne, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and The FootyShow is surely on the cards to end what is the biggest crisis Nine has faced in decades.

I’m so concerned about the damage being wreaked that yesterday 37 of my 67 PBL shares were sold at $17.43 a pop, still leaving enough to gain entry to what will be a cracking AGM come October.

Peter Fray

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