Rann staffer heads for the gallery. The Advertiser’s new Canberra correspondent is none other than Catherine Hockley. She was the media adviser to Rann government health minister John Hill for eight years, then most recently his chief of staff. She married Hill’s Health Department chief executive Tony Sherbon.

Sherbon has recently moved to Canberra to take up a job there, hence Hockley’s appointment to the ‘Tiser But here’s the thing — Hockley’s sister also works for John Hill. She is married to former ‘Tiser deputy editor and now director of news (digital) Paul Starick.

Nine’s holiday; Ten’s programming hierarchy. Word has it that the Nine programming department travelling to next week’s MIPTV content market in Cannes is brainstorming in Berlin this weekend. Perhaps they might wonder why so many female viewers have deserted the boys’ network. Something to do with the GTV9 push running the network?

But will Ten’s contingent to this huge TV event have two extra trainee programmers aboard? Word from the beseiged network’s Pyrmont HQ is that programming chief David Mott now has to send proposals for each program he wants to buy, licence or produce to stand-in CEO Lachlan Murdoch and fellow director Gina Rinehart. Murdoch you can understand; after all he’s trying to cut costs and find a new strategy. But what does Rinehart know about the media? No wonder Seven and Nine are chortling (even if Nine is in trouble as well).

Everyone in TV is looking forward to Monday when Seven verses James Warburton and Ten is supposed to pop up again in the NSW Supreme Court. How long will it be before a confidential settlement is reached? Say about September, in time to keep Warburton away from Ten for most of the year.

Halt to drug approvals. The Therapeutic Goods Administration has stopped approving medicines — for now. Templates for the new approval letters are still being reviewed by the legal people, and as a result, nothing can be approved at the moment.

Union has its own problems. If you were employed by an organisation where senior managers routinely made s-xist, racist and other inappropriate comments about staff, and the CEO was well aware of this but hasn’t dealt with the problem behaviour, you might consider going to your union. But what if the employer is a union? Will it take an embarrassing formal complaint to the Equal Opportunities Commission before the problem is even acknowledged? Obviously the steady stream of complaints and staff departures isn’t having an effect. A policy that bullying and harassment won’t be tolerated isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if by his inaction the CEO tacitly endorses it.

Peter Fray

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