Eddie McGuire (Image: AAP/David Crosling

This week, Crikey is celebrating its 20th anniversary, so we’ve taken a look through the archives to bring you some of our biggest and most controversial scoops. Today, the explosive affidavit claiming that Eddie McGuire had discussed whether the Nine Network should “bone” then-Today presenter Jessica Rowe.

The affidavit Nine didn’t want you to see

June 26, 2006

It was October 2005. Mark Llewellyn was offered the job of running Nine’s news and current affairs by Sam Chisholm… 

Then came the next stage – a meeting with Kerry Packer: 

But before the meeting there was the little matter of salary… 

…and then he meets KP… 

… who tells him how much he loves Channel Nine: 

On January 11 this year Llewellyn has his first meeting with John Alexander — the man who runs PBL for the Packer family: 

Llewellyn is left feeling concerned about the potential for editorial interference in his new job:

His next challenge, a week later, concerns his decision to remove John Lyons, the executive producer of the Sunday program:

Llewellyn decides to tell Sam Chisholm about what happened:

The Lyons affair reinforced Llewellyn’s concerns about management interference at Nine:

On May 31 Llewellyn is summoned to Eddie McGuire’s office … and then comes an unpleasant conversation … 

…and it just gets worse for Llewellyn…

…and there are a few words about loyalty: 

Llewellyn gets the feeling he doesn’t have a big future left at Nine: 

On Friday June 2 it’s back to Eddie’s office: 

On Tuesday June 6 Llewellyn finds himself in Eddie’s office again: 

By June 9 Llewellyn has lost his office… 

…and a little over a week later Llewellyn starts talking to the Seven Network…

The next day word is out that Llewellyn is talking to Seven…

…and within three days the deal is done with Seven: 

Where are they now?

Of all the juicy tidbits in this affidavit, it was Eddie McGuire’s question about whether they should “bone” — or fire — Jessica Rowe that got the most coverage, and is best remembered.

The story made headlines across Australia, and the controversy lingered for years.

Rowe stayed on at Nine until 2007, when she left over a pay dispute. She spent three years at Weekend Sunrise, then a further five at Studio Ten, before quitting to spend more time with her family.

Mark Llewellyn returned to Nine in 2018, serving as news and current affairs creative director. Earlier this year he announced he was transitioning out of the role, tweeting, with delightful clumsiness for a media veteran, that “As Elvis said, ‘it’s now or never’ to – cue Sinatra- do it my way”.

Eddie McGuire resigned as Nine CEO in 2007. Since then, he’s been busy, comparing Adam Goodes to King Kong, joking about drowning journalist Caroline Wilson, and mocked a double-amputee. He also failed to save The Footy Show from terminal decline. And because the media is, and always has been, a meritocracy, he *checks notes* hasn’t lost a single job on account.

Charlie Lewis

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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