It’s happened – and a little quicker than I thought it would. The following e-mail was sent tonight to the team at Nine…
From: “Wick, Darren”
Date: 27 November 2013 7:29:57 pm AEDT
To: Nine Team
Subject: TODAY – Neil Breen
I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Neil Breen to NINE NEWS SYDNEY as an investigative Sports producer.
Neil came to me this week with his decision to stand down as the Executive Producer of the TODAY Show, a role he has thrown his heart and soul into for the past 12 months.
His passion, commitment to hard work and outstanding journalistic instincts will play a significant role as NINE expands our NEWS broadcasts across the day, and across the country.
The NINE NEWS Sports teams are the best in the business, and bringing Neil aboard – already boasting a Walkley Award for his coverage of Sport – adds a new dimension to our reporting.
I would personally like to thank Neil for his contribution to the TODAY Show. Running a breakfast television program is the most demanding role there is in commercial TV. Not for one second, did Neil walk away from its toughest challenges. The record will show that TODAY is finishing 2013 in strong shape. We’ve beaten SUNRISE along the East Coast, in Sydney and in Melbourne to win the ratings year. And our gains in Brisbane have been the best in a decade.
Mark Calvert will assume responsibilities for TODAY, effective immediately.
That’s the Nine Network Head of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick telling the team that Today Show EP Neil Breen has offered to stand down, has been moved into the News department and replaced by former Nine Network Head of News and Current Affairs Mark Calvert (who we have to presume remains as the EP for Financial Review Sunday). Media pressure had been building on the former editor of the Daily Telegraph since rumours of behind-the-scenes trouble had spilled into the public arena, with likely the final straw Breen had engaged defamation lawyers to warn The Sunday Telegraph from publishing an article about him last weekend. Calvert had been brought in recently to help smooth things over between the talent, producers and the EP – and now it seems he has the job.
Wick is right that Today is in pretty good shape, though some recent missteps and missed opportunities reflect the backroom upheaval we’ve all been hearing about that meant those increases this year could have been better. Sounds like a pretty reasonable outcome for everyone.
Ain’t nothing boring about Brekky television.