Nine appoints new director of sales, news director

Nine has announced a new director of news and current affairs, as well as a new director of sales – Sydney.

On Thursday afternoon, the network announced Fiona Dear, currently EP of A Current Affair (ACA), for the news director role.

It comes after allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards a female staff surrounding the former director of news and current affairs, Darren Wick, emerged. Wick stepped down from the role in March following 29 years of employment.

On Friday morning, Nine also announced Jo Barton has been appointed director of sales – Sydney. She is currently group business director, with “complete responsibility for Nine’s largest agency group”, and has been at the network since 2016.

Michael Stephenson, Nine’s chief sales officer said: “Jo has a proven track record in helping Australia’s largest brands to use our assets to deliver real business outcomes.”

Speaking on Dear’s appointment, Michael Healy, director of television, said: “Fiona is an outstanding news person, who has worked tirelessly here at Nine across all our broadcast news brands and perfectly understands our news culture of excellence.

“We are excited to see her lead the outstanding team of people in television news to bring the full range of news and current affairs to our audiences.

“At Nine we pride ourselves on our news brand, that heritage lives in the hearts and minds of Australians and has done so for over 60 years.”

Dear first got her start at WIN Wollongong and worked diligently through the WIN Network from Wagga Wagga as a reporter to Canberra for WIN as a reporter and chief of staff.

“A Current Affair is a special family, it’s a team who care passionately about getting to the heart and soul of every story and I’m so proud to have had the opportunity to be a part of this brilliant team. I won’t be taking my eye off the ACA ball, but we will be announcing a new Executive Producer in due course,” Dear said.

Dear will oversee the roster of Channel 9 programs from 6pm news bulletins, breaking news teams, Today, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.

For the past five years, Dear has led the team at ACA, including the handover from long time host Tracy Grimshaw to Ally Langdon.


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