Nine’s Darren Wick promises 60 Minutes is ‘here to stay’ in response to ‘fairy-tale’ Sunday Telegraph report

Nine’s national director of news and current affairs, Darren Wick, has hit back at reports in The Sunday Telegraph over the weekend that 60 Minutes is on the chopping block, calling it ‘one of the most important programmes on Nine’s schedule’.

A piece written for Sunday Confidential cited ‘industry sources’ who said the cancellation of Seven’s Sunday Night left a lack of competition for 60 Minutes and meant the quality of the program had slipped.

But Wick has refuted the claims, calling the article ‘total fantasy’ and questioning whether there were any ‘insiders’ behind it.

“I challenge the authenticity of the “insider” quoted in the story. Even the language of the quote, in my view, gives it away. Why would an “insider” say “they”? I submit that this source, if they even exist, is not currently from 60 Minutes, nor Nine. The story is wrong. It’s not merely a beat-up. It’s factually wrong. The reporter was told this by Nine yesterday but chose to write a piece they can never back up,” Wick said in an email to Nine staff.

“Let me put this on the record with my name attached to it as a genuine and verifiable source. There has never been a discussion between executives at Nine about axing 60 Minutes. That position has never been considered by myself, the CEO nor anyone else who matters. NEVER. EVER.”

Wick went on to say 60 Minutes had been a staple for Nine for four decades and would be for another four to come. Wick also paid tribute to the journalists and staffers on 60 Minutes and their investigative reporting.

“The story claiming our future is in doubt is misleading and wrong. We’re here to stay,” he concluded.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, Nine’s new current affairs lineup would see it rely on A Current Affair, which ‘has a news-breaking tradition of its own, forged over years of blockbuster political interviews and hard-yards reporting’. But, the article concedes, it would be hard to replace 60 Minutes which brings ‘heft’ to a big story.

Last weekend 60 Minutes worked with The Age to bring to light MP Adem Somyurek alleged branch-stacking, drawing 827,000 metro viewers. A 60 Minutes episode in May was criticised for ‘clickbait’ promos from an interview with Kiis FM host Kyle Sandilands.


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