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Sky News beefs up weekend supervision after Cottrell controversy

Sky News has put The Adam Giles Show in recess and appointed two new directors to manage the station’s weekend programming, following an interview with far-right nationalist Blair Cottrell on Sunday evening.

The broadcaster, which aired an interview with Cottrell on its new show with former NT chief minister Adam Giles, described it as an “error of judgement”.

The Adam Giles Show is now in recess

Sky’s move to beef up the station’s weekend editorial team comes after its Sunday morning Outsiders program came under fire in July for inappropriate comments by Senator David Leyonhjelm towards his colleague, Sarah Hanson Young.

A statement from outgoing CEO Angelos Frangopoulos said the Adam Giles Show would go into “recess”, as it looked to “implement new processes and review the production format and structure”. He also said Cottrell would not return to the channel.

“Sky News has investigated the editorial processes in relation to an interview broadcast on Sunday evening,” Frangopoulos said.

“We deeply regret featuring the interview on our channel. It was an error of judgement and we have taken action to ensure our standards, which we are proud of, are maintained.”

As part of the review, Sky News has appointed Greg Byrnes as acting program director and Kaycie Bradford as acting news director.

“The Sky News editorial leadership team will ensure the production of weekend programs and guest appearances meet editorial, journalistic and community expectations,” he added.

Sky News’ action follows a day’s worth of outrage, which stemmed from the interview. On Sunday night, Sky News Australia released a statement by Greg Byrnes, news director, who admitted it was “wrong” to have Cottrell on the channel.

The interview also resulted with the resignation of former Australian Labor Party politician, Craig Emerson, who said the interview attempted to normalise racism and bigotry.

Today Cottrell, who has kept the footage across his social media channels, responded to the news on Twitter: “I am so hated by the Left and their corporate masters that if you’re a presenter for mainstream media in Australia, you’ll literally lose your job if you interview me.”

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