Seven promotes editor accused of lewd, drunken behaviour (2024)


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By Kishor Napier-Raman and Noel Towell



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Unsurprisingly, Seven still hasn’t lived down revelations that the network’s Spotlight program paid for Bruce Lehrmann’s sex workers and cocaine in an attempt to secure a tell-all interview with the former Liberal staffer.


On Monday, director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson announced his widely anticipated departure, the latest victim of the scandal that has engulfed the network and enraged its octogenarian billionaire overlord Kerry Stokes.

That is, widely anticipated by everyone except The Australian’s media writers Sophie Elsworth and James Madden, who in Monday’s paper wrote that “it was understood” that McPherson’s job was safe. Not understood by Craig.

The news boss follows Spotlight executive producer Mark Llewellyn, supervising producer Steve “Jacko” Jackson and junior fixer-turned-Federal Court witness Taylor Auerbach out the door. Outgoing chief executive James Warburton made his departure effective immediately following a recent board meeting. Stokes’ long-term consigliere Bruce McWilliam also called it quits last month, before the Spotlight scandal had truly blown up.

But all those who’ve fled the wreckage of the Lehrmann disaster should take solace in the fact that Seven is a place that believes in second chances. The inevitable reshuffle that followed McPherson’s exit brought a promotion for West Australian editor-in-chief Anthony De Ceglie, meaning former editor of The Australian Chris Dore is now, in the interim, running the papers.

That’s a pretty swift redemption arc for Dore, who in late 2022 quietly departed the top job at the News Corp broadsheet after allegedly making lewd comments to a woman at a work event in the US.

Later that year, this column revealed Dore as the unnamed News Corp editor whom former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull described in his memoir as subjecting guests to “a tirade of drunken abuse” at a 2015 New Year’s Eve party at Kirribilli House.

Dore’s soiled reputation didn’t stop him landing a gig writing turgid columns at Stokes’ new online newspaper The Nightly. This is Seven West Media, after all! If there’s any silver lining from all this, it’s that The Nightly’s handful of non-ironic readers no longer have to endure his plodding attempts at prose.

But there’s an ickier irony to the latest twist in this tale. Through its obsessive need to platform a man accused of a heinous act, Seven covered itself in filth. Now, it’s brought another bloke felled by allegations of bad behaviour out of exile to help with the clean-up act.



Saudi Arabia’s trillion-dollar plan to convince the world it isn’t a cartoonishly evil petro-state run by a bloodthirsty hereditary autocrat has brought the kingdom’s influence peddlers all the way to our fine shores.

Over the weekend Adelaide once again rolled out the red carpet for the Saudi-backed rebel LIV Golf tournament, much to the excitement of South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas, who’ll do anything to put the forgotten state on the map, it seems. That included spending some of his Anzac Day at LIV’s ceremony, alongside golf’s OG sportswasher Greg Norman.

It isn’t just Malinauskas and the 94,000 punters muzzing out in Adelaide who are in the Saudi orbit. CBD has found great mirth following former Liberal MP Wyatt Roy’s boy’s own adventures around the kingdom, where he’s heading innovation for Saudi ruler Mohammed bin Salman’s futuristic new (shrinking) city.

The latest is former Labor defence minister Joel Fitzgibbon, who last month picked up an ambassador gig with a not-for-profit called the Australian Saudi Business Forum, dedicated to building bilateral relations with the kingdom. Fitz has also registered as a lobbyist for Trademark Group of Companies, which helps local businesses expand into the kingdom, and is run by Sam Jamsheedi, who also runs the forum.


All today’s talk of second chances and political afterlives had CBD wondering about the fate of Andrew Broad, the former Nationals assistant minister to the deputy prime minister who quit federal politics after messages he sent to a “sugar baby” while at a fruit conference in Hong Kong reached the media.

Broad’s texts to “Sophia” boasting that he knew how to “fly a plane, ride a horse, f--- my woman” and promising to “pull you close, run my strong hands down your back, softly kiss your neck and whisper ‘G’day mate’” became a kind of icky meme from which there was no coming back.

CBD can report that Broad has now swapped central Victoria for Queensland’s Fraser Coast, picking up a director job at the Bendigo Community Bank’s Hervey Bay branch. He says his wife still loves him. And this year he even had a crack at returning to politics, running for the Fraser Coast Regional Council in last month’s elections.

Sadly for Broad, he didn’t get up. But if it’s any consolation, things seem to be going better for him nearly six years on from the scandal that ended his political career. According to Broad’s LinkedIn bio, he’s “enjoying life”. Which is more than we can say for most people who’ve been through the Canberra bubble.

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