Browne's days were numbered at network

Nine Network managing director Jeff Browne is a commercial guy who would readily understand that having two highly paid executives doing the same job is unsustainable in a financially challenged industry where every cent counts.

Nine Network managing director Jeff Browne is a commercial guy who would readily understand that having two highly paid executives doing the same job is unsustainable in a financially challenged industry where every cent counts.

His boss, David Gyngell, was always going to be top dog at Nine and Browne's days have been numbered for a while.

Browne has been at Nine for more than seven years, having been recruited by former Nine boss Eddie McGuire. Browne, a lawyer, had previously been McGuire's agent. Browne's job will now become that of a part-time commercial adviser. His current role will disappear as his direct reports and Gyngell absorb most of his duties.

His skills were more in demand in the days when Nine was a conglomerate of media companies with numerous digital and magazine brands. It is a simpler television-focused company today where the big negotiated deals are around programming, such as the recently won right to televise Test cricket.

In the gossip-crazy world of TV there will be lots of speculation and spin around whether he was pushed or jumped, but realistically it was probably a bit of both. Nine is busy getting itself into lean working order for its ultimate stock exchange float and all excess salaries need to be thrown overboard.

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