Ch9 have tonight confirmed that the Executive Producer of the Today show Neil Breen has stood down from the role and been replaced by former news director Mark Calvert effective immediately.
As reported by this website last week, 2013 has seen Breen involved in a number of unusual situations, The latest involving Breen hiring a lawyer and attempting to block the Daily Telegraph from publishing an article focused on Today’s ratings decline.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Nine’s management were furious over the legal move.
It is understood that Today cast members met with News Director Darren Wick on several occasions complaining about the behaviour of Breen who has a reputation of blasting on-air talent with abusive tirades during ad breaks.
Things recently came to a head on the program with the shows host Lisa Wilkinson storming off set for 45 minutes unhappy with the direction of the show and focus on her co-host Karl Stefenovic.
Last month Darren Wick appointed Mark Calvert with the job of supervising Neil Breen with the hope he would be able to keep his anger in check.
Breen will remain with the network in the role of Investigative Sports Producer for Nine News.
Darren Wick informed staff of the decision via email,
"Neil came to me this week with his decision to stand down as the Executive Producer of the Today show, a role he has thrown his heart and soul into for the past 12 months.
“His passion, commitment to hard work and outstanding journalistic instincts will play a significant role as Nine expands our News broadcasts across the day, and across the country.
“The Nine News Sports teams are the best in the business, and bringing Neil aboard – already boasting a Walkley Award for his coverage of Sport – adds a new dimension to our reporting.
“I would personally like to thank Neil for his contribution to the Today show. Running a breakfast television program is the most demanding role there is in commercial TV. Not for one second, did Neil walk away from its toughest challenges. The record will show that Today is finishing 2013 in strong shape. We’ve beaten Sunrise along the East Coast, in Sydney and in Melbourne to win the ratings year. And our gains in Brisbane have been the best in a decade.”