The Seven Network has had a small but significant victory over rival Nine by convincing well-regarded producer Craig McPherson to defect back to the Seven News room.
McPherson, a previous Executive Producer of Today Tonight has been appointed Director of News and Public Affairs at Seven. He will have management responsibility for Seven News, Sunday Night, Sunrise, The Morning Show, The Daily Edition and Today Tonight, which still airs in Perth and Adelaide.
McPherson replaces Rob Raschke whom is remaining as a News Director at the network but will now have to report directly to McPherson.
The last three years have been disastrous for Seven News, having seen its audience share decline drastically. Nine has already claimed victory at 6pm for the ratings year in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Nine is now also regularly achieving nightly wins in Adelaide, a market once dominated by Seven.
The Sunday Night current affairs program has also become a significant problem for Seven failing to capture audience mindshare and ratings from rival 60 Minutes. The programs future is under scrutiny. Executive Producer Steve Taylor has been heavily criticised internally at Seven with management believing the former ABC producer has failed to adapt to a commercial environment.
With new leadership at Seven News more changes are expected by the end of 2015. A change of news presenters in Sydney and Melbourne seems increasingly likely. Today Tonight in Adelaide also expected to get the chop soon.
Commenting on the appointment, Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media, said: “I am pleased to be working again with Craig. He’s a great operator. He has a passion for news and public affairs and is driven by success. I look forward to him once again being a vital part of Seven.”