Nine sacks Brisbane staff, accepts resignation following “Chopper-gate” debacle

The Nine Network has sacked three staff in the wake of faked live crosses to reporters in a helicopter and accepted the resignation of QTQ’s Director of News Lee Anderson.

Anderson said in a letter, “This morning I tender my resignation as Director of News accepting full responsibility for the events of the last few days. I have served this network to the best of my ability for almost 25 years. It has been a privilege and I wish the team all the very best.”

Following his resignation, two reporters, Cameron Price and Melissa Mallet, have been terminated. News Producer Aaron Wakely has also been dismissed.

Nine launched an inquiry following the revelation that two live crosses during weekend bulletins purported to be “near Beerwah” but were actually near Nine’s Mt. Cooth-tha studios. It was revealed one of the two crosses didn’t even require the  helicopter to leave Nine’s helipad.

Nine Queensland Managing Director, Kylie Blucher and Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Mark Calvert said in a joint statement: “This has obviously been a very difficult process, but our primary consideration was always Nine News’ commitment to accuracy. This is critical not only to our charter, but to maintaining the trust we have developed with our audience over a very long period.”

Nine Managing Director Jeffrey Browne said: “Our position is unequivocal. We rightly demand accountability and high standards of others, and we must meet those expectations ourselves. Over the weekend, we did not. Our clear determination is to ensure that sort of conduct is never repeated, and we have drawn a very clear line in the sand by removing the staff involved in in that breach of trust with our viewers.”

Last night QTQ News apologised to viewers for the ‘misrepresentation’ in its weekend bulletins.

In a statement Nine advises that ‘newsroom procedures and lines of communication have been reviewed, resulting in immediate changes to QTQ’s news gathering guidelines. All News staff will receive further training on their editorial, legal and code obligations.’

TV Tonight understands an unfair dismissal case by some of the parties is now under consideration.


  1. Channel 9 advertise in their “Wherever News Happens” that Mount Coot-tha is a valid locale for reporting.

    See here:

    Who da thunk it?

  2. @ michael, Dude, Mt Cootha is a long way from Beerwah, so please don’t use a silly technicality like that. I’d hate to be dragged by the short n curlies from Mt Cootha to Beerwah. As for using 7 as a scapegoat, again mate, 9 is not governed by 7, 9s staff decided tp pull a swifty n and got busted, no worse of a scam than that stupid ABC program, only the ABC getsaway with it.

    I do however, agree that sacking was a little bit heavy handed, but, the station has to look after its reputation.

  3. JM, there is a full story about how everything was found out in todays Courier Mail.
    If you look on line it may be on their homepage.
    Great story.

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