In a surprise move by the Board of the Australian Broadcasting Corp., Rory Sutton has been removed as the pubcaster’s sports director.
According to insiders, the action follows disquiet by board members about what is perceived as “creeping commercialism” in recent sporting broadcasts. Cited was the coverage of the ABC Sport Australia Awards last month, which contained numerous references to commercial products and on-air mentions of product names. The awards were organized in association with the heavily sponsored Confederation of Australian Sport.
Sutton’s two-year contract is not being renewed and he was told by director of television Paddy Conroy that his deputy, Patrick Furlong, was being installed as acting head of sport immediately.