SYDNEY– Eight months after replacing David Leckie as chief exec of Australia’s Nine Network, Ian Johnson has returned to Nine’s Melbourne channel, where he is exec chairman.
John Alexander, CEO of PBL Media, a division of Nine’s parent company PBL, has taken responsibility for the network.
Johnson told colleagues he prefers to live in Melbourne, where he ran Nine’s outlet for 16 years before moving over to run Crown Casino, also owned by a Kerry Packer company. He was summoned to Sydney when Leckie was fired after steep drops in the net’s ratings and revenues.
According to several insiders, Johnson was uncomfortable with the top-heavy upper echelon at Nine and with the cost-cutting regime that PBL has imposed.