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Oz exec was <I>like</I> family

Gyngell sets record straight about Packer ties

For four years, recently ankled Nine Network CEO David Gyngell, had allowed everyone to think he is the godson of Nine Network majority owner Kerry Packer.

During that time the former surfwear retailer — son of the late Bruce Gyngell, an ex-Nine Network topper — rose from senior exec to CEO.

All the while he’d been tagged by the press as “Kerry Packer’s godson” and “best man at James Packer’s wedding.”

James is Kerry’s son, a senior exec at Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd. and undoubtedly Gyngell’s closest and oldest friend. But Packer senior, it turns out, is not Gyngell’s godfather after all.

The misperception dates back to a 2001 article in the Sunday Morning Herald, but neither Gyngell or Packer had ever acted to correct it — at least until they were no longer part of the same business family.

Three weeks ago, just before Gyngell ankled Nine following the encroachment of other execs onto his turf, Nine’s publicity unit phoned the Sydney Confidential gossip column at the Daily Telegraph to deny he was Packer’s godson.

The PR unit was acting at Gyngell’s request — to set the record straight before the spurious family connection went up in flames.

So much for family ties.