Respected TV sports presenter and author Paul Kennedy is unlikely to return to the ABC News Breakfast studios after COVID-19 distancing restrictions end.
The Bug understands a blazing row between Kennedy and the show’s co-host Lisa Millar has the furious sports presenter determined to continue doing his half-hourly sports reports from his Melbourne home even when the studio at the ABC’s Southbank HQ is once again fully staffed with all on-screen personalities and production crew on duty.
The bitter stand-off erupted earlier this week when Millar on air corrected Kennedy who had mistakenly called Disney World in Florida Disneyland, which of course is the original mega theme park in California, as Miller trumphantly pointed out.
The pair have not spoken directly since and viewers might have noticed that Kennedy now is only saying hello to Michael Rowland in their regular crosses.
A News Breakfast producer who asked not to be named told The Bug: “What on earth was Miller thinking? Did she still think she was working at the Gympie Times?
“No television talent – no-one; never ever – criticises other on-screen talent. It’s simply not done. It’s always “nice segue”, “great interview”, “good stuff” and “you’re on fire today” type compliments designed to present the image of a top-shelf production kicking arse.
“Whether we like it or not, TV news shows like News Breakfast are forever in the hunt for ratings just as much as the mindless swill is, such as Today and Sunrise over on the commercial networks.”
Respected senior journalism academic Hennie Johnsonham of J-College backed the producer’s comments to the hilt.
“Electronic-media journalism is a totally different beast to traditional print-media practices, or as we at J-College refer to it – real reporting,” the professor said.
“To be critical or to make a put-down type correction on-air as Millar did is unforgiveable.
“If she wants to do that, she needs to go back to print media where journos are constantly picking up one another on factual mistakes, grammar hiccups and literals. It’s how they get to become by far the best practitioners in the wonderful craft of journalism.
“The preeners and the pretenders and the ones who think they are perfect even thought they can’t spell to save their lives end up where they belong – on Sixty Minutes.”