The spectacular fallout from Sky News’ interview with far-right extremist Blair Cottrell has gathered steam, with the network installing further measures to try and save face.
Cottrell’s appearance on The Adam Giles Show on Sunday night left a bad taste in many people’s mouths, with Sky News’ initial apology not enough to stop Craig Emerson from quitting his role as a commentator.
Coincidentally, Sky News host Helen Dalley also announced her departure yesterday morning, but noted her resignation was not due to the Cottrell interview.
Personal/professional news: after 11 triffic years at @SkyNewsAust &@SkyBusiness I have resigned, want 2 explore new projects/challenges 1/2
— Helen Dalley (@helen_dalley) August 6, 2018
Furthermore, Luxury Escapes has vowed to pull its sponsorship of the show, while Virgin Australia said it would launch an internal review.
“Thanks for letting us know @WYS1WYG. So disappointing! We’re addressing this immediately and we will get our ads removed. Thanks again.”
— Luxury Escapes (@Lux_Escapes) August 6, 2018
Hi Benjamin, thanks for reaching out. I can see that you’re in the process of contacting our corporate communications team and please be assured that the relevant departments will be contacted for internal review. Thank you.
— Virgin Australia (@VirginAustralia) August 5, 2018
Outgoing Australian News Channel CEO Angelos Frangopoulos has since issued a statement saying Sky News has investigated the editorial processes in relation to the controversial interview, saying that “Cottrell will noty be back on the channel”.
“We deeply regret featuring the interview on our channel,” he said.
“It was an error of judgement and we have taken action to ensure our standards, which we are proud of, are maintained.”
As part of its review, Sky News has appointed Greg Byrnes to the newly created role of acting program director, and Kaycie Bradford has taken up the role of acting news director.
“The Sky News editorial leadership team will ensure the production of weekend programs and guest appearances meet editorial, journalistic and community expectations,” Frangopoulos said.
“The Adam Giles Show will be in recess as we implement the new processes and review the production format and structure of the program.”
A statement from Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO Australian News Channel, regarding the Sunday night broadcast of The Adam Giles Show. pic.twitter.com/KLS9AEgXhM
— Sky News Australia (@SkyNewsAust) August 6, 2018