It was a comprehensive response but arguably one that closed the door after the horse had bolted.

There was disenchantment among the rank and file in the newsroom, and Nine media competitors could smell blood in the water.

As for the board, its dynamics have subsequently undergone a change. Costello’s wrangle with a Murdoch journalist was seemingly enough to fuel the Nine board’s tinderbox.

To be fair to Nine’s now ex-chairman, the footage was sufficiently unclear to ascertain whether Costello had any culpability.

But the incident, which went viral, was potent enough to hijack the agenda at Nine’s board meeting last Friday.

A board meeting on Sunday has turned out to be Costello’s last.


And he may not be the last casualty. Costello’s leaving statement referred to a board refresh that he said had been raised at the end of last year.

This will be no “one and done” situation. The pressure on Nine’s management will remain and the negative press won’t abate. If anything, detractors may yet come out of the woodwork and at some point, Nine’s shareholders will start to worry.

If the Nine board believes that sacrificing Costello will remove the turbulence, they may be disappointed. Costello’s replacement, Catherine West, now faces the Herculean task of steering the ship into safety.

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