Global car giant Nissan will terminate its sponsorship deal with The Footy Show at the end of the 2016 AFL season in the wake of Sam Newman’s scathing rebuke of Age journalist Caroline Wilson. The news comes as the embattled program posts slumping ratings figures, with The Footy Show shedding half its Melbourne audience in just four weeks.
Fairfax Media has learned that crisis talks took place between Nine managing director Ian Paterson and Nissan Australia chief executive Richard Emery last week, after Newman defended his close friend Eddie McGuire over the “ice bath” furore. Newman described reporting of the story as a “backwater of garbage” peddled by “cowardly excrement” in “second-tier media”.
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He also declared: “The jig is up Caro, honestly and truly. You’ve become an embarrassment. Even if you were underwater, you’d still be talking”.
The statements may be investigated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority.