Eddie McGuire is taking a break of indeterminate length from his football media duties following his exit from Collingwood, with a degree of uncertainty about when he will return to his hosting and commentary roles for AFL-related shows.
McGuire said at his final media conference as Collingwood president that “with the indulgence” of his media partners he would “take a break for a a little while to regroup and heal”.
While McGuire has gone to ground and not commented since he announced his exit from the Collingwood presidency, sources who had been in contact with the media personality said he could take a break of a few months as he regroups, but it was not clear how long his break from those duties would last.
Taking a break: Eddie McGuire.Credit:Getty Images
Channel Nine, however, is acting on the assumption that McGuire will be back hosting Footy Classified on Wednesday nights for the 2021 season, according to network sources. Nine is the owner of this masthead.
Industry sources said Fox Footy, where McGuire is one of the main hosts and a game caller, was taking a similar position to Nine, assuming that he would be back in his roles, without having a specific return date.
McGuire’s company, Jam TV, also produces Footy Classified, which is expected to have the same line-ups as last year, with shows on Monday and Wednesday nights.
McGuire’s departure has left the Collingwood board with a decision to make on his immediate successor, with businessman Peter Murphy the favourite, ahead of corporate recovery specialist Mark Korda. An external candidate for the presidency is unlikely at this stage. Ex-Victorian premier John Brumby and ex-Sport Australia and finance heavyweight John Wylie have ruled themselves out of the running.
But the Collingwood board also has to decide whether the president is appointed for an interim period until they find a longer-term successor – an option that appears unlikely – or for a full term.
McGuire’s board position can also be filled by an appointment and the board may also need to decide whether to wait for a new director to join before they decide the presidency.
Collingwood’s board nominations committee, led by wealthy businessman Bryan Dorman and recruitment specialist Peter Waite, has already been researching potential board members. Collingwood’s nominations committee can recommend for or against a candidate running for the board, but cannot block a member from nominating and going to an election.
McGuire had nearly two years to run on his term when he stood down, following fierce criticism from outside the club. Some fellow directors also took a view that it would be better if he stepped aside, as sponsors also expressed concerns following the release of the Do Better report on historic racism and McGuire’s widely criticised mention of a “historic and proud day” at a media conference following the leaking of the report.
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