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Media silly season starts early

AS the 2000 Australian Football League season draws to a close, the media has momentarily taken its eye off the ball to focus on the increasingly intense speculation on the future of Channel Seven’s star AFL commentators.

Dennis Cometti’s defection to Channel Nine for season 2002 has fuelled speculation that Seven may be unable to hold onto Bruce McAveney and Dermott Brereton.

But there also have been some changes behind the scenes with the departure of Channel Nine Perth program manager Ric Bryndzej to pursue other media interests.

Promotions supervisor Rob Pedretti has been appointed the new programs and presentation manager.

“I’ve been here for 15 years, the last eight in promotions, where I was always Ric’s right hand man,” Mr Pedretti said.

“I’m quite excited. I really am looking forward to the challenges of next year with the AFL and a lot of new programming.

“I look forward to looking at local programming and hopefully we will have a new (locally produced) show up in summer.”

A strong commitment to local programming will underpin Mr Pedretti’s new responsibilities.

The icing on the cake for Mr Pedretti was Channel Nine Perth’s sensational ratings performance – thanks to the Wimbledon final with Pat Rafter – in the first official week in the new job.

“The week I officially got the job was the week that Channel Nine Perth had the biggest ratings share ever, and that week we won (in the overall ratings). That’s the only week we’ve won this year,” Mr Pedretti said.

Channel Nine Perth general manager Paul Bowen said football fans would have to wait until the end of the 2001 season for any furher announcements on the commentary line up for the 2002 season.

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