Accompanied by a flurry of northbound media eyebrows, Eddie McGuire (41), presenter of top-rating gameshow Who Wants to be a Millionaire, has been appointed chief executive of Nine, Australia's largest commercial TV network.

He replaces seasoned professional Sam Chisholm, who back in the 90s masterminded the success of Rupert Murdoch's UK moneyspinner BSkyB. Last year, semi-retired Chisholm stepped into the breach at Nine after a flounce-out by preceding ceo David Gyngell [WAMN: 11-May-05].

It was made clear at the time that Chisholm's tenure would last only until a suitable successor was found. And to the astonishment of the Australian TV industry, the Chosen One is McGuire.

He was personally anointed by James Packer, who took over the running of Nine's parent company, Publishing and Broadcasting, following the death in December of his father Kerry.

McGuire is to renounce his presenting duties on Millionaire and The Footy Show.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff