Ed in a SPIN

Ed­die McGuire’s ca­reer in TV, sport and ra­dio is on a roll again af­ter a slump in 2008, writes Colin Vick­ery

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story -

Ative streak. And he’s never more vo­cal than when he’s forced to de­fend his am­bi­tions and con­vic­tions.

There have been many who’ve set out to un­set­tle McGuire by hav­ing a crack at his way of do­ing busi­ness in TV, sport, and ra­dio, so it’s no sur­prise the 46-year-old pres­i­dent of Colling­wood Foot­ball Club talks of the deep sat­is­fac­tion of see­ing the Mag­pies win the 2010 AFL premier­ship.

He’s also qui­etly pleased his quiz show Hot Seat is con­sis­tently beat­ing Deal or No Deal in the rat­ings and that his Hot Break­fast ra­dio show is steadily gain­ing lis­ten­ers in the Mel­bourne mar­ket.

McGuire, who on Tues­day re­vis­its one of his biggest TV hits as host of Chan­nel 9’s The Na­tional IQ Test (the orig­i­nal ver­sion was a rat­ings smash in 2002), is in a vastly dif­fer­ent place than mid-2008, when he was nick­named ‘‘ Ed­die Nowhere’’ by me­dia crit­ics.

Back then, McGuire was slammed for pock­et­ing a $4 mil­lion-a-year salary de­spite hav­ing no reg­u­lar TV show. Colling­wood was in cri­sis af­ter play­ers Heath Shaw and Alan Di­dak be­came em­broiled in a drink­ing and driv­ing scan­dal.

It came af­ter McGuire’s con­tro­ver­sial ten­ure as Nine CEO, which ended in June 2007.

‘‘ It surely can’t get any worse for Ed­die McGuire,’’ one scribe said in Au­gust 2008.

‘‘ He’s be­come a tar­get of vit­riol within the (Nine) net­work given that his $4 mil­lion salary for do­ing sod all is more than the en­tire bud­get for the axed Sun­day pro­gram.’’ NYONE who’s dealt with Ed­die McGuire will tell you he has a fierce com­peti-

McGuire ad­mits the barbs hurled at him at this time hurt. ‘‘ It was hard there for a pe­riod where peo­ple were writ­ing ‘ Ed­die Ev­ery­where and now he’s get­ting paid to do noth­ing’,’’ McGuire says.

‘‘ It was the first time in my ca­reer where it wasn’t all hap­pen­ing.

‘‘ It (ca­reer) had al­ways been on an up­ward trend and this was a bit of a stalling sit­u­a­tion af­ter a ma­jor up­heaval.

‘‘ I was work­ing just as hard but I wasn’t on air as much. In a lot of ways you’re work­ing harder be­cause you try and make things (TV shows) hap­pen.

‘‘ It feels harder be­cause the crit­i­cism is there. It was frus­trat­ing be­cause you don’t have that con­trol.’’

The turn­around in McGuire’s for­tunes has come through per­sis­tence and his abil­ity to put a new spin on past glo­ries.

Hot Seat is a re­vamped ver­sion of the mega­suc­cess­ful Who Wants to be a Mil­lion­aire. Hot Break­fast a vari­a­tion on early Triple M ra­dio hit The Grill Team.

The Na­tional IQ Test con­tin­ues the trend. When the first one aired in 2002 it was a mon­ster hit.

Livinia Nixon re­places for­mer co-host Ca­tri­ona Rown­tree. ‘‘ I think the era of neg­a­tive (TV shows) is over. Peo­ple are look­ing for in­spir­ing sto­ries, a bit of fun, re­lax­ation,’’ he says.

Right now, McGuire is on a roll and he in­tends to keep it go­ing on all fronts — foot­ball, ra­dio and tele­vi­sion.

‘‘ Once you win a premier­ship you want to win an­other,’’ McGuire says. ‘‘ There is no rest­ing of lau­rels. There is the coach­ing change over in 12 months (Mick Malt­house to Nathan Buck­ley). That will be an in­ter­est­ing time.

‘‘ I sup­pose I need to get elected (as Colling­wood pres­i­dent) again at the end of the year. I’d like to think the mem­bers might have thought this year wasn’t bad.

‘‘ I’ll stand for pres­i­dent again at the end of this sea­son and that will be an­other three years at least. I’ve re­ally en­joyed get­ting back on the ra­dio, the pro­duc­tion side (McGuire Me­dia) is go­ing well and we have pitched some dra­mas around the place in re­cent times.

I have thoughts about where the in­dus­try might be head­ing and I’m po­si­tion­ing my­self ac­cord­ingly.

‘‘ It’s about com­ing up with good ideas and shows that peo­ple like.

‘‘ I love the whole me­dia en­ter­tain­ment busi­ness.’’ The Na­tional IQ Test, Chan­nel 9, Tues­day, 7.30pm

Com­pet­i­tive: Ed­die McGuire is repris­ing The Na­tional IQ Test.

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