ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
As admitted drug mule Cassie Sainsbury stares down the prospect of spending the next six years behind bars in Colombia, senior Nine executives have now been tasked with creating new ways to profit off her reckless and tragic downward spiral.
After entering a guilty plea this morning local time in a Bogata courtroom, the simple South Australian traded a possible two-decade stretch for a much more palatable sentence after reaching a plea bargain with prosecutors.
“We can start with that,” said a leading 60 Minutes producer.
“How did she get the deal? Who can we pay to find out? Who should we send? We’re not getting too much bang for our Seb Costello buck at the moment. We need drama!”
“We need a Tara-Brown-getting-arrested-type saga to milk this financial quarter. Seven have come out of the gate hard and we need to catch up,”
Each of the major news networks, including the ABC, are planning to follow the rest of the episode with the Schapelle Corby playbook close at hand.
That playbook includes a standardised rate card by that grades each extended and close family member by monetary values, while a separate one outlines how much close friends and acquaintances should be paid per interview.
“They’re graded in accordance with how likely the audience will tune,” said another executive.
“If for example, we get Cassie’s high school best friend to appear in an exclusive interview, we’d trump Channel Seven if they could only get her estranged second cousin. Which interview would you rather watch? Exactly.”
“Who would advertisers rather spend their money with? Exactly.”
More to come.