Brian Naylor was posthumously inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame last night, as three of the newsreaders he mentored gave glowing testimonials of the late Melbourne news presenter.
Nine's Peter Hitchener, who became the weeknight news presenter in Melbourne after Naylor's retirement, said that Naylor - who died when his Kinglake property was destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires - had throughout his career earned the respect of colleagues and rivals alike.
"Regardless of any network rivalries, Brian enjoyed everybody's respect. Brian was a class act on and off camera. Brian was an extraordinary mix of grace and professionalism. And you know, after they made Brian, they broke the mould."
Also on stage were Seven's Peter Mitchell and Ten's Mal Walden, who joined Hitchener in praising Naylor's influence as a news presenter and his "magnificent X-factor". Walden succeeded Naylor as Seven's chief newsreader in Melbourne after Naylor moved across to Nine in 1978, while Mitchell worked alongside Naylor in the GTV-9 newsroom in the 1980s.
"Brian had that magnificent X-factor," said Walden. "He had the look, he had the voice, he had the ability to talk under water. Brian was the consummate communicator, and he was a great mentor. And nobody appreciates that more than the three of us."
According to Mitchell: "As a young man, presenting alongside Brian in the 1980s, I had my own personal masterclass. He was smooth, confident, always in control, completely unflappable. And you knew he was a man you could trust."
Naylor's induction into the Hall of Fame had been widely reported beforehand.
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