Network 10’s announcement yesterday that it was slashing its news programs and showing major talent the door was as unexpected as it was savage.
With the pandemic cutting a swathe through the network’s ad revenues, stalwart stars including Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Natarsha Belling and 28-year veteran weatherman, Tim Bailey, were all called in to HR to sign their redundancy papers.
10’s director of news content, Ross Dagan, calling the cuts “painful changes” that “reflect the state of the media industry in recent years and the need for all media companies to achieve new efficiencies.”
Dagan added: “The decision to make these changes was a very difficult one and I want to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our friends and colleagues who will leave the network.
“It is in no way a reflection of their talent, contribution or passion. They are exceptionally gifted people. We are incredibly proud of them and their work. There is no doubt they will be missed,” he said.
Arguably, the writing was on the wall for high-paid celebs at the network as far back as July last year when MasterChef announced a new line-up of unknown hosts – replacing Matt, Gary and George – that went on to prove a ratings winner for the network.
All up, it’s believed as many as 25 jobs will go in the shake-up, many of those from the network’s newsrooms in Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.
TV veteran Kerri-Anne Kennerley labelled her redundancy as “heartbreaking” on this morning’s edition of Studio10.
“Companies do these sort of cuts to make the business better, which in the long run saves a lot more jobs,” a contrite Kennerley told viewers.
“I am very, very sad because I will miss you guys and miss the audience, miss the feedback but that said, it is what it is. You just have to suck it up and move on.”
The 66-year-old Kennerly – who, admittedly, has had a controversial two years on the show – said of her decades-long TV career that she’d learned that you “don’t have to be the most intelligent, you don’t have to be the strongest but you have to be, to survive, the most adaptable”.
The 57-year-old Bailey has yet to publicly comment on his axing, however, fans took to social media to show their remorse.
“Tim Bailey is by and far the best weather man on TV. I love his segments. He can’t go!” one person tweeted. While another labelled him a “weather God”.
Another woman added: “I’m not going to be watching 10 anymore … Tim is the best weatherman ever and Natarsha is great with the news … and I have ALWAYS loved Kerri-Ann!”
Beverley McGarvey, chief content officer and executive vice-president of ViacomCBS Australia and New Zealand, said yesterday: “These decisions are not being made lightly – however, they are essential to future-proofing our business.”
Among other media outlets that have cut jobs or reduced employees’ working hours this year are Seven West Media, Foxtel, Nine, Southern Cross Austereo, Australian Radio Network, Nova and Bauer Media.
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