The Project’s Carrie Bickmore was putting on a brave face on TV on Tuesday night when the program announced it had spectacularly snared Nine’s Lisa Wilkinson as its new host for 2018.
Bickmore beamed to the audience: “Nine’s loss is our gain here at Network Ten. An incredible woman — smart, funny, down to earth. We couldn’t be more excited.”
However, reports out today suggest the 36-year-old Bickmore is “pissed off” at having to share The Project’s news presenters desk alongside Wilkinson. Admittedly, the source of Bickmore’s supposed rage was an undisclosed source quoted on The Daily Tele’s gossip pages.
Adding to Bickmore’s ire is that Wilkinson has been recruited to Ten on a reported $2 million a year salary – four times that of Bickmore’s.
How other Ten staff must view Wilkinson’s monster pay cheque, having had to endure a dreadful last few months since the broadcaster went into receivership, is anyone’s guess, too. When the average journalist’s salary in Australia is around the $75,000-mark then that’s a lot of journalists.
However, news reports out today suggest that Ten – soon to be owned by US giant CBS – won’t be tightening the salary purse strings anytime soon.
According to another report on The Daily Telegraph, network chiefs are potentially eyeing-up possibly poaching A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw and Sunrise’s Natalie Barr. Today’s Sylvia Jeffreys was another mooted target.
Again, The Tele quote an unnamed industry insider for its scoop. “If you are an executive at one of the major networks, you need to lock down your talent because anyone coming off contract would be attractive to CBS and Ten,’ the insider told the paper. This is a game changer. It is going to cause a real shake up and probably revitalise free-to-air TV in this country.