When Samantha Armytage revealed she hadn't spoken to her former Sunrise co-stars once since her exit early last month, she only fuelled speculation of a rift between her and the Seven team.
And now, a well-placed source reveals to Woman's Day that Sam's reasoning for shunning her TV family comes down to their ability to replace her so willingly and swiftly with Natalie Barr.
"The stark reality has sunk in that Sam wasn't irreplaceable, and it's been a hard thing to acknowledge," says our insider, adding Sam feels somewhat betrayed by those who were once her biggest supporters.
"Seven were quick to make the announcement that Nat was taking the reins, and by the end of the first week it was a case of 'Sam who?'.
They have simply wiped the slate of any reference to the old team – it's as though nothing has really changed except everyone seems very relaxed and happy."
The natural rapport between long-time co-host David Koch and Nat, 53, and the team's palpable relaxed atmosphere is translating across the airwaves too, with the morning news show projected to rise in the ratings in the coming months.
With a natural chemistry with Kochie, 65, and stellar ratings already under her belt, Nat's effortless transition from demure supporting act to glamorous leading lady has also proved to be a tough pill for Sunrise's former golden girl to swallow.
"No doubt Sam will be tuning into Sunrise and would be feeling a little miffed that Nat is nailing her new role, especially when she already seems so confident doing it," says the source.
"They certainly revamped Nat for her new role on the main desk.
She's lost 5kg from a strict exercise and diet plan and she's become every designer's go-to TV star, with Seven's wardrobe department fielding calls every day asking what she was wearing on-air that morning."
Since her departure, Sam, 44, has insisted she's loving her new quiet life in the NSW Southern Highlands on the farm with her husband Richard Lavender, however watching Nat shine while knowing that her 18-month "gardening leave" contract forbids her from pursuing any work in TV is bittersweet.
"She enjoyed the first few weeks as a lady of leisure, but she's having all sorts of regrets now the dust has settled," the insider says.
"Knowing Sam, she'll be restless to get back into something as quickly as possible. She's always been an ambitious, successful career woman, so it's only natural that she's pondering if she will ever be able to have another opportunity like Sunrise again."
For her part, Sam says she hasn't spoken to any of her former colleagues as she's been enjoying some "quiet time" with her husband away from the spotlight.
"It's only been a few weeks so I've had a quiet time and haven't spoken to anyone [from Sunrise]," she said last week, but insisted, "Life is good, life is great."
Weeks earlier, contention between the once tight-knit team was obvious when Kochie and Nat said they hadn't been invited to Sam's leaving soiree.
"We didn't know about it," they told the media, adding they had only found out about it by seeing photographs from the event the next day.