The bitter pay war between our biggest TV stars just deepened with the news that Karl Stefanovic is secretly paid an extra $1 million on top of his already huge $2 million salary, making him the highest-paid host ever on Australian TV.
If Lisa Wilkinson was angry enough to walk out of Nine after a 10-year career because she felt underpaid, earning $1.1 million in comparison to Karl’s wage, imagine what she must feel to know he was paid almost three times what she earned.
Woman’s Day can reveal Karl, 43, takes home almost $160,000 a month (after tax) in an extraordinary deal kept secret until now, with his super-size salary comprised of $2 million in wages and an extra $1 million for use of his image by Nine.
Our favourite TV stars across the networks were already “deeply upset” to discover they earned millions less than Karl and significantly less than the $1.8 million Nine offered Lisa, 57, in a last-ditch attempt to keep her at the network.
“Everyone is looking at their contracts and wondering if the person sitting next to them is earning more or less than them – it has opened the floodgates,” says one TV insider.
WATCH: Karl pays tribute to Lisa following her shock exit. Post continues...
“This is going to cost the networks millions.”
Stars demanding pay increases after the revelations about Karl and Lisa include Sunrise co-hosts Samantha Armytage and David Koch and Today’s Sylvia Jeffreys.
The Project’s Carrie Bickmore is also said to be furious over Lisa’s rumoured $1.5 million pay packet to host The Weekend Project next year, when she’s paid just $600,000.
Nine last week continued to deny the difference in Karl and Lisa’s salaries had anything to do with gender inequality, citing the fact Karl reported for 60 Minutes and hosted This Time Next Year to explain his huge earnings.
For the full story and to find out why Karl's ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn is smiling again, get the new issue of Woman's Day - on sale now!