TV

Channel Nine flip the script and say THEY walked out on Lisa Wilkinson

When will it end?

By Bella Brennan

Can't we just have our morning Vegemite toast and watch our favourite breakfast show safe in the knowledge everyone gets along? Apparently not!

In what’s shaping up to be the biggest scandal in Australian TV, Channel Nine have come out swinging at Lisa Wilkinson, insisting it was them who terminated their working relationship.

Nine’s top dog, CEO Mark Hughes spoke to The Daily Telegraph and claimed Lisa was offered a $1.8 million package but was aiming for $2.3 million.

“I went to an incredible amount of trouble to build that [$1.8 million] package for her. She wanted $2.3 million. It wasn’t a $200,000 shortfall to [Karl’s] $2 million magic number. It was $500,000,” Hughes explained to the publication.

He also claimed Lisa’s prior “multiple commercial contracts” with other companies meant they couldn’t have full access to her.

Wilkinson is currently the editor-at-large of the Australian arm of The Huffington Post, which is a direct competitor to nine’s various websites.

WATCH: Sylvia pays a fond farewell to her colleague and dear friend, "Lise". Post continues below!

Nine's CEO Mark Hughes says he negotiated a robust pay package for Lisa but it fell $500,000 short of her $2 million target.
Nine's CEO Mark Hughes says he negotiated a robust pay package for Lisa but it fell $500,000 short of her $2 million target.

The CEO added that her current set-up meant Nine couldn’t “engage with her digitally.”

“I hate the fact we have to compare her with Karl but with him we have those rights (to complete access). With Lisa, we do not,” Hughes said.

Meanwhile an unnamed Nine insider dug the boot in further by alleging to The Daily Telegraph: “Karl is worth more money. That’s just a fact.”

“Karl is worth more money. That’s just a fact," a Nine insider has claimed.
“Karl is worth more money. That’s just a fact," a Nine insider has claimed.

Throwing yet another spanner in the works is the fact that Lisa’s rumoured replacement Sylvia Jeffreys is still in the midst of her contract negations with the network.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the 31-year-old is yet to sign on the dotted line with The Today Show and could therefore still be open to exploring other job opportunities on rival networks.

In the meantime, we’ve got two willing (and very unlikely) replacements in PR queen Roxy Jacenko and Bachelor star Keira Maguire, who have both put their hands up for the coveted gig.

What a weird and wild time to be alive!

Sylvia Jeffreys is believed to still be negotiating her contract with the network.
Sylvia Jeffreys is believed to still be negotiating her contract with the network.