Lisa Wilkinson and Carrie Bickmore reportedly set to face pay cuts as The Project ratings plummet

''I have no idea how Ten could afford to pay such ludicrous salaries.''
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Some of the most recognisable faces in Australian television could be forced to take a pay cut as The Project‘s viewers continue to plummet.

Ratings for the news panel show are down 20 per cent year on year, with just 367,000 metro viewers tuning in last week. It’s a stark contrast to the 538,000 audience the show raked in in 2011.

To keep the Channel 10 show afloat, original host Carrie Bickmore and Lisa Wilkinson, who joined the show in 2017, are reportedly facing hefty pay cuts, Sydney Confidential claims.

Carrie Bickmore, who has hosted the show since its 2011 inception, reportedly makes $1.5million per year.

(Image: Ten)

Lisa is rumoured to make $1.7 million per year, Carrie is said to be be on $1.5 million, while it’s expected co-host Waleed Aly won’t face cuts on his $900,000 salary.

Despite Channel 10 vehemently denying the show could be headed for an axing, a TV insider told the publication that The Project has the “unwanted title of commercial TV’s worst-performing regular nightly premium program”.

“East coast is where the audience has deserted in droves over this period. In Sydney it’s bottomed out to just 96,000 per night from a high of 130,000 in 2011. In Melbourne (its celebrated home) it’s also bad. Down to 133,000 from a high of 180,000 in 2011,” the source said.

Another insider claimed that due to the dire ratings, the show won’t be on our screens for much longer.

Lisa is rumoured to make $1.7 million per year on The Project.

(Image: Ten)

The disarray coincides with Brooke Blurton’s current season of The Bachelorette, which so far has been a ratings disaster for Channel 10.

Season seven of the dating show premiered late last month to a record low amount of viewers, making it the least watched debut episode in the franchise’s history.

The first episode raked in just 397,000 viewers (five city metro). By comparison, Channel Nine’s The Block attracted an audience of 851,000.

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Despite the disappointing audience numbers, Channel 10 has stood by its decision to deviate from the usual format and have both men and women vying for Brooke’s heart.

Jarrod Villani, the executive vice president of ViacomCBS ANZ, which owns the network, said the decision to cast Brooke as the leading lady was to ensure all Aussies can be represented on television.

“It really does represent all of Australia, and puts fabulous diversity on our screen,” he told TV Tonight.

“We are very conscious as an organisation that when you take steps forward, and believe in a direction from a cultural perspective, then you do open yourself up to criticism. And we’re okay with that.”

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