Channel Nine rejects suggestions there was inequality between Lisa’s new deal and Karl’s salary.
Lisa Wilkinson’s defection to Network Ten has been hailed as a momentous moment for women in television, but Channel Nine rejects suggestions it tried to lowball the former co-host of the Today show.
It has been reported that Wilkinson was offered $200,000 less than her former on-air partner Karl Stefanovic after six months of contract negotiations.
It is understood she was to receive $1.8 million a year for her role on Today, a $700,000 upgrade on her previous pay packet. But according to The Daily Telegraph’s “well-placed source”, that was still $200,000 shy of Stefanovic’s salary.
A Nine spokesperson told NewsCorp that Stefanovic demanded a higher wage because of the extra work he does on the network.
“Karl and Lisa would have gender pay parity [with the new contract]. The new offer would put them both on the same pay scale for Today but Karl has extra commitments across 60 Minutes and news, so the two roles are actually not equal.”
After 10 years with Today, Wilkinson will move to Ten to take up a hosting role on The Project, with other roles to be advised. It is believed she has inked a deal worth more than $2 million a year.
“I’m sad to say that today was my last day on the Today Show,” Wilkinson tweeted yesterday, before adding she was “absolutely thrilled” about her move.
Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys delivered emotional farewells to their long-time colleague, with the male anchor saying “you made your mark on this show and on this man”.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) October 16, 2017
“For 10 years, Lisa has dragged herself out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, fed the dogs and cats, put a load of washing on and come into work to inform you of what was happening in the world,” he began.
“For 10 years, she handled the brutal hours with grace, beauty and intelligence and a wicked sense of humour. For whatever reason she won’t be doing that anymore. It is safe to say we are all a little shocked and it will take time to sink in.
“So for now this: Thank you. Thank you for the laughs, the sage advice, the calmness, oh, the calmness. And thank you for all of your support. Thank you for being a great colleague. Thanks for being a great interviewer. Thanks for being a great dancer and a truly, truly terrible singer. Thanks for being a great mum. I know you value that more than anything else and thank you for being a great friend.
Thanks for being a great dancer and a truly, truly terrible singer. – Karl Stefanovic
“The rest I will leave for when I see you but whatever you do, and wherever you go, you do so having made your mark on this show and on this man.
“Mostly you go with my love, lots of love, all my love. We will see you soon, maybe after midday. Enjoy the sleep-ins.”
Jeffreys struggled to hold back tears as she congratulated her mentor and thanked her for being a role model to young women.
“Here is the thing – seeing is believing for young girls and for young women and what they see in Lisa is a strong, influential, fun and compassionate woman at the very, very top of her game and that is a very powerful thing.”