Channel 10 ‘caught off guard’ by Carrie Bickmore decision to quit The Project


Channel 10 executives were apparently taken by surprise when network golden girl Carrie Bickmore announced her departure from The Project last week.

Bickmore, 41, was apparently earning a whopping $1.1million per year to host the current affairs program for just three nights a week between 2021 and 2022, making her a higher earner than top-tier stars at Seven and Nine.

Ten bosses were ‘caught off guard’ when Bickmore threw in the towel, as they were under the impression Bickmore was satisfied with her lucrative part-time gig, reports The Australian.

Channel 10 executives were apparently taken by surprise when network golden girl Carrie Bickmore (pictured) announced her departure from The Project last week 

Bickmore’s salary is said to be so generous that it places her among the highest-paid TV talent in Australia.

She reportedly earns more than David ‘Kochie’ Koch, who is paid about $800,000 a year to host Channel Seven’s Sunrise four days a week, as well as his full-time co-anchor Natalie Barr.

Bickmore also makes more per year than Tracy Grimshaw, the long-serving host of Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, sources tell Media Diary. 

The Gold Logie winner’s salary was revealed thanks to a leaked internal memo.

Bickmore, 41, was apparently earning a whopping $1.1million per year to host the current affairs program for just three nights a week between 2021 and 2022

Bickmore, 41, was apparently earning a whopping $1.1million per year to host the current affairs program for just three nights a week between 2021 and 2022

‘Diary is assured that details of that particular draft contract got out when it was accidentally sent to another Ten department during Bickmore’s last round of contract negotiations,’ the report states.

It comes amid speculation Bickmore is being primed to take the helm at 2Day FM’s Sydney breakfast show.

Speculation has been rife regarding where Bickmore will go next, with some insiders saying she’s primed to host A Current Affair or could even be replacing Allison Langdon on Nine’s Today show. 

She reportedly earns more than David Koch (pictured), who is paid about $800,000 a year to host Channel Seven's Sunrise four days a week, as well as his full-time co-anchor Natalie Barr

She reportedly earns more than David Koch (pictured), who is paid about $800,000 a year to host Channel Seven’s Sunrise four days a week, as well as his full-time co-anchor Natalie Barr 

However, television industry veteran Robert McKnight believes Bickmore will instead take on a bigger role at the Hit Network. 

‘I don’t think she’s going to ACA. Channel Nine has been pretty emphatic that it will be someone promoted internally. Although things can change from day to day,’ McKnight said on the TV Blackbox podcast. 

The former Studio 10 executive producer believes Bickmore, who hosts the Hit Network’s top-rating drive show with Tommy Little, has plenty of reasons to take over the breakfast slot from its current hosts Dave Hughes, Ed Kavalee and Erin Molan.

Bickmore also makes more per year than Tracy Grimshaw (pictured), the long-serving host of Channel Nine's A Current Affair, sources tell Media Diary

Bickmore also makes more per year than Tracy Grimshaw (pictured), the long-serving host of Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, sources tell Media Diary 

‘We need to consider… [Bickmore is] earning, what, a million dollars for her afternoon [radio] show per year? The question is, is [Bickmore] priming to take over the Sydney breakfast radio show?’ he said.

‘[The current show is] rating like crap. I have already heard whispers she’s being offered $2million a year to do the Sydney radio show with Tommy Little.’ 

‘Television doesn’t have the kind of money that radio does,’ McKnight later added. 

Television industry veteran Robert McKnight believes Bickmore's future lies at the helm of 2Day FM's Sydney breakfast show. She already hosts the Hit Network's top-rating drive show alongside Tommy Little (left) and is said to be earning a million dollars per year

Television industry veteran Robert McKnight believes Bickmore’s future lies at the helm of 2Day FM’s Sydney breakfast show. She already hosts the Hit Network’s top-rating drive show alongside Tommy Little (left) and is said to be earning a million dollars per year

Joining breakfast radio would also give the mother of three free time in the evenings to spend with her family, which is something Bickmore mentioned she was looking forward to in her resignation speech.

However, McKnight did note that Sydney listeners may struggle to connect with Bickmore, given that she is ‘a very Melbourne personality’.

‘But Carrie and Tommy have a really great show! It is really an enjoyable show in the afternoon,’ he added.

However, McKnight did note that Sydney listeners may struggle to connect with Bickmore, given that she is 'a very Melbourne personality'

However, McKnight did note that Sydney listeners may struggle to connect with Bickmore, given that she is ‘a very Melbourne personality’ 

Hughesy, Ed and Erin took over 2Day FM’s breakfast slot it January, but the show has failed to rise to the top of the ratings ladder.

The show reached an all-time ratings low in 2021, but has been clawing its way back and hit its highest-ever audience earlier this year.

Yet the program still remains at the bottom of the pack, trailing behind Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa and KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show. 

Joining breakfast radio would give the mother of three free time in the evenings to spend with her family, which is something she said she was looking forward to in her resignation speech

Joining breakfast radio would give the mother of three free time in the evenings to spend with her family, which is something she said she was looking forward to in her resignation speech 

It comes after a Nine Network executive denied rumours Bickmore is joining the Today show following her announcement she is leaving Channel 10’s The Project.

Industry sources said Bickmore, who has been linked to the Today gig on at least one other occasion, will take up the job in 2023 alongside Karl Stefanovic, while Allison Langdon is drafted to replace Grimshaw on A Current Affair.

But Steven Burling, Nine’s Director of Morning Television, shut down these claims on Twitter, saying the proposed moves will not be happening.

Hughesy, Ed and Erin took over 2Day FM's breakfast slot it January, but has failed to rise to the top of the ratings ladder. (Pictured left to right: Dave Hughes, Ed Kavalee and Erin Molan)

Hughesy, Ed and Erin took over 2Day FM’s breakfast slot it January, but has failed to rise to the top of the ratings ladder. (Pictured left to right: Dave Hughes, Ed Kavalee and Erin Molan)

Burling’s denial comes after an industry insider claimed Bickmore’s potential move to Today ‘made sense’ given her undeniable popularity.

‘It is the next, most obvious step for her,’ the rival network source said.

‘As much as you’d like to say that she is not as nice as her on-screen persona, that’s not the case. 

The show reached an all-time ratings low in 2021, but has been clawing its way back and hit its highest-ever audience earlier this year. Yet the program still remains at the bottom of the pack, trailing behind Nova's Fitzy & Wippa and KIIS FM's The Kyle and Jackie O Show

The show reached an all-time ratings low in 2021, but has been clawing its way back and hit its highest-ever audience earlier this year. Yet the program still remains at the bottom of the pack, trailing behind Nova’s Fitzy & Wippa and KIIS FM’s The Kyle and Jackie O Show 

‘Everyone likes her. Viewers like her. She would bring a lot of positive energy to Today and, in terms of timing, it all makes sense.’

The bubbly presenter was previously linked to the Today hosting job in 2019, following the ousting of Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight; however, Nine denied any formal approach had been made at the time.

Bickmore, popular with viewers and her TV colleagues both on and off screen, confirmed she had no plans to leave the small screen during her on-air announcement last Tuesday, saying: ‘Honey I’m not retiring. I’m going to move onto something different which I do not know what that is yet’.

It comes after Nine's Director of Morning Television Steven Burling (pictured) denied rumours Bickmore is joining the Today show following her announcement she is leaving The Project

It comes after Nine’s Director of Morning Television Steven Burling (pictured) denied rumours Bickmore is joining the Today show following her announcement she is leaving The Project

The high-profile changes could signal a long-overdue boost in the ratings for Today which has long taken a battering from Seven’s Sunrise and recently dipped as low as 155,000 viewers across the five-city metro market.

Langdon instead took up the role and has been a hit with viewers, particularly female viewers, in her subsequent two years in the chair.

However, an insider says the grind of 3am starts and some recent tensions on set with Stefanovic, with specific regard to the number of his sick days,  prompted Langdon to throw her hat in the ring for the ACA job.

Allison Langdon (pictured with one of her children) stepped in to the Today role in 2019. There has been speculation she will replace Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair

Allison Langdon (pictured with one of her children) stepped in to the Today role in 2019. There has been speculation she will replace Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair

Most recently, Stefanovic was a last-minute no-show the morning after the NRL Grand Final.

Should Langdon make way for Bickmore, it will be the ninth female host to take up the Today gig alongside Stefanovic, who is understood to have recently inked a new deal with Nine that would keep him at Today until 2025.

By then the 48-year-old would have clocked 20 years in the job – albeit with a highly publicised ‘break’ in 2018 when he was benched in the wake of a ratings slide and media scrutiny surrounding his personal life.

Karl Stefanovic (pictured with wife Jasmine) is the long-serving co-host of the Today show

Karl Stefanovic (pictured with wife Jasmine) is the long-serving co-host of the Today show

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