Former Weekend Sunrise newsreader Talitha Cummins is taking Seven to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal.
Cummins, who was in the role for nearly three years, was called by news boss Craig McPherson during maternity leave and told her casual contract had ended. She was offered a temporary role reading the 5am weekday bulletin but declined, following the birth of her son, Oliver. She has been with Seven for more than 13 years.
The Daily Telegraph reports the call came on the same day promotions began for an episode of Australian Story in which she detailed a battle with alcoholism. The story claims Cummins sought permission to appear in the program and was told the network would not stand in her way. The episode was introduced by Chris Bath.
Neither Cummins, her lawyer John Laxon or Channel 7 would comment.
The new legal battle comes hot on the heels of Seven’s headlines surrounding CEO Tim Worner and executive assistant Amber Harrison. Whilst standing by its CEO, Seven has commissioned an independent investigation but Harrison is yet to be interviewed by law firm, Allens.
“[I want] Kerry Stokes and Bruce McWilliam to resign,” Harrison told Fairfax Media this week.
“A generational and cultural shift on the Seven West Media board. They need to install a director who actually lives and breathes equality.”
Meanwhile reports question whether Tim Worner’s possible attendance at the Australian Open could reignite media attention.
“In light of the issues aired, Mr Worner’s attendance could conceivably be quite awkward for Seven’s clients and guests and simply give the whole controversy new oxygen (it would certainly be a powerful reminder of it),” said Sefiani Communications director Nick Owens.