60 Minutes never comments on payments (except when it suits)

60 Minutes has long had a tradition for never confirming nor denying payment for its stories.

But it is quick to break those rules when it suits.

A press release for Sunday’s interview with the sister and estranged mother of alleged drug mule Cassie Sainsbury declares: “60 Minutes has assisted Lisa and Khala with their travel to Colombia. Reports in the media the program had done a deal with the family worth one million dollars are completely false.”

But this omits how much the family was actually paid for the interview (which Cassie Sainsbury has said is ‘her story to tell’) separate to airfares and accommodation expenses. It is rumoured to be around the $200,000 mark.

In 2014, producer Tom Malone said of an interview surrounding the ‘Baby Gammy’ case, “We never comment on any commercial arrangements between 60 Minutes and our interview subjects but given the nature of this story, it’s important our viewers know that no money has been or will be paid to the parents.”

In 2012 60 Minutes confirmed no payment for interviews with the girlfriend of Kings Cross bash victim Thomas Kelly. Similarly A Current Affair has previously confirmed no payments for some profile interviews.

Meanwhile 60 Minutes is up against Sunday Night which has an interview with Sainsbury’s boyfriend Scott Broadbridge. Both shows will go head to head on Sunday at 8:30, making the interviews and promos pivotal to where audiences will go.

Seven has neither commented on how much it paid for their story, but it may have the upper hand given Nine promos indicate the family distressed in trying to gain access to Sainsbury.

Cassandra Sainsbury: The Real Story
For the past five weeks South Australian woman Cassandra Sainsbury has been locked away in a dingy and overcrowded prison in Bogota, Colombia, accused of smuggling cocaine. The evidence against her is damning: 5.8 kilograms of the drug were found in her suitcase at the airport as she tried to leave the country. Cassandra says she’s innocent, but the reality is her prospects are bleak. It’s a distressing time for the 22 year old as well as her mother and sister, who’ve spent the last week in Bogota trying to make sense of this awful nightmare.
Reporters: Liam Bartlett
Producers: Phil Goyen, Sean Power

8:30pm Sunday on Nine.


  1. To throw a spanner in the works, MasterChef airs until after 9pm from this Sunday (back to its old Sunday timeslot).

    Taking away many potential viewers from SN & 60 min.

    It’ll be very intetesting.

  2. No! I am in the I don’t care basket, Its embarrassing too me, how Australians behave overseas and expect taxpayers to pick up the bill……….. Yeah they were headphones, wrapped in black plastic?

  3. Is it just me or does anyone else have zero interest in this story. It’s embarrassing the way the media goes gaga for stories like this.

    • You’re not alone. No one in my household will be watching. It galls me no end that media organisations take the high moral road and believe this poor girl must be innocent. I’ll leave that to the appropriate authorities in their respective countries to decide if that person is innocent or guilty. Reminds me of someone else. Surely if I scream, “I’m innocent” enough then hopefully the public and media will believe me. And one more thing and David this will sound sexist. Would the media be as interested if this was some young bloke?

      • i’m guessing no there wouldn’t be as much interest or cries of innocent if it was a bloke. When you get reasonably attractive looking young girls getting caught just observe how differently they get treated by the media/public than males or someone like Renae Lawrence. The same sort of thing happens with pretty little white kids from good families who go missing, millions of dollars & thousands of hours spent on the search for Madeleine McCann.
        whatever the case her bf/family talking to the media is just plain stupid, i would think their lawyers would have advised against it, maybe money is more important to them.

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