Lisa Wilkinson to appear 2 weeknights on The Project

Media has had a field day with coverage of the shock departure by Lisa Wilkinson from Today to The Project.

Here’s a summary of some of the key points reported, but note most come without on-the-record sources, so make up your own mind:

  • Wilkinson joins TEN from January 2018.
  • Wilkinson to appear two weeknights on The Project, plus hosting Sunday edition.
  • Wilkinson to front other TEN programming, including US interviews.
  • Wilkinson disappointed not to have been allowed to say goodbye to Today viewers.
  • Nine maintains Today salary would have had parity with Karl Stefanovic, but his other roles including 60 Minutes and This Time Next Year entail more.
  • Wilkinson was on just over $1m and was offered another $50,000. Other reports claim offer was upped to $1.8m.
  • 10 producer roles would have had to go for Nine to meet salary demands.
  • Nine called her bluff over contract demands. 45 minutes later she signed with TEN.
  • Nine cancelled her access swipe shortly after negotiations broke down.
  • CBS backed TEN’s hiring of Wilkinson, estimated at anywhere between $750,000 – $2m.
  • Audience research indicated viewers more supportive of Wilkinson than Stefanovic, empowering her negotiations through manager Nick Fordham.
  • Wilkinson’s deal with Huffington Post prevented her from contributing to Nine digital platforms.
  • Nine concerned over her ads sponsoring garlic supplements, recently criticised by Media Watch.

Source: The Age, Sydney Morning Herald,, Daily Telegraph, 3AW


  1. I think this “project” talk might be a coverup. I think there are bigger announcements to come. If CBS have backed this…..and can’t see how Ten could afford to do it without CBS backing, CBS are going to invest in News and Current Affairs which is so desperately required to make TEN creditable and challenge Nine and Seven. Ten’s weekday evening line up is a good base to build on. Hopefully TEN/CBS will invest in a new breakfast show but different to what they have failed at before…..and is this where Lisa comes in? Like the CBS This Morning programme. And is there a big Question over 60 mins? This flagship franchise for CBS. Will Ten/CBS in Australia produce their own version and not allow Nine to use the 60 mins name/brand. Is this another roll for Lisa? Ten will want their monies worth. There will be other more prominent roles for her surely. Exciting times. Well done Ten…

  2. Glad Lisa stuck to her guns and also glad she is joining The Project which is one of the best news shows around. CBS will be so good for Ten – I can see it already. So happy and may The Project become the true number one news program in 2018. Also happy for Ten staff and management, finally free of the shackles that were designed to strangle the Network to death. 🙂

  3. Disappointing that Nine felt the need to quantify salary parity with producer’s jobs. I don’t recall the network ever having this need before (such as when they placed Karl on an alleged 3 year/6 million contract).

  4. Thank you for the summary David.

    Though I didn’t realise the amount of on-air time for The Project had been confirmed?

    Surely more than two nights? Friday could be a good guess, given Carrie Bickmore doesn’t co-host then (but raises yet another query about Gorgi Coghlan)?

  5. This story is a very welcome sign of life for Channel 10, and hopefully has given ten staff a bit of a spring in their step today after a torrid year

  6. So much chatter and speculation, but one of the best things to truly come out of this story is all the support coming from the women from rival (and nine) networks. Nice to see ladies supporting ladies.

    • Secret Squïrrel

      Agree regarding the collegiate support.

      It’s somewhat ironic (and sad) the amount of sheer nastiness directed by the general public toward women in news & caff when you compare that with the genuine warmth and respect that they show each other on “rival” shows.

  7. Good summary David.
    One question: Is there a small but significant typo in this line of your summary…
    “Wilkinson was on just over $1m and was offered another $50,000. Other reports claim offer was upped to $1.8m.” Did you mean: “… and was offered another $500,000…”? [and not $50,000?]

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