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Judgement day for The Project: Channel 10 'asks for budget cuts' - healthyfrog

Judgement day for The Project: Channel 10 ‘asks for budget cuts’

The Project has been safe from the latest round of budget cuts at Channel 10 because it’s produced by an external company – but judgement day may be just around the corner.

The network, which sacked 25 employees earlier this month due to the COVID-19 recession, has reportedly asked Melbourne-based production company Roving Enterprises to ‘tighten the reins’ so the program is cheaper to make – and therefore less expensive for Channel 10 to air.

This could mean that The Project’s biggest stars – including Lisa Wilkinson, who is rumoured to be earning between $1million and $2.3million per year – will have to take significant pay cuts so that the current affairs show can survive.

Trouble brewing? The Project has been safe from the latest round of budget cuts at Channel 10 because it’s produced by an external company – but judgement day may be just around the corner. Pictured: Waleed Aly (left) and Carrie Bickmore (right)

According to New Idea, Roving Enterprises’ co-owner Rove McManus has been in discussions with Channel 10 about how to navigate the recent economic downturn.

‘Rove has been told to tighten the reins. Lisa is up for renewal, and the guess is she will take a big cut,’ a source told the magazine.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Channel 10 for comment.

Talks: The network, which sacked 25 employees earlier this month due to the COVID-19 recession, has reportedly asked Melbourne-based production company Roving Enterprises to 'tighten the reins' so the program is cheaper to make - and therefore less expensive for Channel 10 to air. Pictured: Rove McManus, who co-owns Roving Enterprises

Talks: The network, which sacked 25 employees earlier this month due to the COVID-19 recession, has reportedly asked Melbourne-based production company Roving Enterprises to ‘tighten the reins’ so the program is cheaper to make – and therefore less expensive for Channel 10 to air. Pictured: Rove McManus, who co-owns Roving Enterprises

The Project escaped the recent job losses at Channel 10 because it is produced by an external company, and therefore isn’t part of the network’s financially struggling news and operations department.

Channel 10 is believed to have a contract with Roving Enterprises that cannot be altered until it’s time to renegotiate the deal.

The broadcaster is therefore obligated to continue paying Roving Enterprises the agreed-upon fee to air The Project, despite the financial downturn.

It’s unclear when Channel 10’s deal with the production company expires.

Feeling the pinch? This could mean that The Project's biggest stars - including Lisa Wilkinson (pictured), who is rumoured to be earning between $1million and $2.3million per year - will have to take significant pay cuts for the current affairs show to survive

Feeling the pinch? This could mean that The Project’s biggest stars – including Lisa Wilkinson (pictured), who is rumoured to be earning between $1million and $2.3million per year – will have to take significant pay cuts for the current affairs show to survive

If 10 and Roving Enterprises do agree to change the financial terms of the deal, then there may be job losses or salary cuts at The Project. 

In addition to being outsourced, But Daily Mail Australia understands there’s another reason why The Project escaped the swinging axe earlier this month.

Network chief Beverley McGarvey considers the show, which is hosted by Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar, an essential part of the daily schedule.

‘[The Project] will never be cancelled because senior management won’t hear a bad word said against it,’ a source said earlier this year.

'Tighten the reins': According to New Idea, Roving Enterprises' co-owner Rove McManus has been in discussions with Channel 10 about how to navigate the recent economic downturn

‘Tighten the reins’: According to New Idea, Roving Enterprises’ co-owner Rove McManus has been in discussions with Channel 10 about how to navigate the recent economic downturn 

‘For some reason, the higher-ups at Channel 10 love it, even though the viewers don’t. It doesn’t rate, it’s expensive to produce and a lot of the publicity it generates is negative.’

At least 25 jobs have been axed at Channel 10 overall, with further redundancies to be announced in the coming weeks, and the changes are expected to be effective from September 14. 

Morning show Studio 10 has been hit the worst, with outspoken panellist Kennerley and journalist Natarsha Belling being made redundant. 

Lucky escape: The Project (cast pictured) avoided the recent job losses at Channel 10 because it is produced by an external company, and therefore isn't part of the network's financially struggling news and operations department

Lucky escape: The Project (cast pictured) avoided the recent job losses at Channel 10 because it is produced by an external company, and therefore isn’t part of the network’s financially struggling news and operations department 

Host Sarah Harris and entertainment reporter Angela Bishop are staying, and Denise Drysdale and Denise Scott will continue as contributors.

Narelda Jacobs will remain as newsreader and Jono Coleman will present the advertorial segments as normal. 

Panellist Joe Hildebrand hasn’t lost his job yet, but is understood to be in talks with the network about his future.

Sacred cow: In addition to being outsourced, Daily Mail Australia understands that The Project escaped the swinging axe because network chief Beverley McGarvey considers it an essential part of the schedule. Pictured: Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little

Sacred cow: In addition to being outsourced, Daily Mail Australia understands that The Project escaped the swinging axe because network chief Beverley McGarvey considers it an essential part of the schedule. Pictured: Peter Helliar, Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little

As part of the company restructure, the 10 News First weekday operation will be centralised in Sydney and Melbourne, and the network will move to a national weekday weather model fronted by Tim Bailey’s to-be-announced replacement.

Sydney, Brisbane and Perth will all host their news bulletins out of Sydney, while Melbourne and Adelaide will be based out of Melbourne.

Sandra Sully and Matt Burke will host the Sydney and Brisbane bulletins, and Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain will host the Melbourne and Adelaide edition.

A new team will be announced to host the Perth news.

Sackings: At least 25 jobs have been axed at Channel 10 overall,and the changes are expected to be effective from September 14. Morning show Studio 10 has been hit the worst, with outspoken panellist Kerri-Anne Kennerley (second from left) being made redundant. Pictured with Sarah Harris (left), Joe Hildebrand (second from right) and Angela Bishop (right)

Sackings: At least 25 jobs have been axed at Channel 10 overall,and the changes are expected to be effective from September 14. Morning show Studio 10 has been hit the worst, with outspoken panellist Kerri-Anne Kennerley (second from left) being made redundant. Pictured with Sarah Harris (left), Joe Hildebrand (second from right) and Angela Bishop (right)