Lisa Wilkinson Leaves The Today Show Following Salary Dispute
Lisa Wilkinson’s departure from The Today Show is both a win and a huge loss for women everywhere. As co-host of The Today Show Lisa Wilkinson was at the top of her game. She showed little girls that they too can grow up to be whatever they want. In a male dominated industry, Wilkinson led the field with her wit, charm and intelligence.
For over a decade, Australia woke up to Karl Stefanovic and Wilkinson’s cheerful banter as they brought us the news and feel good stories from around the world. But yesterday, through twitter, Wilkinson confirmed she was in fact leaving the popular morning show. “I have some news. I’m sad to say that today was my last day on the today show,” she wrote.
Wilkinson then followed up with a Nine statement: “I want to thank Channel Nine for the privilege of co-hosting the Today show for the last 10 years. I would particularly like to acknowledge my colleagues Karl, Sylvia, Georgie, Tim, Richard, Stevie and Natalie, as well as all the hard-working producers and the entire team behind the cameras — every one of them has contributed to the incredible success of the show over the years. Most particularly though I want to thank the Today show audience who have been so supportive and incredibly loyal to me over the last decade.”
Naturally Wilkinson received and accepted another job offer within 45 minutes of announcing her departure from the today show. The TV presenter will now be gracing our screens on Channel 10 as part of The Project panel.
— Lisa Wilkinson (@Lisa_Wilkinson) October 16, 2017
Wilkinson’s decision to walk out on Channel Nine followed many conversations of failed pay negotiations between the network and her management team. Stefanovic reportedly earns $2 million a year with up to $1 million in extra bonuses which is in stark contrast to Wilkinson’s annual salary of $1.1.
Nine reportedly offered Wilkinson $1.8 to keep her, but she declined. This is what the network had to say:
“Nine today confirmed we have been unable to meet the expectation of Lisa Wilkinson and her manager on a contract renewal for a further period.”
What a load of BS! Wilkinson should have been on the exact same salary as her co-host from day one. The success of The Today Show rests on both their shoulders. It would not have worked if one of them wasn’t there. Both hosts did EXACTLY the same job for 10 years. They BOTH sat front and centre every day and were the face of the show. It’s unfathomable as to why one earned more money simply for possessing a penis.
What’s even sadder is that channel nine continued to offend Wilkinson by offering a pay rise instead of matching her salary to Stefanovic’s. Clearly losing Wilkinson seemed like a better option for them rather than forking out more money to close the gender pay gap.
Wilkinson didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to her viewers on the show. In fact Stefanovic was the one to announce her departure with an underhanded sexist farewell.
“It’s safe to say we are all little shocked and it will take time to sink in. So for now this, thank you. Mostly you go with my love, lots of love, all my love. We will see you soon, maybe after midday. enjoy the sleep,” he said.
But not before he managed to trivialise all her abilities and talents as a journalist and presenter by saying ‘every morning she would feed the dogs and do a load of laundry before coming in to the channel nine studios.’
What does that have to do with anything? And why didn’t Stefanovic offer to have his salary cut so that his ‘much loved and admired’ co-host could be given the same money? Where’s the loyalty? Where’s the respect and support for your fellow co-host? I guarantee you if Richard Wilkins was co-host on The Today Show he would be earning exactly the same money as Stefanovic!
So while it’s a win for Lisa Wilkinson it’s also a huge loss. She handled herself like a true rock star by deciding to walk, but all this has done is highlight the sad fact that women are still not valued as highly as their male counterparts. Despite racking up the ratings for a show and doing exactly the same job, TV executives still didn’t think Wilkinson deserved to be financially rewarded the same way as her partner.
Only time will tell whether The Today Show can survive without Wilkinson but I can guarantee you there will be a lot of disgruntled viewers who will definitely be switching the channel! Will you be one of them?
Photos: Google images