Inside the decision to axe TV legend KAK from Studio 10

 

 

The writing has been on the Studio 10 wall for some time.

The biggest surprise out of the announcement that Kerri-Anne Kennerley and Natarsha Belling had been made redundant though is the fact executives are pushing ahead with the program in 2021.

Whatever that looks like, it will be a very different scenario to what we have seen for the past seven years. And Confidential's tip is that it will resemble more that of rivals at The Morning Show and Today Extra with Sarah Harris leading a double header as the main host with a rotating roster of Ten talent seen throughout the week.

The bottom line for Ten boss Beverley McGarvey that pushed yesterday's decision was ultimately to do with cost cutting.

Kerri-Anne Kennerley on the set of Studio 10, with the cast (L-R) Natarsha Belling, Sarah Harris, Denise Drysdale, Angela Bishop and Joe Hildebrand. Picture: Tim Hunter
Kerri-Anne Kennerley on the set of Studio 10, with the cast (L-R) Natarsha Belling, Sarah Harris, Denise Drysdale, Angela Bishop and Joe Hildebrand. Picture: Tim Hunter

Studio 10 ratings have always been below its competition while still making enough money from advertorials to keep the production afloat.

It is a show that makes a lot of noise for its comparatively low viewership and it must be seen as a positive that Studio 10 has held on for as long as it has when we've seen so many shows axed.

Sunday Night, The Footy Show and Today Tonight are just a few of those programs to have been cut over recent times.

Ten, like other media companies in the current COVID-19 climate with advertising revenue falling, is under more pressure than ever to streamline its operations and cut costs.

That's where the 20 plus redundancies across Ten's news division nationally come into play, which is not a large number considering the strain the business is facing.

Other commercial television networks have been quietly making redundancies for months and the ABC announced 250 job losses in June.

What makes this announcement stand out though is the high profile names involved.

Like or loathe his exuberant on air personality, Tim Bailey has been a fixture on our TVs for nearly three decades.

Tim Bailey’s “drips and drops across rooftops and crops” will no longer be heard on our screens.
Tim Bailey’s “drips and drops across rooftops and crops” will no longer be heard on our screens.

And polarising as she can be, Kennerley is a hallmark name of Australian television and similarly Belling is a well-regarded veteran newsreader and reporter.

You could say they are all TV royalty.

To be blunt, gone are the days of Studio 10 being able to pay five or so top talent earning big annual salaries.

Concerning Bailey specifically, Confidential hears executives are keen to move in a different direction by hiring a meteorologist for the job nationally.

Weather presenters in Melbourne (Mike Larkan), Brisbane (Josh Holt), Adelaide (Kate Freebairn) and Perth (Michael Schultz) have also been made redundant.

It is unfortunate that these people who are used to delivering the news have become the news but sadly Confidential fears more changes are on the way across all television networks.

Originally published as Inside the ruthless decision to axe TV legend KAK from Studio 10



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