Channel 10 hits back at wild claims after mass exodus: ‘Great start’

Channel 10 has seen a string of high-profile talent depart the network recently.

Channel 10 has been faced by a string of high-profile departures over the past six months, with Carrie Bickmore, Peter Helliar and Lisa Wilkinson making an exit in late 2022. Last week, it was announced that controversial journalist Peter van Onselen is also leaving the network.

The political editor, who joined Channel 10 in 2018, is reportedly returning to academia, and the network is busy looking for a replacement. Daily Mail reported that Peter was earning close to $300,000 per year, claiming that the network is hoping to only fork out around $150,000 for his replacement. Aussie political journalist Samantha Maiden is said to be 10's first pick, but the publication's sources believe the network won’t be able to afford her.

Peter Helliar, Peter van Onselen and Lisa Wilkinson on Channel 10's The Project
Channel 10 is in crisis after a slew of exits. Photo: Ten

However, Yahoo Lifestyle understands that these claims are untrue, and a Network 10 spokesperson has issued a statement about the future of the network.

"It's been a strong start to ratings in 2023 with Australian Survivor locking in the #2 show and continued audience growth week-on-week," they wrote. "There are fantastic new shows too such as Taskmaster Australia entertaining audiences and often winning its timeslot in key advertising demographics, so we're off to a great start for the year."

The spokesperson also said the network was 'thankful' for Peter's contributions to Channel 10 over the past five years.

"Network 10 wishes Peter all the best for the future and with his return to academia."


One of Peter’s former colleagues also spilled on the reasons behind his shock exit, saying the journalist lost his passion, as well as wanting to spend more time with his family.

“For PVO, it’s become rinse and repeat and he’s just had enough of doing 90-second stories which often aren't even a story,” the source told the publication.

“The place has become such a bin fire, he started becoming a bit embarrassed to have his brand attached to it. Ten doesn’t really take politics seriously any more.”

Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar on The Project set
Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar also left the network in 2022. Photo: Instagram/bickmorecarrie

Peter previously worked at Sky News Australia and wrote a regular column for The Australian, which he is believed to continue after his exit from 10.

Prior to his time in media, Peter worked as an adviser for Tony Abbott, was an associate professor at Edith Cowan University, and wrote a biography of John Howard with Wayne Errington.

Just last month Peter hinted on social media that he was tired of the ongoing commute between Sydney and Canberra for parliament.

“On the way to Canberra for the first sitting week of the year. I've *only* been doing this for four years,” he tweeted.

“I don't know how politicians sustain it for a decade or more. We sometimes forget the sacrifices they make!”

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