The comments come after The Sunday Telegraph reported that the journalists’ salaries will be slashed in an attempt ‘to give the show a lifeline’, as ratings for the current affairs program have dropped to an all-time low.
Last week saw 367,000 viewers tune into The Project across the five major cities, which is a significant drop from its audience of 538,000 in 2011.
Similar slumps have occurred across the country for the show, comparing 490,000 national viewers to 725,000 national viewers 10 years ago.
However, it’s important to note that the TV landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade and Channel 10 isn’t the only network to experience a decrease in viewership.
The publication claimed that Lisa and Carrie’s paycheques, which are rumoured to be $1.7 million and $1.5 million, respectively, are in danger while Waleed Aly’s speculated salary of $900,000 is ‘safe’.
In a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, a Network 10 spokesperson said: “This claim is nonsense.
“The Project has just celebrated its 12th birthday and is here to stay! At a time when information, context and understanding is more important than ever, The Project will continue to provide Australians with their dose of news delivered differently.”
The reports about The Project come as Channel 10’s other flagship shows, including The Bachelor, The Bachelorette and MasterChef, have experienced lacklustre ratings compared to previous years.
Speaking on the TV Blackbox podcast last week, former 10 Executive Producer Rob McKnight remarked that the network was “dying in front of our eyes”.
“I know they’re making a play for streaming, [but] how low can these ratings go before they can’t make revenue? I find it extraordinary,” he said.
“I always supported the idea that there could be three free-to-air commercial networks. What this is showing me is that that is not the case anymore.
“They’re all struggling, but 10 seriously is the wounded animal limping and the fact is they keep running the same s**t and recommissioning the same s**t and it’s not flying with the public.”
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