Rob McKnight, who worked on the show from 2013 to 2017 revealed on the TV Blackbox podcast on Tuesday that budget issues were not the reason Channel 10 decided to fire Kerri-Anne.
Rob claimed that Channel 10 wanted to keep Kerri-Anne off TV screens because of her divisive views that often see her in the press for all the wrong reasons.
He added that Kerri-Anne is under contract until the end of the year, so Channel 10 will "pay her out" until then.
The network reportedly decided to put Kerri-Anne on "gardening leave" in order to avoid any potential controversies which could make advertisers hesitant to spend with them.
Gardening leave refers to when an employee is suspended with full pay for the duration of their notice period rather than serving out the period in the workplace.
Rob said, "With Kerri-Anne going, she's still contracted for a while."
"They're paying her out because they don't want the controversy. They don't want an advertiser backlash based on the controversial comments that can come."
He also claimed that Channel 10 will have no plans to use Kerri-Anne in any other capacity, but will continue paying her until the end of the year.
It comes after a source told New Idea that while Kerri-Anne has remained calm about the axing during her appearance on Studio 10 last week following the news, she would be secretly furious that The Project was untouched by the cuts.
"KAK would not be happy The Project has been left alone," the source claimed.
Kerri-Anne has also been blacklisted from appearing on The Project in any way during the remainder of her contract.
'Can’t resist' being controversial
During an interview on Sky News' The Death of the Aussie Larrikin?, which dives into whether political correctness has killed comedy, the presenter was asked if she ever takes a step back before speaking her mind.
"They really pray I do. They really go, 'Now, you know, maybe, we don't want you to pull back, but you know, maybe' and I go, 'Oh what the, so fire me!'"
"If I'm on Studio 10 and I'm having a cheeky day, and something like [political correctness] comes up, I can't resist it," she said.
Natarsha Belling and Tim Bailey are among those who have lost their jobs with Channel 10.