Lisa Wilkinson weighs in on Today and Sunrise's airport 'duel'

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Lisa Wilkinson has weighed in on a reported ‘duel’ between her former network, Channel Nine, and its rival Channel 7 that took place amid chaotic scenes at Brisbane Airport.

Reporters for both channel’s breakfast TV shows, Sam Mac for Sunrise and Aislin Kriukelis for Today, were on the ground on Tuesday morning to interview passengers as they disembarked from some of the first flights from NSW to QLD after the state borders reopened.

Lisa Wilkinson has weighed in on Today and Sunrise's airport 'duel'. Photo: Channel 10.
Lisa Wilkinson has weighed in on Today and Sunrise's airport 'duel'. Photo: Channel 10.

In live footage aired across both programs, Sam and Aislin are seen jostling to grab the attention of wives, husbands, grandparents and children as they reunited with family and friends after several months of COVID-19 separation.

At one point competition between the pair became so fierce that Sam jokingly grabbed Aislin’s Today branded microphone while offering her his Sunrise one as they went shoulder to shoulder to talk to a young girl.

“Welcome back to the Today show,” he laughed.

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Reporters for Today and Sunrise clashed while interviewing passengers on the first flight from NSW to QLD. Photo: Channel 10.
Reporters for Today and Sunrise clashed while interviewing passengers on the first flight from NSW to QLD. Photo: Channel 10.

Back in their respective studios, the hosts of each show got a kick out of their reporters’ antics.

“This is the best ever!” chuckled Today’s Karl Stefanovic.

“Duelling breakfast shows, that was very funny,” David ‘Kochie’ Koch remarked on Sunrise.

While discussing the events later that same evening on The Project, co-host Clare Hooper asked Lisa Wilkinson whether she’d ever experienced a similar encounter with the Sunrise weatherman during her tenure on Today.

“No, he didn’t, that’s never happened before,” she revealed.

“I don’t know how the network bosses will feel about that, but good on Sam Mac!” she added.

The breakfast TV battle came to a head when Aislin began speaking with Big Brother star Mike Goldman only for Sam to interrupt to remind the reality TV star that he was, in fact, Channel 7 talent.

One viewer called it 'car crash TV'. Photo: Twitter.
One viewer called it 'car crash TV'. Photo: Twitter.
It's been deemed "a defining moment in media tribalism". Photo: Twitter.
It's been deemed "a defining moment in media tribalism". Photo: Twitter.

‘Car crash TV’

Over on Twitter, viewer reaction to the coverage was less than complimentary.

“Sam Mac continually jumping in front of the Today reporter is just weird and pretty shite,” wrote one.

“That was car crash TV at the airport this morning @TheTodayShow vs @sunriseon7 & @mikegoldmanlive being called out as a Ch 7 employee by Sam Mac on Ch 9,” another added.

One Twitter user called the stoush “a defining moment in media tribalism”.

“The breakfast TV feeding frenzy at Brisbane Airport is scarier than the pandemic!” they remarked.

Others thought it was all a bit of fun:

“@MrSamMac for the Gold logie. This was TOO good,” one wrote.

Almost 9,000 people flew on Qantas and Jetstar flights from NSW into QLD on Tuesday morning with WA expected to follow suit and open its borders to VIC and NSW on December 8.

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