This is the kind of poisonous whispering our most talented and experienced Australian journalists deal with for the privilege of having a job on TV in 2018.
While a million words have been written about the enduring men’s club mentality inside mainstream television networks, none of them seem to have made a dent in the culture that famously “boned” Rowe back in 2006.
She – a television journalist, writer and mental health advocate who’s been awarded the Order of Australia for her work – must have wondered if she had somehow stepped into a time machine when on Friday, moments after she announced to her Studio Ten audience that she was stepping down to spend more time with her family, a former (fired) boss, Robert McKnight Tweeted to say that the network had been planning to fire her for a year.
Ten vehemently deny this, Rowe vehemently denies this, but still, that’s the muck that stuck as the story did the rounds.
Georgie Gardner – a television journalist with 20 years experience under her belt – made a similar decision to Jess’ four years ago, when she left the Today show to spend more time with her young family.
Of course, she famously returned last year when she came to fill Lisa Wilkinson’s vacated seat. So far, the price she’s paid for sitting next to Karl Stefanovic is to have her monetary “worth” widely discussed and critiqued, and now the icky speculation that her co-star has been roundly slagging her off in a taped conversation with his brother that has been sold to the highest bidder.
You don’t always have to be friends with colleagues and that’s perfectly fine. Georgie Gardner says she doesn’t hang out with Karl after work, the Mamamia Out Loud team discuss. Post continues after audio.
When Lisa Wilkinson – arguably one of Australia’s most experienced and well-loved media figures – left Channel Nine last year, it tripped off a tsunami of coverage about the pay gap between herself and Stefanovic, which was rebutted in unprecedented on-the-record quotes from CEO Hugh Marks about pay negotiations, notice periods and endorsement deals.