Interestingly, The Project’s stable of highly paid stars – including Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly, Peter Helliar and The Sunday Project’s Lisa – were all spared the axe.
“KAK would not be happy The Project has been left alone,” an industry source tells New Idea.
According to the source, Kerri-Anne was allegedly paid $250,000 a year to appear on Studio 10. While last year, there were reports Lisa was allegedly demanding a staggering $2 million a year to re-sign with the network.
Both Carrie and Waleed are said to be on $500,000 a year, our source says.
Social media erupted last week with some calling for Lisa to lose part of her salary in order for the network to keep Kerri-Anne and others.
But the bad blood between Kerri-Anne and Lisa is said to stem from when they were marquee stars at Nine.
During the ’90s, Kerri-Anne was the darling of daytime TV as the host of Midday and then later her morning show, Kerri-Anne. Lisa began co-hosting Today with Karl Stefanovic in 2007.
“KAK has always had a big problem with Lisa,” the source says. “When KAK had the Midday show she was queen of the Nine Network. Then Lisa arrived and she dethroned KAK.”
Kerri-Anne’s morning show was canned in 2011, replaced by Mornings with Sonia Kruger and David Campbell in 2012.
Stablemates once again when they joined Ten in 2018, there is still no love lost between the pair.
“Like in the old days at Nine, Lisa and KAK were never friends then or now,” the source says. “They would avoid each other whenever they could.”
And just like what happened at Nine, Kerri-Anne is now out while Lisa remains.
“It’s history repeating itself,” the source says. “Nine wasn’t big enough for the two ladies and their salaries and now the same has happened at Ten.”
According to the source, Kerri-Anne is also annoyed about being “blocked” from more regular Project appearances due to her being “a loose cannon”.
In truth, Kerri-Anne has stirred up plenty of controversy on Studio 10 with her politically incorrect rants.
“Ten was scared she would pull a stunt that would backfire on The Project,” the source explains.
Last week, Kerri-Anne put on a brave face as she opened up on air about being axed, fighting back tears as she said she was “back on the ‘lazy Susan’ of television”.
But she couldn’t resist a jab at Ten, pointing at her uniform-like outfit and saying, “if you are being run out of town, get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade”.