It couldn’t come at a worse time for the struggling network, which has had a turbulent year with Lisa Wilkinson’s shock exit and Karl Stefanovic’s embarrassing antics.
As a result, Nine execs are scrambling to keep their remaining stars happy and halt plummeting ratings.
There are also dramas at Network Ten.
Lisa Wilkinson’s arrival on The Project caused much-publicised tension among her co-presenters, while management are still trying to fix the backlash after being left red-faced by Grant Denyer’s Gold Logie win.
‘Nine and Ten are at war,’ explains the industry insider.
‘It’s become a hotbed for poaching, everyone is turning on each other and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will come out on top. The gloves are off.’
While Channel Nine is attempting to appease Tracy, 58, by giving her more control over her A Current Affair segments, they’re also preparing for the worst.
‘Of course they are worried she will walk out. When it comes down to it though, any decision about Tracy’s future will be left to Tracy.
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She spent a week in self-imposed exile at her property, where she dug deep to consider what her next move will be.
Meanwhile, her unexpected disappearance from work left network bosses scrambling to find a last-minute replacement for her.
‘Over her career, Tracy has always had a wonderful rapport with the public. But this time they turned their backs on her in favour of someone who hosts a now-defunct game show. You can see why she’s reeling.’
With a love for radio and a long-standing secret pact with Alan Jones to take over his role when he retires from 2GB, Tracy is looking at new opportunities.
Unsurprisingly, her bosses are now pulling out all the stops to keep her.