Jessica Rowe has reflected on her traumatic departure from Channel Nine in 2007.
The 52-year-old journalist left the network in 2007, supposedly due to a pay dispute, a year after then-CEO Eddie McGuire threatened to ‘bone’ – meaning sack – her as host of the Today show.
Jessica told Stellar’s podcast Something to Talk About on Sunday, that she doesn’t regret her stint on the breakfast show.
‘I look back on that time and I can feel my stomach churning … it’s so visceral. It was the pits. But at the same time I don’t regret it,’ she said.
‘And because I’m a huge believer in grabbing opportunities, we only have one shot at life. And when amazing things come your way, you’ve got to give it a crack. So I was determined to give it my best shot.’
Jessica Rowe (pictured) said she doesn’t ‘regret’ her stint on Today Show as she reflected on her humiliating sacking: ‘I was determined to give it my best shot’
The TV presenter also revealed she was constantly criticised for everything from her chemistry with her co-host Karl Stefanovic to the way she laughed.
In 2021, she told New Idea: ‘I could not comprehend the level of nastiness directed my way.’
‘All because I smiled, I had short hair, I was too thin, I didn’t have a child – people didn’t know that I was going through IVF at the time – and I snort when I laugh,’ she added.
‘It was so public and cruel – definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, career-wise.
‘I was picked on mercilessly and couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. Now I know I did nothing wrong. I was simply being myself.’
The 52-year-old journalist left the network in 2007, supposedly due to a pay dispute, a year after then-CEO Eddie McGuire threatened to ‘bone’ – meaning sack – her as host of the Today show. Pictured with then-Nine CEO Eddie McGuire on July 25, 2006, in Sydney
In 2006, Jessica was thrust into the spotlight when she moved from Channel 10 to the Nine Network to replace Tracy Grimshaw as co-host of the Today show.
But scandal struck when Nine’s chief executive Eddie McGuire allegedly asked when he could ‘bone’ Jessica, with reports suggesting at the time he meant to ‘sack’ her.
He reportedly made the comments during a conversation with his then deputy Jeffrey Browne and Nine’s head of news and current affairs, Mark Llewellyn.
‘What are we going to do about Jessica? When should we bone her? I reckon it should be next week,’ McGuire had reportedly asked.
Llewellyn then allegedly told McGuire the network might risk also losing Jessica’s husband, Nine News reporter Peter Overton, if they sacked her.
McGuire is said to have replied, ‘Maybe we have to take that risk,’ before Browne added: ‘She’s a laughing stock and if we keep her on air we’ll be the laughing stock.’
Jessica told Stellar’s podcast Something to Talk About on Sunday, that she doesn’t regret her stint on the breakfast show
McGuire has since denied using the term ‘bone’ in the conversation, which was laid out by Llewellyn’s sworn affidavit (made public after he left the network for rival station Seven).
Discussing the ‘boning’ incident years later, Jessica said that people forget ‘how powerful words can be and how they can hurt like hell’, adding that she was still ‘terribly upset’ by what happened.
‘That year was a terrible time in my life and it was not helped by public abuse, abuse from within the network that I worked at and abuse from someone who was in charge of that particular network,’ she told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2016.
‘It was horrific and it pre-empted then a very dark period in my life. A whole lot of factors contributed to a perfect storm… and it just makes me terribly sad.’
Jessica left the Today show in 2007 following her return from maternity leave. At the time, she cited payment issues as the reason for her departure.
The TV presenter also revealed she was constantly criticised for everything from her chemistry with her co-host Karl Stefanovic to the way she laughed
She then joined Channel Seven as a presenter for Seven News in Sydney, before taking part in Dancing with the Stars.
Jessica moved to Weekend Sunrise in late 2010 and stayed there for three years.
In 2013, she signed with Network Ten and hosted morning show Studio 10 alongside Ita Buttrose, Joe Hildebrand, Sarah Harris and Denise Drysdale.
In March 2018, she announced she was resigning from the program to spend more time with her family.
In 2021, she told New Idea : ‘I could not comprehend the level of nastiness directed my way’
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