Investigative journalist Ross Coulthart has left Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes after three years in an alleged cost-cutting measure, it has been claimed.
Entertainment journalist Peter Ford revealed the news on 3AW radio on Thursday morning, and Coulthart’s departure was later confirmed by a Nine spokesperson.
Ford said: ‘He is a very, very fine investigative journalist, but he has already left the show. He’s left stories in the can that are yet to go to air.’
Ford added: ‘It’s civil, it’s all about dollar.’
Channel Nine told TV Tonight that Coulthart’s ‘contract had not been renewed’.
A network spokesperson also told Daily Mail Australia, ‘He is leaving to pursue other work,’ but declined to specify what that work was.
In April 2015, the Australian Associated Press reported that Coulthart was joining 60 Minutes after departing Channel Seven the previous year.
Coulthart had reportedly broke up a physical fight between Sunday Night’s executive producer Mark Llewellyn and another producer in October 2014 and later resigned from the network.
The five-time Walkley Award winner said at the time he was thrilled to be returning to Channel Nine, where he reported for the Sunday program between 1995 and 2008.
‘I am honoured to be finding a new place at the network where it all started for me, back with so many of my mates at Nine, and looking forward to breaking some great yarns,’ he said.
Coulthart’s departure from 60 Minutes due to alleged cost-cutting measures comes after Karl and Peter Stefanovic became embroiled in the Ubergate scandal.
The high-flying brothers were reportedly overheard ‘b**ching’ about their Channel Nine colleagues and management by an Uber driver, who later sold details of the conversation to New Idea in a rumoured $50,000 deal.
Despite the whole affair generating negative headlines for Nine, the Stefanovics continue to enjoy lucrative positions in the network.