New host of Sunrise Matt Shirvington will have to win over the viewers first if he hopes to earn as much as his predecessor David ‘Kochie’ Koch.
According to a well-placed television executive, Kochie earned more than $1.5million a year for his role with the breakfast show.
‘Kochie was a big part of Seven’s overall success – and that’s why he was taking home about $1.5 million’
But Shirvington’s salary will be much less, with the star understood to have signed a $400K-a-year salary agreement with the Seven network subject to increase come ratings time.
‘Shirvo is young, good looking and charismatic, but he’s still relatively untested, which is why he’s getting paid half of what Kochie earned,’ the television executive told Daily Mail Australia.
The insider said they expect his suspect his salary will soar to $750K if the ratings and audience feedback play in his favour.
‘If he can maintain or even boost ratings the sky’s the limit.’
Athletics star turned TV host Matt Shirvington has been crowned David Koch ‘s successor at Sunrise after a three-year plan to prepare him for the top job
Australian athlete Matt Shirvington will take over from David Koch as co-host of Sunrise alongside Natalie Barr
Shirvington has big shoes to fill as he takes over from Kochie, the longest-serving breakfast television host in Australian history.
‘While he is a talent, he’s not a professionally-trained journalist. He may struggle in the fast-paced world of live television’ the source added.
Aside from a 10-year stretch working for Sky News Australia and Fox Sports as a sports presenter, Shirvington has dedicated much of his media career to the Seven Network.
Under Kochie’s reign, Sunrise has rated number one for 19-years, beating Today with Karl Stefanovic.
‘Success at breakfast underpins the success of the entire network, and can’t be under estimated,’ the TV exec explains.
‘If you watch breakfast on one particular network then you also watch the 6pm news bulletin – and Seven will be hoping those viewers stick.’
Seven’s Million-dollar-man Kochie will finish up at Brekky Central on Friday June 9
The official announcement was made during the breakfast show on Monday morning, four days before Koch films his final show on Friday
However, money may not be the main motivator for Shirvington taking on the Sunrise gig.
He already owns a $12.5million dollar mansion overlooking Sirius Cove in Mosman, one of Sydney’s most exclusive postcodes.
His wife, Jessica Shirvington, is also highly successful and best known as the author of the Embrace series of supernatural romance novels.
She is also the managing director and part-owner of the Bathers Pavilion overlooking Balmoral Beach.
Her father, Ian Pagent, is the co-founder of AutoSports Group, a network of 40 car dealerships across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Set for a future early mornings, it’s a full circle moment for Shirvington, who began his media career with the Seven Network in 2005 as a presenter for the defunct science and technology show Beyond Tomorrow.
Shirvington said he was feeling ‘mixed emotions’ about the new gig as he joined Barr and Koch on the couch for the announcement on Monday morning’s show.
Before building his television career, Shirvington dominated the racetrack between the late 1990s and 2000s.
Though he competed in a variety of sprinting events, he was best known for his 100-metre races, placing fifth in the 100-metre semi-finals at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and holding the Australian 100-metre national sprint title from 1998 to 2002.
He retired from professional sports in 2008.
It’s come as no surprise Matt was appointed the top job. In a statement released by Seven, managing director and CEO James Warburton said;
‘Matt has become an invaluable member of the Seven team since he joined us three years ago. He is the consummate professional, all about the entire team – just like Kochie – and brilliant at his job.’ he said, adding.
‘Of course, Matt has big shoes to fill, but we have already seen viewers welcome him with open arms during his time on the show.’
Seven have been approached for comment.