Former Today co-host Lisa Wilkinson is rumoured to have secured a $2.3million salary when she jumped ship to Channel 10 two years ago.
While she has landed big-name interviews for The Sunday Project, executives from rival networks have labelled her ‘a failed star’ and a ‘failed experiment’.
Adding insult to injury was Sunday night’s episode, where a guest failed to recognise the 59-year-old.
‘Lisa… Are you Lisa?’ The awkward moment a guest failed to recognise Lisa Wilkinson (right) on The Sunday Project. Pictured on the left is co-host Hamish Macdonald
British ventriloquist Nina Conti, 45, appeared on the show to promote her Australian tour.
And as Lisa encouraged her to show off her ‘bag of tricks’, Nina remarked: ‘Lisa, are you Lisa?’
Lisa simply responded ‘yes’ and proceeded to laugh rather nervously, while co-host Hamish Macdonald quipped: ‘The Lisa Wilkinson.’
Awkward: Lisa (left), 59, laughed nervously after British ventriloquist Nina Conti (right), 45, asked: ‘Lisa, are you Lisa?’
Since joining Network Ten’s Sunday Project one year after a pay dispute with Nine’s the Today show, Lisa has found herself heavily criticised by her competitors.
Lisa, who also edits the Ten Daily website and presents on The Project on Fridays, has secured sit-down interviews with Kylie Minogue, Jon Bon Jovi, Bradley Cooper and Serena Williams.
An executive for a rival network reportedly told The Daily Telegraph in October last year, that ‘it is laughable’ Lisa is landing A-list interviewees for a show ‘no one is watching’.
Critics: Since joining Network Ten’s Sunday Project, Lisa has found herself heavily criticised by her competitors. Pictured with co-host Waleed Aly
The rival even went so far as to claim Lisa is ‘a failed experiment’ and a ‘faded star’.
The Sydney Morning Herald previously reported that Lisa’s first appearance on The Sunday Project ‘had a 7PM national average of 800,000.’
However, the huge number was cited as a ‘curiosity bump’ as people tuned in to see how Lisa was setting into her new channel.
As of November 11 last year, just 198,000 viewers tuned into the start of The Sunday Project.
A-list: Lisa has secured sit-down interviews with big-name stars including Kylie Minogue (pictured), Jon Bon Jovi and Bradley Cooper
Vocal: An executive for a rival network reportedly told The Daily Telegraph in October last year, that ‘it is laughable’ Lisa is landing A-list interviewees for a show ‘no one is watching’
Lisa addressed the ratings drop and her critics in an interview with The Daily Telegraph in November last year.
‘I cannot worry about that,’ she said. ‘I worry about putting the best possible show together every Sunday night.’
‘There are very few programs on Australian TV who can say that their numbers are up,’ Lisa added.
According to New Idea, Lisa is believed to be asking for a million dollar figure in order to re-sign with the network next year.
Not worried: Lisa addressed the ratings drop and her critics in an interview with The Daily Telegraph in November last year, saying she ‘cannot worry about that’. Pictured in October
The journalist reportedly asked for a $2million, two-year deal before jetting off to Italy with her husband Peter FitzSimons in July.
TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight told the magazine that Lisa would be a worthwhile investment for the struggling network.
While she hasn’t delivered blockbuster ratings for The Project, she ‘has respect’ in the industry and lands ‘big-name interviews’.
McKnight added that it’s likely Channel Ten will be eager to keep Lisa on board, due to the prestige she brings to the program.
Aiming for the big bucks: According to New Idea, Lisa is believed to be asking for a $2million dollar figure in order to re-sign with the network next year