Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley looked visibly nervous and fought back tears as she bid farewell to viewers live on the morning program on Wednesday.
The 66-year-old, who was axed from Channel 10 along with 25 other staff members on Tuesday, appeared to shake with emotion while addressing the mass sacking.
‘I just know I’m back on the “lazy Susan” of television. Yeah, it’s very, very tough for a lot of people,’ she began.
Saying goodbye: Studio 10 host Kerri-Anne Kennerley looked visibly nervous and fought back tears as she bid farewell to viewers live on the morning program on Wednesday
‘But I’ve always worked on a personal level, the Charles Darwin theory that says to survive you don’t need to be the most intelligent; you don’t have to be the strongest; but you have to be, to survive, the most adaptable,’ she said.
Kerri-Anne, who joined Studio 10 as a part-time panelist in September 2018, went on to say just how much she treasures the friendships she’s made along the way.
‘I’ve had a ball! And the reason why I’ve got this outfit today is because, if you’re being run out of town, get in front of the parade or get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade!’ she added with a salute.
‘It is what it is’: Kerri-Anne managed to force a smile as she vowed to ‘suck it up and move on’
The media veteran graciously said that she accepts losing her job if it means she is saving the livelihoods of her colleagues.
‘But let’s face it, we’ve got to get down to logic here. It is what it is. It’s not the first time, unfortunately. Companies do these sort of cuts to make the business better, which in the long run saves a lot more jobs,’ she said.
Kerri-Anne finished her speech with a tribute to her colleagues at Channel 10.
Upset: Struggling to maintain her composure, a distressed Sarah Harris (pictured) said of the sacking: ‘It’s been gut-wrenching to hear the news. It is a shocking, shocking economic reality that we are facing’
‘I do not say it lightly. I am very, very sad because I will miss you guys, and I will miss the audience, miss the feedback,’ she said.
‘But that said, it is what it is. You just have to suck it up and move on.’
Fellow panelists Sarah Harris, Joe Hildebrand and Julie Bishop looked quite emotional during Kerri-Anne’s heartfelt speech.
Struggling to maintain her composure, an upset Sarah said: ‘It’s been gut-wrenching to hear the news. It is a shocking, shocking economic reality that we are facing.’
Sad farewell: Kerri-Anne’s fellow panelists Joe Hildebrand (left) and Julie Bishop (right) became visibly emotional during her heartfelt speech
Earlier in the program, Kerri-Anne had made light of the situation by pretending she wasn’t aware she’d lost her job.
‘Good morning!’ she said in a chirpy voice as the show began.
‘It’s been a couple of days. Did I miss anything?’ she added with a wry smile, sending her co-hosts into a chorus of nervous laughter.
Job cuts: Channel 10 has sacked several major stars as the coronavirus recession continues to devastate the TV industry. Pictured: Kerri-Anne Kennerley
On Tuesday, Channel 10 sacked at least 25 stars, including Kerri-Anne, journalist Natarsha Belling and legendary weatherman Tim Bailey, in a brutal afternoon of budget cuts.
Staff members were informed on Tuesday that the television news department was being ‘restructured’ in response to the sharp decline in advertising revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Current affairs program The Project, hosted by Waleed Aly, Carrie Bickmore and Peter Helliar, is not affected by the cuts.
Axed: Tim Bailey, who has worked at Channel 10 for three decades, will depart the company
The changes are expected to be effective from Monday, September 14.
Despite losing Kennerley and Belling, morning show Studio 10 will continue to air weekdays from 8am to midday for the time being.
Host Sarah Harris and entertainment reporter Angela Bishop are staying, and Denise Drysdale and Denise Scott will continue as contributors.
Narelda Jacobs will remain as newsreader and Jono Coleman will present the advertorial segments as normal.
Channel 10: Who’s staying, who’s going and what’s changing
- Kerri-Anne Kennerley (panellist, Studio 10)
- Natarsha Belling (news reporter, Studio 10)
- Georgina Lewis (newsreader, 10 News First Brisbane)
- Josh Holt (weather presenter, 10 News First Brisbane)
- Rebecca Morse (newsreader, 10 News First Adelaide)
- Kate Freebairn (weather presenter, 10 News First Adelaide)
- Will Goodings (sports anchor, 10 News First Adelaide)
- Monika Kos (newsreader, 10 News First Perth)
- Michael Schultz (weather presenter, 10 News First Perth)
- Tim Bailey (weather presenter, 10 News First Sydney)
- Mike Larkan (weather presenter, 10 News First Melbourne)
TO BE ANNOUNCED
- Joe Hildebrand (panellist, Studio 10)
- Waleed Aly (host, The Project)
- Carrie Bickmore (host, The Project)
- Peter Helliar (host, The Project)
- Tommy Little (host, The Project)
- Steve Price (contributor, The Project)
- Lisa Wilkinson (host, The Project and The Sunday Project)
- Sarah Harris (host, Studio 10)
- Angela Bishop (entertainment reporter, Studio 10)
- Denise Drysdale (contributor, Studio 10)
- Denise Scott (contributor, Studio 10)
- Narelda Jacobs (newsreader, Studio 10)
- Jono Coleman (advertorials presenter, Studio 10)
- Sandra Sully and Matt Burke will host the Sydney and Brisbane bulletins
- Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain will host the Melbourne and Adelaide edition
- Stephen Quartermain will present sport in Melbourne and Adelaide
- Sports reporters Jonathan Williams in Brisbane and Tim Gossage in Perth will take on expanded roles
However, the network has advised that more changes will be announced regarding Studio 10 in the coming weeks.
Kennerley’s manager told Daily Mail Australia in a statement: ‘Kerri-Anne’s role on Studio 10 was only part-time two or three days a week. Nevertheless she is disappointed to be finishing up in September but understands the financial pressures on the network. She wishes everyone at Network 10 the best.’
He added that while Kennerley is departing Studio 10 next month, she remains under contract until December 31, leaving open the possibility of her taking on another role at the network.
Meanwhile, fellow panellist Joe Hildebrand hasn’t lost his job yet, but is in talks with the network about his future.
‘They want to keep him on in some capacity but they haven’t fleshed out what that would be,’ an insider told Daily Mail Australia. ‘To be honest, I don’t think they even know.
‘Whether or not he would even want to continue is another question entirely.’
The source said that Hildebrand ‘holds no ill will’ against Channel 10 and could even take the opportunity to make a ‘clean break’ and explore other opportunities in the media.
Changes: Despite losing Kennerley and Natarsha Belling (pictured), morning show Studio 10 will continue to air weekdays from 8am to midday
He is already employed as a columnist by News Corp, where he is planning to take on greater responsibilities.
‘Ten wants to sort of have their cake and eat it too,’ the source said. ‘They want to cut the amount of money he costs them but still get to have him on the show somehow or other.’
The insider said the news came as a shock to everyone at Studio 10, including the presenters, adding: ‘The people who have had to convey the news are mortified.
‘I think all this s**t’s come from the parent company [ViacomCBS]. They’ve just run a rule over the thing and said, “Right, you’ve got to get down to this number.” And that’s the way they’ve gone.’
The career of Channel 10’s legendary weatherman Tim Bailey
At the age of 19, Tim landed a job at Sydney’s popular 2Day FM radio station, where he reported the weather along with surf and snow updates.
He went on to host a series of Channel 10 shows, including surfing program NRG, The Big Breakfast and the Vodafone Beach Volleyball Tour.
Tim also contributed to the network’s coverage of the Commonwealth Games, the Melbourne Cup and Bathurst 1000.
Familiar face: Despite his wide-ranging career, Tim Bailey is perhaps best known for being Channel 10’s charismatic weather presenter
Despite his wide-ranging career, he is perhaps best known for being Channel 10’s charismatic weather presenter.
He has even been described as ‘Australia’s most trusted weather man’.
Tim actually has a long history of working alongside Kerri-Anne Kennerley, having co-hosted Good Morning Australia with her and Mike Gibson in 1990.
Early career: Before joining Channel 10, Tim landed a job at Sydney’s 2Day FM radio station at the age of 19. He reported the weather along with surf and snow updates
As part of the company restructure, the 10 News First weekday operation will be centralised in Sydney and Melbourne, and the network will move to a national weekday weather model fronted by Tim Bailey’s to-be-announced replacement.
Sydney, Brisbane and Perth will all host their news bulletins out of Sydney, while Melbourne and Adelaide will be based out of Melbourne.
Sandra Sully and Matt Burke will host the Sydney and Brisbane bulletins, and Jennifer Keyte and Stephen Quartermain will host the Melbourne and Adelaide edition.
A new team will be announced to host the Perth news.
Channel 10’s network director of news content, Ross Dagan, said in a statement about the job cuts: ‘The decision to make these changes was a very difficult one and I want to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to our friends and colleagues who will leave the network.
Will he stay? Studio 10 panellist Joe Hildebrand (pictured with Kennerley) hasn’t lost his job yet, but is in talks with the network about his future
‘It is in no way a reflection of their talent, contribution or passion. They are exceptionally gifted people. We are incredibly proud of them and their work. There is no doubt they will be missed.
‘These painful changes reflect the state of the media industry in recent years and the need for all media companies to achieve new efficiencies.
‘While our viewers in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth will see some on-air changes, we will continue to produce local news and employ local reporters, camera operators and production staff in those cities.’
Beverley McGarvey, Channel 10’s chief content officer, added: ‘These decisions are not being made lightly; however, they are essential to future-proofing our business.’
The decision to axe 25 staff members comes three months after the broadcaster announced the closure of its news website 10 Daily.
Channel 10’s full statement
‘Network 10 today informed staff about a restructuring of its News and Operations department.
As part of the restructuring, the presentation of the weekday 5.00pm to 6.30pm 10 News First bulletins will be centralised in Sydney and Melbourne.
• Presentation of the weekday Sydney, Brisbane and Perth 5.00pm to 6.30pm news bulletins will take place in Sydney.
• Presentation of the weekday Melbourne and Adelaide 5.00pm to 6.30pm news bulletins will take place in Melbourne.
Network 10 will also move to a national weekday weather model. A new national meteorologist [to replace Tim Bailey] will be announced soon.
10 News First bulletins will remain locally produced and will continue to employ local reporters, news crews and operations staff in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.
The changes to the Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth weekday news bulletins are expected to be effective from Monday, September 14.
National weekend bulletins will not be affected. The Project is not affected.
There will also be some changes to the presentation of Studio 10. It will continue to air weekdays from 8.00am to 12.00pm.
As a result of the restructuring, some on-air presenters, journalists and operations staff will leave Network 10. The network would like to thank those people for their dedication and hard work.
A redundancy program has commenced in Network 10’s News and Operations department.
No further details are available at this stage.’
Some of the job cuts will come as a surprise to viewers.
Weather presenter Tim Bailey, for example, is considered a legend at the network, and has been a familiar face for more than 30 years.
He is being replaced by another meteorologist as Channel 10 moves to a national weekday weather model.
Kerri-Anne Kennerley is a more recent hire, having only joined the Studio 10 panel in September 2018.
Stay tuned: The network has advised that more changes will be announced regarding Studio 10 in the coming weeks
Since then, her controversial views have helped Studio 10 punch above its weight in terms of setting the news agenda.
However, her opinions on Aboriginal issues have sparked significant backlash, and a segment from January 2019 was the subject of a complaint to the TV watchdog.
In October that year, she made controversial comments about climate change protesters and said she supported tougher sentences.
The following month, Kennerley made headlines again when she claimed that her co-host Joe Hildebrand had ‘done more drugs than anyone’.
Making headlines: Kennerley only joined Studio 10 in September 2018
Kerri-Anne Kennerley’s career and controversies
1967: Kerri-Anne Kennerley makes her first television appearance at the age of 14 on children’s program The Channel Niners
1980s: She performs as a singer, and releases her first album in 1988
1996 to 1998: Hosts TV show Midday, earning three Gold Logie nominations
2002 to 2011: She fronts her own show on Channel Nine called Kerri-Anne, broadcast weekdays at 9am
2012: She appears as a contestant on Seven’s Dancing with the Stars
2016: Kennerley publicly supports Sonia Kruger, who suggested a ban on Muslims immigrating to Australia
2018: She is announced as a panellist on Channel 10
January 2019: Kennerley argues with Yumi Stynes about Invasion Day protesters, saying that Aboriginal activists should pay more attention to ‘five-year-olds being raped’ in the Outback
October 2019: She makes controversial comments about climate change protesters and supports tougher sentences.
November 2019: Kennerley claims her co-host Joe Hildebrand has ‘done more drugs than anyone’ in a live interview
December 2019: She asks fellow Studio 10 panelist Antoinette Lattouf, who was wearing a short white playsuit, if she had forgotten her pants