Sonia Kruger, Big Brother host on Channel 7. Picture: Nigel Wright.
Sonia Kruger, Big Brother host on Channel 7. Picture: Nigel Wright.

Sonia speaks out about 20% pay cut

After a headline-grabbing defection from Channel 9 to Channel 7, Big Brother host Sonia Kruger is one of the many Australians who have faced a pay cut amid the pandemic.

Speaking to Stellar as this weekend's cover star, the television personality - who made the career move last year, months before coronavirus hit - said she "has no problems" with taking the 20 per cent cut.

She went on to say moving networks "wasn't about the money", despite rumours she inked a "seven figure" deal.

As reported last month, Seven's share price has plummeted and its staff have had their pay cut by 20 per cent. Speaking to Stellar, former Today Extra host Kruger revealed she was no exception.

"I have no problem with that at all. We're working in an industry that has been hit really hard and it's something that had to happen. I understand why," the 54-year-old mum of one said.

Sonia Kruger on the cover of Stellar magazine, available in The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun. Picture: Steven Chee
Sonia Kruger on the cover of Stellar magazine, available in The Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun. Picture: Steven Chee

On April 1, Seven West Media chief executive James Warburton told staff that full-time employees earning between $80,000 and $200,000 per annum would need to work four-day weeks and take a 20 per cent pay cut until the end of the financial year.

The pay cut announcement follows rumours Kruger signed a "seven-figure" deal to return to her former network nine years after defecting to Nine.

It is understood Nine had initially presented Kruger a new three-year contract worth more than $1.5 million, but negotiations broke down and she accepted Seven's offer.

Opening up to Stellar, she said her decision to move was all about the position - not the rumoured pay cheque.

"Most people are 'lifers' at each network," she said.

"So I feel kind of lucky that I got to work for both Seven and Nine because they're different in their own ways, and two of the most powerful networks in the country. For me, it doesn't come down to the money, it comes down to the role.

"I've always been of the opinion that you need to keep reinventing yourself," she added.

Sonia Kruger for Stellar. Picture: Steven Chee.
Sonia Kruger for Stellar. Picture: Steven Chee.

While she said she discussed the move with her partner, Seven Network's Director of News and Public Affairs Craig McPherson, in the end she went with her gut.

"My dear dad, who isn't with us anymore, always said to me, 'No risk, no reward; no guts, no glory.' I think you have to take a leap of faith every now and then."

Kruger said her move from Nine to Seven ‘wasn’t about the money.’ Picture: Steven Chee.
Kruger said her move from Nine to Seven ‘wasn’t about the money.’ Picture: Steven Chee.

Kruger made the "big announcement" on Today Extra last November, a week after it was widely reported that she was moving from Nine to Seven.

"After eight fabulous years I am leaving the show and the Nine Network. I have had an amazing time here. I have been very privileged to work on some top shelf programs and of course with you, David, here - don't," she said, warning co-host David Campbell not to make her cry.

"It has been an absolute blast but it is time for me to go and do something new. You know what it is like, Dave. Spread your wings. Tomorrow is going to be my last day on the show and as a thank you to you at home for having me in your living room every day, we are putting together something special to celebrate. It will be semi-professional, hopefully," she said.

Sonia Kruger announced her move from Nine to Seven last November. Picture: Steven Chee.
Sonia Kruger announced her move from Nine to Seven last November. Picture: Steven Chee.

While it was an emotional goodbye from the program - and her role in waking up Australia each morning - Kruger said she's preferring prime time's evening slot for one reason: "By the time we get to the night, my face is actually ready to go on. The fluid has drained out of my eye bags!"

Sonia Kruger will host Seven's new version of Big Brother, premiering June 7.

Read the full interview with Sonia Kruger in the latest issue of Stellar, available in today's Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Herald Sun.

 

Originally published as Sonia speaks out about 20% pay cut


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