TV bosses use ‘atrocious slurs against stars because they’re secretly jealous’

A former television executive has revealed the shocking way TV bosses speak about on-air talent in private boardroom meetings.

Rob McKnight, who has worked for all three major commercial networks, says industry bigwigs use ‘atrocious’ language when discussing presenters and reporters behind closed doors.

His comments come after Sunrise anchor Sam Armytage sensationally claimed the TV business was a ‘dangerous environment… full of sociopaths and narcissists’. 

‘I have heard it’: A former television executive has revealed the shocking way TV bosses speak about on-air talent in private boardroom meetings. Rob McKnight (pictured), who has worked for all three major commercial networks, says industry bigwigs use ‘atrocious’ language when discussing presenters and reporters behind closed doors

McKnight, who was the executive producer of Studio 10 from 2013 to 2017, said the root of the problem is jealousy because ’98 per cent of people who work behind the scenes actually want to be on camera’.

He explained: ‘I have heard so many executives, production people, the way they speak about on-air talent is actually quite atrocious.

‘They’re spoken about like they’re thoroughbreds, in a way. They’re spoken about like they’re horses who, when they get too old, they’re off to the glue factory.’

McKnight continued: ‘There is so much jealousy in the TV industry, it’s palpable. 

Jealousy: McKnight (second from left), who was the executive producer of Studio 10 from 2013 to 2017, said the root of the problem is jealousy because '98 per cent of people who work behind the scenes actually want to be on camera'

Jealousy: McKnight (second from left), who was the executive producer of Studio 10 from 2013 to 2017, said the root of the problem is jealousy because ’98 per cent of people who work behind the scenes actually want to be on camera’

‘And the people behind the scenes love having that power over the on-air talent. ‘I’ll decide if that person gets to stay on air. I’m going to sideline them. They didn’t treat me right.’

‘I’ve seen this time and time again and it’s because people on TV get paid so much money, they are in the public eye, and there is resentment from people in power behind the scenes who don’t get that acknowledgment.’

McKnight’s revelations come after Sam Armytage, who has hosted Seven breakfast show Sunrise since 2013, spoke about the toxic environment of the TV industry.

Speaking out: McKnight's revelations come after Sam Armytage, who has hosted Seven breakfast show Sunrise since 2013, spoke about the toxic environment of the TV industry. 'It's full of sociopaths and narcissists. It can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you,' she said

Speaking out: McKnight’s revelations come after Sam Armytage, who has hosted Seven breakfast show Sunrise since 2013, spoke about the toxic environment of the TV industry. ‘It’s full of sociopaths and narcissists. It can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you,’ she said

‘There’s a lot about television that’s all about you and that’s an awful way to live your life. TV isn’t a place that’s necessarily very healthy,’ she told Stellar magazine.

‘It’s full of sociopaths and narcissists. It can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you,’ she added. 

There are rumours 2021 will be her last year hosting Sunrise, as she focuses on her family life with Bowral businessman Richard Lavender, whom she married on New Year’s Eve.

Change of pace: There are rumours 2021 will be Sam's last year hosting Sunrise, as she focuses on her family life with husband Richard Lavender, whom she married on New Year's Ever. Pictured with her Sunrise co-host David 'Kochie' Koch

Change of pace: There are rumours 2021 will be Sam’s last year hosting Sunrise, as she focuses on her family life with husband Richard Lavender, whom she married on New Year’s Ever. Pictured with her Sunrise co-host David ‘Kochie’ Koch

Sam, 44, told The Kyle and Jackie O Show last month that while she was still under contract at Seven, she hadn’t ruled out giving up her TV career.

She said she was ‘very happy’ in her job but could ‘easily’ see herself embracing country life ‘down the track’ in the Southern Highlands.

Radio host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson observed: ‘I get the feeling, Sam, that you’re going to give this up next contract or something. Do you ever see yourself [retiring to the country]?’

Sam replied: ‘Oh yeah, I think down the track I could, easily.’

Candid: Speaking to The Kyle and Jackie O Show last month, Sam said that while she was still under contract at Seven, she hadn't ruled out giving up her TV career

Candid: Speaking to The Kyle and Jackie O Show last month, Sam said that while she was still under contract at Seven, she hadn’t ruled out giving up her TV career 

When asked if she would miss working in TV, Sam offered a thoughtful response.

‘I do wonder… there’s a lot of adrenaline in television. Anything that’s live there’s a lot of adrenaline. Sometimes I wonder… but by the same token you don’t want that adrenaline all the time,’ she said.

‘And you know, I’ve been a journo for 22 years. I’m very old.’

Veteran: 'I do wonder... there's a lot of adrenaline in television. Anything that's live there's a lot of adrenaline. Sometimes I wonder... but by the same token you don't want that adrenaline all the time,' she said

Veteran: ‘I do wonder… there’s a lot of adrenaline in television. Anything that’s live there’s a lot of adrenaline. Sometimes I wonder… but by the same token you don’t want that adrenaline all the time,’ she said

In December, Sam furiously hit back at a report in a Nine-owned newspaper which claimed her position at Seven was ‘one of the biggest question marks of 2021’.

She denied she was leaving the network and accused the newspaper of doing a hatchet job on her because Sunrise had beaten Nine’s Today show in the ratings.

‘Good one, Channel Nine. If you can’t beat Sunrise in the ratings, invent a (bitchy) column for some Christmas “cheer”,’ she wrote on Instagram.

Married life: Sam married Bowral businessman Richard Lavender (right) on New Year's Eve at his sprawling estate in the Southern Highlands

Married life: Sam married Bowral businessman Richard Lavender (right) on New Year’s Eve at his sprawling estate in the Southern Highlands

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