After becoming a regular fixture on The Project, host Lisa Wilkinson shocked viewers after she announced she would be stepping away from the nightly current affairs program
Viewers of the Channel 10 show were no doubt left stunned on Sunday night after Wilkinson shared that the media “toxicity” from the last six months has taken its toll on her, and she would no longer be returning to the show following that evening’s broadcast.
“I have decided that it’s time to reprioritise a few things in my life. I’m looking at how I want the coming years to play out, both professionally and personally. And so from tonight, I’m stepping back from hosting the show,” she said on the program.
“The last six months have not been easy. And the relentless, targeted toxicity by some sections of the media has taken a toll not just on me but on the people I love.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not above criticism. Far from it. I’m human, and I don’t always get it right. None of us do. But by god I’ve tried. I’ve given this job everything I have.
“I have had a ball. But for me right now it’s time for a change. To be clear. I’m not leaving Ten and we’re looking at some very exciting work ideas ahead.”
— The Project (@theprojecttv) November 20, 2022
In a statement released by the executive vice president and chief content officer of Paramount Australia and New Zealand, Beverly McGarvey expressed her appreciation for Wilkinson’s “experience and professionalism”, stating that she would be “sorely missed”.
“For five years now Lisa has brought experience and professionalism, as well as her signature warmth, compassion and integrity to both shows,” she said.
“I know she will be sorely missed both by our audience, and the entire Project team, and whilst we are saddened that Lisa will no longer be on The Project, we look forward to continuing our strong relationship with Lisa into 2023 and beyond.”
Following the release of her tell-all memoir, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, where she recounts the gender pay gap between herself and former co-anchor Karl Stefanovic, Wilkinson’s time on The Project was marred after scrutiny from fellow members of the media grew.
Adding further fuel to the fire were a number of negative headlines that followed her book launch that further propagated a public perception that the award-winning presenter was motivated by making money.
What’s next for Wilkinson in regard to her career remains a mystery, in the meantime, she joins the likes of fellow female media identities who have also recently stepped away from their posts such as A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw and Leigh Sales who formerly hosted ABC’s 7.30.