Channel 7 halved Jennifer Hawkins salary in 2008 and has left her on the shelf for the past two years. Her contract expires at the end of November, and Seven bosses are realising that they may have made a mistake.
This week, Seven executives were said to be in turmoil as they attempted to find a project to entice Hawkins to stay with the network, her TV home since winning Miss Universe in 2004, following the model’s weekend comment that she was quitting.
But reps for Hawkins said she did not want to stay and, while talks with Channel 9 had been productive, they were not lucrative.
She is headed to Nine, not for the money but because she is tired of being tied to Seven, which has offered her work on Better Homes And Gardens, Beauty And The Geek and new game show Beat The Star this year, said not to be the right fit for the $5 million Myer ambassador.
The former cheerleader is already in Nine’s programming schedule for 2011 and will collaborate on a series of projects.
“Jennifer has been on an exclusive contract with Seven for six years which she has enjoyed,” her manager Sean Anderson said last night.
“TV has taken a back seat for 12 months so she could focus on her businesses (Cozi, JLH shoes and property development) and in 2011 Jennifer is looking to work in TV on a freelance basis.”
When Hawkins signed to Seven in 2004 she was said to be among the highest paid personalities at the station, her contract said to be worth a lucrative $700,000 a year.
In 2008 this contract was reportedly halved following the network’s decision to shelve The Great Outdoors, the program to which she was contracted.