Hot topics close

Massive claim about Seven leak culprit

As “publicity stunt” speculation mounts over leaked footage of Channel 7 reporters Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor ranting about Novak Djokovic, TV insiders have weighed in with their theories.

A TV insider has made an explosive claim about the person who leaked footage of Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor ripping into Novak Djokovic.

As “publicity stunt” speculation mounts over leaked footage of Channel 7 reporters Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor ranting about Novak Djokovic, TV insiders have weighed in with their theories.

Despite stern public responses from Seven bosses and assurances from staff that the network “isn’t taking (the leak) lightly” one unnamed TV insider says behind the scenes, they’re probably far from fuming.

Meanwhile, TV Tonight editor David Knox promptly shut down publicity stunt whispers, saying that “heads should roll” over the leak, and that the overwhelmingly positive reaction is just a happy accident.

Co-editor of TV Blackbox Robert McKnight also weighed in to say that while the clip disproves the “clean-cut” perception of the news readers, it’s managed to work in Seven’s favour for one clear reason.

Channel 7 anchors Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor made headlines on Wednesday after their candid discussion on Djokovic’s border control mess was leaked on Twitter.

In the recording, Maddern — who made the move from rival network Nine just over a week ago — called Novak Djokovic a “lying, sneaky, a***hole.”

Amor echoed the sentiment, also calling Djokovic an “a***hole” and adding: “You’ve got a bulls**t f***ing excuse and then he fell over his own f***ing lies, which is what happens right? That’s what’s happened.”

Channel 7 was quick to respond, announcing it had launched an investigation into the “illegal leak” and making it clear there would be serious ramifications for the perpetrator.

But according to an anonymous insider, behind the scenes it could actually be a very different story.

“Is it a crisis for Channel 7? Doubt it,” the industry source told Yahoo! Sport Australia.

“The reality is it makes your newsreaders look like the average person in the street. There’s plenty of ordinary people out there saying Novak is an a***hole,” they explained.

“It’s given them some street cred and I don’t think Seven would be too worried.

“They say they will investigate but I’m not sure how vigorous that investigation will be.”

While the insider said they “weren’t sure” about the PR ploy theories, they repeated that the network “wouldn’t be worried about the fallout”.

“Networks aren’t against their personalities attracting publicity, especially if it’s mainly positive,” the insider said.

TV Tonight editor David Knox, however, said it’s a huge stretch to consider any network pulling such a stunt, given how vital news brands are in the business.

“It’s considered the holy grail – especially not when you are looking to bed in a new on-air duo,” Knox told news.com.au.

“The risks of a stunt backfiring far outweigh any potential gains, and even if you were foolish enough to go there, it wouldn’t be with an anchor swearing like a trooper.”

He said the incident was likely a matter of Maddern and Amor simply “letting their guard down” for a brief moment, which is in turn why the vast majority have thrown their support behind them.

“People in television are human and while they shouldn’t have let down their guard in front of a ‘hot mic’, they discussed what has been dissected in offices, coffee shops and taxis around the country,” he said.

“Australians also like to know that you are ‘one of us’ -it could potentially work in their favour. But you can’t manufacture these things through PR teams. If it’s not authentic the audience sees right through it.”

TV Blackbox’s Rob McKnight agreed that the swearing is a dead giveaway this was no set-up.

“News readers are often perceived as being clean-cut and curse-free. This clip disproves that theory big time,” he told us.

“However, I don’t think Seven have anything to worry about as the two presenters come across as friends having a chat.

“These two have shown they’re not fake and actually have a friendship – that’s not always the case in TV land.

“As far as I’m concerned (Rebecca Maddern) has nothing to apologise for. She had a private conversation and the audio director should have dropped the mics,” he added.

On Wednesday morning, Seven Network Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said in a statement: “The illegal recording was of a private conversation between two colleagues. It was an underhanded, cowardly act in breach of the Victorian Listening Devices legislation the perpetrator of which will be accordingly dealt with when found.”

Channel 7 managing director Lewis Martin followed up on 3AW radio with the assurance that it was “being looked at thoroughly”.

“We are going to have an outcome. What has happened here is illegal.”

Speaking on Triple M Perth shortly after, fellow Seven presenter Basil Zempilas similarly quashed whispers of a publicity stunt, confirming as an employee that the network was taking the incident seriously.

He explained that the footage would have passed through a number of hands — including, potentially, those from other networks.

Knox agreed that a number of people could be behind the leak.

“The timestamp on the feed suggests this probably came via Seven’s playout centre or even an affiliate,” he said, concluding that whoever the culprit is, they should be punished.

“In television you need to know that everyone has your back, and in this case Amor and Maddern were let down by someone being mischievous. Heads should roll if Seven can get to the bottom of it.”

News.com.au has contacted Channel 7 about claims the leak was a publicity stunt.

Similar shots
This week's most popular shots