Armytage miffed at Oscars snub
Has Sonia Kruger's return to the Seven Network put the lovely nose of Sunrise breakfast host Sam Armytage out of joint?
That was certainly the mail out of Seven this week, with Sammy said to be absolutely miffed network execs are now putting their promo power into their new prime-time investment Kruger, possibly at Armytage's expense.
Inside sources claim Armytage believed she had a ticket on the plane to Hollywood after Seven announced in January it had pinched broadcast rights to the film industry's most prestigious awards event from Nine.
But tomorrow morning, on the first Monday of the official television ratings season, Sammy will be hosting from Seven's Sydney studio and crossing live to the uber-glamorous Kruger on the red carpet at the 92nd Oscars Awards ceremony.
Then at 9am Seven's The Morning Show will cross to Kruger, Hollywood reporter Nelson Aspen and US correspondent Ashlee Mullany.
Before, at noon, the network goes to the Oscars' broadcast.
Kruger has a big year ahead of her and it appears Seven may have been pressed into bringing Big Brother forward in its schedule following the ratings collapse of MKR, hence the announcement last week Kruger had been tapped as Big Brother host.
By next month, Kruger will be all over Seven, which can't be easy for Armytage to accept.
But that doesn't explain why she took a leave of absence from her role on Sunrise last Monday.
As Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell explained to this column yesterday, Armytage was missing from her post after taking the day off to attend the tennis final.
And she won't be taking regular Mondays off, as has been rumoured internally at Seven, to help her maintain her healthy summer glow.
"No four-day week (for Sam)," Pell said. "She took one day of annual leave."
Which has to be great news for Sunrise newsreader Natalie Barr, who might understandably be annoyed if she'd been asked to keep Armytage's chair warm, on a regular basis, on about half of Armytage's salary.
Regardless, Armytage's absence hardly hurt Sunrise's figures, with the show beating rival Today by 462,000 to 328,000 viewers (all people, metro plus regions), with Today failing to reap any noticeable benefit from Nine's well-watched men's Australian Open tennis finals.