GMTV staff are reportedly furious that Christine Bleakley was offered huge £4 million contract with ITV, saying that she doesn’t have the journalistic skills needed for the job.
Christine finally ended the will she won’t she questions last weekend when she accepted a role on ITV’s new breakfast show alongside her former One Show co-presenter Adrian Chiles, but current staff on the show won’t be welcoming her with open arms.
One executive told The Mirror: “We were told they want more journalistic focus to GMTV but then why give hard-working, down-to-earth reporters like Penny Smith and John Stapleton the boot, and effectively kick out Kate Garraway and Emma Crosby. Christine may be able to temper Adrian Chiles, but what is in question is her credentials as a journalist.”
Another said: “There was almost zero consultation with most staff. Even in meetings up to a week ago managers just told us Christine was the ‘elephant in the room’ and they wouldn’t be saying any more.
“The first we heard Christine was coming was when it was in the papers.
“It was handled very poorly but unfortunately that was no surprise.
“It seems odd to bring in someone with almost no journalistic background to a role which we’ve heard will be extremely news focused.”
“There is a big difference between asking a celebrity about their latest TV show and grilling the Prime Minister over budget cuts.
“It’s very frustrating. We are being told to take on the BBC but bosses seem intent on turning us into a carbon copy.”
An ITV spokesperson resonded to the concerns saying:
“Christine and Adrian have a breadth and depth of presenting abilities and we have a hugely talented production team.
“We are very confident of their abilities to deliver top-level journalism and entertainment.
“Conversations are taking place with GMTV presenters regarding involvement in the new show.”
We’d love to know what you think about these claims. It’s true that Christine has little to no journalism experience and did spend more time on The One Show interviewing stars than attacking real issues but are these skills that can be learned on the job? Leave your comments below.