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Ten's former executive producer is suing network for nearly $400,000 in further redundancy payments

An executive producer who spent the past three decades at Channel Ten is now suing the ViacomCBS-owned network for almost $400,000.

Maria Michael worked on shows like Bondi Rescue, The Living Room, Family Feud and Pointless until staff cuts made her position redundant in May. 

According to her lawyers, Ten paid out the producer for 12 weeks pay but claim Ms Michael was owed 90 weeks.

An executive producer who spent the past three decades at channel Ten is now suing the ViacomCBS-owned TV network for almost $400,000. Pictured: the cast of Bondi Rescue

An executive producer who spent the past three decades at channel Ten is now suing the ViacomCBS-owned TV network for almost $400,000. Pictured: the cast of Bondi Rescue

Maria Michael worked on shows like Bondi Rescue, The Living Room, Family Feud and Pointless until staff cuts made her position redundant in May. Pictured: The cast of The Living Room

Maria Michael worked on shows like Bondi Rescue, The Living Room, Family Feud and Pointless until staff cuts made her position redundant in May. Pictured: The cast of The Living Room

The 78-week discrepancy amounts to $393,371.10, documents lodged to the Federal Court on 31 August show.

Ms Michael is also claiming Ten reduced her long-service redundancy by five weeks or $25,216.10 after she ‘complained’ or ‘inquired’ about the decision, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

But according to media industry website Mumbrella, Ten believes the case has ‘no merit’ and the organisaion plans to defend fully defend the legal challenge. 

‘As the claim is to be decided by the court, we have no comment to make,’ a spokesperson Ten said.

Ms Michael's lawyers said Ten paid out the producer for 12 weeks when she was owed 90 weeks. Pictured: Host of Family Feud Grant Denyer

Ms Michael’s lawyers said Ten paid out the producer for 12 weeks when she was owed 90 weeks. Pictured: Host of Family Feud Grant Denyer 

The 78-week discrepancy amounts to $393,371.10, documents lodged to the Federal Court on 31 August show. Pictured: The cast of Pointless

The 78-week discrepancy amounts to $393,371.10, documents lodged to the Federal Court on 31 August show. Pictured: The cast of Pointless

The star producer was just one of a litany of on- and off-air talent booted from the network as media revenues collapsed in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Head of comedy Paul Leadon was axed along with the boss of sport Matt White. 

Popular presenters Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Tim Bailey and Natasha Belling were also given the chop.

In total, about 30 staff were axed from the network’s TV operations.

Before that, the entire news and lifestyle website 10 Daily was also scrapped in May.

Despite the timing, Ten’s new boss Beverley McGarvey who took over as CEO in March, said the cuts are not linked the coronavirus crisis. 

‘The recent impact of COVID-19 on the media industry has reinforced the need to continue to align our business with our evolving customer needs and global business model, but I want to stress that the changes are part of our broader strategy, not a reaction to recent events,’ McGarvey said in an email to staff. 

Farewell: Kerri-Anne will leave Studio 10 this week

Made redundant: Newsreader Natarsha Belling (pictured) has also been axed

Axed: Channel Ten made 30 employees redundant, including Kerri-Anne (left), newsreader Natarsha Belling (right) and weatherman Tim Bailey 

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