Sydney siege victims sign TV deals

Sydney siege victims sign deals with Channel Seven and Channel Nine.

Back in the day, an exclusive television interview might have seen an interviewee receive a considerably generous dollar-figure for their story. Nowadays, however, television networks just don’t have that kind of money.

News Corp has this week reported that Sydney siege survivor Marcia Mikhael has been signed by Channel Seven for $400,000 to tell her story, while John O’Brien is said to be receiving $100,000 for his.

Channel Nine has also arranged for Sydney siege survivors Fiona Ma, Harriette Denny, Joel Herat and Jarrod Morton Hoffman to tell their stories, with a combined offer of $1 million. Though Fairfax Media has reports that this figure may be much lower.

All figures fall substantially short of the reported $2.6 million that the Beaconsfield miners Brant Webb and Todd Russell received in 2006.

“Times are tough in television,” says media analyst Steve Allen, managing director of Fusion Strategy. He says that a decade ago television networks could offer more for big interviews.

“You can’t go crazy…Now, you’ve got a substantial amount of the audience that watches the digital multi-channels,” Allen says. While significant interviews like these “will drag some eyeballs back,” television networks are facing tougher competition than 10 years ago.

It is unclear whether the rival networks will air their interviews in the same timeslot, though multiple sources say it is unlikely.

Allen says, “Seven had the camera sitting opposite [the Lindt café], so they have footage we haven’t seen yet…But Nine has signed all the staff. Put simply, both should rate.”

Do you think that the victims are right to sell their story? Will you tune in?


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    Polly Esther
    21st Jan 2015
    Every body is different of course and fully entitled to their opinions and whatever, be they right or wrong and do not deserve to be abused or howled down for voicing their opinion on any matter. Having said that, in regard to your above story and question, if I were in their shoes, the victims that is, and truly felt I had to consent to be interviewed for what ever reason, I would have the TV station donate all of the interview moneys they would be offering me, to a worthwhile cause, such as 'Make a wish foundation' . And no I won't tune in, this sort of thing does nothing for me personally. But as I started off so I will finish, to each their own.
    21st Jan 2015
    I did read somewhere that at least one of the hostages would be donating their payment to charity. If this is not the case, those who have chosen to be paid (and keep the money), should hang their heads in shame. Making money when two lovely people died is obscene.
    21st Jan 2015
    You may be thinking of Marcia Mikhael the Westpac executive who is reported to have signed a deal for $400,000. Apparently she intends to set up a foundation of some kind but no doubt being very savvy in regard to finances you can bet this will be a great little tax dodge for her.
    21st Jan 2015
    What else could you expect from a grubby, money-greedy, Westpac bank executive!!
    I'm surprised she hasn't added a bank executive surcharge to the deal!
    21st Jan 2015
    And Late Fee !!
    21st Jan 2015
    And they are to be compensated by the Government too.

    I think many will lose sympathy for the hostages as this financial horse trading becomes known.

    21st Jan 2015
    Poor gold digging 'victims' out for every dollar they can get. If they're all on the bandwagon I hope the government doesn't also pay them 'terrorist event' money.
    21st Jan 2015
    It all somehow feels wrong to even watch these people talking about it on TV. I won't be tuning in. It was a tragedy and two people died surely to make money out of it is morally wrong. Is there no respect for the dead anymore.
    21st Jan 2015
    HEAR! HEAR !!
    22nd Jan 2015
    Agree Wholeheartedly !
    21st Jan 2015
    As I've always said... Take ALL Compensation out of the Halal Food Extortion Fund !!..
    OH ? I Forgot !! This had nothing whatsoever to do with Islam ..
    21st Jan 2015
    The people concerned have a right to decide about the "cash interview" process , I just hope they are big enough in heart & spirit to perhaps set up a Trust Fund for the children of the lady who lost her life,
    21st Jan 2015
    YES !!
    22nd Jan 2015
    No, I will definitely NOT watch and I think it is disgraceful to profit from such a tragedy. Good heavens, they will then be putting out their hands for money from the Government. I fully understand that the ordeal would have been horrific for them and I would not wish that on anyone. BUT to profit from something like that is sad.. very sad.
    I also sincerely hope that the Bravery Medals are not given out too as the only one who should be given one is the darling young man who gave his life trying to wrestle the gun away from the mad gunman. Remember please this is my opinion, not everyone's.
    22nd Jan 2015
    Well Said !!
    24th Jan 2015
    enyone making money from such things as this should not be given compensation

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