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Sam Armytage: Gossip columnist taunts star over sacking rumours

A Sydney gossip columnist is taunting Samantha Armytage on Twitter over rumours 2021 may be her last year hosting Channel Seven’s Sunrise.

Sam’s future at Seven was the subject of an article by journalist Andrew Hornery in the Nine-owned Sun-Herald newspaper on Sunday.

The TV presenter, 44, has strongly denied any suggestion she is on the way out, but Mr Hornery defended his story on Monday, hinting that he may be proved right in the coming months.

Rumours: Sam's future at Seven was the subject of an article by journalist Andrew Hornery (pictured) in the Nine-owned Sun-Herald newspaper on Sunday

Feud: Sydney gossip columnist Andrew Hornery (right) is taunting Samantha Armytage (left) on Twitter over rumours 2021 may be her last year hosting Channel Seven’s Sunrise

Responding to the article, titled Who will fall victim to the TV networks’ guillotine?, Sam tweeted: ‘Good one, Channel Nine. If you can’t beat Sunrise in the ratings, invent a (bitchy) column for some Christmas “cheer”. What a grot that Hornery is…’

Without missing a beat, Mr Hornery replied: ‘Raw nerve?’

Sam snapped back: ‘Don’t be a total numbskull. Can’t you read TV ratings? I’m delighted with my performance. I  smashed it this year.

‘How’s your newspaper going? Because last time I looked, it was about as thin as Victoria Beckham. Congratulations.’

Rivals: Sam, 44, has strongly denied any suggestion she is on the way out, but Mr Hornery (left) defended his story on Monday, hinting that he may be proved right in the coming months

Rivals: Sam, 44, has strongly denied any suggestion she is on the way out, but Mr Hornery (left) defended his story on Monday, hinting that he may be proved right in the coming months

War of words: Sam tweeted in response to Mr Hornery's article: 'Good one, Channel Nine. If you can't beat Sunrise in the ratings, invent a (bitchy) column for some Christmas "cheer". What a grot that Hornery is...' Without missing a beat, the journalist replied: 'Raw nerve?'

War of words: Sam tweeted in response to Mr Hornery’s article: ‘Good one, Channel Nine. If you can’t beat Sunrise in the ratings, invent a (bitchy) column for some Christmas “cheer”. What a grot that Hornery is…’ Without missing a beat, the journalist replied: ‘Raw nerve?’

Chilling: Sam insisted her job was safe because of Sunrise's strong ratings. Mr Hornery then tweeted: 'I look forward to watching what 2021 delivers for you - it'll be intriguing'

Chilling: Sam insisted her job was safe because of Sunrise’s strong ratings. Mr Hornery then tweeted: ‘I look forward to watching what 2021 delivers for you – it’ll be intriguing’

Mr Hornery then tweeted: ‘I’m heartened to see you’re reading The Herald, Sam, and I look forward to watching what 2021 delivers for you – it’ll be intriguing.’

Sam did not respond. 

The Twitter spat comes after Sam was the subject of Mr Hornery’s latest column in The Sun-Herald, which claimed her position at Seven was ‘one of the biggest question marks of 2021’. 

She denied the allegations and accused the reporter of doing a hatchet job on her because Sunrise had beaten Nine’s Today show in the ratings.

‘Another Sunday morning… another dumb story from a newspaper,’ she wrote on Instagram. 

Lashing out: The Twitter spat comes after Sam (left, with David Koch) was the subject of Mr Hornery's latest column in The Sun-Herald, which claimed her position at Seven was 'one of the biggest question marks of 2021'

Lashing out: The Twitter spat comes after Sam (left, with David Koch) was the subject of Mr Hornery’s latest column in The Sun-Herald, which claimed her position at Seven was ‘one of the biggest question marks of 2021’

Response: Sam denied the allegations and accused the reporter who authored the piece, Mr Hornery, of doing a hatchet job on her because Sunrise had beaten Nine's Today show in the ratings. Pictured: Mr Hornery outside Seven's headquarters in Martin Place, Sydney

Response: Sam denied the allegations and accused the reporter who authored the piece, Mr Hornery, of doing a hatchet job on her because Sunrise had beaten Nine’s Today show in the ratings. Pictured: Mr Hornery outside Seven’s headquarters in Martin Place, Sydney

Laughing it off: 'Another Sunday morning... another dumb story from a newspaper,' she wrote

Laughing it off: ‘Another Sunday morning… another dumb story from a newspaper,’ she wrote

The Sun-Herald column noted that ‘a question mark hangs over’ Samantha’s future at Seven, with 2021 perhaps being the year when her priorities shift from her career to ‘marriage and starting a family’ with her fiancé, Richard Lavender.

Mr Hornery pointed out that Sam had been through a ‘rough few months in her personal life this year’, including the death of her mother, Libby.

He added that she’d faced some professional hurdles, too, including taking a 20 per cent pay cut in response to the Covid-19 recession and abruptly parting ways with her agent, Nick Fordham, last month.

Claims: The Sun-Herald column noted that 'a question mark hangs over' Samantha's future at Seven, with 2021 perhaps being the year when her priorities shift from her career to 'marriage and starting a family' with her fiancé, Richard Lavender (left). Pictured on October 31 in Sydney

Claims: The Sun-Herald column noted that ‘a question mark hangs over’ Samantha’s future at Seven, with 2021 perhaps being the year when her priorities shift from her career to ‘marriage and starting a family’ with her fiancé, Richard Lavender (left). Pictured on October 31 in Sydney

But the allegation that perhaps stung the most was the claim that her once-close friendship with Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell was becoming strained.

A Sydney Morning Herald spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Monday: ‘We stand by Andrew Hornery’s story.’ 

Channel Seven declined to comment.

Sunrise won the breakfast TV ratings for 2020 both nationally and in the five-city metro, with the added distinction of winning every single day of the year.

However, Nine’s Today show, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon, did make significant progress, especially on the east coast.

Rumours: The allegation that perhaps stung the most was the claim that her once-close friendship with Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (centre) was becoming strained

Rumours: The allegation that perhaps stung the most was the claim that her once-close friendship with Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell (centre) was becoming strained


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