Novak Djokovic Channel 7 Leak: Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor’s Unexpected Career Success From Candid Video

Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor’s hot mic gaffe has been the talk of the day on social media all week. And this led to a result that no one expected.

In a matter of days, Rebecca Maddern and Mike Amor have become Australian news icons, all thanks to an explosive leaked video that shatters the crystal clear image expected of news anchors.

7 News Melbourne reporters are far from the first victims of a microphone gaffe – Amber Sherlock’s “jacketgate” comes to mind – but in an unexpected twist, calling Novak Djokovic an “asshole” in what was meant to be a private conversation between colleagues solidified their popularity, about which most news duos could only dream of.

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The gaffe, which was revealed to have been exposed by an Ai-Media employee on Friday, even made them world famous, with American megastar Jimmy Kimmel applauding them on his talk show Thursday.

“No matter how you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a lying, mean asshole,” Maddern rants in a video broadcast by Kimmel.

“That’s right, I mean he’s an asshole. He got a fucking excuse and then fell for his own fucking lies. It’s just what’s happening, right, that’s what happened,” Amor replies, shaking his head as he fiddles with his audio pack.

The snippet was greeted with laughter from the audience and a nod from Kimmel himself, who stated that he would “watch the news every night” if presented with such frankness.

But it could be terrible for Seven.

Speaking to this week, TV industry expert and editor TV tonight David Knox said the leaked footage could easily have been a disaster for the network, given that former Nine star Maddern was only in her second week of her new host role alongside Amor when the viral video dropped.

Instead, the audience is seen to resonate with the couple on one key element.

“Human” aspect

Knox said that while no network would be happy to see their stars “swearing like soldiers” on camera, the chemistry between Maddern and Amor is palpable, which, as the changing newsrooms on rival networks show, is hard to find in the industry.

Plus, who can’t relate to a moment of fiery banter between workmates?

“People on TV are people, and although they shouldn’t have let their guard down in front of the hot mic, they discussed what was being dissected in offices, cafes and taxis across the country,” Knox said.

“Australians also like to know you’re ‘one of us’ (so) it could potentially work in their favor… If it’s not authentic, the audience will see through it,” he added.

Trade publication co-editor TV black box, Rob McKnight agreed that while Maddern and Amor’s colorful language deviates from the newsreading stereotype, it has successfully placed the audience on their side.

“News readers are often perceived as clean and free from swearing. This clip completely refutes this theory,” he said.

“But I don’t think Seven has anything to worry about as the two MCs seem to be friends chatting.

“These two have shown that they are not fake and actually are friends – this is not always the case in the world of television.”

Looking at the audience ratings on the night of the viral leak, it seems like it certainly worked in their favor.

Ratings skyrocket

Despite the fact that neither Maddern nor Amor mentioned the controversy during the news release, Channel 7 Melbourne’s Wednesday 6:00 p.m. bulletin jumped 40,000 viewers from Tuesday evening’s ratings.

The bulletin attracted 301,000 viewers in Melbourne from 6 to 6:30 pm, compared to 261,000 on Tuesday night.

Seven continued to be broadcast by Channel 9 in Melbourne and the Nine bulletin presented by Peter Hitchener drew 322,000 viewers.

Can a network ever “leak” intentionally?

While an employee of subtitling company Ai-Media was named as the culprit on Friday, many have speculated that Seven herself may have been behind the leak.

TV tonight Knox quickly dismissed the publicity stunt theories, stating that the overwhelmingly positive reaction was a sign of the public’s general attitude towards Djokovic’s failed visa.

“News brands are considered the Holy Grail,” Knox explained, adding that Seven would never take such a bold step when he “hopes to sleep in a new on-air duo.”

“The risks of the stunt backfiring far outweigh any potential benefit, and even if you were stupid enough to go there, it wouldn’t be with an anchor cursing like a soldier,” he added.

This was reported by an unnamed media source. Yahoo! Sport the incident would not be seen as a crisis for Channel 7 behind the scenes, speculating what it could all be for publicity.

“The reality is that your news readers look like ordinary people from the street. There are a lot of ordinary people who say that Novak is an asshole,” the source said before the source of the leak was identified.

“It gave them some credibility on the streets… They say they will investigate, but I’m not sure how vigorous that investigation will be.”

One thing is certain; it was a career-defining return to the Seven for Maddern.


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