Reports: Waleed to leave Project
WALEED Aly is "over" his job co-hosting The Project and is "eyeing off" the plum role occupied by Leigh Sales at the ABC.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Aly, who has permanently fronted The Project on Channel Ten since January 2015, is now in talks with the national broadcaster.
The report said that Aly may now consider the Ten show "a little beneath him".
Last year Aly, 39, won the Gold Logie for Best Personality on TV for his role on The Project.
But friends say the academic lawyer and writer, who regards himself an intellectual, was thinking of returning to the ABC.
And the role he would prefer is that held by Leigh Sales, as the anchor of the flagship current affairs program, 7.30.
The speculation comes after the news that Lisa Wilkinson has jumped from co-hosting Channel Nine's breakfast program Today, to a spot on the panel of The Project and hosting the show's Sunday edition.
Aly, a Muslim whose controversial views on a number of high profile issues including Islamic terrorism polarise audiences, has worked as a human rights lawyer.
He is a former host of ABC TV's Big Ideas program and resigned as ABC Radio National drive host in late 2014 to join The Project.
Leigh Sales, the much loved host of 7.30, has herself been the subject of TV speculation.
The ABC has axed it Lateline program at 9.30pm, giving rise to rumours - which the ABC denied - that 7.30 would be shifted to the later timeslot, out of prime time.
One factor that would complicate a move by the ABC to replace Leigh Sales with Waleed Aly is cost.
During revelations of Wilkinson's move to The Project for a reported $1.5m, it was revealed that Waleed Aly earned around $500,000.
Leigh Sales is among the ABC's six highest paid presenters, earning between $300,000 and $375,000.
Only executives - eight of them, including former Fairfax editor Judith Whelan - are on more than $400,000, and managing director Michelle Guthrie earns $900,000.