Crikey’s longstanding list
of cheque book journalism escapades will attract plenty of attention in
the coming days as the media and public prepare for what almost
certainly will be a new record – assuming Todd Russell and Brant Webb
decide to play ball.

At the moment, the $200,000-plus club looks like this:

Lleyton & Bec: close to $1 million from various outlets for wedding and baby stories and pictures. Exclusive deal with Woman’s Day for the first year of baby Mia’s life.

Douglas Wood: estimated $400,000 from Channel Ten through Steve Vizard’s celebrity management agency.

Stuart Diver: $300,000-plus for Thredbo survivor from Today Tonight and Women’s Weekly but Seven also employed him for Winter Olympics coverage.

Simone Warne: more than $250,000 from New Idea for two-part tell all on her serial philandering husband Shane.

Natasha Ryan: $250,000 from 60 Minutes after hiding in a cupboard for four years.

Belinda Emmett: $250,000 from Women’s Weekly and A Current Affair for the story of Mrs Rove’s cancer battles.

James Scott: up to $250,000 from 60 Minutes in 1992 for the tale Richard Carleton didn’t believe about his 40 days lost in the Himalayas with a Mars bar.

Lindy Chamberlain: $250,000 from 60 Minutes in 2000 to talk about baby Azaria.

Siamese Twins:parents of the Brisbane Siamese twins born in April 2000 sold their exclusive to Channel Seven, but 60 Minutes also had a piece of the action and they collected more than $250,000.

Delta Goodrem: signed a deal with Women’s Weekly
to speak exclusively to the magazine about her battle with Hodgkins
disease, in exchange for a $200,000 donation to cancer research in
2004.

Bob & Blanche: $200,000 from 60 Minutes and Woman’s Day for “The Love that wouldn’t die”.

Mamdouh Habib: $200,000 from 60 Minutes after returning from Guantanamo Bay.

If we’ve missed any or have the figures wrong, drop us a line at [email protected].

Peter Fray

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