Former Sunrise presenter Simon Reeve has apparently put his sprawling Gold Coast property up for sale days after suing Channel Seven for up to $1 million.
Reeve was flown to Sydney from the two-acre estate in well-to-do Tallai every week just to read the sport news on Weekend Sunrise.
The arrangement, which cost Seven $250,000 a year in flights and luxury hotels, persisted for years until the NSW-Queensland border shut in March.
Reeve spent three months in limbo at his Gold Coast home absent from TV screens before Seven finally cut him loose on June 25.
Reeve was spotted driving his 4WD at the property on Tuesday afternoon, having had an inspection by a potential buyer
His lawsuit claims Reeve should have been paid out as an employee, but Seven argues he was just a freelancer whose contract was not renewed.
Reeve acquired the 7,735sqm five-bedroom, three bathroom house and estate he shares with his wife Linda for $848,000 in 2010.
He frequently posts photos on Instagram of himself at the property – working in the yard or relaxing in the tranquil surrounds.
But despite the extreme, and expensive, lengths Reeve and Seven went to for him to live there and work in Sydney, he is now moving on.
Reeve doesn’t stand to make much for his decade-long investment either as the property is listed for just $1.1 million – which given inflation and stamp duty won’t even break even.
A glowing description by real estate agents Remax Regency talks up the property’s ‘idyllic rural lifestyle’ just a few minutes from town.
‘As you meander up the concrete driveway towards the home, passing the lush green paddocks and watch the horses graze, you will immediately feel the stresses of the day lift,’ it reads.
‘As you start to unwind and ground yourself again with mother nature, in this idyllic acreage environment.’
The home includes a 14m pool and outdoor entertaining area for dozens of guests with a cabana and a barbeque
The huge deck overlooks the pool area and the two-acre horse farm and tranquil bushland and pasture beyond
Other features highlighted are the huge deck overlooking the 14m pool and acres of bushland, and two fenced horse paddocks with a stable.
‘You can very much sense that a family has been raised in this home – they have lived together, loved together, cried together and laughed together,’ it continues.
Whether selling off the prized estate means Reeve and his wife Linda are relocating to Sydney or just downsizing with both their children moved out, is unclear.
The couple also own a four-bedroom terrace overlooking Sydney’s Coogee Beach, bought for $549,000 in 1998, which they rent out for $1,250 a week.
Reeve was believed to be a casualty of rampant cost-cutting across the Australian TV world with revenue devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, a senior Seven source said the decision was directly linked to Weekend Today sport presenter Clint Stanaway leaving that show.
‘Nine had dumped its weekend sports presenter on Today and we couldn’t justify keeping [Reeve] on. So we didn’t renew his contract,’ the source said.
‘He was just so expensive, flying him up and back and accommodating him – as well as the retainer. You can get a dedicated junior for half that and no expenses.
‘News was under such pressure. Axing him saved close to half a million [dollars] and didn’t lose anything on air.’
Reeve frequently posts photos in Instagram of himself on the property – working in the yard or relaxing in the tranquil surrounds
Since Stanaway’s departure, Weekend Today sport is presented by Jayne Azzopardi, who also reads the news.
That setup is now copied by Weekend Sunrise where Sally Bowrey presents both news and sport, negating the need for Reeve as an extra presenter.
Reeve’s status was not helped by his $250,000-a-year pay for six hours work a week, that also saw Seven fly him to Sydney from his Gold Coast home each week.
He was put up in fancy hotels like the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, by Seven’s Martin Place studio, or the nearby Hilton or Intercontinental.
‘The axe was always going to fall on Simon. Seven flew him down and paid for his accommodation every week for the weekend show while production staff couldn’t get a cab charge,’ another Seven insider said.
‘It just wouldn’t happen today. I mean, nice guy, but hardly a star.’
Reeve’s high-paid position lasted so long because he was close to former Seven West Media chief executive Tim Worner who ‘protected’ him.
The pair go way back to when Reeve worked on Beyond 2000 in 1987 to 1993, which is when he began being employed via his company Simon Reeve Productions.