Chris Bath Laughs Off Rumoured ‘Bath Vader’ Feud With Sam Armytage

After yesterday’s surprise announcement that she is leaving Seven, newsreader Chris Bath has explained her reasons, addressing rumours about a recent salary cut, and joking about her nickname ‘Bath Vader’. 
In a statement about her decision to ditch Seven, Bath said:
“I want to thank the Network for giving me the chance to enjoy every broadcast journalism experience possible; from reading News to assignments abroad including East Timor, Bali, Gallipoli, Royal weddings and various Olympics, to interviewing pollies on ‘Face to Face’, ’11am’ and ‘Sunday Sunrise’, to ‘Witness’ and ‘Sunday Night’, to the glorious anarchy of anchoring breaking news events for hours with our first class studio crews, to tangoing to ACDC under a mirror ball on ‘Dancing with the Stars’. I’ve loved it all, worked with some amazing people and made lifelong friends at Seven. It has been a tough decision to leave, but years ago I left a great job in regional television because I didn’t want to say ‘What if?’ about life, and I feel with all that experience on board now, the time is right again to explore new horizons.”
In an interview with News Limited, Bath addressed her rumoured rivalry with Samantha Armytage, alluding to the fact that that Sunrise host refers to her as ‘Bath Vader’ around the corridors of Seven.
“All I will say on that front is: ‘May the Force be with Sam,”” Bath said. “And I say it with a smile on my face. The nickname has been the gift that keeps on giving. I have so much Star Wars memorabilia now and I’ve always been a fan.”
Reports in The Australian speculate that a recent proposed pay cut may have been behind her decision to leave. 
It is speculated that Seven wanted to lower Bath’s $800,000-per-year salary to $500,000 to reflect the fact that her nightly news reading role had been scaled back to two evenings a week. 
Bath was reportedly unhappy with this, and would not settle for less than $700,000. She has denied this rumour, however, telling News Corp that it’s “never been about the money.”
The news reader herself took to Twitter to thank fans for their support:

Melissa Doyle will take over for Bath on the Friday and Saturday 6pm news bulletin, and will also take on a reporting and hosting role on Sunday Night.

Photo: Gaye Gerard via Getty Images