From the time he was appointed to World News Australia, Stan Grant treated Mary Kostakidis, “with disdain and generally ignored her presence, except very occasionally making a remark to her while on air,” according to court documents filed yesterday.
“Grant hardly ever made contact with Kostakidis and acted as if she were not present,” it is claimed.
The allegations are part of the breach of contract case Mary Kostakidis is making against SBS in which management allegedly bullied and intimidated her.
“Kostakidis was subject to contempt and bullying tactics by Grant, Cutler and Brown and was forced to persevere under enormous strain and continue to perform her duties in a professional manner,” her statement says.
She claims she had to repeatedly battle management over “the allocation of interviews, which always favoured Grant, and found the daily battle humiliating and debilitating.”
Kostakidis claims the SBS audience was often referred to as “old geezers” amid a push to make the news more tabloid and attract greater revenue. The Head of News and Current Affairs allegedly called her “the last of the old guard,” she claims.
SBS has responded with a short statement, “SBS has nothing but the highest regard for Mary Kostakidis and has taken every possible step to resolve any issues she has in an amicable fashion,” the broadcaster said. “That said, SBS is confident of its position in this matter and will be vigorously defending itself and any staff members against any unwarranted allegations Ms Kostakidis may bring before the court.”
Kostakidis also claims to have turned down offers from ABC News and Foreign Correspondent due to her loyalty with SBS, a position she has enjoyed since more than 20 years.
The case is scheduled to begin November 2nd.