A former television executive has revealed exactly what TV bosses say about their on-air stars in private meetings.

Rob McKnight – who has worked for all three top commercial TV networks in his career and was an executive producer on Studio 10 from 2013 to 2017 – said the root of their atrocious behaviour comes from jealousy because “98 per cent of people who work behind the scenes actually want to be on camera”.

While on the TV Blackbox podcast, he said “I have heard so many executives, production people, the way they speak about on-air talent is actually quite atrocious.

“They’re spoken about like they’re thoroughbreds, in a way. They’re spoken about like they’re horses who, when they get too old, they’re off to the glue factory.”

McKnight went on to say: “there is so much jealousy in the TV industry, it’s palpable.

“And the people behind the scenes love having that power over the on-air talent. ‘I’ll decide if that person gets to stay on air. I’m going to sideline them. They didn’t treat me right.’

“I’ve seen this time and time again and it’s because people on TV get paid so much money, they are in the public eye, and there is resentment from people in power behind the scenes who don’t get that acknowledgment.”

McKnight’s revelations follow after Sunrise co-host Sam Armytage told Stellar Magazine about how toxic the TV industry can be.

“There’s a lot about television that’s all about you and that’s an awful way to live your life. TV isn’t a place that’s necessarily very healthy,” she said.

“It’s full of sociopaths and narcissists. It can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you.”

Rumours have been swirling around about whether 2022 will be Sam’s last year behind the screens.

Reports claim she has plans to leave Sunrise to focus on her family life and husband, Richard Lavender.

She told The Kyle and Jackie O Show last month that she was “very happy” in her job but could “easily” see herself embracing country life “down the track”.

Radio host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson observed: “I get the feeling, Sam, that you’re going to give this up next contract or something. Do you ever see yourself [retiring to the Southern Highlands]?” ‘

Sam replied: “Oh yeah, I think down the track I could, easily.”