A swag of TV3's female reporters are deserting the network amid insider talk of unhappiness about Paul Henry's new show stealing all the attention - and money.

Rebecca Wright, Jane Luscombe, Rachel Morton and Kim Grade (formerly Chisnall) all left recently or are leaving the network soon.

And although all have other roles to go to, Spy has learned their exits come as MediaWorks' bosses put Henry's multi-platform breakfast show, with co-hosts Jim Kayes, Hilary Barry and Perlina Lau, in the limelight - some claim at the expense of other established shows.

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Few people leave a job when prospects are bright and opportunities plentiful.
TV One and Prime have had Sunday and 60 Minutes pumping out the stories since February.

But TV3's Third Degree has no return date set. Nor has the new-format Nightline, to be hosted by David Farrier and Samantha Hayes.

Instead, insiders have moaned to Spy that MediaWorks CEO Mark Weldon has all the resources focused on the Henry project and other news departments are peeved.

A spokeswoman for TV3 wouldn't comment but Spy understands the newsroom is resigned to the emphasis on Henry heading up an entire radio brand - as well as fronting the flagship for MediaWorks as a while.

Wellington-based Morton has been tempted to the dark side and is heading to the Beehive to join Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce's team.

Luscombe is also heading in to political job of sorts as she goes to work for the Retirement Commissioner Diane Maxwell.

Wright, who was a darling of TV3, starts at opposition TVNZ today after being tempted away by her former mentor, head of newsgathering Phil O'Sullivan, who recently returned from the United Arab Emirates where he worked as CNN Abu Dhabi bureau chief.

Grade and her cameraman husband Daniel have left to pursue opportunities in the UK.

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