Why Nine sacked Karl on his honeymoon
CHANNEL 9's news director has explained why the network sacked Karl Stefanovic when he was on his honeymoon.
The Today star was brutally dumped from the show he's co-hosted for 14 years on Wednesday while holidaying in Aspen with his new wife, Jasmine Yarbrough.
"Up until very recently Karl was going to be part of Today in 2019 and we thought we could ride out the negative attention he was receiving," Nine's Darren Wick told the Sydney Morning Herald.
But Stefanovic's highly publicised wedding in Mexico proved to be the straw that broke the camel's back for Nine.
"The wedding showed the negative noise was not going anywhere and it was time for us and for Karl to take a rest … to have a breather," Wick said. "We truly believe this is what is best for both the show and for Karl.
"There was no reason for us to wait any longer once we had made the decision. We spoke with Karl's management, and I've got to say it has been pretty amicable.
"There was no point waiting another couple of weeks."
Wick told the Herald that Today show personalities Richard Wilkins, Sylvia Jeffreys and Georgie Gardner were all told about Nine's decision to dump Stefanovic before the press release was sent out.
"Despite the Ubergate stuff, Karl and Georgie did develop a good working relationship," Wick said. "Naturally Georgie was very keen to know what was happening and we made sure everyone knew before we went public."
Stefanovic, who remains contracted to Channel 9 and will continue to host This Time Next Year, flew back into Sydney yesterday with Jasmine Yarbrough and was all smiles at the airport.
"I suppose, as they say, a change is as good as a holiday, I'm looking forward to getting back to work," Stefanovic told The Daily Telegraph. "I'm moving forward with a sense of excitement about what's to come."
Channel 9 will launch a revamped Today show on January 14 and viewers can expect it to be vastly different.
The breakfast show's new executive producer, Steve Burling, is understood to be finalising a cutthroat plan not to just tweak things, but tear them down completely.
It was announced yesterday that former Triple J newsreader Brooke Boney will appear on Today in 2019 as an entertainment reporter.
A spokesman for the show insisted Boney wasn't replacing Richard Wilkins, but would instead work under him.
It's understood sports presenter Tim Gilbert will be dropped from Today and there are rumours newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys will be given a new gig in prime time.
Tracy Vo, a Perth-based journalist, is tipped to replace Jeffreys as newsreader on the breakfast show in 2019.
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