The Nine Network has unceremoniously dumped Today co-host and former TV Week Gold Logie winner Karl Stefanovic from the long-running breakfast show, announced in a media release on Wednesday:
“Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today Show. Karl remains on contract with the network and will continue to host This Time Next Year, which records in February.
“For over 14 years Karl has been at the centre of the Today Show bringing his unique personality and perspective to the day’s news and current affairs.
“An announcement on the new line up and format of the Today Show will be made in the coming weeks.”
The announcement comes after ongoing speculation into Stefanovic’s role at the network and intense media coverage into Stefanovic’s private life, most recently the lavish celebrity wedding to Jasmine Yarbrough celebrated over several days in Mexico. His life had become a media circus that was less enthusiastically embraced by Nine executives as their former golden boy was now increasingly tabloid fodder, not helped by the very public separation and some very blunt (alleged) remarks from his former wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn.
Stefanovic’s departure from Today comes literally only a day after his brother, Peter Stefanovic, and Nine had decided to “part ways” after 15 years. The younger Stefanovic was co-host of Weekend Today and seemed likely to eventually succeed Karl on the weekday Today.
Both brothers were caught up in controversy earlier this year when details of a private telephone call made in an Uber was made public by the driver. The phone call is said to included cutting remarks about various network colleagues and the behind the scenes workings at the network.
Meanwhile, Nine has seen Today — which also farewelled co-host Lisa Wilkinson last year when she accepted an offer to join Network Ten — fall to ratings lows not seen for over a decade, with arch rival Sunrise becoming a clear winner in the high-profile breakfast ratings battle.