Speculation is rife that Sylvia Jeffreys and Karl Stefanovic’s jobs at Today are on the line.
Speculation is rife that Sylvia Jeffreys and Karl Stefanovic’s jobs at Today are on the line.

Karl Stefanovic has been dumped from the Today show

After several months of mounting pressure, Channel 9 has dumped Karl Stefanovic from its troubled breakfast show.  

The network confirmed this afternoon that Stefanovic, who has been co-host of Today for more than a decade, will not return in the New Year.  

"Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today show," a statement read.  

"Karl remains on contract with the network and will continue to host (his other show) This Time Next Year."  

Stefanovic, who is currently on his honeymoon in the United States after marrying Jasmine Yarbrough earlier this month, has copped a barrage of negative attention on his personal life.   

In a statement issued on his behalf, he admitted the past year had been "a tough time".  

"Thanks to our viewers mostly, you are what matters most," he said.  

"It's been a tough time. Thanks for hanging in there. I look forward to seeing you in another capacity at this great network soon."

An announcement about a revamped Today line-up and format is expected in the coming weeks.

Stefanovic has copped a barrage of negative attention surrounding his personal life, specifically his split from ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn and swift rebound with Yarbrough.

The distractions have been blamed for a sharp decline in Today's ratings, particularly among the crucial female demographic.

Inside sources have told news.com.au for several weeks that Stefanovic was a "dead man walking", after efforts to rehabilitate his image and shift the focus back to the ailing show failed.

Once the golden boy of Australia's small-screen, his loveable larrikin brand had turned irreversibly toxic.

The news follows the shock confirmation yesterday that the host's younger brother and Weekend Today host Peter Stefanovic was leaving Nine after more than 15 years.

Claims emerged today that his wife Sylvia Jeffreys, currently Today's newsreader, is set to follow him out the door.

Entertainment commentator Peter Ford said there was a plan to "redeploy" Jeffreys elsewhere and fill her position with Perth journalist Tracy Vo.

"Peter has decided to explore new opportunities and is looking forward to spending weekends with his wife," a statement from Nine read yesterday.

A network spokesman declined to comment on Jeffreys' future.

EARLIER: KARL Stefanovic could be shafted from the troubled Today show by the end of the day, an explosive report suggests.

It follows the shock confirmation yesterday that Peter Stefanovic was leaving Channel 9 after more than 15 years, and claims this his wife Sylvia Jeffreys will follow him out the door.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that network executives are currently locked in crisis talks over the future of the ailing breakfast program.

The newspaper cites sources saying the controversial Today co-host could be removed from his post within hours.

It comes after entertainment commentator Peter Ford said there was a plan to "redeploy" newsreader Jeffreys elsewhere and fill her position with Perth journalist Tracy Vo.

However, an insider told news.com.au this morning that Jeffreys was safe from the chopping block.

There are explosive reports that Karl Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys could be shafted from the troubled Today show as soon as this afternoon.
There are explosive reports that Karl Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys could be shafted from the troubled Today show as soon as this afternoon.

 

A spokesman for Channel 9 was tight-lipped today, declining to comment on the speculation about either star's future.

The same spokesman last week rubbished reports that Peter Stefanovic was set to walk, before yesterday's confirmation that he and the network had mutually parted ways.

"Peter has decided to explore new opportunities and is looking forward to spending weekends with his wife," a statement from Channel 9 read.

Now, speculation is mounting that Karl, currently on his honeymoon in the United States, could be dealt the same fate by the end of the day.

FATE SEALED BY UBERGATE

Since returning to Australia from a lengthy posting as a foreign correspondent, he has been a co-host on Weekend Today and, until recently, was a respected figure at the network.

It had been claimed last week that bosses were unhappy with her husband's performance on Weekend Today and still miffed about the "Ubergate" embarrassment.

The scandal, in which he had an explosive conversation on speaker phone with his brother Karl Stefanovic, soured those views.

 

Sylvia Jeffreys’ husband Peter Stefanovic announced yesterday he was leaving Channel 9 after 15 years.
Sylvia Jeffreys’ husband Peter Stefanovic announced yesterday he was leaving Channel 9 after 15 years.

 

He and Jeffreys were together in the car and a driver shared explicit details of their explosive tirade with New Idea magazine.

They reportedly traded barbs for 45 minutes, targeting on-air colleagues Georgie Gardner and Richard Wilkins, as well as Channel 9 executives.

A Channel 9 insider told news.com.au that moving Jeffreys on would be "a grave error" given her popularity and reputation as a hard-worker.

"I'm surprised by this," the source said. "If Sylvia goes, it'll be her decision. She's seen as a real asset."

News.com.au approached Jeffreys for comment but did not receive a response.

A SHOW IN CRISIS

Headlines have been dominated this year by the Stefanovic surname, with constant speculation and insider reports that Karl is on the way out.

The show's ratings have dwindled over the past 18 months, particularly among the crucial female demographic, who seem to have switched off over his divorce from wife Cassandra Thorburn and speedy rebound with new bride Jasmine Yarbrough.

Channel 9 has repeatedly denied, often furiously, that he won't front the struggling show in 2019.

 

Channel 9 executives are reportedly in ‘crisis talks’ to dump Karl Stefanovic, possibly as soon as today.
Channel 9 executives are reportedly in ‘crisis talks’ to dump Karl Stefanovic, possibly as soon as today.

 

Industry commentator David Knox, editor of the blog TV Tonight, told news.com.au something has to give.

"Incoming executive producer Steve Burling has a helluva job on his hands to signal wholesale change to the audience in order to bring eyeballs back to the show," Mr Knox said.

"The show has faced disruption since the exit of Lisa Wilkinson and headlines surrounding Karl's personal life, and there are numerous areas ripe for a refresh."

There were also reports on Sunday that veteran entertainment correspondent Richard "Dickie" Wilkins was set to be stood down.

HOW TO SAVE TODAY

Mr Knox argued that Today's biggest competition wasn't rival breakfast program Sunrise on Channel 7, but rather breakfast radio "and the 8.10am train".

"Nine's strength has always been in news. Go hard on overnight news, leave the debates and cash-call giveaways to the other mob," he said.

The speculation about Karl Stefanovic's role as co-host has intensified in recent months and insiders claim it's a matter of when, not if, he's pushed.

 

One source told news.com.au that dumping Sylvia Jeffreys would be a mistake. Picture: AAP
One source told news.com.au that dumping Sylvia Jeffreys would be a mistake. Picture: AAP

 

The high-priced star still has a year left on his hefty contract.

"Filming on (Karl's other show) This Time Next Year is due to complete around February or March, but whether Karl will still be at Nine this time next year is debatable," Mr Knox said.

"The exit of Peter Stefanovic, in the same year as Ubergate, indicate TV execs get the last word."


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