Karl Stefanovic to return to Today program after Channel Nine reverses axeing | Media

Karl Stefanovic will return to co-hosting Channel Nine’s the Today program in 2020 after he was unceremoniously axed last year.

Stefanovic will co-host with Weekend Today host and 60 Minutes reporter Alli Langdon. Georgie Gardner will leave the show while Deborah Knight will be co-host on Monday morning.

Gardner said she was “disappointed” with the decision.

“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today show and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome,” Gardner said. “However, I’m very proud to have been part of an innovative and progressive programming decision – the first female hosting duo in Australian breakfast television.

“I have no regrets, even though the scrutiny and public discourse has been daunting and disproportionate. It’s also at times been cruel.”

Stefanovic told the Sydney Morning Herald, which is owned by Nine, that he was “as shocked about this as everyone else”.

The director of news at Nine, Darren Wick, said: “We took a bold decision to try something new with two women hosting the Today show this year and regrettably that has not worked for the audience.”

Wick said newsreader Tom Steinfort and entertainment reporters Richard Wilkins and Brooke Boney would remain with Nine but the program’s full line-up would “be announced in due course”.

The Nine Network’s flagship morning program has hit record low ratings since Stefanovic was dumped in 2018 after 15 years.

His sacking followed a difficult year in which the show’s ratings were already falling amid unrelenting coverage of his divorce from Cassandra Thorburn and remarriage to designer Jasmine Yarbrough.

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