Well, it’s happening, folks – like a grinning roach emerging as the sole survivor of a nuclear apocalypse, Karl Stefanovic will be returning to his old Today hosting gig in 2020.
In his original tenure, Karlos fronted the show for 14 years, winning a Gold Logie and entrenching himself as one of the loosest units in all of breakfast television.
He left at the end of last year, amid flagging ratings and a series of personal dramas. His co-host Georgie Gardner remained, and was joined by Deborah Knight.
Unfortunately, ratings for Today fell even lower after his departure, so Nine (which owns this publication) made the bold move of welcoming him back into the fold.
60 Minutes reporter Allison Langdon will join him as co-host of the show in 2020. Stefanovic said that he is excited to be returning to “the best live job in Australia”, adding:
“Going back to the Today Show is not something that I thought would come up again. I thought my time was up but then when I was sounded out about it, it got me thinking. It’s a big job with enormous pressures and I know only too well some of those pitfalls, but it is also without question the best live job in Australia. I’ve loved 60 Minutes and the team there who have been so generous and supported me, but for me the best way to use the skills I have is the live show format and I missed the Today Show, I missed it a lot.”
Gardner made a very diplomatic statement earlier today, saying that she is disappointed to be leaving after one year, but that she wishes the new team every success:
“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today Show, and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome. 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.”
“My plan now is to return to my first love, news, and to catch up on some sleep! I am grateful for the support and friendship offered by my Today Show colleagues on-air and behind the scenes and I am humbled by the unwavering loyalty and kindness of viewers. They have made my job more rewarding than they will ever know.”
“I leave with fond memories and wish the new team every success. See you on a TV screen in 2020.”
Nine’s news director Darren Wick praised Gardner for her integrity and passion for reporting, and said that the remainder of the Today team for 2020 “will be announced in due course.”