Today Show hosts Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner. Picture Julie Kiriacoudis
Today Show hosts Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner. Picture Julie Kiriacoudis

How Karl’s career at Nine crumbled

Karl Stefanovic has been axed from the Today Show after 14 years and after months of speculation that his job was in danger.

Darren Wick, Nine's Director of News and Current Affairs sent out a statement saying: "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."

Karl Stefanovic said: "For the last 14 years I've co-hosted the best show on television. I can't thank Nine enough for the opportunity. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be good enough to host this grand show for so long.

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

Earlier this year, Nine's CEO Hugh Marks even admitted that Karl's private relationship drama had taken its toll.

This is how Karl's career crumbled since he met Jasmine:

KARL M.I.A. AFTER MARRIAGE SPLIT

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016: Karl pulls out of hosting duties on the Today Show amid reports that he and his wife Cassandra had split after 21 years of marriage. At the time, his co-host Lisa Wilkinson and Sylvia Jeffreys briefly referenced his absence at the top of the show, with Lisa claiming he was off doing "a 60 Minutes tidy up".

OCTOBER 2016: Karl's marriage to Cassandra ends after he moves out of the family home.

When the couple announced their split they also immediately put their Lindfield property in Sydney on the market while Stefanovic moved out to stay at his close friend James Packer's Bondi apartment. After less than two weeks on the market, the family home sold for $3.8 million.

Karl Stefanovic and his ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn arrive on the red carpet ahead of the 2011 Logie Awards. Picture: Getty
Karl Stefanovic and his ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn arrive on the red carpet ahead of the 2011 Logie Awards. Picture: Getty


KARL TAKES THE SUMMER OFF

NOVEMBER 2016: Nine news boss Darren Wick confirmed Karl was being rested over summer, to allow for him to deal with his family issues. "Previously what we've done with Karl is that he has often shot 60 Minutes stories over the summer," Wick said.

"We don't want him doing that this year - just have a break. Obviously what he's working through with his family situation … he needs to have a break and just rest and spend time with his family. He's going to do that and come back fresh next year."

KARL MEETS JASMINE

DECEMBER/JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016/2017: Karl goes on a two-month sabbatical. During this time, he and his new girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough appear to be together on social media and celebrate Christmas as a couple. The pair met after he left Cassandra.

Karl Stefanovic with girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Adam Taylor
Karl Stefanovic with girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Adam Taylor


THE FIRST RATINGS SLIDE

FEBRUARY 5, 2017: A week into his return from a two-month sabbatical, The Today Show found itself soundly beaten by Sunrise every single day last week across the five-city metro ratings figures. The Daily Telegraph reported that the biggest disparity came on Monday, with Sunrise out-rating Today by 95,000 sets of eyeballs (Sunrise drew 337,000 viewers to Today's 243,000).

APRIL 10, 2017: Karl's best mate and temporary Today show replacement Ben Fordham defended him, "because his family is going through a tough time." Fordham had to clarify why he was sitting in for Stefanovic, after he told his Instagram followers Karl was taking a "well earned break" - only for Lisa Wilkinson to then tell viewers her co-host was "on assignment."

MAY 7, 2017: Karl and Cassandra reportedly finalise their divorce.

Lisa Wilkinson with Ben Fordham celebrating 10 years on Today show. Picture: Stephen Cooper
Lisa Wilkinson with Ben Fordham celebrating 10 years on Today show. Picture: Stephen Cooper


KARL ADMITS TO FAILURE

JULY 23, 2017: In an interview with Stellar magazine, Karl Stefanovic revealed he's felt ashamed and that he had failed. But he hoped he would become a better man after his marriage breakdown and his new romance with Jasmine Yarbrough. He said he had "been through some personal stuff that's been difficult on everyone in my family".

"That has been the hardest aspect: the increased public interest, or coverage, makes it more intense to navigate through. But it isn't a world event, it's not a national event, it's not a community event. I don't know where to place it. It confuses the hell out of me."

Karl’s tell-all interview in Stellar. Picture: Steven Chee
Karl’s tell-all interview in Stellar. Picture: Steven Chee


LISA LEAVES KARL IN STUNNING EXIT

OCTOBER 16-17, 2017: Karl's long-time co-host Lisa Wilkinson quits The Today Show after 10 years, as they refuse to pay her the same amount as Karl which was reported to be $2 million. She then joined Ten and The Project with a pay packet reported to be worth in excess of $2 million. On air, Karl told viewers: "It all came as a bit of a shock to us".

Today Show host, Karl Stefanovic, the day after his co-host Lisa Wilkinson departed channel 9. Picture: Supplied
Today Show host, Karl Stefanovic, the day after his co-host Lisa Wilkinson departed channel 9. Picture: Supplied

 

KARL AND NEW CO-HOST GEORGIE STRUGGLE

JANUARY 23-24, 2018: Karl and Georgie Gardner failed to take advantage of the novelty factor of a new presenting duo on their first day on air together - with Seven's Sunrise winning both five-city and national ratings on January 23. They were beaten by market leaders, Sam Armytage and David Koch, who won the national battle 480,000 viewers to Today's 378,000 people. While the ratings took a hit, they steadied in 2017.

KARL GETS ENGAGED

JANUARY 27, 2018: A few days later, Karl and Jasmine celebrate her 34th birthday in style.

 

Jasmine Yarbrough and Karl Stefanovic,
Jasmine Yarbrough and Karl Stefanovic, "My man and his grandmas safari suit! Thanks for all the Birthday love”. Picture: @jasyarby/Instagram


KARL AND JASMINE GET ENGAGED

FEBRUARY 6 2018: Karl and Jasmine get engaged after meeting in 2016. The pair went public with their engagement after she flashed her enormous ring at the Harper's Bazaar Australia's 20th anniversary party in Sydney. The Daily Telegraph later confirmed the high profile couple were engaged, according to a friend who spilt the news. "They are very happy and enjoying this special time together," they friend said, adding that the proposal was "very new".

KARL AND JASMINE'S COMMITMENT CEREMONY

MARCH 10-11, 2018: Karl and Jasmine held a commitment ceremony in Palm Beach. While not legally binding, it was held at a private house. He told The Sunday Telegraph afterwards: "We are very much in love. We clicked right from the start. It's a commitment ceremony. It was lovely." Among the guests were Stefanovic's youngest children Ava, 13, and River, 11, who were surprised by the ceremony. Karl's eldest son Jackson, 18, did not attend. His brother Peter and wife Syvlia Jeffreys also attended the event.

Jasmine Yarbrough and Karl Stefanovic pictured together at their commitment ceremony held on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Picture: Supplied
Jasmine Yarbrough and Karl Stefanovic pictured together at their commitment ceremony held on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Picture: Supplied

KARL AND PETE'S UBERGATE SCANDAL

MARCH 11, 2018: News emerged that a taxi driver was trying to sell a recording of a private phone conversation between brothers Karl and Peter Stefanovic, according to veteran Australian entertainment reporter Peter Ford. Ford made the allegations on the Kyle and Jackie O Show, after teasing the story on Twitter. He told the radio hosts the private phone call happened when Peter was in the back of an Uber late at night, speaking to his brother and fellow Nine Network celebrity Karl on speakerphone. Karl was said to have been discussing ongoing problems about his working relationship with Gardner, his new co-anchor.

MARCH 12, 2018: More details came to light about the nature of the phone conversation, as inside sources claimed to The Daily Telegraph that Nine's senior management held extraordinary talks with executives in an attempt to manage the mounting crisis.

MARCH 17: 2018: Both brothers broke their silence and publicly apologised in an interview with News Corp's Sunday Telegraph. "We talk a hundred times a day and hardly ever about work," Karl said. "But we did, and the conversation was recorded. And we are sorry. I was angry with myself at first that I could be so stupid." Peter also apologised for the conversation. A spokesman for Nine said: "Clearly it was school behaviour between brothers but that's no excuse."

Karl & Peter Stefanovic were deeply apologetic. Picture: Instagram
Karl & Peter Stefanovic were deeply apologetic. Picture: Instagram


NINE STILL IN DAMAGE CONTROL

MARCH 20, 2018: Karl appears on Today with Deborah Knight. Georgie is sent out to cover the bushfires at Tathra in NSW. Her removal from the desk at Nine's Sydney HQ comes after she called out Karl for being "pathetic". Knight's appearance on the Today Show comes after she revealed she had hopes of getting Wilkinson's job after she left. Karl's brother Peter, who was involved in the controversial Uber phone call is still out reporting from the bushfires in Bega, NSW.

KARL GOES M.I. A AGAIN

MAY, 2018: As Karl went on a week's leave stand-in host Ben Fordham came back to sit by Georgie's side. Fordham announced via Instagram: "I'm hosting @TheTodayShow this week with this awesome human. Tune in." with a picture of himself and Georgie Gardner.

KARL GETS ROASTED AT THE LOGIES

JULY 1, 2018: With his fiancee Jasmine by his side, Logies host Dave Hughes has a crack at Karl in his opening monologue.

"You shouldn't have been bitching about your work colleagues. You shouldn't have," he said.

"I'm sure Georgie is very happy, isn't she there. Still on the fence Georgie or did you take a pale off it and hit him in the head with it?" Hughesy went on, referencing when Stefanovic accused his colleague of "sitting on the fence".

Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardener react during Dave Hughes opening Logies speech Picture: Channel 9
Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardener react during Dave Hughes opening Logies speech Picture: Channel 9

 

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough at the 2018 Logies. Picture: @elliotgarnaut/Instagram
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough at the 2018 Logies. Picture: @elliotgarnaut/Instagram


KARL AND GEORGIE ADMIT TO FRICTION

JULY, 2018: The Today Show co-hosts were guests on the Hit Network's Hughesy & Kate show and were grilled about their relationship.

"There's a fraction of friction between you two," Kate Langbroek said to them.

"A fraction too much friction," replied Gardner.

"Is there too much?" asked Langbroek.

"Occasionally," Gardner admitted.

KARL'S WEDDING LOCKED IN

AUGUST 26, 2018: Karl and Jasmine's wedding details emerge. The wedding is to take place at an ulta-high-end resort at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico on December 8.

TODAY'S RATINGS PLUMMET IN NEW LOW

SEPTEMBER 19, 2018: The Today show sunk to its lowest ratings mark in more than a decade, continuing the breakfast program's embattled year.

Overnight figures in the breakfast TV wars show Seven's Sunrise averaging 268,000 people across the five-city metropolitan markets, while Channel 9's Today plunged to 199,000 viewers - a shock drop under the critical 200,000 mark.

The gap between the shows was even more pronounced when regional figures were factored in, with Sunrise pulling an audience of 445,000 people nationally to Today's 320,000 viewers. The last time Today sunk so low was in 2006 when it drew just 187,000 viewers. Sunrise has already claimed this year in weekly wins, after notching up 21 weekly wins over Today in July.

Today Show hosts Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic by the Yarra in Melbourne. Picture: David Caird
Today Show hosts Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic by the Yarra in Melbourne. Picture: David Caird


KARL WILL BE SACKED: REPORTS

SEPTEMBER 23, 2018: Top-level sources at Nine say Karl is officially "gone" and likely to be replaced in the new year. Media analyst Steve Allen told Sunday Confidential that Karl's antics have cost Today many female viewers who, as Allen bluntly puts it: "basically now think he is an arsehole". Stefanovic's manager Sharon Finnigan denied he was a goner and would not comment.

Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks. Picture: AAP
Nine Entertainment CEO Hugh Marks. Picture: AAP

NINE CEO'S ADMISSION ABOUT KARL

SEPTEMBER 24, 2018: Nine's chief executive Hugh Marks revealed to The Australian's Media section that Karl Stefanovic's ongoing negative publicity had taken its toll.

He also challenged Today to lift its game as the ratings had sunk to a new low.

KARL AT NINE'S UPFRONTS

OCTOBER 17, 2018: Despite talk of him being sacked, Karl appeared at Nine's official "Upfronts" industry event where they reveal what they are focusing on in 2019.

Georgia Gardner, Karl Stefanovic and Sigrid Thornton at the Channel 9 2019 Upfronts in Sydney. Picture: Channel 9
Georgia Gardner, Karl Stefanovic and Sigrid Thornton at the Channel 9 2019 Upfronts in Sydney. Picture: Channel 9


KARL HIRES A REBRANDING EXPERT

NOVEMBER 2, 2018: The Daily Telegraph reports that Karl Stefanovic has hired a personal branding expert to repair his battered public image. Melbourne personal marketing strategist Mitch Catlin was hired to rebuild his reputation and credibility and help him come back from Today's ratings slide after Lisa Wilkinson's shock departure last year.

 

 

Jackson Stefanovic, Ava Stefanovic, Karl Stefanovic, Jade Yarbrough and Jasmine Yarbrough at Los Cabos International airport in Mexico ahead of their wedding. Picture: News Corp Australia
Jackson Stefanovic, Ava Stefanovic, Karl Stefanovic, Jade Yarbrough and Jasmine Yarbrough at Los Cabos International airport in Mexico ahead of their wedding. Picture: News Corp Australia


TODAY SHOW BOSS QUITS AS NINE BACKS KARL

DECEMBER 5, 2018: Today executive producer Mark Calvert stepped down from his role after a dismal ratings season. It has been also reported there was "tension" with Karl Stefanovic.

In an email to staff, Channel 9 news director Darren Wick confirmed Calvert would leave after five years.

"From personal experience, I know there is no more challenging role in news and current affairs than the daily breakfast battle between Today and Sunrise. It's a national ratings race where audience loyalty fluctuates from city to city, and often suburb to suburb," Mr Wick said.

"And there is no program on Australian television that is analysed, revised and criticised as much as Today. The hours are exhausting, the competition is intense and the media coverage - good and bad - is unrelenting."

While Karl is still with the show, more changes are expected in the new year. Stay tuned.

KARL AND JASMINE JET TO MEXICO

DECEMBER 3-5, 2018: The happy couple arrive in Mexico with family and their close celebrity friends.

KARL AND JASMINE WED IN MEXICO

DECEMBER 8, 2018: The couple said their I Do's surrounded by loved ones as Stefanovic's sister Elise Pointon presided as celebrant on the steps of the Mexican chapel at their luxurious Cabo San Lucas resort.

Wearing a bespoke creation from up and coming designer Jess Andreatta, Yarbrough was walked up the aisle by her doting father.

"Holy s - t, you're hot." Those were the first words Karl said to his bride when he saw her in her wedding dress.

According to sources at the lavish ceremony, Jasmine Yarbrough sent her groom a secret note on the day of their wedding asking him to meet her at the chapel for a private moment before the guests arrived. Karl agreed and they spent some time together before the craziness of the day.

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough's wedding — from clip played on the Today show. Picture: Channel 9
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough's wedding — from clip played on the Today show. Picture: Channel 9

 

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough official wedding photos. Picture: Supplied
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough official wedding photos. Picture: Supplied

 

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough wedding in Cabo posted by Amie Yin. Picture: Instagram
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough wedding in Cabo posted by Amie Yin. Picture: Instagram

 

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough wedding in Cabo. Picture: The Today Show
Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough wedding in Cabo. Picture: The Today Show

DECEMBER 19, 2018:

Nine announces that Karl has stepped down from the Today Show, contrary to reports in October that confirmed he and Georgie Gardner would relaunch the show during the Australian Open.

It's unclear who will replace him but Brenton Ragless has been the front runner.

Karl Stefanovic said: "For the last 14 years I've co-hosted the best show on television. I can't thank Nine enough for the opportunity. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be good enough to host this grand show for so long.

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



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