It’s been a rocky couple of years for Karl Stefanovic following his divorce from wife Cassandra Thorburn and the drama surrounding comments he made about his co-stars to his brother Peter earlier this year.
While there’s been ongoing speculation that Stefanovic’s time on the breakfast program is coming to an end amid plummeting ratings, the network officially confirmed Karl will return to the Today show in 2019 as its host. The 44-year-old will be joined by current co-host Georgie Gardner.
“At 5.30am, the nation wakes up with Today, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner,” Nine Network confirmed in a press release on Wednesday. “In 2019, Australia’s longest running breakfast television program will continue to bring viewers up-to-the-minute news, current affairs, sport, politics, entertainment, fashion, health and lifestyle from Australia and around the world.”
The confirmation of Stefanovic’s fate comes after Nine’s chief executive Hugh Mark revealed the constant drama surrounding the presenters personal life has had an impact on the show.
“Clearly, it’s been a tough and challenging year for Karl and Today,” Marks told The Australian earlier this year. “No doubt the constant publicity surrounding issues with his personal life have had an impact on Karl, his colleagues and on the show.
“We can’t hide from that. And as a result we know there’s a lot of hard work to be done to win back the audience.”
Marks went on to say that Today needs to raise its game as the show continues to go head to head against Channel 7’s rival offering Sunrise in the ratings battle. He also praised Stefanovic and Gardner, who joined the show following the departure of Lisa Wilkinson, who moved to Network Ten late last year.
Stefanovic’s marriage to ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn ended after 21 years when they divorced in October 2016, and he has since moved on with shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, 34/ The couple have been busily planning their wedding for later this year.
While his marriage split made huge headlines, Stefanovic has also been caught up in an ‘Ubergate’ scandal, when a driver exposed a conversation he had with brother and fellow Channel Nine journalist Peter – in which the pair slammed their station colleagues.