It’s been a tough week for the stars of Channel Nine, as it was revealed that the Today show would undergo another overhaul in 2020, with former presenter Karl Stefanovic set to return to the helm, at the expense of current hosts Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight.
The departures from the network show no signs of slowing though as it was revealed on Thursday that Sonia Kruger is also preparing to leave the network, and the 54-year-old TV star will present her last edition of Today Extra tomorrow morning.
Sonia, who has also worked on major Nine shows including Big Brother and The Voice, broke the news during Thursday morning’s show as she told viewers: “After eight fabulous years I’m leaving the show and the Nine Network. I have had an amazing time here. I’ve been very privileged to work on some top shelf programs and, of course, with you David.
“But it’s time for me to go and do something new … Tomorrow is going to be my last day on the show and as a thank you to you at home for having me in your living room every day, we are putting together something special to celebrate. There’ll be laughs, there better be tears. If there are no tears I will be very upset.”
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) November 14, 2019
The bubbly blonde presenter became visibly emotional as she went on to say that tomorrow would be her last day behind the desk, however she did not divulge the details of where she will work next. If the rumours are true though, Sonia looks set to pocket more than $1 million per year after being snapped up by rival network Channel Seven.
While co-star David Campbell warned her not to cry during the heartfelt announcement, telling her: “Don’t you dare!”
Sonia’s announcement makes her the fourth star to be confirmed as leaving the Today show family over the past week. Georgie Gardner left the show with immediate effect over the weekend, after it was announced that Karl Stafanovic and Allison Langdon would co-anchor the show in 2020, with Deborah Knight also being replaced as the show’s main host.
Georgie was awkwardly farewelled from the show on Monday morning as Deb and fellow Nine star Tom Steinfort paid tribute to Georgie and commended her for her efforts in trying to improve the show’s ratings, claiming she “gave it a red hot go”.
“We wanted to acknowledge our colleague and friend, Georgie Gardner,” Knight – who is staying on in her role until next year – began. “You might have read over the weekend that Georgie has left the show. After a really challenging year, we want to wish Georgie all the very best.”
Steinfort then chimed in adding: “She has been a committed and passionate member of the team here. I think particularly when she’s been sharing the stories of everyday Australians who are doing it tough. These are issues that she wanted to focus on.
“She has always been a woman of strength here, a woman of class – and also who could forget that very wicked sense of humour that would just pop up from time to time as well?”
While a shock for the rest of Australia, Knight claimed that Georgie is making the most of her time away from the camera, as she prepares to take the next step in her career. She added: “Georgie is enjoying the time with her family, friends, taking Wilbur the dog [for a walk] and we look forward to seeing you on our screens again soon.”
Later on Monday, Today sports presenter Tony Jones also announced his departure from the show. Opening up about his decision to resign, Jones told the Herald Sun it was time to take a step back from his busy workload.
“It’s certainly been a wild ride over the past year, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time working on the Today show,” he explained to the publication. “However, I came to the conclusion several months ago that juggling those commitments, together with Nine News, Sunday Footy Show and 3AW, was not sustainable. Something had to give.”