After much speculation, Karl Stefanovic’s replacement for Today has finally been announced. On Saturday evening, a statement was shared on the Today show’s social media pages, explaining that news presenter Deborah Knight would be co-hosting the popular breakfast program alongside Georgie Gardner.
“Respected journalists Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight will host a new look Today with Tom Steinfort joining the line-up as newsreader, it was announced this morning,” the statement read. “Joining the hosts will be legendary Melbourne sports presenter Tony Jones, Nine Finance Editor Ross Greenwood and former ABC journalist and Triple J newsreader Brooke Boney as entertainment reporter.”
The new-look show will make its debut next Monday, January 14. Meanwhile, Political Editor Chris Uhlmann, Richard Wilkins, Lara Vella, Christine Ahern and Jessica Milward will also be part of the team. David Campbell, Allison Langdon, Jayne Azzopardi and Clint Stanaway will host Weekend Today.
Today Extra will continue to be hosted by Sonia Kruger five days a week and she will be joined by current co-host Campbell for three days. Wilkins will host the show two days a week.
“Georgie Gardner, Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort will spearhead an energised and exciting Today show in 2019,” Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick said in a statement. “We’ve brought together a team from within the Nine family who are already well-known, trusted and liked by Australian viewers.”
He explained that Georgie has established herself as one of the most respected presenters on television, claiming viewers “adore her”.
“What you see is what you get,” he said. “Authentic, caring and compassionate.”
Wick described Knight as one of the best interviewers in Australia and a hard worker, while also boasting about Steinfort.
“Today in 2019 has a new focus,” he continued. “But the show will retain everything that made it an institution for four decades. The perfect mix to start your day – news, information you can use and fun.”
Knight also confirmed the news on her social media channels. She tweeted: “Excited to say I’m joining @TheTodayShow on a permanent basis – joining @GeorgieG and @tomsteinfort on a show I’ve always loved working on. The team is terrific. #iwakeupwithtoday.”
It was announced last year that Karl Stefanovic would not be returning to the show. The announcement came after months of speculation about Stefanovic’s future on the network after a tumultuous few years in his personal life.
“Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today show,” Nine said in a statement. “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.
News of Stefanovic’s departure came just a day after his younger brother Peter announced he had quit the Nine Network after more than 15 years with the news division. He made the surprise announcement late last year, saying he valued his time at the company but had decided it was time to move on. Sylvia Jeffreys, who had been a fixture on Today for several years, also confirmed her departure.