The year-long promise that explains why Karl Stefanovic was axed from the Today show.

There was talk from her first day at the Today desk that co-hosts Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic didn’t get along.

And now it seems there may be more to the story of Karl Stefanovic’s departure from the breakfast TV show.

According to a Daily Telegraph  story published in November last year, a hesitant Georgie was told when she signed on to replace Lisa Wilkinson that she would only have to work with Karl for a year.

The information came from an anonymous senior executive who told the newspaper it was the only way they could get her to sign her contract.

“She signed on to the show after having been assured she would only have to do one year with Karl,” a senior executive reportedly confided to the Daily Telegraph. 

“After that, he’s gone and Nine will recast and she will get to work with someone else.”

Well, it’s been just over a year and Karl is gone.


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On Wednesday afternoon Nine released a statement saying the Today show host of 14 years was leaving the show, but not the network.

“Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today show,” it read.

“Karl remains on contract with the network and will continue to host (his other show) This Time Next Year, which records in February.”

Karl then, in his own statement, spoke of seeing viewers “in another capacity at this great network soon”.

It may not have been such a bitter departure after all. The same Daily Telegraph article said Karl agreed to work with Georgie also under the condition that it be short-lived, as it’s been long said that he’d rather be working on 60 Minutes.

Although that may be true, this week the Daily Telegraph reported that Georgie recently “demanded” not to work with Karl anymore.

An anonymous executive reportedly told the newspaper that Georgie “can’t stand Karl” and has been waiting for him to leave for a long time.

The infamous Ubergate phone call in March – where Karl told his brother that Georgie “didn’t have enough opinions” and that if she wanted to stay on the show she needed to “step up” – supposedly didn’t help matters.

However, Nine dismissed the claims Georgie had anything to do with Karl’s exit as “utter garbage”, saying the decision “was made solely by management”.

Richard Wilkins’ thanked Karl for his time on the show on Thursday:

Video by The Today Show