Karl Stefanovic has remained decidedly tight-lipped about rumours he may be facing the sack from the Today show, but this morning, he appeared to make a subtle reference to the speculation.
Reports suggesting he was under threat of being replaced due to an ‘image problem’ emerged three days ago, and this morning on the Today show, the 44-year-old seemed to take aim at media publications for perpetuating the rumour.
During the sports segment, reporter Tim Gilbert criticised a Fairfax article about the Burgess brothers skipping the Dally M Awards after backlash from the NRL nude video scandal, calling it “garbage” and suggesting journalists “make things up”.
But it was Karl’s response that got people talking.
“I think you’ve just got to ignore it,” he said, to which Tim chuckled, “Do you?”
In the video below, Karl can be seen laughing as he replied: “It’s upsetting. It’s upsetting to have stuff written about you, isn’t it?”
The sacking rumours came to light in an article published in the Sunday Confidential, which quoted insiders suggesting Stefanovic’s tenure at the Channel Nine breakfast program would come to an end in the New Year.
The article was published amid constant rumours of tension with his co-host Georgie Gardner, which were made even more controversial after a very public Uber conversation earlier this year, as well as the spotlight on his divorce from Cassandra Thorburn.
It has been hinted that the damage to Karl’s “family man image” has caused Today Show ratings to plummet.
As reported by Daily Mail, Channel Nine chief executive Hugh Marks has since stated that while Karl’s job is safe for now, there would be “hard work” ahead to improve his reputation.
“Clearly, it’s been a tough and challenging year for Karl and Today,” Marks said.
“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.”
Karl made an indirect response to the initial article with an Instagram post from late Sunday evening.
“I’m incredibly grateful for the family and friends I have in this world,” he wrote in the caption of a photo with his brother Peter Stefanovic, fiancée Jasmine Yarbrough and friend Chris Waller.
“It’s all that matters really. I’m so proud of them.”