Hints Lisa Wilkinson was leaving Today that we all missed.

Lisa Wilkinson’s sudden departure from the Today show came as a shock to most of us. But if you were paying close attention you may have guessed something was up.

The first hint came in September when the veteran journalist made a guest appearance on Channel Ten’s The Project – the show she is now going to join in January.

During a discussion about Rebel Wilson’s high profile defamation case against Woman’s Day, the hosts threw to Lisa on location to ask her about what impact she thought the decision would have.

Listen: Mia spoke to Lisa about Karl, Today, and her husband Pete.

But when asked about what her Today co-host Karl Stefanovic thought of Wilson being awarded $4.56 million in damages from the magazine’s publisher, she made an exclamation that we can now see as a slip or hint of things to come.

When Lisa said she hadn’s spoken to Karl about the case, Waleed Aly jokingly asked if there was “tension on the Today set”.

“No no, that’s only because he’s hosting A Current Affair tonight,” she replied, laughing.
“So we are having network wars right now!”

Lisa replied to Pete Helliar’s quip, “And we know which side you choose Lisa, well-chosen” with
an enthusiastic: “I’ve gone for Channel 10!”

Well, now she has.

(Image via The Project.)

There were also signs that Monday morning's episode of Today was going to be Lisa's last. First, and maybe we're reading too much into this, she didn't seem quite as happy as usual. More telling though was a subtle dig Karl had at her during the show's final minutes.

Wrapping up an interview with The Block's Darren Palmer and Neale Whitaker, Karl said, "The Block continues at 7.30 on Nine... and we're so glad it is."

This jibe was lost on all of us of course.

But what was probably the most obvious sign is one that only media insiders would have seen - and missed.

Around this time of year, most Australian TV channels host an event called an 'upfront', which acts as a preview of the year ahead. They invite advertisers and media agency buyers and tell them about all the highlights and shows that will be appearing on the station the following year.

Mamamia's representative at the up-front this October said she noticed Lisa was barely featured in the one-and-a-half hour event last week, while Karl was prominent - something that makes perfect sense only now we know she left the network after contract negotiations broke down.

Ah, the power of hindsight.