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"I didn't see it coming." Sylvia Jeffreys on being sacked from the Today Show.

As Channel Nine’s breakfast show Today’s ratings plummeted late last year, Karl Stefanovic couldn’t escape the months of speculation and rumours that he’d soon be sacked.

But when the Nine Network announced a drastic alteration to the Today lineup, Karl wasn’t the only one in the firing line.

It was out with the old and in with the new as the Today show team picked up fresh faces Brooke Boney, Tony Jones, Deborah Knight, Tom Steinfort and retained Karl’s former co-host, Georgie Gardner.

Karl was dropped, as many had suspected, Richard Wilkins was redeployed to Today Extra, Peter Stefanovic left the network altogether, sports reporter Tim Gilbert was moved on, and – in perhaps the biggest surprise of all – so was newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys.

In a statement following the announcement, Sylvia said:

“I’ve loved and embraced every minute of my Today show chapter and feel humbled to have worked with so many passionate people – hosts, studio crew, cameramen and producers – who have become my great mates.

“There are few shows that are fortunate to have such an engaged audience, and I thank our viewers for inviting me into their homes day after day.

“I’m thrilled to sink my teeth into a brand new project. Opportunity often knocks when you least expect it and I’m ready to dive right in to what’s ahead of me.”

Now, having stayed with Nine, the A Current Affair reporter has admitted her sacking from Today was not only a surprise to viewers. She had no idea it was coming.

In an interview with Stellar Magazine, the 33-year-old said it was ‘a lot to digest’, claiming she was merely ‘collateral damage’ in the take down of her husband Peter Stefanovic and his brother Karl.

 

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Out today @stellarmag ????

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“I didn’t see change on that scale coming… It was a lot to digest all at once,” she said.

“I don’t know on what basis those decisions were made, but whatever way you look at it, I was collateral,” Sylvia added.

The job losses came shortly after Karl Stefanovic’s lavish Mexico wedding to Jasmine Yarbrough in December last year – a spectacle many believe contributed to Nine’s decision to overhaul the Today team.

 

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???? very special day ???? muchos congrats to the happy couple @karlstefanovic_ @jasyarby ????

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Karl was sacked on December 19, less than two weeks after the wedding. He was on his honeymoon in Aspen, Colorado when network executives called him to deliver the news.

Admitting there has been talk reputations were damaged by the high-profile wedding, Sylvia added: “[Karl and Jasmine] are beautiful people who love each other very much and that’s all I really care about.”

The decision to axe Peter, 37 – who spent nearly 15 years at Nine – from the breakfast show, came after a private phone conversation in the back seat of an Uber was leaked to the press back in March last year.

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The driver had recalled a conversation between Peter and his older brother Karl, 44, which was splashed over two editions of New Idea magazine.

According to the driver, Peter had complained about his role on Weekend Today, and the Stefanovic brothers both criticised Nine staffers and executives.

After the scandal, Peter told The Herald Sun that he was ’embarrassed’ and ‘ashamed’ as he got his ‘network into trouble’.

“I got my wife [Sylvia Jeffreys] and brother [Karl] into trouble; and I took that really hard,” the former Weekend Today host added.

 

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Up early to catch the first rays of 2019 ????Wishing you all a happy, healthy, smashing year ????????????????

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The Today overhaul left both Sylvia and Pete, her husband of almost two years, suddenly without their high profile roles.

“It was an interesting dynamic but, in a sense, [both of us losing our jobs] helped us immensely,” she told Stellar.

“We understood what each other was experiencing and the range of emotions that were being felt. I’m glad it happened when it did because we both turned to each other. But we’re pretty good at that.”

Read more in Sylvia Jeffreys’ interview with Stellar here. 

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