In the words of Georgie Gardner, this morning’s edition of the Today Show ushered in “a new look” with host, Deborah Knight, officially replacing Karl Stefanovic.
Joining her were fellow new faces Tony Jones, Tom Steinfort and Brooke Boney, who replaced Sylvia Jeffreys, Richard Wilkins and Tim Gilbert in a controversial shakeup, which saw Gardner as the only remaining host from 2018 still sitting behind the Today desk.
However, according to Woman’s Day, the reason for the mass changes could be linked to Channel 9’s cost-cutting measures, with the publication reporting that the cost of the entire new Today lineup as less than Karl Stefanovic’s $2 million a year salary.
“Yes, they needed to do something radical to save what many have thought was a dead-in-the-water show, but it was also a brutal cost-cutting exercise,” an anonymous source said.
“The big stars they got rid of were all on inflated salaries, which the network can no longer afford.”
Take a look at the new Today Show lineup:
According to the source, Gardner’s salary sits at over a million, while co-host Knight is on $500,000, with a clause that could see her get a bonus if the Today Show ratings drastically improve.
Meanwhile, the publication estimated that Jeffreys – the former newsreader – was on $350,000 a year, with the salaries of Gilbert and Wilkins around $250,000 and $400,000, respectively.
In comparison, the new arrivals cost much less. The source placed former 60 Minutes reporter Steinfort’s salary at $250,000, with Boney’s pay being less than half of her predecessor’s $400,000. Despite this, Jones’ pay came in at “only slightly less” than Gilbert’s, but he also hosts and commentates on Channel 9’s other sport offerings, including the 2019 Australian Open which began today.
Of course there’s no actual way to verify these claims and the reported salary figures, but with the new panel just one show old, here’s to hoping for a smooth transition and increased ratings.
Did you watch the Today Show this morning? What did you think of the new lineup?