Nine has hit back at Lisa Wilkinson’s dramatic defection, revealing its marquee star was demanding $2.3 million and was spreading herself too thin with rival commercial commitments.
CEO Hugh Marks last night told The Daily Telegraph the deal broke down after the two parties reached a stalemate “months and months ago”.
He cited Wilkinson’s contract with niche website The Huffington Post as limiting her value to the network.
Sylvia Jeffreys, widely touted as one of Wilkinson’s most likely successors, is due to come off contract at the end of the year.
As much as I would have liked to have seen Georgie return to Today, I can understand her decision and it arguably benefits her career the most.
disagree… Today Show is national, 17 1/2 hours a week… Nine News Sydney on the 2 lowest ratings days is 2 hours a week. Her argument about her children is stupid… she’d be home in the afternoon every day and could still get them to bed. This is nothing but a “I don’t want to work with Karl” issue.
I would blow the show up.
David Campbell and George Gardner, with news done by Lara Vella and sport with Nathan Brown. Keep Natalia on weather.
I see your point, although I guess she does not want to lose her position as being 2nd-in line for Nine News Sydney. I know she only presents for two nights a week, but she’s in a pretty valuable position and it’s unlikely that she would ever get it back, if she were to stop presenting Nine News on a regular basis.
GEORGIE GARDNER NAMED AS CO-HOST OF TODAY
Respected journalist Georgie Gardner will co-host TODAY alongside Karl Stefanovic, it was announced on-air this morning.
Georgie – who was previously part of the TODAY line-up presenting news for seven years until 2014 – will join Karl, news presenter Sylvia Jeffreys, sports presenter Tim Gilbert, entertainment editor Richard Wilkins, weather presenter Natalia Cooper and finance editor Ross Greenwood next year.
Georgie Gardner said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Today team. It is one of the few roles of this calibre on Australian television, it’s not lost on me what a huge honour and great privilege it is. It’s come at the right time in terms of where my family is at, and I have their full support. It’s an amazing opportunity, I’m really excited to be back working alongside the most talented team in the business, and reconnecting with Today viewers.”
Karl Stefanovic said: “It’s great to have Georgie back. I think the best thing about her, is her heart. Viewers know she cares. She is connected to what other mums are going through and really feels for them – and she’s got a wicked sense of humour. She’s also very committed to making sure information is right, in an age where it’s not in a lot of news sources, that’s a great attribute to have.”
Nine Network Director of Morning Television, Mark Calvert, said: “There’s no better person on Australian TV than Georgie. Ever since she left, viewers have been asking me when she’s coming back. Well here she is, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s the total package: a brilliant broadcaster, a great journalist and a top woman.”
Allison Langdon has been appointed Host of Weekend Today, The Australian reports.
WAKE UP WITH A NEW LOOK WEEKEND TODAY
ALLISON LANGDON AND PETER STEFANOVIC TO CO-HOST
Respected journalists Allison Langdon and Peter Stefanovic will co-host Weekend TODAY with Jayne Azzopardi presenting news, it was announced today.
The pair – who are regular faces on 60 Minutes – will wake up with viewers every Saturday and Sunday from January 20. Allison will combine co-hosting Weekend TODAY with her 60 Minutes role as a reporter, while Peter will join the Nine News Sydney team after a very successful and busy year at 60 Minutes. He will also contribute stories to 60 Minutes where possible.
Tom Steinfort, who has been co-hosting Weekend TODAY since early 2017, has begun a fulltime reporting role on 60 Minutes.
Allison Langdon said: “I’m really excited to be joining the Weekend Today team. Pete is a great mate and has been for many years. We both take our journalism very seriously but not ourselves. We have a lot of laughs together and I look forward to sharing that with our Today audience alongside Jayne, who is one of the best and hardest working journalists in the country.
This opportunity is a wonderful fit with my 60 Minutes commitments and allows me to travel less and spend more time with my beautiful little boy Mack. I can’t wait for the year ahead."
Peter Stefanovic said: “To be asked back to co-host Weekend Today is a privilege, and it definitely feels like I’m returning home. I’ve known Ally for more than ten years. She’s a great journalist, smart and funny, and I look forward to working alongside her and Jayne. She’s a perfect addition to the Weekend Today show squad!”
Nine Network Director of News, Darren Wick, said: “What a team to wake up with every weekend. The dynamics and professionalism of Ally, Pete and Jayne guarantees a relaxed and warm start to your weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. I want to thank Tom Steinfort for his wonderful work on Weekend Today and congratulate him on his new role at 60 Minutes.”
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