Nine’s job cull leaves Karl Stefanovic shaken

Channel Nine’s golden boy is torn between duty and his family.
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The dust is settling following one of the most brutal weeks in Australian media history, which saw hundreds of employees at the Nine Network getting their marching orders. Now, New Idea can reveal the cull has left Today Show host Karl Stefanovic shaken.

“Karl is a softie at heart and hates seeing so many good, hardworking people being kicked to the kerb,” our source shares.

But he also has personal reasons for feeling unsettled, Karl has made no secret of his deep desire to scale things back professionally, to spend more time at home with wife Jasmine, 40, and their four-year-old daughter Harper, before she starts primary school.

With his 50th birthday right around the corner, Karl, says our insider, “has become disillusioned with the gruelling breakfast TV lifestyle. He’s even been wondering if TV is even for him anymore.” Karl has been at Nine for 24 years, and Today specifically since 2005.

Karl and 4-year-old daughter Harper
Karl is eager to get more time with Jas, Harper – and maybe even a new baby! (Credit: Instagram)

“Anyone who has had that many years of waking up at 3am and turning it on for the cameras for three hours a day, five times a week, knows it can take its toll,” our insider says.

Also giving Karl pause is Jasmine’s reported eagerness to have a second child “soon”. The father of four would also like to have more time available to visit his eldest daughter Willow, 19, in the UK, where she is currently studying.

Unfortunately, thanks to the sackings and the fact he is among Nine’s highest-paid on-air talents, Karl “is going to have to ramp things up,” says the source.

“He needs to work even harder to prove he’s still worth the almost $2 million he’s paid annually,” the source says.

This could mean that, once Karl returns home from covering the Paris Olympics, he might have to “put his hand up” for whatever Nine executives want him to do. There’s even talk that Karl could return to 60 Minutes, in addition to his daily Today commitments.

Karl and Jasmine Stefanovic smiling
Jasmine and Karl married in 2018. (Credit: Instagram)

Despite the recent redundancies, Karl’s job is safe, due in part to his close friendship with CEO Mike Sneesby. But there’s no denying that he’ll now be expected to deliver more bang for his buck work-wise.

He also has the renovations of both his Sydney home and Noosa holiday pad to pay for as well, so “now is not the time for Karl to walk away, even if he wants to,” our insider says.

Instead, Karl will have to bide his time before slowing down.

“Karl is a good company man,” adds the insider. “He’ll do everything he can to keep his job – for now.”

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