Today’s Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo rocked by pay scandal

A pay gap has thrown a dark cloud over the brekkie show...
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Finding someone to sit opposite Karl Stefanovic on Today has always been a tricky role for Nine to fill, with a revolving door of co-hosts coming and going.

However, his current colleague Sarah Abo has risen to the occasion, with many declaring her Karl’s best match ever! 

Yet a rumoured $700,000 pay discrepancy between the two leads could spell troubled times ahead for the brekkie show, after what has been a triumphant first half of the year.

WATCH NOW: Today Show’s Sarah Abo takes a swipe at Karl Stefanovic. Article continues after video.

In a bombshell new report published in a Sydney newspaper, the salaries of Karl, 48, and Sarah, 37, were leaked. 

Karl is reportedly pocketing $1.5 million for the year, while Sarah is said to take home $800,000.

While the figures are nothing to scoff at, New Idea’s insiders believe the large gap between the two salaries could cause unrest for the unified team. 

Network insiders wonder if Lisa’s history is repeating itself with Sarah. (Credit: Instagram)

“The news of Karl’s big pay cheque is anxiety-inducing, to say the least,” confesses one concerned network insider.

“Yes, Sarah is new to breakfast television, but she is not new to Nine. 

“Some are wondering why she isn’t being more equally matched [with Karl],” continues the source.

RELATED: Sarah Abo takes swipe at Karl Stefanovic 

“If you were Sarah, would you stay and put on a smile every day knowing full well you’re being paid so much less than your male counterpart for doing the same job?” asks the source. 

“I can imagine she’s likely disappointed.”

Sarah has kept quiet about the pay scandal so far. (Credit: Instagram)

In 2017, Karl’s then co-host Lisa Wilkinson abruptly exited Today over a gender pay dispute, which caused a national headache for Channel Nine. 

According to Lisa, she was left with no choice but to walk away from her decade-long career at the network after she was reportedly refused a pay increase to bring her salary equal to Karl’s. 

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Lisa, 63, later said she felt her dismissal was designed to “humiliate” her because she’d been in negotiations to try and close the gap.

“I was very expendable,” she said. 

“I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to the audience. I was just told – that’s it.”

The Today Show turned 40 in 2022. (Credit: Instagram)

With this in mind, our insider says: “There’s just no way Nine are going to want a repeat of all that” – especially given that both Today and their Channel Seven rival Sunrise are under increasing pressure to up their ratings.

“Audiences are a priority, not putting out fires over who earns more money,” says the source.

RELATED: Hamish Blake is earning MORE than Karl Stefanovic 

Recently, Sarah was pulled into the headlines amid claims there were concerns over her performance and the ratings.

“Bosses are worried and since Married At First Sight ended, there have been daily meetings trying to figure out what to do with Today … the Karl/Sarah combination clearly isn’t connecting,” one source told the Daily Telegraph.

Brooke Boney took over from Alex Cullen on the news desk earlier this year. (Credit: Instagram)

The article also claimed there have been tensions among the Today ranks, after newsreader, Alex Cullen was relegated to the sports desk while entertainment reporter Brooke Boney stepped up to the news desk. 

“Put it this way – you don’t want to be in a boardroom at Channel Nine right now,” our source adds of the behind-the-scenes dramas.

In a sign of loyalty to the Today show, Nine’s director of morning TV, Steve Burling, called the reports of on-set tension a “fabrication”. 

As for the future, insiders say “it’s a watch-and-see” as to what will come of the pay scandal.

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