Karl Stefanovic will take “$1 million pay cut” to return to Today show

His salary has been slashed!
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Karl Stefanovic is returning to the Today show – but his surprise comeback is reportedly costing the presenter a cool $1 million as part of a pay cut as he gets set to go back to his old job in 2020. 

WATCH: Deborah Knight and Tom Steinfort give Georgie Gardner awkward send-off following Karl Stefanovic’s return

The star sensationally confirmed his return last week, telling the Sydney Morning Herald that the news has “shocked” him more than anyone. 

“I am as shocked about this as everyone else,” he told the publication.

“It’s not something I thought would ever come up again. I thought my time was up, but then, when I was sounded out about it, it got me thinking. It’s a big job with enormous pressures and I know only too well some of those pitfalls, but it is also without question the best live TV job in Australia.”

karl is returning to today
Karl will return to Today next year (Credit: Nine)

While Karl gets ready for his return as co-host of Today, alongside Allison Langdon, it’s come to light that he’s agreed to forfeit a third of his salary package, according to The Daily Telegraph

Karl’s last contract, negotiated in December 2015 with Nine’s then new CEO Hugh Marks, included a $1 million dollar “image bonus” and part of — or all of which — could be withheld by bosses should he fail to achieve standards expected of him, well-placed sources told the publication.

A Nine insider told the publication on Sunday that bosses likely used this clause to “slash” his contract after he was axed from the Today show in December 2018.  

karl allison
Karl and Allison will front the revamped Today show from next year (Credit: Instagram )

As Karl gets set to return to his Today show role, it was revealed that host Georgie Gardener has left the show with immediate effect. 

“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today show and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome,” Georgie told 9Now

She continued: “However I’m very proud to have been part of an innovative and progressive programming decision – the first female hosting duo in Australian breakfast television.”

Georgie has been axed to make way for Karl’s return

The 49-year-old also revealed she plans to catch up on some much needed sleep. 

“My plan now is to return to my first love, news, and to catch up on some sleep! I am grateful for the support and friendship offered by my Today Show colleagues on-air and behind the scenes and I am humbled by the unwavering loyalty and kindness of viewers.”

georgie deb
Deb and Georgie gave it a “red-hot go” (Credit: Nine Network)

Darren Wick, Nine’s new boss, spoke of the Network’s upcoming changes, and told The SMH: “[It was] a bold decision to try something new with two women hosting … and sadly that has not worked.”

Karl unceremoniously dumped by the Nine Network while on his honeymoon with his second wife Jasmine Yarbrough in December, Nine’s cash cow will return after ratings slumped on the breakfast show in his absence.

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