Instead, Nine has recruited Stefanovic to make a comeback in 2020, returning to co-host the breakfast program alongside fellow 60 Minutes reporter, Allison Langdon.
Stefanovic claims he never anticipated returning to the Today show.
"Going back to the Today Show is not something that I thought would 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 job in Australia," the 45-year-old told 9 Now.
"I've loved 60 Minutes and the team there who have been so generous and supported me, but for me the best way to use the skills I have is the live show format and I missed the Today Show, I missed it a lot," Stefanovic continued, adding he was "confident" in his impending partnership with Langdon.
Langon concurred, claiming their combination should be an entertaining one.
"I'm sure we'll butt heads, but we'll do it with a smile on our face," the 40-year-old told 9 Now.
Deborah Knight will stay on with the network as co-host on Monday morning while Gardner will no longer work on the breakfast program. Tom Steinfort and entertainment reporters Richard Wilkins and Brooke Boney will remain with Nine.
A full line up of Today in 2020 "will be announced in due course."
Disappointment aside, Gardner claims she's looking forward to returning to news, stating:
"My plan now is to return to my first love, news, and to catch up on some sleep!"