As Network Nine bosses are forced into yet another round of crisis talks after former Today show host Karl Stefanovic’s shocking Christmas Day rant at the Gold Coast airport, there seems to be only one solution left for the wayward star.
Holding emergency meetings to “get him as far away from Australia as possible” the desperate management team, who are still scrambling to save the morning show’s plummeting ratings, are now rushing through plans to send newlywed Karl to the US.
Demanding he keeps a low profile for the foreseeable future, Karl, 44, has been given strict instructions to keep his personal life private and to stop “showing off on social media”.
“For 14 years Karl was the main focus of breakfast TV but with all the scandal surrounding him, he needs to be in a role where it’s no longer all about him,” explains our well-placed insider.
“If Karl reports from Hollywood then whoever he is interviewing is going to be a much bigger star than he is and that shifts the spotlight.”
Hoping to give the Aussie larrikin a reality check while allowing plenty of time for the dust to settle back on home soil, bosses believe that given space, the audience will learn to love him again.
“It’s worked before,” explains the source.
But while Karl has regularly reported from the US over the years including high profile stories like the presidential election, as well as tougher features for 60 Minutes, it is understood getting him to agree to the posting hasn’t been easy. Having recently walked down the aisle with Jasmine Yarbrough in a star-studded Mexican wedding, Karl and his second wife were set on making Australia home and becoming a bit of a fixture on the local social circuit.
“Karl has just bought a house with Jas and they even got a dog together,” says the friend.
“Jas has always been well- connected and was looking forward to rubbing shoulders with some more big names at glitzy events, so they were both completely blindsided by the possible move.”
But desperate to escape the scrutiny, the controversial couple have come to realise that it may well be the best decision all around.
“It’s not like they have a lot of options,” says the spy. “Karl needs to keep working and if that fails, Jasmine’s business will be the only income they have so perhaps being in the US could be a blessing in disguise."
Read the full story in this week's issue of New Idea, on sale now.