Karl Stefanovic's bitter power struggle at the Nine Network continues in the wake of the Today Show receiving it's worst ratings in four years.
As one of the countries highest paid presenters, the worrying statistics have angered Network bosses - especially as Karl is constantly away, sipping cocktails in Europe on luxury holidays with fiancée Jasmine Yarbrough
A well-place spy said, ‘Where is his focus? That’s the question that’s being asked at the station.'
‘Everyone is desperate to keep their heads above water, and the star of the show is living it up in Italy for two weeks during their peak season. He has gone too far this time.’
On top of the embarrassing stats blow, The Project host Lisa Wilkinson, 58, has come out swinging at her old network, leaving bosses devastated that their secret back-up plan to woo her in to replacing Karl, 43, is in jeopardy.
‘Of course they want her to swoop in and save them,’ our insider explains. ‘Karl would be shown the door without a second thought if they knew they could win back viewers.’
Wilkinson, who sensationally quit her role last October after a pay dispute involving Karl’s eye-watering $2 million salary, has an ulterior motive in deserting the sinking ship, with her husband Peter FitzSimons admitting they knew the situation was dire.
‘Something will have to break. It cannot go on in the current form past Chrissie, surely,’ the journalist and author tweeted. ‘I have followed the numbers closely. Today would not have been this low for at least 10 years.’
The scathing comments have since been deleted, and Peter later admitted they were private views he’d accidentally published in error. And, in describing it as his own ‘Ubergate’ moment, he seemingly took a final swipe at his wife’s former co-host.
By Lisa’s own admission, she’s having ‘the year from hell’ since jumping ship to The Project, and those close to the star wouldn’t be surprised if she were to consider a move back to Today
The Channel Nine insider says, ‘Karl hardly ever wakes up with Today,’ says our spy. ‘Karl does what Karl wants to do and at the moment that seems to be spending time planning his wedding and sharing happy snaps on Instagram.’