There have been rumors swirling for some time that Karl Stefanovic’s days on the Today show are numbered.
With the programs ratings in freefall, there have been a host of stories doing the rounds about whether Karl will still be on the show next year.
And in a move that could help lure viewers back, Woman’s Day is claiming that former Today sports reporter Ben Fordham may return to the show and take over Karl’s spot.
Karl set to leave Today?
Channel Nine Network bosses apparently believe the 41-year-old father-of-two is the ‘complete package’ as he is ‘a devoted family man with a broad fan base’.
A network insider revealed:
‘He ticks every box. He’s very likable and engaging. He’s smart and dedicated’
‘But most of all, he’s the complete package – a devoted family man with a proven track record and a broad fanbase.’
Ben married fellow journalist Jodie Speers in 2011, and the couple have two children, Freddy, three, and Pearl, two.
‘We’re talking seven weeks left of Karl’
This news comes after it was rumoured that Stefanovic faces the sack before the end of the year.
Woman’s Day editor-in-chief Fiona Connolly claims Georgie Gardner has been told by Nine executives to ‘wait it out until the end of the year’ before Karl is given his marching orders.
‘We’re talking seven weeks left of Karl,’ said Fiona.
‘No doubt the constant publicity surrounding issues with his personal life has had an impact on Karl, his colleagues and on the show. We can’t hide from that,’
‘Clearly, it’s been a tough and challenging year for Karl and Today,’ Marks said.
Today’s ratings have dropped dramatically since Karl separated from his wife-of-21-years Cassandra Thorburn in 2016.
It’s believed Karl’s personal life – including his subsequent engagement to Jasmine Yarbrough, who is nine years his junior – has been a turn-off for female viewers.