Network brawl over Stefanovic meeting

The Seven Network has rejected claims made by the Daily Telegraph yesterday regarding Karl Stefanovic.

The newspaper quoted Nine’s David Hurley as stating that Seven had courted Stefanovic with a private dinner at David Leckie’s house. Seven’s “play for him was over the top, dinner at Leckie’s place, the whole bit,” Hurley said.

But Seven has hit back claiming there was no dinner meeting and that Stefanovic was seeking an exit from Nine to Seven.

Seven claims the Today show host privately expressed his wishes and even signed an agreement on terms with the network, which was subsequently matched by Nine.

According to Seven, Stefanovic wants out of breakfast television by February.

The Telegraph yesterday accused Seven of starting a “whispering campaign” that Stefanovic wanted Tracy Grimshaw’s chair at A Current Affair.

“For them to start these rumours of an ACA move is a piece of towering dishonesty which has now exploded in his and Seven’s face,” Hurley told the newspaper.

Seven, which has been rumoured to be seeking a new host for Today Tonight in 2009, today rejected all of the claims made in the article.

UPDATE: “I find it hard to see the positive in talking about this publicly, so I’ll be brief,” Stefanovic told on Monday. “Seven made a great offer, but ultimately I am loyal to Nine and the Gyng. I’m more than happy here. It’s as simple as that.”

Press Release:
Statement from Seven on Karl Stefanovic’s re-signing with Nine.

Karl wanted to come to Seven.

He expressed his desire to join us in a private meeting with David Leckie.

He signed an agreement on terms.

Nine matched that offer.

We have moved on. Quickly.

Seven rejects all of the fanciful claims surrounding this issue made by Nine yesterday’s Daily Telegraph.

Karl saw his future being at Seven. There was no dinner meeting. There was a meeting one morning two weeks ago to discuss and agree on Karl leaving Nine.

The issue for Nine is to meet Karl’s career objectives – objectives he clearly expressed to us and which indicated a desire to not be in breakfast television or at Nine past February next year. This in itself raises a number of issues for Nine’s management of its people and its news and public affairs programmes, including Today and A Current Affair.

Photo: Daily Telegraph


  1. I stopped watching Today on nine about a year after Karl started and have never returned. When he does I’ll turn it back on. Have they thought about Charlie the Chimp.

  2. If Karl moves to ACA then the most important question I have is where does that leave Tracy Grimshaw who is one of the most genuine reporters and hosts that Channel 9 has?

  3. Doubt seven want Karl, they know that Today will be a worth advisory next year and by going through the motions of acting like they will nab him does nothing but help Karl and C7. It will increase Karls worth at the station forcing C9 to raise his rate when contract negotiations come round. What could they do with Karl? They already have one(or 6) plain generic vanilla host over on C7. Old play by Seven but a proven method of shifting the rules of the game in their favour.

  4. Amen to Doris re Foxtel, rather than Karl Stefanovic my kids insist on watching Stefan Karl Stefansson in Lazytown – which is one bizarre show – but even this Icelandic oddity provides more useful info to start your day than the sum total of the two competing breakfast programs.

    Seriously I’m amazed Seven are looking to poach even more Nine talent, talent that arguably is not a proven drawcard. Perhaps this was stunt by Seven to ruffle some feathers – lately it seems that Today is catching Sunrise in the ratings.

  5. If Karl leaves the Today show I would love to see
    Sarah Murdoch fill in his shoes,
    she has class, sexiness and a whole lot more
    the ratings would sky rocket in my own opinion
    3 independent women on the Today show
    Lisa Wilkinson, Georgie Gardener and Sarah Murdoch
    what more could I ask for…

  6. I thought Karl was a good fit for breakfast telly? Does he want to tarnish his career by delivering crap like ACA or TT? What’s his problem? I like him as a host and think he’s one of the best parts of the “Today” show, but why does he want out so badly that he’s willing to join rival networks and even go to trashy sensationalist crap like TT and ACA? Sunrise and Today are miles ahead of that crap. Oh well, if he leaves Today they’ll find a replacement, and chances are they’ll be better.

  7. The kids are at it again. School yard sqwabbles at twenty paces. Come on guys be happy with the job you have i’d love to see you digging ditches or fixing broken sewrage pipes for a living and not nearly getting half the money you earn at nine Karl! Grow up and check the egos!

  8. It really is about time that the commercial networks grow up and not act like children by airing their grievances in the gossip columns of News Limited Tabloids.
    What ever happened to getting ratings from producing good watchable programs and not this childish bickering way we are now seeing.
    Thank god for Foxtel the more audience share they get the better!
    Now back to my G & T..

  9. I used to like Karl but if he’s obviously not enjoying his job then that really bothers me – I find it hard to enjoy someone who doesn’t like what he’s doing and if he has no loyalty to Nine they should get rid of him because he’s not part of the family.

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