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 news.com.au 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.”
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