Lisa Wilkinson steadies Today
Two years of early morning wake up calls has paid off for Lisa Wilkinson, having brought some stability to Today.
There’s a very lengthy and thoughtfully written profile on Today‘s Lisa Wikinson in the Sydney Morning Herald.
As well as watching over her ritual of arriving at the studio at 12 minutes to 4 (that’s AM of course), it traces her upbringing, family life and publishing career.
It notes: By 5.20am, the whole team – Wilkinson, Stefanovic, newsreader Georgie Gardner and sports reporter Cameron Williams – is assembled on the brightly lit set. The countdown begins, the red light comes on and Wilkinson, poised and polished in a fire-engine red suit, smiles brightly at the nation. It’s a strange beast, breakfast television. To the average viewer, it’s electronic wallpaper, a seamless background flow of news, weather and traffic reports, as easily digestible as cornflakes. To the networks, it’s a daily, cutthroat battle for ratings supremacy, with millions in advertising dollars at stake.
Over the next 3 1/2 hours, Wilkinson and Stefanovic banter, quip and weave their way through a mix of news, entertainment and weather stories. She’s briefly displeased about a typo on the autocue. “It said Health Ledger, not Heath, that’s why I stumbled.” She has a low threshold for sloppiness and errors. “Oh yes,” says executive producer Tom Malone. “She’s a perfectionist.”
Today has certainly made inroads on Sunrise. Another article on the weekend even noted that Nine’s show defeated Seven’s for the first time in five years on Friday.
But Friday was a public holiday. The demographics would have been completely different to most other weekdays.
Still, Lisa Wilkinson has becoming a solidifying force for Today after much upheaval. That’s got to be some comfort when you’re getting up at 3am every day.