Sometimes they say you should never take a holiday in media…
With Karl Stefanovic off air this week, reportedly having a break in Margaret River, News Corp has questioned whether he is away from the show more than he is on it?
Very cheekily posting a calendar of work attendance, it notes he has been absent for six full weeks of the first four months of the year, despite his top salary. Unnamed sources suggest execs are impatient with the host, following recent headlines surrounding his personal life and that now-infamous Uber call.
Last year he left one broadcast to catch a plane without even saying goodbye to viewers.
“This week is the first few days of leave Karl has been able to take since returning from his summer break on January 22nd. He also had a week away from Today to film This Time Next Year, and a week overseas filming for 60 Minutes,” said a network spokesman.
Yesterday with Ben Fordham as his replacement, Today closed in on Sunrise at 274,000 and 282,000 respectively. But Today is yet to win a week this year to Seven’s show.
Last month Nine News boss Darren Wick praised Fordham for his interview with Michael Wolff -author of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” and hinting he was the likely successor to Stefanovic.
“He’s a clever interviewer. He cleverly walked this guy into a trap. He’s smart. He wasn’t trying to provoke him or get a reaction, but he stepped him through the trap,” he said.
“He’s been filling in regularly now, so we’ve got our structures right. Rather than throwing a person in and thinking ‘Could they be the next Karl? Could they be the next Lisa, the next Georgie?’ we clearly know what our structures are with everybody coming in.”