Media scrutiny over Karl’s calendar

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.”


  1. As a Brit find it quite odd that long established hosts actually do a 5 day week. Nobody other than rookies do more than 4 days a week on any daily show or main news bulletin in the UK, with the hosts of BBC Breakfast and Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain only doing three days a week. Radio 1 has now gone one step further and axed it’s Friday daytime schedule, rolling out the weekend schedule all day Friday instead.

  2. How can Nine argue that Karl got paid more than Lisa because he was doing more than just hosting Today. Yes but he was taking days off to do it so was not actually working more. Why did they not offer Lisa to do 60minutes interviews as she is a way better interviewer.

  3. I accept that as I said above and certainly didn’t mean for it to be a defence for Karl – but the replacement hosts on ABC Breakfast can be excruciating. Need a more permanent arrangement if both Michael and Virginia can’t be expected to both be there at least 4 days a week on average. I’d be willing to bet that this year it’s been more like 2-3 days a week plus plenty of extended breaks.

  4. chivasssimo

    I’m hearing speculation that Ben is more than a likely successor…that Karl will leave Today permanently at the end of the year with Ben to replace him. My source is Woman’s Day quoted in the Daily Mail….so it’s more than likely rubbish along with their other stuff. But thought it was worth noting anyway

  5. MotorSportKid

    Looking at this, it would appear as though News Corp aren’t as well researched as you’d think they would be.
    They’ve got an X through November 23, but Stefanovic was on-air that morning. It was the first morning of The Ashes, and also the day that they confirmed Georgie Gardner’s return to the program.
    I can’t speak for the rest of that week, but I know he was on the show that morning.

  6. I’d love somebody to do the same excersise with 7.30 Report. Leigh Sales (reputedly one of or the highest paid ABC presenters) seems to be absent with great regularity, with never an explanation by her replacements. Frankly, as David notes in his article – that one shouldn’t take holidays in media – could apply in this case since Ellen Fanning’s work filling in for Leigh is way ahead in quality and watchability.

    • Leigh sales may be the highest paid at the ABc but she is no where near what Karl or Georgie get paid over at nine. Karl can get away with it becuase he is a man .its always been a boys club at nine .there is no way Georgie or Lisa could ever do what Karl gets away with like rocking up drunk on air and still keeps his job.and the 7-30 report big fan Leigh sales does an exceptional job ..

  7. The Last Post

    Poor Karl.
    “This week is the first few days of leave Karl has been able to take since returning from his summer break (of 9 weeks) on January 22nd.”
    Poor diddums…
    The first few days he’s been able to take a break after his gruelling 9 week summer holiday.
    Most of us get 4 weeks.
    And no extra days.
    Life’s a bitch…
    Except for our television big heads – with mouths to match.

  8. I’d love to see a similar analysis of ABC News Breakfast – it seems to be a lucky dip as to who the two presenters will be – feels like Michael and Virginia are hardly together. I get the reasons might be different (ie. Virginia taking on other hosting duties in primetime) but it can’t be good for viewer loyalty. If it is no longer feasible for them both to be on air together more often than not then the ABC should look at a new pairing.

    • At least with news breakfast you know where they are when they are missing on air Virginia is usually hosting QAndA or 7-30report .they don’t go off to some tropical island with their girlfriends like Karl does

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