Hugh Marks backs Karl amid media rumours

"We know there’s a lot of hard work to be done to win back the audience,” says Nine CEO.

Nine CEO Hugh Marks has defended Today co-host Karl Stefanovic following weekend speculation he was about to be sacked by the network.

News Corp articles drew upon unnamed sources suggesting he would be told this week that he would not be returning in 2019.

“No doubt the constant publicity surrounding issues with his personal life have had an impact on Karl, his colleagues and on the show. We can’t hide from that. And as a result we know there’s a lot of hard work to be done to win back the audience,” Marks has since told The Australian.

But Marks also insisted Nine would not be dumping Stefanovic.

“We stick by our people at Nine and we’ve put the challenge on the Today show producers, the presenters and, especially, on Karl to regain the trust and loyalty of our audience. And I have every confidence they will do it.”

He also backed executive producer Mark Calvert after the show fell below 200,000 metro viewers last Tuesday.

Stefanovic is understood to have significant time left on his hefty contract, with Nine seemingly hoping  to ride out, rather than pay out, any remaining time. He also fronts This Time Next Year which filmed S2 interviews in March and must return to cameras again next March.

On Instagram yesterday Stefanovic said, “I’m incredibly grateful for the family and friends I have in this world. It’s all that matters really. I’m so proud of them.”

9 Responses

  1. The reporting that ratings are down because of Karl’s personal life are giving him too much credit. Ratings are down because he’s been phoning it in and sapping any charisma out of the show for months.

  2. I am not a big fan of Karl but I don’t think all the blame can be put solely on his head. I think the whole show needs an overhaul. They just don’t have that natural family like flow that Sunrise has and they always seem to lose out to Sunrise on the big acts performing on their show. I find it kinda funny that Karl gets criticism heaped on him when he isn’t on the show and he gets criticism when he is there. Can’t figure that one out.

  3. I’d be sizing up someone like Larry Emdur, Basil Zempilas or Andrew O’Keefe for Today host but may they may not be able to afford it until Karl’s contract is up. Would cost a lot to poach but once Karl’s contract is up they’ll have a lot in the bank. Not sure David Campbell is up to the role.

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