Updated: It’s happening.
Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon will take over as Today hosts in 2020, (a pairing which TV Tonight first tipped back on October 16).
The move follows unsustainable ratings for the team of Georgie Gardner, Deborah Knight and Tom Steinfort.
Nine News boss Darren Wick said, “Georgie is a person of great integrity who has given everything for the past two years in hosting one of the most demanding and high profile shows on television. She’s loved and admired by her colleagues and she cares passionately about the stories she tells.
“We took a bold decision to try something new with two women hosting the Today Show this year and regrettably that has not worked for the audience.”
Karl Stefanovic said, “The show and the audience make me feel alive. I’m up for the fight and I want to fight for our audience. Ally is her own confident, capable woman and I will be there to help her any step of the way but we are equals in this fight and I feel confident in our partnership.
“We’re both good journalists and we both love a laugh.”
“There is a lot of hard work ahead but I can tell you one thing, it’s not going to be boring! I love the unpredictability of live TV… and Karl,” said Langdon.
“Wind him up and let him go! I’m sure we’ll butt heads, but we’ll do it with a smile on our face. I just want to help our viewers get their day off to a good, fun start.”
Georgie Gardner will return to News roles next year and will not return to Today.
“I was consulted two weeks ago about the future direction of the Today Show, and naturally I’m disappointed with the outcome,” she said.
“However I’m very proud to have been part of an innovative and progressive programming decision – the first female hosting duo in Australian breakfast television.”
“It was a privilege to work on the Today Show for nine years, I learned a lot. I have no regrets, even though the scrutiny and public discourse has been daunting and disproportionate. It’s also at times been cruel,” said Gardner.
“My plan now is to return to my first love, news, and to catch up on some sleep! I am grateful for the support and friendship offered by my Today Show colleagues on-air and behind the scenes and I am humbled by the unwavering loyalty and kindness of viewers.
“They have made my job more rewarding than they will ever know.
“I leave with fond memories and wish the new team every success. See you on a TV screen in 2020.”
Tom Steinfort and entertainment reporters Richard Wilkins and Brooke Boney, will remain with Nine with Wick saying the full line up of Today in 2020 “will be announced in due course”.
Nine is yet to comment on roles for Deborah Knight or Tony Jones.
With Langdon moving from Weekend Today, and Sonia Kruger departing Today Extra for Seven, there are also further Nine roles to fill.
Stefanovic and Langdon are due to start in early January at Nine’s Willoughby studios before Nine relocates to North Sydney later in 2020.