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Karl Stefanovic has laughed off the Today show being behind Sunrise in the ratings in a surprisingly candid interview with his former rival Samantha Armytage.
Speaking on the former Sunrise co-host’s podcast Something to Talk About, Karl didn’t shy away from admitting his own breakfast show had always played second fiddle to Sam’s old breakfast TV show.
‘I think I beat you [in the ratings] one week in 1998, in some regional markets. Like, once,’ joked the 47-year-old.
LOL: Karl Stefanovic has laughed off the Today show being behind Sunrise in the ratings in a surprisingly candid interview with his former rival Samantha Armytage
Sam – who was then co-host of Sunrise alongside David ‘Kochie’ Koch – revealed that once Karl asked her, ‘What am I meant to do? How am I going to get the over-55 male audience back?’
Laughing at the memory, Karl admitted, ‘Well, I still haven’t. You know what, that’s Kochie’s domain, the over-55s.
‘And he’s still killing it!’
The admission comes after Daily Mail Australia revealed Stefanovic and Allison Langdon are both locked into long-term contracts with the Nine Network and ‘no one is going anywhere’.
She’s loving it! Sam (pictured) – who was then co-host of Sunrise, alongside David ‘Kochie’ Koch – revealed that once Karl asked her, ‘What am I meant to do? How am I going to get the over-55 male audience back?’
Still on top: David ‘Kochie’ Koch (pictured last year) has delivered big ratings for Channel Seven as co-host of Sunrise
Over the weekend, a senior Nine source said the pair would remain hosts of the program, which was beaten in the ratings by ABC News Breakfast for one week this month.
Stefanovic and Langdon are each understood to now earn about $1.5million a year.
Langdon, who paired up with Stefanovic on Today in January 2020, signed a new multi-year contract last year and her co-host is contracted until well into 2023.
‘There’s no changes,’ the source told Daily Mail Australia of speculation anyone on the program would be replaced. ‘No one is going anywhere. It’s bulls**t.’
Today hosts Stefanovic and Allison Langdon are both locked into long-term contracts with the Nine Network. ‘No one is going anywhere,’ a senior Nine source told Daily Mail Australia of speculation anyone on the program would be replaced. Stefanovic and Langdon are pictured
The source also denied suggestions entertainment reporter Brooke Boney could be made a ‘roving reporter’ and Nine’s Perth weather presenter Scherri-Lee Biggs would take over from Tim Davies in that role on Today.
‘Ally signed last year for a number of years and Karl’s locked in, like everyone else,’ the source said. ‘They have their team.’
Stefanovic and Langdon were still perplexed by a claim in a newspaper report in late January they had been told to ‘shape up or ship out’ this year.
‘They’ve never been asked to shape up or ship out,’ the source said. ‘That was a bulls**t article months ago and it should have been squared away.’
Stefanovic and Langdon appeared on The Kyle and Jackie O Show on Wednesday to say they were not worried about Today dropping to third place behind the ABC and the Seven Network’s Sunrise earlier this month.
The co-anchors said it was normal for breakfast television ratings to go up and down, and one bad week was no cause to panic.
Langdon, who paired up with Stefanovic on Today in January 2020, signed a new multi-year contract last year and her co-host is ‘locked in long-term’ with the network. They are pictured with Today entertainment report Brooke Boney
Today’s five-city metro average viewing audience for the week commencing May 2 was 176,000. Sunrise, hosted by David Koch and Natalie Barr, pulled in 241,000 viewers followed by ABC News Breakfast with 195,000 viewers.
ABC News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland, who presents the program alongside Lisa Millar, had crowed about the rare ratings win over Today.
‘The result reflects our key point of difference to the other shows,’ he told TV Tonight. ‘We don’t have “News” in our title for nothing.
‘It is really pleasing to see viewers coming to us for information and analysis, particularly in the election campaign. And of course they still get some laughs.’
Stefanovic, who is nominated for a Gold Logie, said it was not surprising to see the public broadcaster surge to second place during an election campaign.
‘If the ABC isn’t having a good time during the elections then they have got serious problems,’ the 47-year-old told Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson.
ABC News Breakfast’s Michael Rowland (above with co-host Lisa Millar) crowed about a rare ratings win over Today earlier this month during the election campain. ‘The result reflects our key point of difference to the other shows,’ Rowland said
‘We love what we are doing and we are committed to doing a great show for our viewers. There is no doubt that what we are doing now is better than it has been the last few years.’
Langdon told the KIIS FM hosts: ‘The results change every day. We’ve won Brisbane the last couple days but last week we lost. It is jumping all around and the election coverage plays a role.’
The Nine source said the network would consider the ratings at the end of the year.
‘The numbers aren’t as heavy as when everyone was at home with the pandemic,’ the source said. ‘After the election we’ll probably start to see things return to normal.’
Stefanovic used the KIIS FM interview to slam claims made last weekend that Langdon ‘threw a tantrum’ after being overlooked to take part in Nine’s election night coverage.
A newspaper report alleged Langdon felt snubbed after Nine chose Melbourne newsreader Alicia Loxley to anchor its coverage with her Sydney counterpart Peter Overton.
Today is in a ratings battle with the Seven Network’s Sunrise. Left to right is the Sunrise team: Sam Mac, Edwina Bartholomew, Natalie Barr, David Koch and Mark Beretta
‘There’s no one here at Channel Nine that would’ve seen her have a “tantrum” because it didn’t happen,’ Stefanovic said.
‘I just find it appalling that a woman like Ally, who is just fully committed to the job and works so hard and is a great mum, just gets taken down – for what? For trying to do her job?’
Langdon, who turned 43 on Friday, also strongly denied there was any tantrum.
‘There was no outburst,’ she said. ‘I am many things but I am not a diva.
‘The newsroom is running the election and that’s totally fine. Alicia and Pete will do a great job.’
A television insider told New Idea on Monday that Stefanovic and Langdon were determined to make Today the top-rating breakfast news show.
‘Karl is the sort of bloke who would never bail out of a sinking ship,’ the insider said.
‘Being behind in the ratings makes him and Ally only want to work harder to get back on top. It’s sink or swim for [them].
‘Knowing their tenacity and professionalism, they’ll pull out all the stops to bring back their valued viewers who might have temporarily wandered over to other networks.’
Stefanovic hosted Today from 2005 to 2018 before being sacked and returning after a year in which Deborah Knight and Georgie Gardner fronted the show.
His long-time co-host Lisa Wilkinson, who joined Stefanovic on the program in 2007, left in 2017 amid a pay dispute and went to work on The Project.
Wilkinson has claimed Stefanovic earned significantly more than her on Today but Nine insiders have said she was paid twice his salary in their early years.
Today has gained ground on Sunrise since 2020, winning the ratings battle last September for the first time in three years.
Today hosts Karl and Allison have said they aren’t worried about a ratings drop after sliding to third place behind ABC News Breakfast and Sunrise this month
Source: | Dailymail.co.uk