There’s never a dull moment in Australian breakfast TV, with reports over the weekend that Nine are eyeing not one but two replacements for its Today show following Lisa Wilkinson’s recent defection to Ten.
While in an even bigger shock, Fairfax has reported that David Koch is set to be “moved on” from Sunrise as Seven looks to “refresh” its morning format. A report (and move) that a Seven spokesperson has told B&T is “nonsense”.
Over at Nine, media reports have suggested that, as expected, Georgie Gardner will sidle up to Karl Stefanovic on Today next year. However, she’ll also be joined by Weekend Today presenter Deb Knight in some capacity. Knight is currently filling in on the Monday-Friday show following Wilkinson’s abrupt departure.
According to Fairfax, Gardner, who left Today in 2014 for news reading duties, was reluctant to return to the show due to the early morning starts.
However, Nine CEO Hugh Marks and news chief Darren Wick have reportedly worked around the clock to convince Gardner that it’s the right move for her career.
“They were keen to make it work for Georgie because she really is the best person for that role,” a Nine source told Fairfax.
It has been rumoured Gardner would be paid about $500,000 a year to join Stefanovic who, himself, pulls a rumoured $2 million salary from Nine.
Meanwhile, David Koch is reportedly trying to negotiate himself a new $1 million-a-year Sunrise deal with Seven bosses, however, it would be for a four-day maximum, something Fairfax is reporting that Kochie’s Seven bosses aren’t particularly thrilled about.
The 61-year-old has been hosting the show since 2002, but the former finance journalist also has a host of other side projects that includes president of Port Adelaide AFL club and his finance marketing firm Pinstripe Media.
According to the Fairfax article, Seven bosses believe Kochie is overstretched and with his hosting career is in its twilight, the money could be better spent on developing new talent as they look to “refresh” the show’s format.
In a tweet over the weekend, Koch didn’t exactly deny the rumours but did infer that he didn’t think his workload was any more taxing than any other busy person’s.
Adding to that, Fairfax has suggested there’s some behind-the-scenes tensions between Koch and Sunrise co-host, Samantha Armytage. Koch is paid more than Armytage, however, that’s not said to be the cause of the consternation.
Over recent weeks, a number of Seven personalities have filled-in on Sunrise while Koch has been on vacation, including Michael Usher, Matt Doran and Basil Zempilas. Fairfax has described this as Seven “auditioning” for someone to fill in for Koch.
“It’s been really refreshing, the dynamic is totally different between them compared to when David is on set with Sam,” Fairfax has quoted a Seven observer as saying.