Karl Stefanovic is set to become Australia’s highest paid TV celebrity. But as this data from social media analytics firm BrandData reveals his hefty pay cheque doesn’t necessarily mirror his appeal…
If Karl Stefanovic decides to take Channel Nine’s $2 million-a-year offer to return to Today, he will officially become Australia’s highest-paid TV presenter.
Which is not something you’d predict from his current online popularity. According to social media analytics firm BrandData, Karl ranks just 8th amongst Australian presenters and personalities. His total social engagement rate last week was a meagre 0.16% while the industry average is 1.13% – topped by gagmeisters Hamish and Andy who, last time we checked, are only on the radio.
But his TV appearances are seemingly enough for Karl — the last time he updated his Twitter was in November.
Maybe he doesn’t need to do more. Especially after the huge attention he got last year for the stunt where he wore the same suit to work every day, and not one of his 300,000 viewers noticed. This highlighted the differing standard that people place on his co-host Lisa Wilkinson, who gets criticised daily about her appearance and clothing choices. The point of it all, says Karl: “I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is … that’s what I wanted to test.”
So let’s talk about Lisa. No one knows how much she will be making next year alongside him. In 2012, her salary was $750,000, while Karl’s was $1.3 million. Perhaps for phase two of the suit stunt, Karl could stand up for wage equality for his co-host? Women in the entertainment industry consistently earn less than their male co-stars. Jennifer Lawrence recently penned this excellent essay after discovering that she was earning less than her co-stars thanks to the Sony email leaks. Which prompted Cooper to now start teaming up with his female co-stars to negotiate higher salaries together. So come on, Karl. Step up, and stand shoulder to shoulder-pad with her!
Whether Karl goes into bat for Lisa’s paycheck or not, the future may be going her way. Amongst the Top Ten most socially engaging personalities and presenters today, only two are women: Rebecca Judd at eight, and Jesinta Campbell at 10. But when it comes specifically to online personalities and content-makers – who will surely be the TV stars of tomorrow – the picture is completely different. In that realm, women dominate hard. All ten of the Top 10 most popular and engaging online influencers are women, a list topped by Lauren Curtis, Tuula, and Chloe Morello.
Put that in your suit and smoke it.