Australia’s battle of the breakfast war has escalated following Sunrise executive producer Michael Pell’s attack on Nine’s “bad treatment” of Today show hosts.
Speaking to news.com.au, Pell said he is “surprised” by everything that’s “gone down” with Today.
He said he has not seen “that many people sacked that quickly for no apparent reason”.
Referring to the string of differents hosts of the embattled breakfast show, including the ousting of Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner in favour of bringing back controversial host Karl Stefanovic, Pell believes the Australian audience is “punishing” Nine by not tuning in.
He added: “The audience doesn’t like a company that treats people badly.”
Interestingly, however, since Stefanovic and Langdon took the helms on Monday, Today has been hot on Sunrise‘s heels.
Tuesday morning was the official second day of Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon as Today‘s newest breakfast hosts.
And, while Monday showed the duo were off to a solid start, Tuesday saw the gap between competitors Today and Sunrise close even further.
A mere 46,000 metro viewers separated Today (220,000) and Sunrise (266,000) according to OzTAM metro numbers, while Today topped viewership across the Sydney (74,000) and Brisbane (58,000) markets.
Wednesday morning also saw Today pull good numbers, earning 235,000 eyeballs across the five metro cities, according to OzTAM numbers. Sunrise, meanwhile, saw 251,000 people tune in.
Nine declined B&T‘s request for comment.