It’s the elephant in Nine’s room – Today’s rather dismal ratings since Karl’s abrupt departure way back in December.
Sadly, for Nine bosses the revamped line-up headed by Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight has struggled throughout 2019; the breakfast show repeatedly trounced by arch-rival Sunrise for viewer numbers.
And yet again the gossip drums are beating that the show is headed for a significant revamp in 2020, with long-term Nine employee and agitator, comic Andy Lee, being touted for a full-time role on the show.
And Lee definitely has the clout. He’s been a proven ratings puller for Nine, his humour is all-compassing and he wouldn’t divide Today’s female viewers (as Stefanovic apparently did). Plus, Lee cut his comic teeth in breakfast radio.
Rumours about a possible line-up change have been swirling for some time and, admittedly, Today is one of the few blunders the network has made with this year’s scheduling.
Ex-TV man and TV Blackbox editor Rob McKnight telling News.com.au: “I think we’re at a 50/50 split as to whether [Today’s] line-up will change next year,.
“Nine right now are looking at their options. It’s no surprise to anyone that Nine would be sitting back and going, ‘Do we continue with what we’ve got and try and evolve it or do we start again?”
Knight added that both Lee and comic sidekick Hamish Blake would make ideal Today hosts, so long as they stuck to the laughs and left the serious stuff to the journalists.
“Hamish and Andy on the Today show would be something refreshing to watch,” Knight added. “On the proviso that when you are doing a serious topic it’s the news team and then when you start getting lighter you introduce the comedy element.”
Meanwhile, in further TV news, Kyle Sandilands has used an appearance on 10’s The Project last night to promote his latest instalment of Trial By Kyle (see last night’s debut numbers here) by laying into co-host, Anna Heinrich.
Heinrich is arguably most famous for winning (and recently marrying) Tim Robards’ heart in the first ever season of The Bachelor. However, Heinrich is also a qualified lawyer.
None of which seemed to impress Sandilands who described Heinrich as “vanilla” and “boring”, before adding that “he doesn’t care” about her legal qualifications.
“You’ve got beautiful vanilla boring Anna over there, the criminal lawyer, very nice chick, boring though! She helps out with the legal things … Sometimes they just don’t wash with me and I will go a different direction,” Sandilands railed.
The Project host, Rachel Corbett, then attempted to defend Heinrich’s qualifications and skill.
“She is there with a purpose because she does have the actual qualifications as a criminal lawyer,” Corbett said before being cut-off by Sandilands.
“But that means nothing, though” he snapped back. “At the end of the day, that means nothing to me. Just because she has (a degree) — I don’t think ‘Oh, you finished uni, you’re better than me.’ I don’t care. Did you hear much I’m earning?! She’s earning nothing compared to me! So really education means shit!”
Sandilands comments coming after he and on-air co-host, Jackie O, inked a new ARN deal last week for a reported $8 million each per year. Making the duo Australia’s highest paid radio stars.