News, Culture & Society

Today’s executive producer steps down amid rumoured ‘tension’ with Karl Stefanovic 

The Today show’s executive producer Mark Calvert has ‘stepped down’ after ‘five rollercoaster years’ in the role.

Both Calvert and Channel Nine’s National Director of News and Current Affairs Darren Wick confirmed the news in emails to staff members on Wednesday. 

His resignation comes as ratings for Today hit a decade low in September, while News.com.au reported that there’s been ‘tension’ between Calvert and Today show frontman Karl Stefanovic.

Farewell: The Today show’s executive producer Mark Calvert (pictured) has reportedly resigned amid dwindling ratings for the series and rumoured ‘tension’ with Karl Stefanovic

In an email to staff, Calvert wrote: ‘It’s been an enormous privilege to lead Today over five roller coaster years.

‘We’ve had some great times. We’ve been through some tough times, too.’

He continued: ‘I’m looking forward to a bit of sleep. And then I’m looking forward to the next big challenge, whether that’s at Nine, or elsewhere.

Tanking: Ratings for the Today show hit a decade low in September, while numbers for rival breakfast program Sunrise have been on the rise 

Tanking: Ratings for the Today show hit a decade low in September, while numbers for rival breakfast program Sunrise have been on the rise 

‘2019 is going to be a huge year for the show, and for the newly expanded company.’

While Calvert specifically wished the ‘amazing team’ at Today ‘nothing but success,’ he made no specific mention of Stefanovic.

News.com.au cited sources as claiming that there has been ‘significant tension between Stefanovic and Calvert for the past few months.’

Daily Mail Australia had contacted Channel 9 for comment.

Married: Mark (R) is married to Channel 9 weather presenter Belinda Russell (L)

Married: Mark (R) is married to Channel 9 weather presenter Belinda Russell (L)

Scandals: Karl has had a handful of scandals this year, including the infamous 'Ubergate'

Scandals: Karl has had a handful of scandals this year, including the infamous ‘Ubergate’

In September, ratings for Today plunged to a decade low of just 199,000 viewers, while rival breakfast program Sunrise attracted 268,000 viewers.

Sunrise has also won the ratings for the year, notching up 21 weekly wins by July.

Despite whispers that Karl could be axed from the network, Nine’s news director Darren Wick has publicly backed the embattled star.

‘Karl has no doubt had a difficult time in his personal life this past 12 months, but he is very much part of the Nine family,’ Darren said in a statement back in April.

'He is very much part of the Nine family': Despite whispers that Karl could be axed from the network, Nine's news director Darren Wick has publicly backed the embattled star

‘He is very much part of the Nine family’: Despite whispers that Karl could be axed from the network, Nine’s news director Darren Wick has publicly backed the embattled star

The network also announced in October that they’d be keeping Karl on Today in 2019, as well as bringing back his inspirational series This Time Next Year for a second season. 

Calvert’s shock exit comes after a handful of scandals for Karl, including his controversial engagement to Jasmine Yarbrough and the infamous Ubergate incident, in which Karl was caught complaining about co-host Georgie Gardner.

Back in March, the star was overheard by an Uber driver badmouthing Georgie during a private phone call with his brother Peter.

In the ‘b**chy’ 45-minute phone conversation, Karl ‘angrily’ complained about Georgie saying she need to ‘step up… if she wanted to stay on the show.’

Awkward: Back in March, Karl was overheard by an Uber driver badmouthing co-host Georgie Gardner (L) during a private phone call with his brother Peter

Awkward: Back in March, Karl was overheard by an Uber driver badmouthing co-host Georgie Gardner (L) during a private phone call with his brother Peter

Karl is currently gearing up for his Mexican wedding to fiancee Jasmine.

His marriage to Cassandra Thorburn collapsed in September 2016, after 21 years together, and the pair endured relentless headlines about their split.

Three months after splitting from Cassandra, Karl struck up a relationship with Jasmine.

The pair are to wed on December 8 in a star-studded ceremony in Los Cabos, Mexico.

Wedding bells: Karl is currently gearing up for his Mexican wedding to fiancee Jasmine Yarbrough (R)

Wedding bells: Karl is currently gearing up for his Mexican wedding to fiancee Jasmine Yarbrough (R)

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


Comments are closed.