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Richard Wilkins looks downcast as he is surrounded by family at Channel Nine HQ

There’s whispers swirling Today show entertainment reporter may be departing his role after Karl Stefanovic, 44, was dumped from the network on Wednesday. 

And the rumour mill was thrown into overdrive on Thursday when Richard ‘Dickie’ Wilkins was spotted looking downcast outside the Channel Nine HQ in Sydney.

The 64-year-old veteran journalist appeared to be thoroughly dejected as he was surrounded by his son, Christian Wilkins and girlfriend, Virginia Burmeister the morning after the Karl was unceremoniously sacked due to falling ratings.  

Is he going too? Richard Wilkins (pictured) looks downcast as he is surrounded by his son Christian Wilkins and girlfriend Virginia Burmeister at Channel Nine HQ the morning after Karl Stefanovic was dumped from Today

Richard, who delivered a heartfelt farewell speech to his former colleague on Thursday’s Today show still appeared to be in the throes of emotion as he walked through the network’s carpark. 

At one point, Richard was seen looking particularly heavy as he cast his eyes towards the ground. 

Moments earlier ‘Dickie’ was seen engaging in a rather serious conversation with his nearest and dearest in the parking lot. 

Is everything OK? At one point, Richard (pictured) was seen looking particularly heavy as he cast his eyes towards the ground

Is everything OK? At one point, Richard (pictured) was seen looking particularly heavy as he cast his eyes towards the ground

Serious: Moments earlier 'Dickie' was seen engaging in a rather serious conversation with his nearest and dearest in the parking lot

Serious: Moments earlier ‘Dickie’ was seen engaging in a rather serious conversation with his nearest and dearest in the parking lot

Support network: Richard was seen talking with his support network on Thursday after Karl's departure

Support network: Richard was seen talking with his support network on Thursday after Karl’s departure

What's going on? Richard and Virginia were seen discussing a matter for quite some time as they stood in a private location

What’s going on? Richard and Virginia were seen discussing a matter for quite some time as they stood in a private location

Deep and meaningful? Richard and his blonde girlfriend continued to engage in the serious conversation as Christian stood behind them and listened 

Deep and meaningful? Richard and his blonde girlfriend continued to engage in the serious conversation as Christian stood behind them and listened 

Family support: Virginia and Christian came to Richard’s workplace on Thursday following Karl’s sacking on Wednesday

Richard and Virginia were seen discussing a private matter for quite some time as they stood in the quiet location. 

After the serious debrief, Virginia was seen swiftly getting into her car as Richard shut the door. 

Moments after, Richard collected his thoughts and was seen powering walking back into the office with a folder full of documentation.

After the serious debrief, Virginia was seen swiftly getting into her car as Richard shut the door

After the serious debrief, Virginia was seen swiftly getting into her car as Richard shut the door

Serious moment: Moments after, Richard collected his thoughts and was seen powering walking back into the office with a folder full of documentation

Serious moment: Moments after, Richard collected his thoughts and was seen powering walking back into the office with a folder full of documentation

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Channel Nine management for comment. 

It appears that Channel Nine is cleaning house after news that both Karl and Peter Stefanovic has officially ‘parted ways’ with the network.

In early December, The Today show’s executive producer Mark Calvert also made an abrupt exit, announcing he was ‘stepping down’ after ‘five rollercoaster years’.

And now, rumours surrounding the future of Sylvia Jeffreys and even Richard Wilkins are swirling.

Downcast: Richard continued to look downcast as he was seen using his car’s central locking

Tough day: Richard cut a serious figure as he walked back into the Channel Nine HQ

Tough day: Richard cut a serious figure as he walked back into the Channel Nine HQ

Long walk: Richard was seen walking into the office the morning after Karl was axed from the Today show

Long walk: Richard was seen walking into the office the morning after Karl was axed from the Today show

Despite repeated denials from Channel Nine in recent weeks that Peter Stefanovic, 37, was set to depart, the network confirmed news of his exit on Tuesday.  

Karl’s departure came just a day after his younger brother Peter was dropped from the network altogether on Tuesday. 

It is rumoured the decision not to renew Peter’s contract was a ‘cost-cutting’ measure, but it has also been speculated his exit was a direct consequence of the Ubergate scandal.

There are reportedly more staff changes in the pipeline, too, with Richard Wilkins apparently being demoted to Today Extra and newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys being relegated to the role of weather girl and replaced by Perth anchor Tracy Vo.

Abrupt exit! Karl's (left) departure came just a day after his younger brother Peter (right) was dropped from the network altogether on Tuesday

Abrupt exit! Karl’s (left) departure came just a day after his younger brother Peter (right) was dropped from the network altogether on Tuesday

Coming soon? Tracy Vo, 35 (pictured) currently based in Perth, celebrated ten years at the network last year, having started at Channel Nine in 2007

Coming soon? Tracy Vo, 35 (pictured) currently based in Perth, celebrated ten years at the network last year, having started at Channel Nine in 2007

However Nine has denied the beloved entertainment guru Richard is set to depart the network. 

In a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, a Nine spokesperson said: ‘Richard is a valued member of the Nine and Today family. He will remain with Today in 2019 and beyond.’ 

The official comment from Nine comes after The Sunday Telegraph recently reported that Richard’s role of entertainment reporter could be about to change. 

Safe for now! However Nine has denied the beloved entertainment guru Richard is set to depart the network

Following the recent resignation of Today’s executive producer Mark Calvert, Richard’s former segment producer Steve Burling has stepped in to run the show.

With a new EP in charge, it is rumoured there may some shake-ups when it comes to the Today panel.

According to the publication, Richard is feeling ‘safe’ thanks to his good relationship with Steve, with one source revealing: ‘They’re old mates. Burling has always had a great relationship with Dickie.’

Safe? Even the future of beloved entertainment guru Richard Wilkins came into question this week, with Nine denying he’s set to depart

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk