The Today show is SMASHED in the ratings by Sunrise as it debuts new lineup featuring Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight – after sacked host Karl Stefanovic ‘liked’ a comment predicting a drop in viewers
It looks Karl Stefanovic woke up to some good news on Tuesday.
The first breakfast television ratings for 2019 have been released, and Channel Nine’s Today show was absolutely hammed by Sunrise.
Today, which debuted its new lineup on Monday, drew a metro audience of 197,000 compared to Sunrise’s 266,000.
Oh, dear! The Today show was SMASHED in the ratings by Sunrise on Monday. Pictured: New co-anchors Deborah Knight (left) and Georgie Gardner (right)
This difference of 69,000 people in the all-important five capital cities market will certainly be disappointing for Nine executives.
It was expected Today would have a ratings spike with viewers tuning in to see the new lineup.
But the endless stream of headlines about the staff shake-up at Nine’s breakfast TV division failed to translate into audience growth.
In the regional ratings market, which is considered significantly less important by advertisers, Today had a slight improvement compared to the last Monday of the 2018 ratings period.
However, this failed to have much of an impact on the overall ratings, where Sunrise also came out on top nationally.
It comes after the Today show’s new executive producer Steven Burling sacked a handful of highly-paid presenters – including Karl Stefanovic, Sylvia Jeffreys and Tim Gilbert – in what staffers have described as a ‘bloodbath’.
In their place, he hired Deborah Knight as co-anchor, Tom Steinfort as newsreader, Brooke Boney as entertainment reporter and Tony Jones as sports correspondent.
In late December, former host Karl was caught ‘liking’ an Instagram comment predicting that Today’s ratings would drop in his absence.
The comment read: ‘I can’t wait until the ratings drop even lower and they realise it wasn’t you that was the problem after all.’
However, the 44-year-old later claimed his Instagram account had been ‘hacked’ and he was not responsible for ‘liking’ any comments.