In the wake of news Lisa Wilkinson made a swift departure from the TODAY Show, without even the opportunity to say a proper goodbye, everyone was wondering the same two things… why did she leave – and who would replace her?
Entertainment reporter Peter Ford joined Kyle and Jackie O on the show this morning to shed some light on those very questions.
He explained that Lisa had gotten wind of some confidential market research that showed she was the clear favourite, after Karl attracted some negative media attention due to the split from his wife earlier this year.
It became clear that the show NEEDED Lisa, and it was with this insight that she went into contract negotiations with the network.
‘She wanted to be paid the same as Karl, but Karl does 60 Minutes and ‘This Time Next Year’ too, so it’s a different role to Lisa… and Nine got close to what she wanted,’ he explained.
Not close enough, it seems.
Shortly after she announced her split from the show, she announced she was going to Network 10, to co-host the Sunday Project.
‘They [Channel Nine] didn’t bet on her having a back-up plan,’ Ford explained.
As for who will replace her? Ford had a few ideas.
‘Market research shows Georgie Gardner is the favourite to take her place,’ he revealed.
‘The other wild card in there that I’ve heard a bit of buzz about, is Chris Bath.
Her and Karl would work well together.’
‘What about Sylvia Jeffreys?’ Jackie asked.
‘She’s in the running… but she’s not a frontrunner.’
It will be VERY interesting to see what happens…