Woman’s Day (Australia)
BATTLE OF THE BREKKIE STARS!
As Nine’s new-look panel comes under pressure, Sunrise is slinging mud
Sunrise kicked off the year with a resounding win in the first official TV ratings week, but any plans for wild celebrations have had to be put on hold while network bosses try to understand just why viewer numbers are at an all-time low! And it seems, according to one well-placed industry insider, that poor ratings from both Sunrise and rival Today can only mean one thing – it’s gloves off in 2023!
With all eyes on which of the networks will make the first big move, the question on everyone’s lips is just who will survive, and who could be facing the boot if viewers continue to switch off?
“It won’t take long for the beancounters to figure out you can’t be paying millions of dollars to the talent if the numbers are that bad and think it’s value for money,” explains the insider.
Sources at Nine admit it didn’t help Today when new host Sarah Abo, 36, who through no fault of her own found herself dragged into the Michael Clarke and Karl Stefanovic “fightgate” drama, where the former cricketer and his girlfriend Jade Yarbrough were filmed in a heated argument, with Karl and his wife Jasmine trying to intervene.
Nine barely touched the headline-making story, while rival network Seven couldn’t help themselves twisting the knife in with half-hourly news bulletins complete with grainy footage from the now infamous Noosa stoush.
Insiders reveal the incident has caused all sorts of strife behind the scenes, but most worryingly there is said to be a real fear that Sarah could very well “do a Tracy Vo” – an industry saying that circulated after the journalist lasted just four months on Today after moving to Sydney from her native Perth in 2020.
‘If she wasn’t happy, Sarah could likely do the same’
While Tracy did have personal reasons for leaving, it has shed light on a clause in the Nine staffers contract that gives them option to exit the show in the first few months of joining.
“Tracy took advantage of a clause in her contract that gave her the option to return to Nine News Perth within six months if she wasn’t
happy – Sarah likely could do the same,” muses our source, who notes there has been a revolving door of Today co-hosts, including Georgie Gardner, 52, Deborah Knight, 50, and Ally Langdon, 43.
“If this does fall over, one hopes she can return to Melbourne and get her old job back at 60 Minutes – she deserves a second chance.”
To make matters worse, Sunrise isn’t the only show
Today needs to look out for, with ABC’S News Breakfast inching closer to overtaking them in the ratings each week.