Sylvia to ‘follow Karl out the door’
SPECULATION is mounting that Today newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys will depart the troubled breakfast show, clearing the way for a fresh line-up in the New Year.
According to reports, the popular journalist will be "redeployed" elsewhere within the network and replaced by Perth journalist Tracy Vo.
It follows this afternoon's shock announcement that Karl Stefanovic, veteran star of the breakfast show, would not return in 2019.
And yesterday, his younger brother Peter - Jeffreys' husband - confirmed earlier reports that he was leaving Channel 9 after almost 15 years, most recently in the role of Weekend Today co-host.
News Corp Australia television writer Colin Vickery quoted a senior source at the network as saying Jeffreys will also depart the show.
According to his report, she is slated to front "a new prime time show".
It follows claims by entertainment industry commentator Peter Ford this morning that she was about to be "redeployed" to a new role.
A network spokesman was tight-lipped, declining to comment on Jeffreys' future and news.com.au contacted her for comment but did not receive a response.
One insider told news.com.au earlier today that her departure would be a shock, given her popularity and reputation for being a hard-worker.
"I'm surprised by this," the source said. "If Sylvia goes, it'll be her decision. She's seen as a real asset."
However, newly minted executive producer Steve Burling is understood to be planning a clean slate for Today in a bid to shift the viewer focus back to what happens on screen, not off.
"It's a chance to start the year with something fresh," another source said.
"The show has faced disruption since the exit of Lisa Wilkinson and headlines surrounding Karl's personal life, and there are numerous areas ripe for a refresh," Knox said.
The fate of co-host Georgie Gardner is unclear, and reports at the weekend said veteran entertainment correspondent Richard "Dickie" Wilkins is also facing the chopping block.
Knox said Today should stop trying to emulate its rival.
"Today's biggest competition isn't Sunrise - it's breakfast radio and the 8.10am train," he said.
"Nine's strength has always been in news. Go hard on overnight news, leave the debates and cash-call giveaways to the other mob."
Jeffreys is currently on holiday in the US with her husband, following Karl Stefanovic's high-profile and glitzy wedding to Jasmine Yarbrough in Mexico earlier this month.