Today host Karl Stefanovic has taken the day off work as his former co-anchor Lisa Wilkinson continues to make explosive claims about her departure from Nine in 2017.
The TV presenter, 47, appears to be keeping a low profile after damning extracts from Wilkinson’s autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This, were published in News Corp papers over the weekend.
However, a Nine spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Monday he was on planned annual leave, and had also taken Friday off.
Today host Karl Stefanovic has taken the day off work as his former co-anchor Lisa Wilkinson continues to make explosive claims about her departure from Nine in 2017
His absence wasn’t acknowledged at the start of Monday’s program, with Today Extra co-anchor David Campbell filling in alongside Allison Langdon.
It comes after an excerpt from Wilkinson’s tell-all book was published in The Sunday Telegraph.
The 61-year-old addressed her awkward final encounter with Stefanovic, claiming he’d given her the cold shoulder in the weeks before she was sacked by Nine.
Wilkinson, who now hosts The Sunday Project on Channel 10, explained that she and her husband, Peter FitzSimons, had invited Karl and his partner, Jasmine Yarbrough, to attend their 25th wedding anniversary vow renewal ceremony in October 2017.
His absence wasn’t acknowledged at the start of Monday’s program, with Today Extra co-anchor David Campbell (left) filling in alongside Allison Langdon (right)
Candid: Lisa Wilkinson (pictured) has lifted the lid her final days working on the Today show in her new autobiography, It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This
Two days before the event, however, Stefanovic and Yarbrough contacted FitzSimons to say they wouldn’t be attending the celebrations because they’d extended their overseas holiday.
‘In the ten days since [the ceremony] Karl hadn’t contacted me, his co-host of almost eleven years, at all. No phone message, no text, no apology, not even a simple congrats. Just complete silence,’ Wilkinson alleged.
After returning to work, Wilkinson claimed Stefanovic didn’t ask her about her holidays, nor did apologise for being a ‘no-show at the wedding’.
Last day: In an excerpt from the tell-all book, published by The Daily Telegraph , the 61-year-old spoke about her awkward final encounter with co-host Karl Stefanovic (left) while claiming that he’d given her the cold shoulder in the weeks prior to her stepping down
‘For the next two hours, I exchanged not a single word with Karl outside of what was scripted – because for the first time, I just didn’t trust myself to ‘play nice’,’ she said.
Wilkinson went on to say she was also ‘quietly fuming’ because ‘nearly every because almost every interview that day was being done by Karl alone.’
‘For two hours, I sat there feeling completely useless. The Today show was now The Karl Show. What was the point of me even being there?’
Channel Nine declined to comment when contacted by Daily Mail Australia.
In another extract published in the Herald Sun on Monday, Wilkinson addressed the gender pay gap between the two breakfast TV hosts.
She alleged Stefanovic had proposed in August 2015 they join forces to renegotiate their Nine contracts, not unlike how the cast of American sitcom Friends famously worked together to broker better deals with NBC.
But she claims he ended up ditching this idea and instead played rival networks Nine and Seven off against each other in order to secure a better deal for himself.
‘Weeks later… the media became awash with stories that Stefanovic was restless at Today and looking for greener pastures – and more civilised working hours – at Channel Seven,’ she wrote.
Stefanovic then became the subject of a bidding war between Nine and Seven that resulted in him re-signing a multimillion-dollar five-year deal with Nine.
Wilkinson’s deal was worth significantly less, and was only for two years.
‘There was no doubt about it: Karl certainly knew the art of the deal,’ she wrote, adding that the resulting pay disparity between them was ‘was so off the charts that no-one would have believed it’.
Invitation: The Project host explained that she and her husband Peter FitzSimons (left) had invited Karl and his partner Jasmine Yarbrough to attend their 25 wedding anniversary vow renewal ceremony in October 2017
Lisa also described the moment she was told she’d never return to the helm at Today, following after her first day back on-air after the holidays.
Lisa said she was shopping at her local Woolworths Supermarket when she received a phone call from her manager Nick Fordham, who had just finished a meeting with Nine’s CEO Hugh Marks.
He told that she was ‘permanently off’ the Today show, and would never return.
No show: Two days before the event, however, Karl and Jasmine contacted Lisa’s husband Peter to say they wouldn’t be attending the celebrations, as they’d extended their holidays abroad
Lisa left Channel Nine’s Today show back in October 2017 after a reported gender pay gap dispute.
The Nine Network were ‘unable to meet her expectations’ after she demanded equal pay with co-host Karl.
In January the following year, Lisa joined rival network Ten’s The Project for a rumoured multi-million dollar pay packet.
Cold shoulder: After returning to work, Lisa claimed Karl didn’t ask her about her holidays, nor did apologise for being a ‘no-show at the wedding’
Since joining The Sunday Project, Lisa has landed sit-down interviews with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kylie Minogue and Bradley Cooper.
In an interview with The Herald Sun in December 2018, Lisa applauded the ‘integrity’ and high ‘calibre’ of her colleagues at Ten, referencing Carrie Bickmore, Fifi Box, Amanda Keller, Julia Morris and Gorgi Coghlan.
‘One of the absolute bonuses that I really hadn’t anticipated in moving to Ten, is the calibre of my colleagues,’ she said.
It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This will be published by Harper Collins on October 27, and is available for pre-order at Big W and Booktopia for $27.
Rival network: Since joining The Sunday Project in 2018, Lisa has landed sit-down interviews with A-list stars. Pictured with co-hosts Tommy Little (left) and Waleed Aly (right)
What a bargain! It Wasn’t Meant to Be Like This will be published by Harper Collins on October 27, and is available for pre-order at Big W and Booktopia for $27