Deborah Knight was 'not the first choice' to replace Karl Stefanovic on Today

Alicia Vrajlal
Entertainment Editor

Over the weekend Deborah Knight was announced as Karl Stefanovic’s replacement on Today, but apparently she wasn’t Channel Nine’s first choice for the top job.

According to, Adelaide-based reporter Brenton Ragless was the network’s pick to co-host alongside Georgie Gardner, but when he declined, they moved on to Deborah.

“Brenton Ragless was meant to get the gig,” a senior television source reportedly said.

“But he knocked it back for family reasons so Nine had to go back to the drawing board.”

Reports claim Deborah Knight wasn’t Channel Nine’s first choice to replace Karl Stefanovic on Today. Photo: Instagram/deborah_knight

The publication also reports that Deborah had previously been hoping to land the Today newsreader role in 2014 that went to Sylvia Jeffreys after Georgie Gardner stepped down at the time.

The Sylvia one hurt the most for Deb,” a source told “She loves SJ but it hurt. But Deb doesn’t dwell on things — she was bummed but then (she) moved on.” 

On Saturday Deborah was confirmed as Karl Stefanovic’s replacement on Today, alongside current host Georgie Gardner, while Tom Steinfort was announced to replace Sylvia Jeffreys as Today newsreader.

The new hosting team will kick off their duties from January 14, and the TV network couldn’t be more confident about the on-air shakeup.

Apparently Brenton Ragless was the network’s top pick. Photo: Instagram/brentonragless
Last month Karl Stefanovic was dumped from Today. Photo: Channel Nine

“Georgie Gardner, Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort will spearhead an energised and exciting TODAY Show in 2019,” said Darren Wick, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs.

“We’ve brought together a team from within the Nine family who are already well-known, trusted and liked by Australian viewers.” 

Further changes at the network include previously announced new appointment, Brooke Boney as entertainment reporter, while Weekend Today will see David Campbell host alongside Allison Langdon, Jayne Azzopardi and Clint Stanaway.

As for Today Extra which airs straight after the brekkie show, David Campbell will continue hosting with Sonia Kruger for three days a week, while Richard Wilkinson will join Sonia on Thursdays and Fridays.

Deborah Knight (L) will be joining Georgie Gardner (R) as a Today host in 2019. Photo: Instagram

Got a story tip? Send it to

Want more lifestyle and celebrity news? Follow Yahoo Lifestyle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.