Nine quashes claims Carrie Bickmore and Karl Stefanovic will host Today

Holly Hales
Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
Nine bosses have quashed claims Carrie Bickmore will be joining the network. Photo: Network 10

Channel Nine bosses have quashed claims they’re prepping to poach Carrie Bickmore from Network 10 as part of a deal which would see her pocket $1.5million a year.

The allegations first arose in a The Sunday Telegraph report which declared executives were ‘formulating ­secret plans’ for Carrie to host the Today show alongside its ex-star Karl Stefanovic. 

Nine denies rumours

In the piece, the newspaper claimed ‘high-level talks’ were already in place between The Project host and Channel Nine in a bid to seal the lucrative deal.

“[Carrie] feels like 10 years is a good run and that it’s time for a new challenge,” the article read.

“Plus she also sees the move to Nine as a step up into the big leagues.”

However, just hours after publication, both Darren Wick, Nine’s head of news, and Steven Burling, its director of morning television, had both quashed the claims.

In an impassioned early morning tweet, Mr Burling was first to put the rumours to rest, quickly taking aim at the report’s legitimacy.

“The answer is NO Amy Harris!” he wrote, referencing the story’s writer, before asking “What agenda sees you create such a fiction about Today?!”

“I’m not sure which talent agent fed you this tidbit - but you’ve been used and played for a fool!”

The Today show's revamped line-up has yet to resonate with many viewers, almost a year on. Photo: Instagram/georgiegardner9/

Report is an “utter fabrication”

Mr Wick also soon joined the chorus of criticism, telling Yahoo Lifestyle in a statement the story is ‘a lie’ and ‘completely made up’.

“Nine has not approached, and does not intend to approach, Carrie Bickmore or her representatives about joining Nine as a host of the Today Show, nor in any other role,” he said.

Despite the denial, the news boss went onto credit his rival’s star as ‘an outstanding broadcaster’, despite having no plans to join Today.

Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Channel Nine for comment.

The network’s flagship breakfast show has experienced a well-documented plummet in ratings since its hosting overhaul earlier this year.

After 14 years at the helm, Karl was unceremoniously dumped last December while newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys and entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins were reassigned to other on-air roles.

Instead, Georgie Gardner was joined by Deborah Knight and Tom Steinfort on the couch with Triple J’s Brooke Boney coming onboard as Wilkins’ replacement.

However, the risk appears to have yet to pay off, with reports this month alleging Georgie had “tense private meeting” with the TV network’s management

Other reports have suggested popular Nine star Ben Fordham should take over as host, in a bid for the program to once again rival its Channel Seven counterpart, Sunrise.

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