The rise and fall of Karl Stefanovic

As Karl Stefanovic said himself after being dumped from the Today show on Wednesday, “it’s been a tough time”.

The 44-year-old, who has been with the network for the past 14 years, was once upon a time the family man Australia loved, but recent events in his personal life seem to have changed that image.

After splitting from Cassandra Thorburn in 2016, he began a relationship with younger shoe designer, Jasmine Yarbrough, who he went on to marry earlier this month.

Karl Stefanovic has been dumped from hosting the Today show. Photo: Getty
Karl Stefanovic has been dumped from hosting the Today show. Photo: Getty

He was also involved in the ‘Ubergate’ scandal with brother Peter Stefanovic some months ago, where he criticised co-host Georgie Gardner.

Earlier this year the scandal was the subject of one of Dave Hughes’ jokes at the Logies, but once upon a time, the Logies was Karl’s domain.

He reigned over the proceedings with a cool confidence from being so widely adored.

Karl has most recently been hosting Today with Georgie Gardner. Photo: Channel Nine
Karl has most recently been hosting Today with Georgie Gardner. Photo: Channel Nine

Back in 2009, he even famously hosted Today alongside his then co-host Lisa Wilkinson, whilst still “drunk” after enjoying the bash a little too much.

The whole of Australia laughed his unprofessionalism off. It seemed they felt Karl deserved to let his hair down after a long year of early morning starts whilst raising three kids.

When Karl hosted the Today Show in 2009 the morning after the Logies and appeared to still be drunk, fans loved him for it. Source: Nine
When Karl hosted the Today Show in 2009 the morning after the Logies and appeared to still be drunk, fans loved him for it. Source: Nine

In fact, just two years after slurring his way through the show, he took home the Gold Logie — the highest honour in Australian television.

A string of nominations followed in the years after, including another go at the Gold Logie in 2012 for his contribution to the industry.

While he didn’t win another gong, fans continued to love him and his paycheck matched, as he became the highest-paid person on Aussie TV.

The TV star won the Gold Logie in 2011. Photo: Getty
The TV star won the Gold Logie in 2011. Photo: Getty

Then Karl made headlines around the world in 2014 when he stood up against sexism in the industry, by wearing the same suit every day for a year.

“No one has noticed; no one gives a s**t,” he told The Age at the time. “Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.”

His efforts elevated him as a champion for women.

But at the end of 2017, Lisa — who had chaired the breakfast show alongside him for 10 years — left, reportedly over the gender pay disparity between them.

He was applauded in 2014 for making a stand about gender standards, after wearing the same navy blue suit all year, while Lisa was forced to change outfits every day. Source: Nine
He was applauded in 2014 for making a stand about gender standards, after wearing the same navy blue suit all year, while Lisa was forced to change outfits every day. Source: Nine

While Nine denied Lisa, 58, departed because Karl was paid more, it left people questioning if he was as genuine about fighting for equality as he seemed.

Another dent in his golden boy image came from his new relationship with shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough, which he went public with in August last year.

Fans criticised him for moving on from his wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn, so quickly and for flaunting his new romance so openly.

His former Today co-host joined The Project in January over rumours of a gender pay disparity between her and Karl. Source: Ten
His former Today co-host joined The Project in January over rumours of a gender pay disparity between her and Karl. Source: Ten

On Wednesday it was announced Karl wouldn’t be returning to Today in 2019.

“Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today Show,” news and current affairs director Darren Wick said in a statement.

“Karl remains on contract with the network and will continue to host This Time Next Year which records in February.

Last week he married Jasmine Yarbrough in Mexico. Photo: Getty
Last week he married Jasmine Yarbrough in Mexico. Photo: Getty

“An announcement on the new line up and format of the Today Show will be made in the coming weeks.”

“For the last 14 years I’ve co-hosted the best show on television. I can’t thank Nine enough for the opportunity. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be good enough to host this grand show for so long,” Karl said in a statement.

“Thanks to our viewers mostly, you are what matters most. It’s been a tough time. Thanks for hanging in there. I look forward to seeing you in another capacity at this great Network soon.”

In 2016 he split with his wife Cassandra Thorburn, whom he shares three children with. Photo: Getty
In 2016 he split with his wife Cassandra Thorburn, whom he shares three children with. Photo: Getty

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