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Today's Brooke Boney steps in for new host Sarah Abo after promotion

Recently-appointed host Sarah Abo was nowhere to be seen at the start of Friday morning's broadcast.

Today viewers were left confused on Friday morning when Brooke Boney co-anchored the show alongside Karl Stefanovic from 5:30am.

Brooke, who was recently promoted to be the breakfast show’s newsreader, was filling in for regular host Sarah Abo who was nowhere to be seen.

Today’s Karl Stefanovic and Brooke Boney.
Today’s Brooke Boney filled in for Sarah Abo at the beginning of Friday morning’s broadcast. Photo: Channel Nine

Karl explained Sarah’s absence at the beginning of the broadcast, telling viewers she had to prepare for a “big interview” in line with the AFL season kicking off.

“Sarah’s not in this morning,” he said. “Well, she’s in later, but she’s preparing for the Collingwood game tonight.”

“She’s stretching up,” Brooke laughed, while Karl joked, “She’s got to cut oranges.”

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Sarah was later met with applause when she returned to the desk at 6:20am, but she remained tight-lipped about who she was chatting with.

“It’s top-secret that interview,” she teased.

Today’s Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo.
Sarah returned to the desk at 6:20am. Photo: Channel Nine

Brooke's recent promotion

The hosting shake-up comes shortly after Brooke was promoted from the show’s entertainment reporter to newsreader, taking over from Alex Cullen who now solely focuses on sport.

While The Sunday Telegraph published a column saying Alex had been “yanked from his news role” and “replaced” by Brooke, Nine put out a statement on its Wide World of Sports website explaining the change.

“The importance of sport across Nine has led to us shifting focus on our line-up for Today, with Brooke Boney now taking on news and entertainment and Alex Cullen totally focused on sport,” Nine's director of morning television Steve Burling said.

“Alex has a passion for all things sport, so it is a comfortable fit.”

However, New Idea reported on Monday that there was “tension” between Brooke and Alex following the change of roles.

“You can cut the air with a knife,” an insider told the publication. “Alex returned from the Australian Open tennis coverage and Brooke was in his chair. [He] has copped it on the chin, but it has made everyone feel on edge.”

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