Richard Wilkins delivers heartfelt farewell to former colleague Karl Stefanovic
"It's no secret that the past year or so have been in many ways difficult times for Karl."
News broke yesterday that after 14 years, Karl Stefanovic would be stepping away role on the Today Show.
But despite the change, the show 'must go on' and existing host Richard Wilkins took the time to farewell his colleague, noting that yes, Karl had some difficult times.
"Good morning, one and all. Yes, it is true. The headlines on today's papers aren't wrong. Karl and the management team here at Channel Nine have agreed that it's time for him to step down as host of the Today show," Richard began.
"Karl Stefanovic has been a co-host of this great show for 14 years. And I've had the honour and pleasure - and pressure sometimes - of working alongside him almost every day over that time.
And I can tell you from the heart that there is nobody who has worked harder for this show than Karl. He is a fantastic, intuitive and intelligent journalist.
I have always described him as an intoxicating mix of world's best broadcaster and a naughty schoolboy. It's no secret that the past year or so have been in many ways difficult times for Karl. But I can say that every morning he's walked into the studio with energy and passion, bringing ideas to make the show bigger and better.
He always strived to deliver the best program he possibly could. Karl says that this is the best show on television and I couldn't agree more. He's also said he never thought he'd be good enough to host the Today show for so long. Well mate, you better believe it because you are and you did."
In the original statement about the axing, Darren Wick, director of news and current affairs said:
"Nine and Karl Stefanovic have agreed it is time for him to step off the Today Show. Karl remains on contract with the network and will continue to host This Time Next Year, which records in February. "For over 14 years, Karl has been at the centre of the Today Show bringing his unique personality and perspective to the day's news and current affairs."
Karl also issued out his own statement as part of the release:
"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. "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."
Karl's departure comes shortly after his younger brother, Peter, announced that he was also leaving Channel Nine.
Image: Today Show
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