‘If you put Karl back, everything is fixed’
Kyle Sandilands has blasted Channel 9 executives for their treatment of Karl Stefanovic and says the TV personality should be reinstated as the Today show co-host immediately.
Sandilands spoke to news.com.au right after he was interviewed on stage by Stefanovic at the recent Radio Alive conference in Brisbane, and he didn't hold back when asked for his opinion on the struggling Today show.
"If I was running Channel 9 I would immediately add Karl to Georgie (Gardner) and Deb (Knight)," the KIIS FM star said.
"I think Georgie and Deb are great, but they've got all these try-hard dudes in there … if they put Karl back in there as the main host with those two female co-anchors, that thing would kick a**e, everyone knows it!
"It's as if they (Channel 9 executives) won't do it because they'll look stupid," Sandilands continued. "But you don't need to be a great programmer to realise that if you put Karl back, everything is fixed.
"F**k knows why it's not done. It should be done right now."
The Channel 9 star opened up about his sacking during a post-Logies event in July, saying: "It wasn't a great surprise to me - in fact it was a relief in many ways - that I was taken off the Today show. Because I just wasn't at my best and you can't be doing that show unless you're at the top of your game.
"You've got to be sharp, you've got to be witty, you've got to be funny. You've got to see the angles, and to be honest, at the end of last year I wasn't seeing much," he said.
But Sandilands doesn't think Stefanovic, whom he considers a "solid friend", should have been axed at all.
"It was just a f**king stupid decision," Sandilands told news.com.au. "I believe they (Channel 9 executives) all thought, 'Women don't like Karl because him and his wife (Cassandra Thorburn) didn't last.' That's f**king bulls**t.
"It's just not a reality," Sandilands said. "Every chick I know, from 20 year olds to my mum's age, all think Karl is funny and sexy and witty and amazing."
In a massive shake-up, the Today show launched in January with Gardner and Knight as co-hosts, Tom Steinfort replacing Sylvia Jeffreys as newsreader and Brooke Boney sharing entertainment reporting responsibilities with Richard Wilkins. But the show has struggled in the ratings all year.
Last week Today averaged roughly 185,000 viewers (five city metro) each day, whereas Channel 7's Sunrise was miles ahead with 270,000 viewers on average.
The poor ratings have led to speculation that the Today line-up will be shaken up once again at the start of next year with Karl Stefanovic returning to the show.
And 60 Minutes star Allison Langdon is firming as a favourite to be his co-host, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Langdon was the main host at Channel 9's Upfronts presentation in Sydney last week in front of clients and media.
The showcase was reportedly meant to be hosted by Deb Knight but executives changed their mind just a day before and gave the gig the Langdon in what could prove to be a telling move.
Kyle Sandilands' TV show, Trial By Kyle, launches on Channel 10 this Thursday at 8.30pm