Karl Stefanovic is used to getting what he wants, so it came as a shock to the breakfast host when Nine's big bosses said a flat no to sending him to the US to cover the biggest news event of the year.
Upset at not being front and centre at the US presidential election, Karl is said to have been feeling understandably jealous that his little brother and rising star Peter got to go to Washington DC to head up the coverage for Sky News Australia.
"A part of Karl has always envied Pete's career as a foreign correspondent and the freedom he has to head off on assignments, so it must've been frustrating for him to watch from afar," a close family friend reveals to Woman's Day.
"It's no secret Karl regards himself as one of best broadcasters in the country, so this latest blow has him pretty hot under the collar. He could see his rivals over at Seven's Sunrise dig deep and send Natalie Barr over to the US – it was fair enough he was miffed!
"It didn't help seeing younger brother Pete standing on the White House lawn in the US capital, while Karl was forced to make an awkward appearance at the State of Origin opening match."
There's always been some sibling rivalry bubbling away beneath the surface between Pete, who turns 39 this week, and Karl, 46, especially given that the Queensland boys have pursued near identical careers in news and media.
But while the younger sibling is pegged to be Sky News Australia's new superstar, Karl can't help feeling like he's been relegated to life in Sydney and on the Today desk for at least the next three years.
"Karl went from $3 million a year to half that in his new contract, and he's not getting the regular 60 Minutes gigs he once enjoyed. Adding insult to injury, he figured he could make up the difference by fronting a series of documentaries, but his first project was shut down before it even got started," explains the close friend.
Desperate to expand his portfolio, Karl had hired film crews to spend the month-long State of Origin series inside the Blues and Maroons camps, giving fans a rare insight into the behind-the-scenes preparation.
Stan and other streaming platforms were bidding for the rights, but Queensland coach Wayne Bennett banned the idea, crushing Karl's ambitions to become a TV megastar.
With Peter and wife Sylvia Jeffreys expecting their second son – a little brother to nine-month-old Oscar – in April next year, Karl and Jasmine are believed to be trying for one more baby before the TV host gets too old.
"They're very different dads – while Karl and Jasmine posted pics of little Harper all dolled up for Derby Day races, Pete and Sylvia's son Oscar was in front of the TV watching his dad hard at work," says the friend.
"Pete's done everything he can to help his big brother. He tried to get Karl onboard at Sky in May this year, but they simply couldn't afford him. Karl has four kids and a wife to provide for now. His life has changed and perhaps he's realised there's room for only one Stefanovic, and now it's time to step back and give Pete his chance to finally shine."
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Now To LoveJul 26, 2021