Today host Karl Stefanovic has made it clear behind the scenes that he wants to replace Tracy Grimshaw on A Current Affair next year, despite his disastrous breakfast TV comeback.
Karl returned to host Today this year alongside former 60 Minutes journalist Allison Langdon, but the program has achieved less-than-impressive ratings so far.
And now he wants Tracy's job at ACA.
"He's throwing everything, bar the kitchen sink, at it – lobbying hard with the executives to convince them to put him at the helm of ACA for 2021," confirms one Nine insider.
"Karl was Nine's number one choice when Tracy took a break last week to celebrate her 60th birthday, and he's desperate to get the job when Tracy surrenders her crown."
Tracy is Nine's biggest asset with a loyal audience after 40 years spent covering the news – including the past 14 years as ACA host – but is rumoured to be considering giving up her plum job.
"She knows it's time to slow down, and wants to go out on a high. She would most certainly endorse Karl as her heir apparent," says our insider. "Nine will still use her for special projects and the big interviews."
WATCH BELOW: Tracy Grimshaw talks about her Gold Logie nomination. Story continues after video.
Father-of-four Karl, 45, and wife Jasmine, 36, welcomed their first baby, daughter Harper May, last month, and the new dad would love to swap his 4am starts for the nightly current affairs program.
"I am in awe. Harper is absolutely perfect," Karl said in a statement announcing the happy news.