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Richard Wilkins shares an emotional tribute to Karl Stefanovic on behalf of The Today Show

''You didn't just wake up with Today. Today woke up with you.''

By Alex Lilly
In news that shocked Australia, Channel Nine confirmed that Karl Stefanovic would leave The Today Show after 14 years behind the desk hosting.
And while he'll be sorely missed, many viewers around the country and his co-hosts, led by Richard Wilkins, have thanked him for his efforts and wished him luck during an emotional on-air tribute.
Richard Wilkins, Georgie Gardner and Karl Stefanovic at the Nine Upfronts event in October 2018. (Image: Getty Images)
Karl's co-host and entertainment reporter Richard Wilkins opened his heartfelt tribute by confirming that the news of Karl's departure was true.
"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."
Dickie went on to describe him as "a fantastic, intuitive and intelligent journalist," and "an intoxicating mix of world's best broadcaster and naughty schoolboy."
"There is no secret that the past year or so has been difficult times for Karl but I can say he has walked into the studio every morning with energy and passion bringing ideas to make the show bigger and better."
Karl, who recently tied the knot with his new bride Jasmine Yarbrough and is currently on his honeymoon, has faced a lot of media scrutiny since his split from his first wife and mother of his three children, Cassandra Thorburn.
Richard Wilkins recently attended Karl and Jasmine's wedding in Mexico. (Image: Instagram @richardwilkins)
"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," Dickie continued.
"He always strived to deliver the best program he possibly could. It is a tireless gig and it comes with an enormous amount of scrutiny."
Richard finished by saying that Karl is not leaving the network and will continue to host his other show, This Time Next Year.
"Karl has asked us to pass on his thanks to you, the viewer, for tuning in, and Karl, on behalf of all your friends and colleagues here at Nine and your millions of fans around the country, we wish you all the best.
"Karl, thank you for all the great work. You have notched up a massive number of flying hours. You didn't just wake up with Today. Today woke up with you. Good luck, mate."
Deborah Knight, who was sitting at the desk with Richard with Brenton Ragless and Lara Vella, praised him for his heartfelt message and added, "Karl has made a huge impact to the programme over the years."
WATCH: Karl Stefanovic: Highs And Lows on The Today Show. Post continues...
Former Today host Lisa Wilkinson also spoke out about Karl's departure via Instagram on Wednesday afternoon.
Lisa, who now presents on Ten's Sunday Project, posted a series of old photos of her time with Karl, captioning them, "Wishing @karlstefanovic_ all the best. Because when it was good, it was great."
After it was reported that Lisa was being paid 1.1 million, compared to Karl's massive $2 million salary, she left the show and since then, the Today Show ratings have slipped.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, sources say that the wedding was the final straw for Karl.
"Nine looked at the coverage of Karl's wedding in horror," says one source. "It was the final straw; they knew it was damaging their brand and p---ing off their viewers."
"Yachts and big overseas weddings don't translate to Today's audience," another added. "You have to remember it's aimed at white-bread suburban Australia."
Now that Peter Stefanovic is also out and there are whispers that even Sylvia Jeffreys could be on the chopping block, what's in store for Today in 2019?

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