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Lisa Wilkinson responds to Karl Stefanovic’s sacking

The woman who shared a desk with Karl Stefanovic for over a decade has responded to his sacking from the Today Show.
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Lisa Wilkinson and Karl Stefanovic worked side-by-side for over a decade on the Today Show, and now the former Channel Nine darling has responded to the news that Stefanovic will leave the breakfast show.

The Nine Network today confirmed that Karl Stefanovic will be leaving the Today Show after working on the morning news program for over 14 years.

Darren Wick, Director of News and Current Affairs, confirmed the news in a statement on Wednesday.

“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.

“An announcement on the new line up and format of the Today Show will be made in the coming weeks.”

Karl thanked the network in a statement.

“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,” he says.

“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.”

READ MORE: Why loveable larrikin Karl Stefanovic has lost his appeal

Taking to Instagram just after the news broke, Lisa wrote: “Wishing @karlstefanovic_ all the best. Because when it was good, it was great.”

Lisa first joined the Today Show as Karl’s co-host back in 2007. She was the fifth female co-host of the show in a tumultuous 18-month period.

At the time, Lisa had actually been made an offer to join Channel Seven’s The Morning Show – which is now hosted by Kylie Gillies and Larry Emdur – but a run-in with Stefanovic at that year’s Logies convinced her Today was the right choice.

“We made each other laugh,” Lisa told Stellar magazine earlier this year.

“I went to bed that night deciding I was going to do this thing.”

The pair delighted viewers with their on-camera chemistry and for years Today enjoyed ratings wins over its Channel Seven rival Sunrise.

Lisa was not happy that Karl was being paid more than her. (Image: Getty)

Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson at the 2017 Logie Awards. (Image: Getty)

But last year, things started to sour.

First, Karl’s “loveable larrikin” image started to wane when news broke that he had left his wife of 21 years and the mother of his three children, Cassandra Thorburn.

Just five months after the split, he was photographed canoodling with a young blonde 10 years his junior on a yacht on Sydney Harbour. Karl married that young blonde, Jasmine Yarbrough, in a lavish Mexico wedding earlier this month.

Then came the reports that Lisa was being paid significantly less than Karl – a reported $1.1 million, compared to Karl’s massive $2 million salary.

When Lisa tried to get more money out of Nine, they refused.

So she defected to Channel 10, where she now co-hosts The Project with Carrie Bickmore, Waleed Aly and Pete Helliar.

Karl and Lisa back in the day. (Image: Getty)

During Lisa’s final appearance on Today, Karl made an emotional tribute to his co-host.

“For 10 years, Lisa has dragged herself out of bed at 3:30 in the morning, fed the dogs and cats, put a load of washing on and came into work to inform you of what was happening in the world,” Karl said.

“For 10 years, she handled the brutal hours with grace, beauty and intelligence and a wicked sense of humour. For whatever reason she won’t be doing that anymore. It is safe to say we are all a little shocked and it will take time to sink in.

“So for now this: Thank you. Thank you for the laughs, the sage advice, the calmness, oh, the calmness. And thank you for all of your support. Thank you for being a great colleague. Thanks for being a great interviewer. Thanks for being a great dancer and a truly, truly terrible singer. Thanks for being a great mum. I know you value that more than anything else and thank you for being a great friend.

“The rest I will leave for when I see you but whatever you do, and wherever you go, you do so having made your mark on this show and on this man.

“Mostly you go with my love, lots of love, all my love. We will see you soon, maybe after midday. Enjoy the sleep-ins.”

WATCH: Karl Stefanovic’s massive stunt on the Today show …

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Earlier today it was confirmed that Karl’s brother, Pete Stefanovic, is also leaving the network after 15 years on various programs.

“Peter has decided to explore new opportunities and is looking forward to spending weekends with his wife,” a Nine spokesperson said in a statement.

“He has been a respected member of the Nine News team and Weekend Today, and we wish him all the best for the future.”

Peter said he will miss his friends and colleagues at Nine ‘very much.’

“I’ve had an amazing time at Nine being a foreign correspondent, News reporter and covering some amazing stories for 60 minutes,” Peter said.

“I’ll miss my friends at Nine very much, it has been a huge privilege to work alongside so many great people.”

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