With Today recently enjoying a ratings surge, it hasn't taken long for co-hosts Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon to recognise their worth – and combined star power – as they join forces to demand top dollar for 2022!
Karl, 47, and Ally, 42, were spotted making a sneaky entrance into accountant Anthony Bell's home last week, prompting speculation they'd begun negotiating their Nine contracts.
And according to an insider close to the pair, they didn't hold back.
"Karl and Ally aren't stupid – they've found their momentum and they want more money.
"They continue winning week after week in prime markets like Sydney – they've finally found their groove," the insider tells Woman's Day.
"They've timed it perfectly so they can leverage their ongoing ratings success. They asked for $1.8 million each."
The source explains that while Karl would have been more than happy with a small increase – he was on around $1.2 million before – the new amount is almost doubling Ally's salary, bringing her up to par.
Equality was a huge prerequisite for Karl, particularly after Lisa Wilkinson's memoir has brought up Today's much-discussed pay gap once again.
"Karl has realised his secret weapon to survival on the show is Ally.
"He learned the hard way a few years back with Lisa that you don't upset your co-host – and, most importantly, you don't earn more money!"
It was one of breakfast TV's most explosive break-ups when Lisa Wilkinson walked away from Today in 2017 after her attempt at securing the same salary as Karl backfired.
But our source says Karl, who once earned $2 million a year when he was working alongside Lisa, is hellbent on ensuring that won't happen again with Ally.
"Karl knows if he loses Ally he's done. So he believed if he joined forces with her, and they took on Nine head-first, then they had every chance to get exactly the money they wanted," says our insider.
"He knew the gender pay gap issue that forced Lisa off the show had to be addressed and he'll never make that mistake again."
The sighting comes as it's believed that both Karl and Ally have already come to an agreement with Nine and have signed on for at least one more year.
But if the ratings continue to rise and take over their long-reigning competitors at Sunrise, Anthony Bell may just be paid another visit by the duo... sooner rather than later.