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TV

EXCLUSIVE: Nat Barr and Kochie ‘thought they were cruising’ until Today's shock ratings win over Sunrise

Inside the real ‘morning wars’!

By Woman's Day team
Battlelines are well and truly drawn between breakfast TV's fiercest rivals after Today sensationally trounced Sunrise for the first time in three years.
According to recently released figures, Seven's Sunrise has taken a massive hit in the ratings while Nine's Today claimed a long-awaited victory, declaring it's game on like never before between the warring breakfast camps.
"The gap has been narrowing for a while, and while Seven relaxed and dropped their guard, Nine came along and pipped them at the post!" a TV insider tells Woman's Day.
It's all-out war, with embattled Today host Karl Stefanovic and his partner Allison Langdon doing all they can to trump Sunrise's David Koch and Natalie Barr.
"No one saw this coming, least of all Nat and Kochie." (Instagram)
"No one saw this coming, least of all Nat and Kochie who thought they were cruising to their fourth year in a row as number one," adds our insider.
The much-reported surprise win saw Today pulling in 248,000 metro viewers compared to Sunrise's 237,000, triggering crisis meetings at Seven's Martin Place headquarters in Sydney.
"It's cutthroat at the best of times, but there's a lot at stake, and ratings being this close calls for drastic measures," says the source.
Our insider reveals that Sunrise executives are looking at airing more "water cooler moments" – segments that spark up chatter on social media – which they acknowledge Karl, 47, and Allison, 42, deliver each morning in spades.
But one thing they know they need to address now is their main star.
There have been whispers for weeks around the future of Kochie, with network bosses scratching their heads wondering if they got it all wrong pairing the 65-year-old veteran with Nat, 53, following the shock departure of former host Samantha Armytage.
But it's been Kochie's "resigned demeanour" that has left Seven executives thinking Kochie might be considering his final curtain call.
Kochie left viewers disappointed last week when he was noticeably absent on Sunrise after the Brownlow ceremony the night before.
While his co-hosts joked he may have been suffering from a "slight headache" after AFL's night of nights, Seven quickly released a statement that Kochie had planned leave.
"Kochie hit a wall around two weeks ago," says our source. "In some ways, his work is done after years of kicking big goals.
"He would never want to leave on a losing streak, but if he can see the writing on the wall with the ratings the way they are, nobody would blame him if he wanted to bow out now."
As the curtain threatens to come down on his illustrious career, tensions are brewing behind the scenes, with many speculating as to who would replace him at the Sunrise desk.
"Nat [Barr] recently wanted her close friend and host of The Latest Michael Usher to sit in for Kochie while he had the week off, but senior management insisted Weekend Sunrise host Matt Doran had to cover the shifts," explains our insider.
"However, Michael has contract negotiations coming up in the next few weeks, and if Nat gets her way, Mr Usher will get the nod!"
And while everything may be coming up roses over at Nine, our source says Today is still far off from returning to its glory days, with a rumbling between the show's main stars threatening to derail their ascent.
Today host Karl Stefanovic and his co-host Allison Langdon. (Instagram)
"Ally is fed up doing the heavy lifting and has told Karl to shape up, or she's out," a Nine insider explains.
"She has warned she'll only stay if it's on her terms.
"She's an incredible journalist, and doesn't want Karl turning up at the desk unprepared while she carries the show.
"If Nine had to fight to keep one of them, they'd back Ally any day."
Heading into 2022, one thing is certain – Australia's own morning TV wars are only just heating up

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