TV

Today Show host Deb Knight dismisses ratings slump

The new-look Today Show suffered a massive blow on its first day, but one of the new hosts isn't phased in the slightest.

By Rebecca Sullivan
The shiny new team behind the revamped Today Show has hosed down any negativity surrounding their disappointing ratings debut this week.
Channel Nine had hoped a brand new lineup featuring longtime Nine hosts Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight, as well as newsreader Tom Steinfort, entertainment reporter Brooke Boney and sports commentator Tony Jones, would help provide a ratings boost following the sudden exit of former host Karl Stefanovic last year.
On Monday's show things got off to a very pleasant and light-hearted start, with Georgie Gardner describing it as "the very first day of a new era on Nine, with a new-look Today Show team".
Her co-host Deb Knight joked: "Thankfully, I'm not the only one on the desk who feels a little bit like it's the first day of school."
But the numbers show that on Monday, Today only brought in 311,000 viewers (197,000 in capital cities and 115,000 in regional areas), compared to Sunrise, which won the day with 427,000 viewers (266,000 in capital cities and 115,000 in regional). That's a gap of 116,000 people.
It's an improvement from last September, when Today dropped below 200,000 viewers, a number considered "critical", only raking in 199,000 viewers across the five metropolitan capital cities.
Tom Steinfort, Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight. (Image: Channel Nine)
But when asked about the ratings, host Deb Knight dismissed the criticism.
"That is for others to work at and worry about, my job is just turning up and being me,' Knight told The Daily Telegraph.
"I try to limit the impact that the chatter and the white noise has on me. You've just got to focus on the job at hand.
"I am trying to focus on getting this right and enjoy the ride as much as I can rather than be intimidated by it," she said.
WATCH BELOW: Karl Stefanovic's best moments on the Today Show
The show's new executive producer, Steve Burling, who took over from former EP Mark Calvert following his and Stefanovic's departure last year, also defended his new show.
"It will be different, any students of Today will certainly notice some changes like fresh graphics and we have a fresh soft set with an open lounge setting," Burling told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"There are small little things but at the end of the day they aren't things that are critical to the direction of the program."
Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner at the Australian Open in Melbourne this week. (Image: Getty)
Despite the criticism, Knight said it's exciting to have two women over 40 hosting a breakfast television program in Australia.
"It's a big thing to have two women presenting the show," she told The Herald.
"I think Australian TV, and Nine, is reflecting the state of the media in this country.
"There was a time, 20 years ago, women over a certain age were considered out to pasture and we still have a way to go, but Australian society and Australian media is reflecting the fact that we are a bit more sophisticated."