The downfall of former television golden boys Peter and Karl Stefanovic has left shockwaves across the industry.
And now, speculation is mounting that Today newsreader Sylvia Jeffreys could be next on the chopping block.
However, yesterday afternoon the network released an unprecedented statement backing the journalist.
“Sylvia Jeffreys is a huge part of Nine’s plans for 2019 and beyond. She is contracted with Nine until the end of 2020. Any reports or speculation that she is leaving Nine are incorrect. She is a gifted, hard-working journalist and presenter and we look forward to continuing to work with her,” Darren Wick, Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, explained.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time the network have publicly backed talent only to axe them months later.
In October, Channel Nine claimed Karl would be back at the Today desk alongside co-host Georgie Gardner in 2019.
“The nation wakes up with Today, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Georgie Gardner,” the official press release read at the time.
“In 2019, Australia’s longest-running breakfast television program will continue to bring viewers up-to-the-minute news, current affairs, sport, politics, entertainment, fashion, health and lifestyle from Australia and around the world.”
Fast forward two months and the TV WEEK Gold Logie winner was finally shown the door after 14 years.
And in a spectacular turn of events, Karl’s sacking came just hours after younger brother Peter was also booted from Nine.
It’s believed the brother’s ultimate undoing was their Ubergate scandal from earlier in the year, in which Peter and his brother Karl Stefanovic were caught bad-mouthing the Nine network and their colleagues.
But Sylvia’s close ties to the Stefanovics wouldn’t be grounds to let her go, and if the network did indeed axe her there would surely be outrage.
However, behind the scenes there are still whispers she could be replaced.
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Veteran entertainment reporter Peter Ford alleges the newsreader may be “redeployed” to another role within nine and be replaced by Nine Perth news anchor, Tracy Vo.
“As I reported yesterday there is also a plan to also ‘redeploy’ @SylviaJeffreys and @Tracy_Vo is favourite to move east,” Ford tweeted earlier this week.
While a source has told news.com.au the television star is set to host a new primetime show.
For her part, Sylvia is yet to address either Peter or Karl’s departures and appears to currently still be on holidays in the States following Karl’s wedding to Jasmine in Mexico.
As for the intense attention she and the Stefanovic clan get, Sylvia admits it’s still something she’s adjusting to.
“But if I catch myself thinking too much about it, I try and focus on what’s more important and ultimately we’re all focused on the real stories that matter to real people because, gee, there’s a lot of misinformation out there,” she told Adelaide Now in March.
Adding: “I’m not here to set anyone else’s record straight, that’s for them to do, but I work with Karl, I’m also related to him. I love him dearly and his happiness is important to me but, from a professional perspective, while I enjoy working with him very much, I have my own career, my own history and my own things to focus on.”