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Karl Stefanovic RETURNS as host of the Today show alongside Allison Langdon - as Nine is forced to turn back to the fired frontman following a ratings plunge without him

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 8/11/2019 Zoe Zaczek For Daily Mail Australia
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Karl Stefanovic will return to host the Today show in 2020, alongside Weekend Today's Allison Langdon.

Nine-Fairfax confirmed the news late on Friday, after current hosts Georgie Gardener and Deb Knight battled falling ratings throughout the course of the year. 

The pair took to the helm after Stefanovic was ousted on December 19, 2018, following more than 14 years in the job. 

The sensational dumping came just days after his lavish Mexican wedding to Jasmine Yarbrough, 35. 

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A television source confirmed the revelation, telling Daily Mail Australia that Karl and Allison are 'great journalists' who will 'make a great team'.  

'Karl has had a year off to recharge and get his mojo back and Allison has been honing her skills as a morning show host on Weekend Today,' they said.

'Both have tremendous experience reporting for 60 Minutes, Nine News and Today - so they'll make a great team.'

The insider said Gardener would return to Nine News.

'Georgie is an excellent news reader and reporter and will be a much better fit in the Nine newsroom,' they said. 

Gardner and Knight have struggled to compete with Seven's Sunrise.

Today's ratings reached an all-time low of 155,000 last Friday, just over half of Sunrise's 277,000. 

Karl Stefanovic, Georgie Gardner posing for the camera: Stefanovic was originally ousted from the program on December 19 last year after 14 years with the program

Stefanovic was originally ousted from the program on December 19 last year after 14 years with the program
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

In comparison, Today show ratings hovered around 300,000 throughout 2016 and 2017 when Stefanovic was host with Lisa Wilkinson. 

Nine will spend the next month trying to decide who else will feature on Today and Today Extra, as well as finding a replacement for Sonia Kruger, who is moving to Channel 7.  

'Deb Knight is a strong journo who will no doubt be considered for an expanded role across Nine News and maybe even across Nine's radio assets,' the source said. 

'Expect to see Tracy Vo, Tim Davies and Sylvia Jeffreys rotate across Today and Today Extra over the coming month as Nine News management work out who are the right people to sit alongside Karl and Allison.'

The insider believes Stefanovic and Langdon are the perfect recipe to 'challenge Sunrise once again'.       

Deborah Knight, Georgie Gardner sitting posing for the camera: Gardner (right) is expected to return to Nine News amid the Today show switch up © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gardner (right) is expected to return to Nine News amid the Today show switch up Karl Stefanovic wearing a suit and tie: Karl Stefanovic (pictured) will return to the Today show in 2020, with Allison Langdon © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Karl Stefanovic (pictured) will return to the Today show in 2020, with Allison Langdon

Stefanovic was sacked from the Today show on the back of a ratings dive that came at a time when his personal life was highly publicised. 

The start of the program's downward spiral can be traced back to September 2016, when it emerged Karl had separated from his wife and the mother of his three children, Cassandra Thorburn.

A few months after the split, he began dating former-model-turned-shoe-designer Jasmine Yarbrough, who is ten years his junior.

The pair were married during a lavish four-day wedding in Mexico in the month of his axing.

Allison Langdon posing for the camera: Allison Langdon (pictured) currently hosts Weekend Today and reports for 60 Minutes © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Allison Langdon (pictured) currently hosts Weekend Today and reports for 60 Minutes Deborah Knight, Georgie Gardner posing for the camera: Gardner and Knight have struggled to compete with Seven's Sunrise, with Today's ratings reaching an all-time low of 155,000 last Friday. This was almost half of Sunrise's 277,000 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gardner and Knight have struggled to compete with Seven's Sunrise, with Today's ratings reaching an all-time low of 155,000 last Friday. This was almost half of Sunrise's 277,000

Stefanovic released a statement at the time of his sacking, where he praised the 'best show' on TV.

'For the last 14 years I've co-hosted the best show on television,' he said at the time. 

'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.

'Thanks to our viewers mostly, you are what matters most. It's been a tough time. Thanks for hanging in there.'  

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