Nine’s Today will be entering the 2023 ratings war with a secret weapon. Sarah Abo, a new co-host, is preparing to replace Ally Langdon.
Sources close to Nine’s North Sydney studios claim that there is high confidence in the pairing of Abo/Karl Stefanovic due to the imminent departure of Sunrise veteran David Koch.
Koch, who has been responsible for the breakfast show’s 20-year ratings dominance since its inception in 2002 as a fill-in host, will start to reduce his workload in 2023. He is expected to step down completely by 2024.
It’s understood the popular TV veteran, regarded internally at Seven as Sunrise’s ‘backbone’ and ‘a ratings powerhouse’, has negotiated for greater flexibility in his schedule and will reduce his hours until his contract expires.
‘After 20 years, I’ve felt I needed more flexibility in my life with my wife Libby and my business interests,’ Koch told The Australian October
David Koch (L), has begun to reduce his hosting duties slowly as he nears retirement
Sarah Abo will be taking up the seat beside Karl Stefanovic today in 2023
“So when I mentioned my departure to Seven, (CEO James (Warburton), very kindly asked me if we could work together to create a plan that I liked, which kept my connection with the network and my attention on Sunrise.
Nine welcomes the possibility of a Koch-free future. Network insiders claim that Today may be in the running for the top breakfast spot because of “clear air” for the first 20 years.
According to a Nine insider, “Kochie’s departure marks a tremendous opportunity for Today – there is no denying it.”
“He It is a giant in breakfast television. He Sunrise’s dominance has been sustained for over two decades.
“The idea that there would be a breakfast TV landscape without him gives Today today clear air for first time in 20-years and there is a real sense here of potential.
“It means Karl will now have the most senior presence on any show… that could resonate with viewers.”
According to a Nine insider, “Kochie’s departure marks a tremendous opportunity for Today there’s no denying that.”
According to a Nine source, Today believes that the idea of a breakfast TV landscape without him is a great way to give Today fresh air for the first 20 years.
It is crucial that Abo and Stefanovic find the right chemistry. Producers are happy to allow the new couple several months, even a year, to get to know each other.
“By that stage you can gauge if it’s really working.” Koch’s departure is certain to be front-page.
Koch’s reign was undoubtedly a problem for Today, which did not win even one rating week in 2022.
Sunrise has actually almost killed Today, winning every rating year since 2004 as well as every week in the five-city metro markets since 2018.
However, while the news about Koch’s retirement provides a welcome reprieve to Nine, Seven is feeling his outgoing status differently. Seven discussions are ongoing about his heir apparent.
It is believed that Matt Shirvington is Koch’s obvious Sunrise successor.
Matt Shirvington (R) and Natalie Barr (co-host) have long been considered Koch’s obvious Sunrise successor.
Before Switching to TV Shirvington was Australia’s representative at the 1998 Commonwealth Games as well as the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
According to insiders, there are still questions about whether the charismatic and young ex-athlete, who recently spent $11million for a new home in Sydney’s North Shore, has what it took to step into Koch’s shoes.
Shirvington is already the host on Fridays, which Koch has left. Shirvington also served as Sunrise co-anchor while Kochie was away.
A Seven source stated that Sunrise would be without David, so much depends on who can replace him.
David is a valuable asset to the network, not only in terms of ratings but also in terms security, credibility and stability.
‘He’s reliable and doesn’t buy into any of the TV gossip and BS. He He just shows up and does his work.
Sunrise EP Sarah Stinson responded to a request for comment. She said that a decision regarding Koch’s contract will not be made until after Koch has signed the contract.
Daily Mail Australia reported that Stinson stated, “It’s been quite a year for Sunrise. We’re very grateful for another rating win.”
“The ink has not dried on Kochie’s new 2-year contract.” ‘No decisions have been taken beyond that.
Nine has been reached out to provide comment.