Horrified executives at the Nine Network have closed ranks after realising they had sacked the wrong Stefanovic.
The dismissal of Weekend Today host Peter Stefanovic is set to cement the date in the anals of Australian television history despite the fact executives had thought they were chopping his brother Karl from their roster of network “stars”.
A Nine Network insider told The Bug senior executives had reached breaking point over the antics of weekday Today show host Karl Stefanovic.
“Apparently they were hoping to sack Karl on his return from his wedding in Mexico and allow any backlash to die down over the Christmas and New Year break,” the insider said. “The lavish wedding itself was viewed by the network as focussing a tasteless and unnecessary spotlight on Karl and his messy personal life that has hit the Today show’s ratings.
“The final straw was when Sydney public relations and image-maker Mark Makeover said he believed it was possible for Karl to resurrect his career. It was then that station executives knew it was a hopeless cause.
“But sadly the person delegated to finalise the paperwork for sacking Karl instead put Peter’s name on all the necessary documents after being told to ‘get rid of that Stefanovic idiot’.
“Apparently the person responsible couldn’t determine which particular idiot they meant.
“They were given no other instructions and, knowing that Tom Stefanovic, the youngest Stefanovic brother and former Nine camera operator had already left the network, plumped for Peter as the second-youngest.
“Apparently they thought the network might be shedding Stefanovics in reverse order of age. But sadly they were wrong.
“Despite this bungle network executives are sticking by the sacking and will probably regroup after the holidays and go after Karl.”
When news broke that Peter Stefanovic had “quit to pursue other professional options” after been cut loose from Nine, the fan of the Weekend Today host bombarded the network’s Sydney switchboard with a call asking for executives to explain.
“The fan was asked why she hadn’t used social media to pose her question and replied that she was 82 and could not hear very well,” the Nine insider told The Bug.
“When the question was repeated much louder, the caller told the switchboard operator she had no idea what social media was and asked what ever happened to that nice Brian Henderson who reads the news?”