Lisa Wilkinson to co-host TODAY

Thursday May 10, 2007
Lisa Wilkinson
The Nine Network today announced that Lisa Wilkinson will join Karl Stefanovic as co-host of the TODAY show.

Nine's Director of News and Current Affairs, Garry Linnell, said Wilkinson, the former host of the Seven Network's Weekend Sunrise program, would join TODAY from Monday, 28 May 2007.

"Lisa is a proven on-air talent with a strong journalistic pedigree," Linnell said.

"Her warmth, empathy and intelligence are ideally suited to a program like TODAY.

"We have exciting plans for the show and Lisa is the perfect addition to a team which has already taken enormous strides forward this year."

Nine's TODAY show has made significant gains in audience this year, with a nine per cent rise year-on-year between 7am and 9am, and a 16 per cent hike in the key 6am to 7am news hour.

In contrast, Sunrise has slumped four per cent year-on-year in the 7am to 9am timeslot.

Lisa Wilkinson said: "Breakfast television has become one of the hottest timeslots on TV – and the success of Weekend Sunrise since we launched two years ago convinced me that I wanted to do more. So when Channel Nine suggested doing what I love five days a week, instead of just one, it was, ultimately, impossible to refuse.

"This wasn’t a decision I took on my own, though. With three young children, and a husband (journalist and broadcaster Peter FitzSimons) doing breakfast radio, it was a decision for the whole family. But it made sense. And while I know the 3.30am starts won’t be easy, at least we will all be working to the same early-to-bed body clocks.

"We also have great family support, and both Mel Doyle and Wendy Harmer have often told me over the years that the breakfast slot is one of the most child-friendly in the media for a working mum.

"There’s no doubt I have much to learn in the times ahead, but I’m incredibly excited about the challenge and feel really honored to be joining the TODAY show team at such a very special time in the show’s history – its 25th anniversary," she said.

Linnell said he wanted to thank newsreader Kellie Connolly for the job she has performed as interim host of the TODAY show. "Kellie has done a great job in the TODAY role and she has shown that she has a big future with Nine. "We are planning to broaden her contribution and we have several exciting roles in store for her," Linnell added.

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