Eddie McGuire has been reported expressing the view that he would make a better host for Nine’s Today than Karl Stefanovic.
Well, McGuire will have the opportunity to chat to Karl personally about the future of the gig at the wedding of a certain Australian billionaire and former media magnate somewhere off the Cote d’Azure this weekend.
The waters off Monaco are the best bet for the looming nuptials because of the ban on overflights by unauthorised aircraft. James Packer will be married on the Arctic P, dad’s converted icebreaker. By marrying on a boat, Packer and fiance Erica Baxter will be able to avoid the French 30-day residency rule. So, in that respect it’s a quickie hitching.
Eddie’s travelling to Europe for the function, as is Stefanovic, reportedly invited at the last minute by James Packer. Was that at the behest of another guest, Karl’s very good friend and mentor, the departing Alan Jones, whose gig on Today finishes this Friday?
Eddie is a cost-saving in the making and may well be keen to show that he can work even harder for his meagre stipend. Fronting the successful 1 vs 100 on Monday nights, may not be enough to justify his $4 million a year salary to the network hardheads. Doing Today five days a week would merely confirm that Eddie is OK TV talent, but is he up to the tough grind of 15 hours of live TV a week?
Meanwhile, there has been a small but noticeable number of links from Today to Sydney radio station 2UE, where the husband of Today co-host Lisa Wilkinson does breakfast radio. That’s Peter FitzSimons, whose move to breakfast stabilised the slow drain of Mike Carlton’s audience.
But the real reasons are that the Today executive producer, Tom Malone, came to Nine from 2UE more than a year ago and it does make sense to link to a station at a time when that station’s audience is a touch younger than the grannies and other grey-heads listening to Jones in Sydney. Malone was a reporter at 2UE
What Nine has to understand is that Sydney radio does nothing for Today’s national audience. They would be better off ignoring radio and concentrating on fixing up Today. With or without Eddie McGuire.