Entertainment TV ‘Today’ host announces shock departure

‘Today’ host announces shock departure

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After seven years with Channel Nine’s Today program, presenter Georgie Gardner has announced she will leave the morning show to take up a “broader role” at the Nine Network.

Gardner was emotional as she made the announcement this morning live on air.

Her departure comes as Today struggles in the competitive breakfast ratings market, which continues to be dominated by Seven’s Sunrise, according to a report by The Age.

Gardner will take up the position of co-host on Mornings when Sonia Kruger is recording Big Brother later this year, and will contribute to 60 Minutes.

“It has not been an easy decision to leave a show that is an Australian television institution,” said Gardner after her on-air announcement.

Today is a program that has afforded me enormous opportunities and experiences and enabled me to forge lifelong friendships. It’s been a career highlight and a great privilege.”

Last year, Today struggled with internal problems, including personality clashes between former executive producer Neil Breen and the show’s stars, including Ben Fordham and Lisa Wilkinson.

Fordham has revealed plans to join 60 Minutes and leave Today, while Breen now works as a sport reporter for Channel Nine.

Gardner said that she was looking forward to spending more time with her two children.

Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick, said that Gardner will continue her 6pm news duties.

“Georgie is a much valued member of the Nine News team and we welcome the opportunity to have her professional presence in a range of new roles across the network, including reporting on 60 Minutes,” Wick said.