Network Ten’s golden girl Carrie Bickmore is being heavily touted as Today’s next presenter after stepping down from her longtime post at The Project.
TV sources have revealed that Bickmore – who has been linked to the Today gig at least once – will finally start the 2023 job alongside Karl Stefanovic.
And in what one TV exec called an “elegant transition,” current Today co-host Allison Langdon could take over as presenter on A Current Affair in place of outgoing Tracy Grimshaw.
The high-profile changes could signal a long-overdue surge in ratings for Today, which has long suffered from Seven’s Sunrise and recently plummeted to 155,000 viewers in the Metro’s five-city market.
Bickmore, who is popular with viewers and her TV peers both on and off screen, confirmed she had no plans to leave the small screen during her on-air announcement Tuesday night, saying: “Honey, I’m not going in the retirement. I’m going to move on to something else that I don’t know what that is yet.
An industry insider told Daily Mail Australia that Bickmore’s potential move to Nine’s Today “makes sense” given her undeniable popularity.
“It’s the next, most obvious step for them,” the rival network’s source said.
“As much as you’d like to say that she’s not as nice as her on-screen personality, that’s not the case.
“Everyone likes her. viewers like them. She would bring a lot of positive energy to Today and it all makes sense timing wise.”
The bubbly presenter was linked to the Today hosting job back in 2019 – following the fall of Georgie Gardner and Deb Knight – but Nine denied any formal approach had been made at the time.
Instead, Langdon took on the role and over the next two years in the chair was a hit with viewers — particularly female viewers.
However, an insider says the grind started from 3am and some recent tensions on set with Stefanovic – particularly regarding the number of his sick days – prompted Langdon to toss her hat for the ACA job.
Most recently, Stefanovic failed to show up at the last minute the morning after the NRL Grand Final.
Should Langdon make way for Bickmore, it will become the ninth presenter to take over the Today gig, alongside Stefanovic, who is known to have recently signed a new deal with Nine that would keep him at Today until 2025.
By then, the 48-year-old would have worked the job for 20 years – albeit with a widely publicized “break” in 2018 when he was benched after a ratings slide and a media scrutiny of his personal life.
The Nine veteran has drawn some negative criticism from viewers following his divorce from ex-wife Cassandra Thorburn and later remarriage to ‘shoe designer’ Jasmine Yarbrough.
He returned to Today in 2019, but almost three years later the show is still catching up on rival Sunrise, which celebrated its 19th consecutive win as Australia’s best breakfast show that year.
Meanwhile, Langdon isn’t the only name linked with the coveted ACA role in recent days, with popular 60 Minutes reporter Sarah Abo also a contender, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Abo has been a regular replacement for Langdon on Today, recently filling in when Langdon took a break following the show’s marathon coverage of the Queen’s funeral.
The rival network Seven has also recently speculated about the future of Sunrise moderator David Koch, who recently turned 20.
The 67-year-old small screen veteran appeared to weep as he responded to a series of on-air tributes, prompting some to speculate as to whether Koch was planning to step down from his long-term post.
However, rumors at Seven suggest that is not the case and that Koch is currently renegotiating a deal that will see him through at least the end of 2023.
Both Seven and Nine have been contacted for comment.