AN ANNOUNCEMENT on Karl Stefanovic's return to Channel Nine's ailing breakfast show Today is imminent.
In yet another shake-up for the show, Stefanovic is expected to return to the program that unceremoniously dumped him from the hosting gig less than a year ago.
Confidential understands Nine will make an announcement as soon as today, sidelining the current team of Georgie Gardner, Deb Knight and Tom Steinfort in favour of a reinvigorated Stefanovic alongside 60 Minutes reporter and Weekend Today host Alli Langdon.
Despite much fanfare with its relaunch earlier this year, Nine has been under much pressure to bring back Stefanovic with Today hitting record low ratings of 155,000 viewers in the five city metropolitan markets compared to Sunrise on Seven with its daily figures of around 280,000.
Last week Today registered its lowest weekly average for the year of 174,000, forcing executives to finally act.
Stefanovic was ruthlessly sacked from the hosting job on Today days after his marriage to second wife Jasmine Yarborough last December following months of press around the break down of his first marriage and scrutiny on his private life.
Reports this week have suggested Stefanovic will take a pay cut on his rumoured $2 million plus salary, although Confidential understands that is not the case.
Instead, it is believed Stefanovic has negotiated a deal to retain his current salary on the basis he increases the disastrous ratings.
"It is crunch time," a well placed TV executive said. "They have no choice but to act. There really is no decision, it just had to be done. Today is bleeding ratings and worst still, the show is bleeding revenue."
Meanwhile, as rumours swirl about Stefanovic's return, Aussies have said they want to see the Gold Logie winner Stefanovic back on their screens.
A News Corp poll of almost 1400 readers showed 62 per cent wanted Stefanovic to return to the breakfast show, while 38 per cent did not.
Elsewhere at Nine, Today Extra host Sonia Kruger is understood to be jumping ship to Channel 7 in 2020.