Nine slams News Corp ‘lie’, denies attempts to poach Carrie Bickmore

Nine has responded to claims published in The Sunday Telegraph which allege the network is trying to poach Ten’s Carrie Bickmore to front its ailing morning show Today.

The story, written by News Corp journalist Amy Harris, claimed the network was eyeing Bickmore to replace current hosts Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner, along with ex-Today host Karl Stefanovic.

Bickmore has been with The Project since it began 10 years ago

In a response sent to the media by Nine’s publicity team, the network denied the allegations, stating that it was a ‘lie’ and that Harris had been told the story was incorrect prior to publishing.

In the statement, Darren Wick, Nine’s director of news and current affairs, praised Bickmore, but said she wasn’t a factor in the network’s plans.

“The story published by News Corporation in its Sunday newspapers and online stating as fact that Nine has approached Carrie Bickmore to join the Network is a lie,” said Wicks.

“Nine has not approached, and does not intend to approach, Carrie Bickmore or her representatives about joining Nine as a host of the Today Show, nor in any other role.

“Carrie is an outstanding broadcaster and an inspirational person. She’s terrific. But she does not factor in our plans for the future.

“News Corp’s story is not a beat up – it is completely made up.”

Wicks went on to say that a Nine spokesperson told Harris the story was incorrect, but that News Corp chose to publish it without corroboration of sources or the support of any facts.

The latest Today lineup has struggled in the ratings, leading to many to speculate about its future

“The reporter, Amy Harris, who wrote this lie was told yesterday by a Nine spokesperson that her allegation was incorrect. Yet, News Corporation has chosen to publish it regardless without corroborating sources or facts to support this fantasy. In fact, the story does not contain any sources on the record. And the anonymous sources it quotes will not stand up to scrutiny under any possible legal examination,” said Wicks.

It was announced in December that Stefanovic would be leaving Today, after fronting the program for 14 years. Since then, rumours have swirled that amid poor ratings, he would return to the network.

In the months following Stefanovic’s departure, Today has struggled to match the ratings of Seven’s morning program Sunrise, often sitting around 100,000 metro viewers lower than the rival. Stefanovic still hosts This Time Next Year on Nine.

Bickmore currently fronts The Project on Ten and is the longest remaining host of the program, holding her place since the first episode ten years ago. She also hosts a radio program on Southern Cross Austereo’s Hit Network with The Project panellist Tommy Little. 


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