Karl opens up about his divorce
Karl Stefanovic has opened up about his divorce and says he doesn't understand why it was "such a big deal".
Stefanovic left his wife of 21 years, Cassandra Thorburn, in 2016, and the pair finalised their divorce a year later.
Just five months after he split from Thorburn, the Channel 9 star began a relationship with Jasmine Yarbrough, whom he married in December 2018.
The turmoil in his personal life affected Stefanovic's popularity, particularly with female viewers of the Today show, and after months of mounting pressure at Channel 9, he was sacked from the breakfast show at the end of 2018.
"Personally, it was a bit hard because I thought a lot of people do go through relationship difficulties and, unfortunately, for me that was in a very public way, but that's what happens when you're a public person," Stefanovic told Neil Mitchell on 3AW yesterday.
"But I thought, 'Well hang on, a lot of people go through this, and why is mine such a big deal?' I still don't know why it was.
"I got divorced, I did find love again, and I'm sorry if people are offended by that, but it's made me really happy."
Stefanovic spent a year in exile in 2019, and he told Mitchell that he went through some "genuinely black times".
"Look, my life hasn't been that difficult, and I think there are people out there who have far worse going on … so I'm not going to rabbit on about how difficult my life was," he said. "But there was certainly periods where I thought, 'Oh my god, all I've ever done is really work hard and try and do the best I could for a show or network'. And then I thought, 'Well, hang on a second, how have I got it so wrong?'"
Stefanovic is now back on the Today show alongside Allison Langdon, whom he was full of praise for during the radio interview.
"It's a difficult job and she's handled all the pressure incredibly well," he said.
"I think that the most difficult thing … something that Lisa Wilkinson did incredibly well and still does, is just be able to converse on air like you're having a cup of coffee with someone. Allison has got that … She's able just to talk freely about things, and that's difficult to do on air."
Stefanovic and Langdon are in their third week on air together but the Today show is still struggling in the ratings compared with Channel 7's Sunrise.
According to TV Tonight, Sunrise averaged 269,000 viewers last week (five capital cities) compared with Today's 198,000.
But Stefanovic told Mitchell on 3AW that he wasn't worried.
"The official ratings don't start until mid-February," the TV host said.
"It doesn't really worry me at this point because we have to get chemistry right first, we have to get content of the show right first. Having a look now is like opening a Christmas present weeks before Christmas.
"I know we've got a lot of work to do," Stefanovic continued. "Come Easter I think we'll have a pretty good idea on how we're going."