The Nine Network has flatly rejected reports that it’s trying to lure Carrie Bickmore to co-host the struggling Today Show.
It has even issued an extraordinary public statement claiming the story has been completely made up.
The Today Show has been struggling since Georgie Gardner and Deborah Knight were installed as hosts.
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It is consistently beaten by its rival Sunrise over on Seven.
News Corp papers claim that talks between Nine bosses and The Project co-host were well underway and that former host Karl Stefanovic would also make a return to the show to rescue it.
It even suggested Bickmore was considering an offer worth around $1.5 million a year.
Bickmore is reportedly off contract at the end of this year with Ten bosses tabling a lucrative counter offer according to the News Corp reports.
But Nine has fired back with News and Current Affairs boss Darren Wick labelling the story a total lie.
“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,” Mr Wick said.
“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.
“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 source it quotes will not stand up to scrutiny under any possible legal examination.”