Herald Sun reporter responds to jab from former Today show host Lisa Wilkinson
Herald Sun reporter Fiona Byrne says former Today show host Lisa Wilkinson has read too much into her mentioning the age and parental status of new host Deborah Knight.
Knight has replaced Karl Stefanovic in the role, joining Georgie Gardiner as co-host.
It’s the first time the show will be anchored by two women.
In a social media post, former host Wilkinson expressed her frustration at Byrne mentioning Knight’s age and the fact she was a mother-of-three.
Byrne responded on Monday, saying Wilkinson was reading too much into it.
“I’m delighted Lisa is reading the Sunday Herald Sun and I hope a few more people pick the paper up and read the piece as well,” Byrne said on 3AW Mornings.
“Did I put the ages in on purpose? Yes I did.
“Was it a gendered political statement? Absolutely not.
“It was simply adding a bit more detail.
“There was certainly no underlying matter there to worry about.”
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Warmest congratulations to the fab new team just announced for @thetodayshow of @georgiegardner9 @deborah_knight @tomsteinfort and @tonyjones9 . I sincerely wish them all the very best in the Breakfast TV wars ahead. But as my media studies student daughter noted to me, why oh why oh why, in the reporting of the new team do the ages of the women need to be pointed out, while the ages of the men are clearly regarded as irrelevant? Similarly, Deb being a mum-of-three is considered significant, but Tony being a dad isn’t? I don’t understand. And we obviously have a long way to go when it comes to #genderequity.
As for the show’s revamp, Byrne said it was hardly a bold call from Channel 9, despite the fact it was a break in tradition.
“I feel like it’s actually a surprisingly safe choice by the network,” she told Heidi Murphy on 3AW Mornings.
“Deb is very well known to The Today Show audience having been part of the show for the past seven years.
“She’s great friends with Georgie.
“Really, from a Channel 9 point of view what they really need to achieve this year is to calm that show down.”
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