Channel 9 has not announced who will replace Wilkinson but the network said in a statement it would be "going in another direction and will be considering our options in the coming weeks and months". Fellow Today presenter Deborah Knight filled in at short notice this morning, co-hosting alongside Stefanovic.

Veteran entertainment writer Peter Ford named two other well-known media women on the Kyle and Jackie O Show this morning, suggesting both former Seven presenter Chris Bath and Nine's own Georgie Gardner could be in the running to take Wilkinson's place.

Today show viewers and media watchers on Twitter seem to favour promoting Jeffreys, 31, who married Stefanovic's younger brother Pete earlier this year.

Sylvia Jeffreys telethon pic
Sylvia Jeffreys telethon pic

Jeffreys has been Today's newsreader since Georgie Gardner moved on from the program in 2014. Jeffreys has also been the primary stand-in host whenever Wilkinson has been absent.

On the show this morning, Jeffreys was in her regular chair as newsreader with Deb Knight filling in for Wilkinson as co-host beside Stefanovic.

The bubbly blonde cut her teeth in the Nine's Brisbane newsroom, having scored her first gig with the network aged 19 while still at university.

She told the podcast You've Gotta Start Somewhere that she decided to become a journalist in high school, inspired in part by TV news reporter April in the cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Lisa Wilkinson
Lisa Wilkinson

Her first job at Nine was as a "bottom-of-the-barrel gofer", she told the podcast, but her give-it-a-go attitude meant she quickly rose through the ranks to secure a full-time paid role.

She was a reporter for Queensland current affairs program Extra and later with Nine News in Brisbane, where she distinguished herself while reporting on the devastating Queensland floods of 2010 and 2011.

She joined the Today show in 2012 as the NSW reporter, and became a regular face as a fill-in host on Today, Weekend Today and various Nine News bulletins.

The wedding of Peter Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys
The wedding of Peter Stefanovic and Sylvia Jeffreys

She admitted to You've Gotta Start Somewhere that the transition was "difficult" when she joined Today full time as newsreader.

"I dealt with it by phoning my mum on a regular basis in the first six months. It was tricky. Nothing can really prepare you for it," she said.

"You go from being a journalist on the road sitting in gutters and crime scenes covering stories and being out and about every day and being on air for a minute and a half potentially during a 6 o'clock bulletin to being on air three and a half hours … Adjusting to that new level of attention was a challenge."

Jeffreys has also had increased scrutiny due to her relationship with Nine journalist Pete Stefanovic, whose relationship blossomed why they were both hosting Weekend Today in 2013.

"We went from being nobodies to having photographers follow us around the place, which is pretty bizarre," Jeffreys said.

Lisa Wilkinson
Lisa Wilkinson

And while she loathes the 3.20am alarm clock that comes with breakfast television, she feels fortunate to have her gig on Today delivering information to the viewers and sharing her personality.

"With the Today show in particular, you are yourself for three and a half hours on air. There is no hiding who you really are and if you try to you get found out very quickly, courtesy of one Karl Stefanovic, essentially."

Wilkinson shocked the media world on Monday when she announced she was leaving Today - effective immediately. She will join The Project and The Sunday Project on Channel 10 in a hosting role.

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