The former newsreader has been working as a reporter for A Current Affair since announcing her departure from Nine’s breakfast show in late December, just days after Karl Stefanovic’s sacking.
They weren’t the only casualties of the major revamp. Richard Wilkins was deployed to focus on Today Extra, while sports presenter Tim Gilbert and Weekend Today host — and Sylvia’s own husband — Peter Stefanovic were shown the door from Nine altogether.
While the writing had been on the wall for Karl for months following a long stretch of negative publicity and his involvement in Ubergate, Sylvia and Peter’s exit came as more of a surprise.
Opening up about that “weird time” on the Kyle and Jackie O show this morning, Sylvia admitted they’d been “blindsided” by the news, which came via “a series of phone calls” after they arrived home from Karl’s lavish wedding in Mexico.
“We didn’t see it coming, not to that extent,” she told Jackie O and fill-in host Beau Ryan.
“Something had to give, there’s no doubt about that … and it did, eventually. I think externally, the pressure was massive.”
Saying she didn’t want to “beat around the bush”, Sylvia described that turbulent period as “really weird”.
“It’s been so heavily documented — it was a strange time, and it was mass upheaval,” she explained.
“Everyone had their two cents to throw in, so it was testing, there’s no doubt about that. Big changes for my husband, big changes for me at the same time, big changes for my brother-in-law (Karl) … There’s no point pretending that that’s easy and fun and delightful, but we all stuck together and got through it.”
Sylvia also took a subtle dig at the decision to sack Karl, suggesting “social media trolls” had largely been responsible for bringing him down.
“The people who troll on social media do not reflect the greater population, and quite often when the big changes are made, then the silent majority comes out and starts having their say.
“I don’t know what that decision (to fire Karl) was based on exactly.”
But according to Sylvia, Karl’s not exactly pining after his old gig.
“I think he’s been keeping pretty busy, and I’m sure the powers that be have plans in place, but at the moment I think he’s enjoying his time off the early starts,” she said.
“He did 14 years in that gig, and it’s a real pressure-cooker environment, so he well and truly deserves a rest. And things are really good for him. He’s in a great place, and his beautiful wife (Jasmine Yarbrough) is a great support for him.”