Fans and fellow broadcasters have taken to Twitter to praise Lisa Wilkinson's decision to walk away from Nine over pay parity, saying networks need to value female staff.

On Monday, Wilkinson dropped the double bombshell that she would quit the Today show effective immediately. An hour later she tweeted she was "absolutely thrilled" to join Ten's The Project in a senior hosting and editorial role from January 2018.

The news came after Nine admitted it had been "disappointed" not to reach a deal with Wilkinson but was "unable to meet the expectations" of the morning television host and her manager.

Online, fans and fellow journalists expressed support for her decision and aimed fire at Nine for refusing the match the reported $9 million, three year contract Karl Stefanovic signed in 2016.

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Bloomberg journalist Juliette Saly said: "Clearly this is not about pay, but principle. What a lady" using the hashtag #IbreakupwithToday.

Women In Media advocate Tracey Spicer thanked her for taking a stand on behalf of others in Australia where the national gender pay gap is still 15 per cent.

Entertainment journalist Peter Ford said online market research made Wilkinson determined to "bargain hard" over her contract.

"Nine have lost a great asset but also created a PR dilemma for themselves," he wrote, adding that Karl and Lisa "never really 'loved' each other as much as suggested."
"Most onair teams are like this," he tweeted.

It comes amid speculation over who might step into Wilkinson's old job, with many suggesting it might be Sylvia Jeffreys - the current Today newsreader who recently married Karl Stefanovic's brother, Peter.

'WHAT IS 9 THINKING?'

Earlier, industry colleagues shared their shock after Wilkinson announced she would leave Nine after a decade.

ABC host Leigh Sales said she had been a "steady, consistent, highly competent, warm and delightful presence on The Today Show - huge loss for them."

Journalist Jamila Rizvi also called the decision a "huge loss" for Channel Nine, while Women In Media said it "salutes" Wilkinson for her decision.

Olympian Sally Pearson said "I'll miss watching you in the mornings". ABC News anchor Juanita Phillips questioned "What is 9 thinking?" after a breakdown in contract negotiations led to her departure.

Nine confirmed it was "unable to meet the expectations of Lisa Wilkinson and her manager on a contract renewal for a further period."

The company said it was "disappointed" to find itself in that position and thanked Wilkinson for her hard work, saying it will be "going in another direction and considering our options in the coming weeks and months".

Nine CEO Hugh Marks said: "TodaysShow is one of the biggest roles there is in television and requires an enormous commitment from its hosts.

"The partnership between Lisa and Karl has taken the show to the success it is today and we thank Lisa for everything she has done for the show and for Nine over the past 10 years. We all wish her well for the future."