Enough already. “TV insiders” should now put their name to Sunrise rumours.

2013-07-07_0101Stories about Melissa Doyle’s departure from Sunrise continue unabated in weekend newspapers, to the point where nobody is adding anything new now.

Articles have waxed lyrical about whether she was pushed from the show, how much she earned, whether apparent research was positive or negative….. you name it.

Fairfax says a meeting of Seven execs indicated research showed she was not as popular with audiences as David Koch, Karl Stefanovic or Lisa Wilkinson.

The Daily Telegraph says she was favoured by former Seven boss David Leckie.

The Herald Sun says the moves are a response to Adam Boland’s new venture at TEN.

One opinion piece talks about a number of women who have been let go from TV roles (despite overlooking the point most of the ones named were later picked up by Seven).

Another article says the move was sexist.

Insiders are being quoted left right and centre while journalists are being selective about which quotes they will and won’t use.

So far Doyle has responded via Facebook while she continues her break (one that I can confirm was planned before any announcements were made).

David Koch also weighs in today at Fairfax:

When did you first find out Mel was leaving?
We talked about it a bit over three months ago. That she’d had discussions with the network – she wanted my view on it, my opinion on it. You know the history of Sunrise is basically she, Adam [Boland] and I basically started the program and changed the format of it … so any change for Mel was a really, really big decision.

Is it true she was asked to leave the show?
Well, she was offered … you know, Seven have got to rebuild and improve their news and current affairs brand across the day, you don’t have to be Blind Freddy to know that. And look, Mel’s got an 11-year-old and a nine-year-old, both were born while she was at Sunrise. She’s been doing this early shift for a long time. I’m an empty nester. I have no idea how she and Nat [Barr] manage their jobs and their shift with young kids. Mel, when she talked to me, was really excited about the possibility of having a normal body clock and the prospect of what Seven were going to do.

He answers more questions you can read here.

The saga has even made news in US media, where it is being likened to the exit of Ann Curry from Today.

I do think Seven could help put some clarity on all of this by confirming her primetime role sooner rather than later.

But I also think journalists should now dispense with the “insider” whispers on this yarn. Readers don’t know what to believe anymore, making much of the news self-defeating. It’s time these sources put a name to any more “insider” info and went on the record.

Is an insider someone working at a show, someone formerly working at a show, someone at a rival network…? This kind of detail tells us much about the net value of their intel.

We all have insiders who can help steer a story to whatever outcome facilitates a sexy headline but is it really necessary to turn it into a soap?

It’s only breakfast television, people. If you want to watch Sunrise, Today, ABC News Breakfast or even Shaun the Sheep then knock yourself out.

Meanwhile viewers would far more appreciative if the same insiders could simply tell us if our shows are going to start and finish on time.

Don’t see anybody writing about that.


  1. For what ever reason mel left and i am a hig mel and natalie fan.as a regular viewer of sunrise since its inception i believe its a big mistake by seven.mel and natalie are the main reason i watched the show . If mel had to be replaced the replacement should have been natalie barr. Samantha armityge seems nice but it looks odd her and kochie together? Sam is too young to be sitting next to kochie..Kochie looks like samantha grandfather. If they wanted sam then her and andrew work well together not with kochie. I have now switched over to ABC newsbreakfast. If any one should go its kochie. Lastly why the changes isnt sunrise the number one breakfast show in the country and has been for years . I used to wake up with sunrise every day.

  2. David I believe you have handled this “Stanism” in a very controlled manner,he or her seems to really have a problem with reality.
    Truth is get sacked if under 30,looking for more experience.
    Over 40,Ageism.
    Most people on Television fall into these categories,let us all get over it,Shit happens.
    Remember You can’t teach a pig to sing,wastes you time and annoys the pig.

  3. if channel seven were going to “bone” anyone it would be kochie, sadly seven will realise moving Mel (for whatever reason) was there biggest mistake.

    my theory is the entire cast is being shaken up… first Denyer left now Mel… who will be next?

    seven knows that Boland being the head of tens new breakfast/morning programming is bad news for them so an attempt to refresh sunrise before ten can relaunch am tv may be just what they need… how ever after a decade together, will sunrise survive a new cast?

  4. David Knox, I would just like to know what you really think about it because you seem to hold some pretty strong views regarding other TV matters (which I respect). I’m not sure about Sky News, but WIN News have been on a sacking spree because they’ve been getting rid of whole departments & news rooms. Not much chance for them to discriminate other than based on geography.

  5. Regardless of the the reasons, or the truth behind the scenes, I’m glad she’s gone from Sunrise. over the years she has become boring and conservative in the opinions she expresses on issues.

    But, to really ‘freshen’ up Sunrise, they need to get rid of Kochie too! asap!

  6. I have said this before, but again I do not understand why people still cling to this idea of the “main channel” in the new digital world.

    The reality is analogue is going, everyone who has a TV has to have digital, all the channels are available and all are watched.

    7Two has heaps of sport on it, including Wimbledon AFL etc… We don’t work in the old world of the main channel anymore, and if 7 is looking at ramping up its current affairs on one of its channels then good on them. It makes it no less important to be on 7Two than it does to be on 7. Its just another channel.

    Perhaps in time people will understand this!

  7. I didn’t mean to generalise, but I’m just attempting to draw an opinion out of you on this matter. Sexism in commercial TV is a major issue (especially if you’re a woman working there) & it’s a fact. I’m just surprised you don’t want to condemn it, yet get more opinionated about scheduling.

    • Stan: It’s possible to have an opinion on scheduling, sexism, insider tips -these are not either / or topics. I could easily say there is inherent sexism / ageism / homophobia / racism in commercial television. But go back across the last 12 months of the blog and you will see men, women, young, old, many with years of experience who have all been shown the door including last week at WIN and last month at SKY. I would prefer to comment in context than make some kind of rash generalisation. The fact I highlighted some issues in the links here should not presume I disagree with them.

  8. I’m mainly reading into the lines you wrote accompanying the Herald Sun & Daily Life links here. I’m also remembering your views from the Geoffrey Barker hysteria. It seems you don’t think commercial TV is sexist?

  9. David Knox, with all due respect, why do you want to bury your head in the sand when it comes to the extreme sexism rife in commercial television?

    • Think you’re drawing a rather long bow about what I have written. That kind of issue goes extends much wider than one individual from one show. I’m specifically commenting on reportage and “insiders” supplying agenda-driven information used for tabloid headlines. Two separate issues.

  10. She was boned by 7. I do not believe all the BS. I am sure Mel and Kochie think that the offer 7 offered her was genuine but the simple truth is that 7 do not do any serious news and Current affairs. All Mel will get is a glorified reporter job, she will go to London for the royal Baby and things like that but don’t forget they told Kerrie-ann that they had a show for her as a lure to do DWTS. This is the way networks work these days. They could hardly just drop her and give her nothing. Imagine the outcry.

  11. carolemorrissey

    Well, one person did put her name to her article, Jasinta. Can’t remember her last name, but she is a regular guest on Sunrise as part of Kochie’s Angels and said she has known Mel for a long time. She said she found it hard to believe Mel was leaving on her own accord and that Sunrise was her life.

    I don’t give much credence to anything said by people who are employed by 7, such as Sam or Kochie or Mel herself. Of course they are going to say that, they want to keep their jobs. Maybe one day when Mel is no longer at 7, she will tell us what really happened or maybe she won’t.

  12. Absolutely agree with everything David has said. The headline says it all.

    I don’t believe any of the articles that are written from the ones listed above anymore (that happened over 12 months for me) because all they do is write speculation after speculation after speculation which end up a lot being lies.

    I am happy to wait and see what Seven are going to do. I personally think it won’t be the 4:30pm news because it doesn’t make any sense what so ever. The 7two option is possible but just wait and see. I’m just over all the lies and speculation.

  13. Samantha Armytage, David Koch & Michael Peel making comments via twitter and retweeting comments hasn’t exactly helped the cause.

    I fail to see how being moved to a 4:30pm timeslot to host a news bulletin which struggles and being shafted to a multi-channel can be perceived as a promotion.

    If she had join Daily Edition than I could understand 7 using her to boost the shows viewership.

  14. @maxxdude
    The one about Neighbours is totally wrong as the multichannels needed drama points. What else was 11 suppose to put at 6.30pm weeknights? If Neighbours was to move to Ten it will rated about 650,000

  15. I think it has to do with Adam Boland moving to a an old network where he used to work at. Like @Pertinax said that she is moving to a 7Two which is more like a demotion to me then a promotion to me. Maybe that she might getting sacked by 7. Where Adam goes Mel might go there too?

  16. I like what Mel has said all along about how some people just don’t want to believe there was nothing wrong. Good luck to her – I’ve always had great respect for people who make bold decisions in life.

  17. David I just don’t see a move from Sunrise to a show on 7TWO as a promotion.
    Did Ten promote Neighbours or Beauty & the Beast by moving them to Eleven?
    Did Nine promote Excess Baggage by moving it to Go?
    No they moved them because they were not helping ratings on the main channel.
    Lets get more info please Seven although I personally do not see the fuss about Doyle. She may be a nice person but she just comes across as a ‘nanna’ whenever I see her on the few occassions I see Sunrise. Same with Nat Barr.

  18. Secret Squirrel

    “Meanwhile viewers would far more appreciative if the same insiders could simply tell us if our shows are going to start and finish on time.” – This.

  19. The process has resulted in more information being available, eventually. Seven, like all the networks, have been cutting costs including conditions and salaries of presenters.

    With Today closing in on Sunrise, and Ten making a second foray into Breakfast TV, Seven wanted to “freshen up” Sunrise.

    Offering Doyle the 4:30pm News and a high brow show on 72 met Seven’s aims of changing Sunrise and providing mandatory local content for 72. They planned it for while Doyle was taking leave so they could spin things and avoid the use of the word “bone” (though it was too obvious and failed).

    How much Doyle wanted to do something new and spend more time with her family and how much she saw the writing on the wall and decided to leave because she wasn’t wanted only she will know.

    And of course everyone has tried to use the affair for their own ends. The media have used it to sell copy, others have used it to attack Seven and feminists have used it to get attention for their political agenda.

    What is the truth anyway? Various people at Seven including Doyle all have multiple motives that may change at different times and want to shape the story to best suit them.

    They can say what they want and the media can report what they want. It’s mess but that’s life.

  20. Ah yes, maybe that does explain why Ch7 is the worst offender at starting/finishing shows on time. The staff are too busy playing “industry insider” with other media outlets/

  21. I think the fact that the new show is on 7TWO is not helping either. They call it a “promotion”, but it seems more like a demotion at the moment. Like you say David, perhaps they need to give more details now before this gets any more out of hand.

    On a slightly related topic, i can’t help but agree with others on here who have stated that the on-air relationship between Kochie and Armytage is very odd. To the point of awkwardness

    i should add for full disclosures sake, that i don’t watch any of the morning shows. So i’ve only seen Kochie and Mel a handful of times over the years for a few mins here and there, and i only saw Kochie and Armytage last thursday a few times throughout the morning… but it was a weird vibe. She appears to be struggling to fit in, and no one around her seems to be helping

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