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.