The Sunrise family couldn’t believe it over a month ago when Melissa Doyle announced she’d be leaving the show to move on to other opportunities. Doyle has been at the helm of the breakfast TV program that reinvented the genre and made her so popular she and her co-star need only be referred to by their nicknames “Kochie & Mel”. The end of an era for a woman who’s had a 3:15am alarm for over 14 years.
The press immediately went into meltdown: Mel was pushed; Mel’s pay was cut; Mel was too old and not sexy enough. Whatever the reason, Doyle will remain the ever-friendly Mel to a generation.
Bushfires, floods, cyclones, Beaconsfield, 9/11, royal weddings and babies, Popes, endless celebrities and awards ceremonies, slips of the tongue, jokes, politicians, births of her own kids – People have tuned into Sunrise to celebrate/cry because Mel was there to share it with them and tell them all all about it. A great number of celebs and even Seven West Media bosses Kerry Stokes and Tim Worner joined the throng on set to thank Mel and reinforce Seven’s commitment to News with her new roles. Worner offered “Mel you have changed breakfast television in Australia forever.”
Certainly Doyle with co-host David Koch and executive producer wunderkind Adam Boland helped make Seven a ratings winner by turning breakfast programming on its head. Loosening the ties and enveloping the audience with a warm, relaxed program Sunrise lead the turn around of the Network’s ratings woes and with some smart programming acquisition for primetime it soon became the number one network.
Doyle moves on to two new permanent gigs at the other end of the day and an increased role in primetime – Mel will host the newly launched 7pm News bulletin from Monday August 12 and front a new 4pm bulletin with Matt White from Monday August 19; The first political debate of 2013 will be hosted by Doyle on 7Two 6:30pm AEST this Sunday August 11. Weekend Sunrise presenter Samantha Armytage steps into the co-host chair with Kosh on weekdays.
Thank you Mel for being you so consistently on our screens of a morning. We trust you and know you’ll always tell us what we need to know. Good luck on your new roles and enjoy those sleep-ins and waking the kids up.