Melissa Doyle, the popular co-host of Channel 7’s hugely popular breakfast television program Sunrise has announced this morning that she’s leaving the show.
Doyle – affectionately known by her team and fans as Mel – has been a part of the Sunrise team for around 12 years and will be missed by many fans.
She has confirmed that she’s been offered a new opportunity for the network on prime time and will no doubt be pretty excited to have the chance to sleep in for the first time in more than a decade.
Doyle will cover major events, including the birth of the royal baby, for the network.
Doyle told Sunrise viewers she has loved every minute of her time with the show and paid tribute to her co-host and friend David Koche. She posted the following statement on her Facebook page this morning:
For nearly 15 of the past 17 years, my alarm clock has gone off at 3.15am. I’ve spent three quarters of my professional life doing breakfast television. And I’ve LOVED every minute of it.
I’ve been offered a great opportunity to front a new, prime time Network News initiative. I decided it was time to take on a new challenge and so it is with great sadness that I announce I will be leaving Sunrise.
I can honestly say that the team I’ve worked with at Sunrise over the last 12 years in particular have been like a second family. You cannot spend your working hours with people you don’t like or respect and you cannot fake the camaraderie, respect and empathy we all have for each other. And that includes all the on-air and off air team that work to put this show together each day.
I don’t want to list all the people I’d like to thank for their help and support – but I do want to thank Kochie. He’s been my partner, supporter, confidante, and friend. I’ll miss working alongside him each day.
When Sunrise started again in 2002, not many people were watching. We were the upstart and not taken seriously by anyone – and certainly not our rivals. I am proud to say that over the ensuing years, we collectively built the show to be a fun, entertaining and informative way for so many households in Australia to start their day. It’s been a privilege to have hosted it and be invited into your homes.
So whilst its goodbye from breakfast television, its not goodbye from Seven. I’ll be part of new and exciting programs in the not too distant future. And I cannot wait.
I’m heading off on annual leave for a few weeks this weekend and then I’ll be reporting from London for the birth of the new Royal baby.
After that I’ll be back on the Sunrise couch before saying farewell from brekky TV, although you’ll still see me when the big stories break.
Thank you to each and every viewer who tuned in each morning – for laughing with us, laughing at us and turning to us for your morning news fix.
Thanks for watching and see you all again in a few weeks.
The Seven Network has also released a statement, confirming that Samantha Armytage will be the new co-host:
Melissa has been the co-host of Sunrise for 14 years – nearly 12 of those alongside David Koch – and has reported on the biggest news stories at home and abroad.
This year Mel has travelled overseas on special assignments including Washington, to cover the inauguration of President Obama and to Rome, to cover the election of the new Pope. Additionally Mel has led rolling News coverage of the Queensland floods and other events of national significance.
On-air partner Kochie said: “Mel is a very special person to me and it’s been a privilege to work with her and share so many experiences. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for her.”
CEO Seven West Media, Tim Worner, said: “Melissa’s contribution in establishing Sunrise as Australia’s leading breakfast program has been outstanding. During her tenure on Sunrise, she has helped redefine breakfast television. Her professionalism, wonderful warm nature and sharp journalistic skills make her perfectly equipped for the next phase in her career here at Seven.”
Samantha Armytage, who has fronted Weekend Sunrise for six years, will be the new co-host of Sunrise. Details on Melissa’s new project for Channel Seven will be released soon.
Doyle started her career at the Seven Network in 1995 as their Canberra-based political reporter. She was one of the original hosts of Sunrise until 1999, when it was axed, and then rejoined in 2002 after it had started back on air – she’s been there ever since. She has also read the news for the network and hosted Today Tonight.