entertainment

The real reason Melissa Doyle got a promotion has nothing to do with her weight.

A woman gets a new job. Must be because she is skinny.

Congratulations to Melissa Doyle on her promotion. A big bunch of flowers to you.

A colleague hers of has resigned, and Mel has been offered her fantastic job. She deserves it. Good on her.

But you know how she got it, don’t you? She got it the same way women in high-profile jobs always get their gigs – by some means of sneaky deception.

Maybe she slept with the boss? Absolutely not? Okay, then, maybe she got it because she stabbed her competitor in the back with nail scissors. Not that type? Oh, okay, then, she definitely, absolutely, got it because of what she looks like.

Image: Instagram @melissadoyle7

Don’t believe me?

Please take a moment to read the reaction to the news of Mel’s new role presenting two prime-time TV bulletins and the Sunday Night current affairs show. It was in today’s paper, written by Sydney’s Daily Telegraph‘s Annette Sharp:

It would take a serious makeover and the loss of 10kg in 2014 to make network bosses realise the one-time breakfast star was still a valuable asset.

See that?

In a few lines, Melissa Doyle’s career as a journalist is reduced to her dress-size. Size 12? Sorry, Mel, off you go. Size 8? Sure, come on in, have a prime-time gig.

It isn’t true.

Melissa Doyle got the gig because she’s bloody brilliant, and her audience likes and respects her and believes what she tells them.

Mel Doyle is 45. She is at an age where the mainstream media used to expect one thing from TV personalities – from all women, actually – for them to disappear.

It was time to step aside and let the old men and the pretty young things talk. Time to shuffle off home and enjoy being with your family. Time to embrace post-soccer sandwich making and telling people you used to be on TV.

But the general public didn’t get the memo, and these days, judging by the excellent array of grown-up female talent on our TVs, the networks are finally beginning to catch up. They are no longer afraid of women over 40. They have woken up to the fact we like them, we trust them, we appreciate their experience, both on the job and in life. And we want them in our living rooms.

Here are a few  more of Australia’s excellent, grown-up female journalists… (Post continues after gallery).

When Mel Doyle left Sunrise 18 months ago in a storm cloud of headlines around her being replaced by a younger ‘model’, Sam Armytage, many might have expected her to disappear and lick her wounds, she had other ideas.

She got determined, she dug in, and, freed from the shadow of a Great Big Show, she came back better than ever.

And that had nothing to do with her diet, and everything to do with how she handled very difficult news stories.

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Melissa Doyle interviewing the Sydney siege survivors for Sunday Night.

The Sydney siege is the obvious stand-out. For the woman who was once dismissed as Kochie’s “mumsy” sidekick, even as she covered stories like Beaconsfield, the Victorian bushfires of 2009, she got the chance to stand in front of the camera and carry it alone.

And she did beautifully, amazingly. She did it with endless energy and non-cloying empathy. She asked the right questions, she filled the right gaps, left others to stay. Women who work with Mel talk about her understanding, generosity and skill, not her hair.

The Australian media treats women in the Australian media with something that verges on contempt.

But what speaks louder than old men executives? Ratings. And the people still love Mel.

Yes, she looks amazing. She looks like a woman whose children are a little bit older, a little less dependent, who has a little more time for herself. She looks like a woman who no longer has to get up at 4am. She looks like a woman who has decided to take advantage of some savvy advice about her hair, her clothes, her style.

Melissa Doyle and the Logie she accepted for Seven’s coverage of the Sydney siege.

But most of all, she looks like a woman in control of her own destiny. A woman who has worked hard to earn her compassion, her insight and her grit.

She looks like a woman who understands that the route to where you want to be is not always a straight line.

Congratulations, Mel. Getting to where you are was a lot harder than losing 10 kilos. And a lot more important.

For more posts like this, be sure to check out these:

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Everyone is talking about Channel 7. Finally, Chris Bath is too.

One of your favourite TV journalists is being replaced by another.

Melissa has done quite a lot in her career… (Post continues after gallery).

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