Chris Bath steps back from Seven News to concentrate on Sunday Night role

20140127-110720.jpgSeven looks set for an overhaul to its current affairs division with Sydney news anchor Chris Bath stepping back from the role to concentrate on Sunday Night, to be replaced by Mark Ferguson.

Bath has hosted the 6pm Sydney bulletin for the last four years as well as taking a lead on the “flagship” Sunday Night show, which is expected to be expanded, while speculation mounts the station will launch an hour-long news bulletin and drop Today Tonight.

Ferguson presents the weekend news bulletins, but will take over from tonight on the Monday to Thursday bulletins, with Bath hosting Friday and Saturday night news, and Sunday Night, Seven has confirmed.

Speculation around an overhaul was fuelled last week when the station announced Helen Kapalos was moving to be a reporter on Sunday Night after presenting Today Tonight, with the show also picking up former Channel Nine chief of staff Denham Hitchcock.

Today Tonight has already been cut to 20 minutes in Sydney and Melbourne as Seven looks to claw back ratings from nine in those markets, with speculation rife it will copy its rival in moving to an hour-long bulletin across the country and cut the show from its schedule.

Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner said: “The appointment of Chris to this new role will see the development of the next phrase of her distinguished career. Sunday Night is the flagship program from our News and Public Affairs division, hosted by Chris since the first edition five years ago.

“Chris is a big part of the success of the program and is perfectly placed to lead Sunday Night into its expanded series in 2014.

“It’s a mark of the depth of skill and ability inside the Seven News team that we have a news reader of the calibre of Mark Ferguson to take up the reins from Chris. Mark’s news gathering experience at home and abroad perfectly qualify him for this new role.”

Director of news Rob Raschke added: “Chris Bath is peerless when it comes to covering breaking news, and she will continue to play a central role in this for the network.

“Mark is an immensely experienced journalist and presenter who has covered some of the biggest stories in the world. He’s held in very high regard by those who work with him and those who compete against him.”

Seven has today announced it has secured broadcast rights to The Masters golf tournament in April, where Australian Adam Scott will be looking to defend the title he won last year.



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