The presenter at the centre of the Chris Gayle sexism row Mel McLaughlin has been named as Seven News Sydney’s new sports anchor.
‘Don’t blush baby’: McLaughlin won praise for her handling of a proposition live on air from cricketer Chris Gayle
Melanie McLaughlin joins Seven from Network Ten where she made her mark fronting coverage of the Big Bash cricket, and replaces Jim Wilson behind the sports desk for a Seven News team looking to regain ratings in Sydney from rivals Nine.
McLaughlin won praise from many quarters earlier this year for her handling of being propositioned by West Indian star Chris Gayle, who asked her out for a drink live on air and told her “don’t blush baby”.
Mclaughlin appeared uncomfortable but maintained her professionalism, telling Gayle: “I’m not blushing”, before returning to her cricket-related questions.
McLaughlin is also expected to play a key role in Seven’s coverage of the Rio Olympics which take place in August. She was a key part of Ten’s Winter Olympic coverage last February.
Network director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson said: “Mel has sport running through her blood. From Rugby League, Cricket, of course Soccer and everything in between, she lives and breathes it.
“Born and bred in Quakers Hill, Mel has covered many major sporting events on the world stage and her extensive local knowledge across all of Sydney’s sporting codes will add many extra layers to what is the best sports team in the business.”
New Sydney sports director Jim Wilson
Wilson has been given the title of Seven News Sydney sports director and will lead the sporting team in the city, and front the desk on Fridays and Saturdays as well as Seven’s Afternoon News.
McPherson said: “Jim brings unrivalled knowledge in covering all things sport. His leadership and passion will drive our sports team on a daily basis and help create other sports content.”
This new line-up will be effective from next Sunday, April 3.