Mel Doyle to leave Sunrise, replaced by Sam Armytage

Mel Doyle is to leave Seven’s Sunrise, breaking up a 12 year on air partnership with David Koch that took the show to number one.

Melissa Doyle and David Koch

Melissa Doyle and David Koch

Weekend Sunrise presenter Samantha Armytage will step up as co-presenter. Seven says Doyle will remain with the network in a primetime, news-based role.

According to today’s announcement from Seven, Doyle will take a two week break before travelling to the UK to cover the Royal birth. She will then return to the Sunrise couch “for several weeks” until the launch of her new program.

Seven describes the new show as a “prime time Network News initiative”. There was no clue about the nature or frequency of the show.

Doyle said: “I’ve cherished every moment and every experience on Sunrise. It’s with that experience and support from the team that I am able to take this next step. I’m honoured that the Network has given me this incredible new opportunity and I am unbelievably excited about the new challenges ahead.”

Breakfast TV ratings

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Doyle has been a host in the gruelling breakfast slot for 14 years. She was paired with Koch 12 years ago when the show had a fraction of the audience of Nine’s Today.

In 2004, Sunrise moved to its Martin Place Sydney studio at about the same time it finally overtook Nine’s Today and went on to dominate for the next decade.

Doyle’s departure comes at a delicate time for the show. Recent months have seen Today run much closer and at times beat Sunrise; preliminary overnight metro ratings from OzTAM show that yesterday Sunrise narrowly beat Today by 354,000 to 326,000.

And Ten is set to mount a new assault on the breakfast market later this year headed by the newly hired Boland.

Koch said: “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.”

Tim Worner, CEO of Seven West Media, 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.”

Armytage has fronted Weekend Sunrise for six years.


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