It was a tense year for rival breakfast programs Sunrise and Today, with the contention almost ending up in court towards the end of 2016, and now there’s rumours that Seven’s breakfast hosts could undergo a shake-up to stay competitive.
Feeling the heat from Nine’s Today Show, hosted by Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkinson, reports from Woman’s Day suggests David ‘Kochie’ Koch is looking to replace his co-host Samantha Armytage with fellow Seven personality Edwina Bartholomew.
But with Woman’s Day being owned by Bauer Media, the rival to Pacific Magazines, which happens to be the publishing arm of Seven West Media, the rumour is to be taken with many grains of salt.
Per Woman’s Day, an insider source claimed, “There’s a whisper that Kochie has gone to the top dogs and told them they need to really consider Sunrise’s Monday to Friday line-up.
“Today beat Sunrise in all of Australia’s major cities in 2016, and he’s worried they’re losing their handle on viewers.”
Both Armytage and Stefanovic were recently voted the worst TV personalities by industry TV site TV Tonight.com.au.
But a Seven spokesperson maintains that Sunrise “crushed” Today from July 2016, winning the survey year, and “dominated” Today over the summer period. On top of that, Kochie made his own tweet, calling it out for being a nonsense story.
— David Koch (@kochie_online) January 15, 2017
However, another Woman’s Day source who is “close friends” of Bartholomew, claimed that despite having spent years working hard in the hopes of snagging a coveted spot like Sunrise host, she’s not interested in stealing the title from Armytage.
But Bartholomew is not the only personality touted to takeover, with Woman’s Day also throwing news reader Natalie Barr’s name into the ring as well.
“Nat is itching to replace Sam, and she’d love to be the one to take the show back to its glory days – but there are whispers that the execs think she’s getting a bit stale,” the Channel Seven insider apparently told the publication.
Seven was most recently in the spotlight when an affair between CEO Tim Worner and a former employer was made public, and threatening claims made that four other Seven employers, including a high profile actress and on-air personality, had also had affairs with Worner. The network made a statement throwing their support behind Worner late last year.