The Seven Network has axed Today Tonight in Adelaide and Perth.
Both Perth and Adelaide will screen their final episodes this week.
Speaking from Perth, director of news and public affairs Craig McPherson said: “For 25 years Today Tonight has dominated in Perth and Adelaide. Producing more than 25,000 stories reflecting the good, the bad and everything in between of their constantly growing markets.
“To end such a successful reign has been one of the toughest decisions but a necessary one as the audiences shift and change along with the economics. I want to thank all both past and present Today Tonighters. Always committed. Always passionate.”
Some staff will be redeployed into the Adelaide and Perth newsrooms.
The axing of the show across two cities certainly doesn’t do anything to quash the industry rumors that new CEO James Warburton is fattening Seven for sale.
The rumours are not helped by Warburton’s decision to cull Sunday Night the first to be axed), streamline Seven’s management, and sell Pac Mags to rival Bauer. Adding to that, there’s this week’s news that Seven – and rival Nine – are both predicting softening ad markets over the coming 12 months.
Even analysts are unconvinced the possibility of a sale is off the table, with JP Morgan analyst Eric Pan saying that the firm believed Warburton was brought onboard to “transform the company either through a sale of the company or significant acquisitions that will change the revenue composition of the company”.
He said: “We believe the likelihood of a sale of the company is higher than acquisitions that are significant enough to transform the revenue composition of the company due to balance sheet constraints.”