Host reacts to Sunday Night’s axing
Aussie stars have shared their reactions to Melissa Doyle's emotional tweet bidding farewell to Seven's Sunday Night after it was announced on Wednesday that the flagship current affairs show had been axed.
The program will remain on-air until the end of the year but staff were told last week that the program would no longer continue.
"After 11 yrs the program is coming to an end," Doyle, the show's host, wrote.
"So as we go our separate ways it's a massive thank you to your cameramen, sounds, editors, producers, unit managers, transcribers, online, graphics, ingest, makeup, wardrobe & studio crews.
"A special thank you to our viewers for loving the show as much as we do. But above all, to those who shared their stories with us, it was a privilege."
The post has garnered almost 200 likes and has been retweeted by a stream of TV personalities.
"So hard to say goodbye to this one - my desk neighbour, the host of the show and the woman who taught me grace under pressure," Doyle's colleague and reporter Steve Pennells wrote.
So hard to say goodbye to this one - my desk neighbour, the host of the show and the woman who taught me grace under pressure.— Steve Pennells (@pennells) 4 October 2019
You know when people ask “is she as nice in real life as she seems on television”? The answer is yes.@melissadoyle #SN7 #RIPsundaynight pic.twitter.com/eJXQGcQ4D3
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - these aren’t just on-air colleagues, they’re off-air friends.— Steve Pennells (@pennells) October 2, 2019
Today, we’re all in different parts of the globe having a drink in the show’s honour. Today is not a wake, it’s a celebration of an extraordinary life. Vale @SundayNightOn7 pic.twitter.com/9amT5vTgcI
"It's never, ever easy having your show axed," commentator Andrew Heslop posted.
"But be proud of your journalism and great stories you told Australia."
#ThisIsAustralia Thinking of @melissadoyle @angelacox7news @mattdoran22 @DenhamHitchcock @alextcullen @pennells + the very talented #SN7 production team. It's never, ever easy having your show axed. But be proud of your #journalism and great stories you told Australia #ausmedia https://t.co/H3baOXtHR5— Andrew Heslop (@AndrewHeslop) 5 October 2019
And ABC news boss Gaven Morris summed up Doyle's post in one word: "Class".
Fellow Sunday Night reporter Denham Hithcock wrote: "Here's to all of the talented people I've had the good fortune to work with over the years and the incredible - sometimes life changing stories we were able to tell... it's been exciting, humbling and a privilege."
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It’s been a wild six years @sundaynighton7 .... in case you haven’t heard - the program will not be coming back next year. Here’s to all the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to work with over the years and the incredible - sometimes life changing stories we were able to tell... it’s been exciting, humbling and a privilege. I’ll be toasting you all tonight from the Pacific Ocean. . . #sn7
In a statement provided to news.com.au, Seven's head of News and Current Affairs Craig McPherson confirmed that the program would not continue in 2020.
"After 11 years at the forefront of our Public Affairs offering it is with much sadness I announce the closing down of the day to day operations of Sunday Night: True Stories ," he said.
"It has been a very tough decision in a very challenging TV landscape.
"I want to thank the exceptional team of reporters, producers, camera operators, editors and many others who have helped produce more than 500 hours of quality public affairs programming over its lifetime."
"A small production team will stay on to produce existing product over this time," Mr McPherson said.
"I wish all those leaving us nothing but the best for the future."
Over the years the program has faced fierce backlash for controversial interviews it has aired, which it reportedly paid up to millions of dollars for in some cases.
In 2014, Sunrise host David Koch was outspoken against his own network about the Sunday Night interview with Schapelle Corby in Bali on her first night of parole.
"Totally disagree with paying a convicted drug smuggler $2 million," Koch said. His co-host, Samantha Armytage, responded: "Too late for that."