More changes at TEN.
The long-running late night double of TEN Late News and Sports Tonight will end on Friday September 30th.
TEN is dropping the pair, but retaining Sandra Sully for its local Sydney bulletin and merging the Sports Tonight brand within its evening bulletins.
Sports Tonight is also axed as a stand-alone show on ONE.
Sully will replace Deb Knight and join Bill Woods at the TEN News desk in Sydney. This means once again, the rest of the nation will miss out on seeing the popular host who had only recently returned to TEN Late News after the failed 6:30pm local news. That short stint notwithstanding, Sully has been the face of the network’s late news since 1995, famously fronting the live coverage of the 9/11 tragedy.
Sully said: “I’ve enjoyed every moment of my time as anchor of TEN’s Late News, having had the opportunity to break some of Australia and indeed the world’s biggest news stories in that time. I’m thrilled that TEN is serious about investing in quality news programming and I welcome the opportunity to be a part of this next exciting phase.”
The Sports Tonight brand will appear within earlier news bulletins around the country with Brad McEwan presenting in the Sydney News. In the newly-announced 90 minute bulletin Rob Canning will present an extended segment. TEN has also announced Toyota has re-signed as a sponsor of the brand.
The ending of Sports Tonight as a stand-alone show had been rumoured ever since interim CEO Lachlan Murdoch initiated a cost review of the network. Its ending comes the day before TEN’s final AFL broadcast.
It confirms the recent tweet by one of the senior reporters that the show would be ending with the end of the AFL deal.
The change also breaks up the presenting duo of Sully and McEwan whose relaxed banter has frequently been noted by viewers, and featured in fan-made YouTube clips of the pair.
A TEN statement says, “These developments, along with the recent announcement of an extended 90-minute national weekend new bulletin are part of TEN’s on-going strategy to deliver audiences a comprehensive news service of the highest calibre day-in and day-out.”