Melissa for weeknights on Nine

QTQ9 Brisbane has announced that newsreader Heather Foord will be replaced by Melissa Downes on Nine News in the new year.

Downes will move across from the weekend news shift to link with seasoned veteran Bruce Paige, though the Courier Mail says there are many suggesting Paige’s days on the desk could be numbered.

“Being asked to step into Heather’s position is incredibly exciting,” Downes said yesterday. “Heather has been a wonderful mentor and friend to me, and I am thrilled to have her blessing.”

But Downes has her work cut out for her with Seven News winning 40 weeks in a row.

Source: Courier Mail

11 Comments:

  1. Local Edition, Remember that? That’s when 7 raised the white flag on weekday Brisbane-only programming.

    In case you don’t know, 7 during the 2000 Olympics, promoted heavily in Brisbane their so-called “Extra-killer” called Local Edition hosted by Peter Ford and Melissa Downes which premiered after the Olympics. It had one advantage against Extra, a website using the same servers as BTQ’s popular weekend advertorials. But the fatal flaw was that it was a hour long program from 5pm, which put it against not just Extra but Ten News as well. By the start of 2001, Wheel was back and getting beat by Extra until Deal’s shortenend format debuted in 2004. Melissa put this failure behind her as she went to 9 in 2001.

  2. Bit sad to see Tracey from 7 but Sharyn is great and as long as Kay is with the network thats where i’ll be @. Never liked QTQ. Melissa left 7 when she was Kays understudy but saw there was no way she was going to get the top job so she switched to 9. That was a long time so it’s good to see she is finally getting her wish.

  3. A brilliant move. Something I see working. Bruce is staying hate to tell you all. It said in the Courier Mail on Tuesday or Wednesday, a Nine spokesmen said.
    Personally I like Bruce. He is a Kind Gentlemen that I personally look up to.
    To all those that say Melissa is under performing. Nine News ratings went up during the June July school holidays when Melissa presented with Bruce, and she has won a few Sunday nights. Give her a real chance with lots of promos and I think we may have a very tight battle on our hands.

    Either way good luck to Melissa

  4. (From shopping centre internet booth)

    Pony,
    Foord wasn’t boned. She has a year to run on her contract and left the news desk to focus on her family. This also allows QTQ to use Foord for their 50th celebrations next year. As for Paige, stay tuned, there could be a twist in this succession tale.

  5. Pony, Heather chost to leave to spend time with her kids..Melissa Downes was getting thrashed on Weekends by Sharyn Ghidella on seven, im not quite sure of the logic of promoting an under-performing weekend newsreader to the prime weeknight slot..nothing will change at N9N in Brissie as long as Bruce Paige is still there, he is way past his use by date

  6. She has another year left on her contract but has decided to step down from the nightly news to spend time with her family.
    Maybe she decided to leave before any major changes were made…

  7. I agree Craig. I would cringe every time I started to watch Channel 9 in Brisbane, it was so bad I would change straight to 7. Now I don’t even bother with 9.
    The 9 readers fumble their lines, aren’t professional (too much smiling and laughing) and Heather Foord never looked comfortable reading with Bruce Paige.
    They need to do something fast and the hot rumour is that Andrew Lofthouse will replace Bruce in the new year. Here’s hoping…

  8. Bruce Paige wont be there next year, Andrew Lofthouse has been poached from the weeknight ABC news in Brisbane to apparenly go to weekends on Nine, its hard to see him going from a plum weeknight gig on ABC to weekends at Nine…Nines news in Brissie at the moment is a mess and Bruce Paige is part of the problem, time for him to go!

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