Deborah Knight joins Nine as Jo Hall winds back on-air role

Changes are afoot within Nine News presenters in Melbourne and Sydney as Jo Hall scales back her role, to spend more time with family.

The Melbourne weekend presenter will remain with Nine doing news updates and serve as a weekend fill-in.

She will be replaced by Nine News journalist Alicia Gorey, who also reads news on the weekend edition of Today.

That has led to former TEN presenter Deborah Knight being snapped up by Nine to work on Today. Knight was let go by the network when Sandra Sully moved back to the Sydney News bulletin after TEN Late News was axed.

Jo Hall, 53, told the Herald Sun she had 20 years of constant weekend work.

“It’s something you accept as part of the job, but when the contract came up I thought I could do it for a little bit longer but not a lot longer on a permanent basis.

“Imagine working every single weekend when you’ve got children. It’s been a really long time to give that commitment.”

Traditionally Hall had moved to the weeknight bulletin during summer but in 2010 Nine began trialling sports presenter Tony Jones in the anchor chair when Peter Hitchener was off. Jones is again expected to take summer presenting duties from Monday.

“People will talk and speculate,” Hall said.

“People can think and say whatever they want to. I’ve never really fallen victim to gossip and fallen under the radar a bit, and I like it like that.”

She told the newspaper she still has ambitions for the top job.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reports Knight will read news from Friday to Monday as Alicia Gorey replaces Hall.

Knight told the newspaper she did not expect to be leaving TEN.

“Sometimes when you see these things coming you can prepare yourself but I just didn’t,” she said.

“I was disappointed they didn’t see my value after 13 years with TEN, especially after they spent so much money building me up as a (network) brand.”

Despite having to audition for TEN’s Breakfast, Knight will also have co-hosting duties on Weekend Today during summer.

Nine’s director of news Mark Calvert said, “Deb is a great newsreader, great journalist and great person. We love her. TEN’s loss is very much our gain.”

She begins next Friday.

Photo: Mediaspy

19 Comments:

  1. i know she has professional makeup being on tv, but she looks damn good for 53, i would have guessed her to be 10 yrs younger or more, besides that shes a damn good news reader (now thats the important bit right? not their looks *cough*)
    Really wish they would put her on the weeknight news, but nine being the big old boys club that it is will probably never have a female news anchor. As for Hitchener, i personally don’t like him, most of the time he has a stupid grin on his face & sometimes its at really inappropriate times, cant believe he has lasted this long.

  2. Jo has to go, it’s a pity, but reality.

    Deb seems very bland, needs some salt to liven her up.
    As for Gorey, she started in Melbourne and wound her way through [short re-lived] Nightline, morning & afternoon news, now Today. She’s a good reader. At least it’s someone you can enjoy. As for Brett, I saw him on ANZAC day, he was on break beside the 9 news 4WD. Might be a tad annoyed by this, but he did Nines’ weekend 5pm news recently. I think Sept, and was Ok at that. He also filled in for Nightline in 08. So he’s like an on call for Nine. Other than news reports, National duties are priority for Brett.

  3. You have to be kidding – Sully is brilliant
    That’s exactly why Ten got rid of Knight – boring, boring, boring.
    Technically okay but cold, cold, cold

  4. I love Jo, and can’t believe how Ten have treated Deborah – she had to audition for Breakfast? I hope she told them where to go. So glad she’s got a new gig.

  5. Jo Hall Melbourne Icon, please let her fill in for Peter Hitchener as well, Brett Mcleod can consider himself unlucky in this shake as he has done excellently as Fill In Weekend Presenter in Melbourne. Maybe he could be the perm male fill in anchor on the Weekend Today Show.

  6. All Victorians know Jo Hall and look forward to her bulletins on weekends. She will be missed. Bet Brett McLeod will be annoyed by being overlooked for Alicia Gorey – despite her Today Show profile.

  7. Jo has been a great newsreader for so many years at Nine,and l will miss her.Its good she did it on her terms and at least she will have the weekends to spend with her family.But l think so would never be doing this if she still was the regular fill in for Peter Hitchener.When Tony Jones replaced her as regular fill in for Peter Hitchener ,l knew her future plans to one day replace Peter would never happen.Again woman of certain age in television not treated right!

  8. Jo Hall should have gone 20 years ago. Yes, Ch9 won the weekend ratings but that was when they had the top news team anyway, not because of her. She’s pretty ordinary as a newsreader.

  9. I love Jo and always happy to see her when I return to Melbourne (and the odd late-nite bulletin out of Melb). Disappointed that she’s stepping back but understandable.

  10. Moanique in Brisbane

    It is well known at Nine that Jo Hall was not happy when Tony Jones took the chair while Peter Hitchener was on holidays. It had been her gig for years. The fact that she still has ambitions for the top job confirms that she would still like to be filling in for Peter Hitchener on weeknights. Nine treat female newsreaders very poorly.

  11. “great newsreader, great journalist and great person. We love her. TEN’s loss is very much our gain.”

    Yeah and I’m sure they were saying similar things when Jessica Rowe went from TEN to Nine all those years ago so just watch your back Deb.
    It’s a shame they couldn’t find her a place on Breakfast, who’s going to read the News updates on that show? I think they’ve been trialing a few different candidates for Breakfast on The Circle the last few weeks….

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