The former TEN newsreader will front the new state-based edition comprising more “hard-hitting stories” than under her predecessor Matt Whit, according to the the Sunday Herald Sun.
“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Seven Network and Today Tonight,” she said.
“The role represents a wonderful opportunity to connect with the audience on a broader scale, and offer good, solid journalism which remains accessible to all.
“I look forward to actively contributing quality stories and interviews and working alongside an excellent reporting team to bring you a content-rich, compelling public affairs program.”
Seven’s Director of Public Affairs, Neil Mooney, said: “Today Tonight is a proven winner in public affairs, telling the stories that matter to everyday Australians, and Helen’s appointment as the host for Melbourne and Sydney – as well as reporting on the big issues nationwide – will only add to the strength of the program.
“Helen has proven herself over a significant period of time to be a first-class journalist and presenter. And there is a real affection for her in Melbourne, where she is based, and in Sydney, where she grew up and started her career. We look forward to her joining the team.”
Kapalos was one of many TEN presenters given redundancies as part of a cost-cutting measure late last year, but her exit triggered considerable criticism in the Melbourne market.
It’s not clear who will front a Queensland edition, but Bill McDonald as been rumoured, or if there are other big changes coming to Seven’s early evening line-up.
One of the biggest shortcomings of Today Tonight has been its decided lack of interviews with Matt White doing little more than reading the autocue. A Current Affair has managed to showcase feature interviews although it too has a staple of tabloid stories with supermarket wars, diets, red light cameras and neighbourhood wars.
If Seven offers up a more intelligent mix it will be interesting to watch Nine’s response. The key for both will be to not go as far as 6:30 with George Negus. It was a bold broadside into the early evening landscape but the audience quickly sent back a message that it was too early to be dissecting the latest from the Gaza Strip.
Kapalos will begin on air with Today Tonight next month.