Helen Kapalos confirmed to front Today Tonight

2013-01-12_2033As expected, Helen Kapalos has been confirmed as the new host for Today Tonight, in both Victoria and New South Wales.

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.

Updated.

36 Comments:

  1. I thought Kylie was awesome at it. She made it seem personal. I love her. And love TT. Hurry up and come back on. Sick of this hour edition of the news. Its all just dribble as I’m in Tas, Jo Palmer is running out of sh** to say!

  2. Great news…now only if Port Macquarie would somehow find an ability to see the broadcast…12 years of questions fail to produce any credible reason why ‘Today – Tonight’ is excluded from the schedule. dot au = absolute uselessness

  3. I will believe this new ‘hard-hitting’ format when I see it. TT and ACA rate well because they appeal to the absolute lowest-common denominator of viewer. I tune in once every few months to see if anything has changed – it never has.
    I cannot work out why they do state based editions except for NSW (which it seems will just get a feed from VIC). Surely they would want a state based presenter for their biggest market?

    As someone else said, this is one of the easiest, most well-paid gigs in television. Max 20 hours a week, and of that less than 5 hours is actually on-air. When you compare this to the Sunrise and Today hosts who are up at 4am each day and on-air for 15 hours a week its a particularly sweet gig. No decision making, no pressure for ratings, no leg work, no writing (this is all other peoples responsibilities – the ‘journalists’ write the intros to their own stories) – just rock up, read a few things on air. I highly doubt she will ever be required in the office before noon each day.

    Don’t assume Kapalos wants a promotion – she was dumped from her previous job and now maybe just wants an easier one.

  4. If the TV is on in our house at 6.30pm, it’s tuned to SBS World News. Informative, comprehensive, Proper news, with the added ingredient of suspense, wondering when the next technical faux pas will result in us watching a blank screen, or the wrong story, an incorrect caption, or Lee Lin Chin proclaiming “Who is that handsome (man)….?” Who needs boring, cloned barbie-doll autocue readers?

  5. Isn’t TT on between news and home and away, both well rating shows. I’m not sure how ratings work but at our place that just gets left on while we go do something else like bath kids or do dishes. I would be happy to set a timer to remind me to switch off and on again if it would help TT go away!!

  6. Easy well-paid gig. Just read the autocue intros and outros for the stories and pre-record the occasional promo. 4 hours a day maximum and requires no writing or skills other than not stuttering.
    The pay makes up for being a laughing stock.

  7. “Today Tonight is a proven winner in public affairs, telling the stories that matter to everyday Australians” – I wondered if he said that with a straight face.

  8. “This might be what you call a career limiting move ….”

    I wouldn’t say so. Anna Coren went from Today Tonight to anchor on CNN International in Hong Kong.

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