Yesterday Peter Ford told 3AW that Walden, 67, would present four nights a week, with a view to three nights a week later in the year ahead of later retirement.
A TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight, “Mal has been in the industry for 52 years, and so far, 25 of those with TEN. He is one of the greats in the TV business and while this is not a retirement, he will – from this week – present TEN News At Five in Melbourne four nights a week. Mal is still very much at the forefront of TEN News At Five in Melbourne.
“Stephen Quartermain has filled in as the presenter for TEN News At Five in Melbourne in Mal’s absence for some time now. This will be no different in 2013.”
Sources suggest Walden was encouraged to extend his contract with TEN last year and delay retirement plans. A long-term plan is believed to have been in place ahead of News staff axings, including former co-presenter Helen Kapalos.
TEN insists no date has been set for his retirement. The network also denied there were plans for him to present 3 days a week later in the year.
In October last year Walden renewed his contract with TEN when the network indicated there were no changes planned for its presenting team.