Doyle wrote, in part, on the Sunrise site:
“For nearly 15 of the past 17 years, my alarm clock has gone off at 3.15am. I’ve spent three quarters of my professional life doing breakfast television. And I’ve LOVED every minute of it.
“I’ve been offered a great opportunity to front a new, prime time Network News initiative. I decided it was time to take on a new challenge and so it is with great sadness that I announce I will be leaving Sunrise.
“I can honestly say that the team I’ve worked with at Sunrise over the last 12 years in particular have been like a second family. You cannot spend your working hours with people you don’t like or respect and you cannot fake the camaraderie, respect and empathy we all have for each other. And that includes all the on-air and off air team that work to put this show together each day.
“I don’t want to list all the people I’d like to thank for their help and support – but I do want to thank Kochie. He’s been my partner, supporter, confidante, and friend. I’ll miss working alongside him each day.
“So whilst its goodbye from breakfast television, its not goodbye from Seven. I’ll be part of new and exciting programs in the not too distant future. And I cannot wait.
“Thank you to each and every viewer who tuned in each morning – for laughing with us, laughing at us and turning to us for your morning news fix.”
Doyle has been the co-host of Sunrise for 14 years – nearly 12 of those alongside David Koch.
“Mel is a very special person to me and it’s been a privilege to work with her and share so many experiences. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for her,” said Koch.
CEO Seven West Media, Tim Worner, said: “Melissa’s contribution in establishing Sunrise as Australia’s leading breakfast program has been outstanding. During her tenure on Sunrise, she has helped redefine breakfast television. Her professionalism, wonderful warm nature and sharp journalistic skills make her perfectly equipped for the next phase in her career here at Seven.”
Doyle will remain with Sunrise for several weeks. From Monday she will take a 2 week planned break before heading to London to cover the Royal birth and will return until the launch of the unnamed program.
Rumours about moves to primetime have persisted for years, though none in recent weeks. The move also comes at a time when the breakfast TV landscape will see a new entry from TEN under Doyle’s former boss, Adam Boland.
Samantha Armytage, who has fronted Weekend Sunrise for six years, will be the new co-host of Sunrise.