Nine News announces new Melbourne anchors, Alicia Loxley & Tom Steinfort.

“I am thrilled to be able to continue reading the news for Nine. I love this job, which has always been a privilege," says legendary anchor Peter Hitchener as he moves to weekend bulletins.

Nine News Melbourne has announced a new presenting team for 2024.

Alicia Loxley -currently weekend presenter- and 60 Minutes‘ reporter Tom Steinfort will become dual anchors with legendary Melbourne anchor Peter Hitchener to helm weekend bulletins.

Hitchener, 77, has celebrated 50 years with the Nine network, anchoring longer than his predecessors Brian Naylor and Sir Eric Pearce.

Alicia Loxley said, : “It’s a huge honour and privilege to be appointed to this role and to do it alongside Tom, who I started with at Bendigo Street, makes it extra special. Our newsroom is filled with exceptional people and we’re looking forward to bringing you the news in 2024 and beyond.”

Tom Steinfort said, “After so many years living out of a suitcase chasing the biggest stories around the world, I’m beyond excited to return home to Melbourne and partner with my old friend Alicia. It’s also such a privilege to follow in the footsteps of an icon like Hitch, and I’m so glad he’ll continue to be part of the team. It will be great to live and breathe this magnificent city again, and thankfully get my kids to the MCG for Richmond games more regularly!”

Peter Hitchener said, “I am thrilled to be able to continue reading the news for Nine. I love this job, which has always been a privilege. I fully support the new lineup and look forward to working alongside Alicia and Tom, both of whom I have enormous respect for.”

Hugh Nailon, Director of 9News Melbourne, added: “We are thrilled to welcome Alicia and Tom to the forefront of our news team. In what will be just the fourth hosting line-up for the bulletin, this really does signify the onset of a new age. Alicia and Tom will bring a fresh dynamism to Melbourne viewers as they follow in the footsteps of Sir Eric Pearce, Brian Naylor and Peter Hitchener. We have big plans for 2024 and look forward to bringing viewers the most accurate and informative news that they have come to rely on from 9News.”

Hugh Nailon, Director of 9News Melbourne, said: “We’re delighted that Hitch will continue to be a valuable and much loved part of the 9News Melbourne family. He has an unwavering passion for delivering news to Melbourne and we look forward to the wealth of experience he will continue to bring to our weekend broadcasts.”

The new line-up, which will pair with new game show Tipping Point Australia at 5pm, begins in January.

29 Responses

  1. Nine news in Melbourne do a great job.But having Hot seat struggling for the last 2 years has put a dent in Nine News.With Tipping Point to debut should see a marked difference in ratings.I used to watch Nine news regularly but since going to 1 hour a few years ago now,i started watching ABC news at 7.00PM.There is to much news in the schedule

  2. Alicia and Tom is an admirable choice for the network and its image. I won’t be watching though. I find Alicia talks too fast, as if she is running a race to the end. It also sometimes comes across with an unintended aggressive tone. I’m sure many people who have English as a second language struggle to keep up with her. She could learn a lot from Jo Hall and Hitch.

    1. Sometimes having a co anchor is a good thing. They can bounce off each other, add a little humour providing they have a good rapport. Who can forget the Mike Amor Bec Madden Djokovic episode. An off camera leaked showed how much they work well together. Maybe in the 30 minutes news days a single host but not now. Alicia is more than capable to solo host but it can look a bit lonely.

      1. agree – a lot of people transition to retirement by working part-time for a few years and then gradually cut down the days until altogether stopping. Working one day and then suddenly having nothing to do can be quite jarring.

  3. I expected a more personal take from you, David, for such mega news. This just reads like a publicity realise paraphrased. I’d have gone with Mal Walden’s well received critical reply to 9News on Twitter today (basically panning Nine’s focus on the new anchors rather than who it should be about in Pete – obviously pointing to Nine’s ratings woes as so often seen like this in TV), which Daily Mail, TV Blackbox and Herald Sun have also angled.

    1. A few points. Mal’s tweet came later not when the post was penned at short notice around 11:30am. Other media incorrectly claimed he had been “dumped” and variations thereof. I also included references to his longevity which were not in the Nine release and advised Nine they needed to send a Hitch quote, which they subsequently supplied. But the bottom line is this… Hitch does not like to be the news. Hitch likes to report the news. I know this from years of talking with him, I doubt the Daily Mail has even met him. If Hitch prefers to bow out by elevating his successors, because that’s the humble gent he is, who am I to get in the way? Much better to celebrate his achievement with an interview (those discussions were already in train with Nine). You’ve criticised me for not cloning other (incorrect) media but I always run my own race and there is often a context which is not always apparent.

      1. Sorry for the delay, thank you for replying, I wasn’t sure whether you would, was more just a query for you to see (but forum comments are really the only option bar email and I thought it warranted public view given the news and various articles and commentary online yesterday). I’d like to think you know I’d never intentionally attack or anything, highly respect and value you, but yeah just wondered and you’ve responded fairly and that makes perfect sense, you have a special relationship with a media legend and it’s always been insightful to follow on TVT. I do think though, regardless of what you have been told or know, that we’ll never truly know if Hitch was fully or partially ‘pushed’. I think the multiple comments yesterday online (both socials and TV forum sites), including from Mal, about not focussing on Hitch for the new anchors, let alone a first on-air break or handing over, has made this a bit awkward,especially moved to weekends, public will always read things like this.

  4. If Peter Hitchener was doing the weekend news, I wonder who will be doing the Nine News First at 5. I am wondering if the likes of Dougal Beatty or Steph Anderson might take the helm for First at Five News?

  5. Hope they know what they are doing, Hitchener is an institution.
    Tom would not have been my first pick, he really struggled during his stint on Today. Dougal beatty is much better and has great chemistry with Alicia.

  6. I’m in Brisbane and watch Seven News…but I have always enjoyed Peter on 60 Minutes..he’s probably the only reason I watch …he just has a nice calm non aggressive approach unlike some on the show who push the interviewee and try to pin them down …..I congratulate him.

  7. I haven’t laughed like this in days. Desperate copycat Nine News taking ideas from Seven News. The incredible duo of Michael Usher and Angela Cox from Seven News Sydney paving the way for their counterparts.

      1. @mixman000, I didn’t know that as I’m a Sydneysider.
        @iceman, I know networks have had duos before but the point I was trying to make is that it happened in recent memory.
        Looks like Nine is pinning its hopes on Tipping Point Australia.

    1. You think they were the first dual anchors in Australia ?
      David Johnstone and Jana Wendt are the earliest I can remember. There might have been someone before them.

      1. It was before my time but I have read that Eric Pearce and Jack Little formed Melbourne’s (if not Australia’s) first dual-anchor news line-up in the late 1950s at GTV9. It is a format that all networks have tried out from time to time, some with success (e.g. Ten in the 1980s), others less so.

    2. They aren’t exactly copying Seven Sydney. “In September 1978, when Sydney’s Channel Ten made Katrina Lee and John Bailey joint anchors of its US-inspired one-hour Eyewitness News, Lee said: “Up to now television news has been pretty boring … I think that channels Nine and Seven eventually will have to follow our lead. “Ten’s opposition comprised Brian Henderson on Nine, Roger Climpson on Seven and James Dibble on the ABC. Fine newsreaders, but from an older, more formal era. Despite disappointing ratings at first, Eyewitness News caught on, winning its 6pm timeslot and, with Katrina Lee and Tim Webster at the helm in the 1980s, frequently outrating Nine’s 6.30pm bulletin. (SMH)

      1. Same with David Johnston and Jo Pearson in Melbourne. Very successful on ten in Melbourne. Rating number 1 at 6-7pm. Packer paid Jo and ten weatherman rob gell to move to nine Melbourne which destroyed tens success. Duel readers brings some personality to the news. Think this move will be a winner for nine Melbourne.

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