The final weekday of the 2012 ratings year has brought with it a number of farewells.
The worst affected by the end-of-year exit has been Network Ten which today (Friday) farewelled more staff as the fallout from the recent bout of redundancies continue.
Ron Wilson, a newsreader at TEN10 Sydney since the early ’80s, presented his final Ten Morning News bulletin this morning. The bulletin, which also appeared for the last time today, included a proper send off:
As well as reading various morning news bulletins over the years, Wilson was a newsreader and later co-host of the original Good Morning Australia. He also fronted the Sydney edition of Ten News At Five for many years.
Although he did receive a send off this morning he will still be on screen at Ten for a little while longer presenting news updates.
Also leaving Ten News today was Sydney newsreader Bill Woods, who joined the network back in 1989 and has been a prominent sports presenter — including RPM, Sports Tonight and Commonwealth Games coverage — and newsreader. He also received an on-screen farewell:
Perth newsreader Craig Smart has also signed off tonight from Ten for the last time, while Brisbane newsreader Bill McDonald was dumped last week despite earlier statements from Ten that he was being retained. Melbourne newsreader Helen Kapalos was told three weeks ago that her services would no longer be required.
Many other on-screen and backstage staff at Ten, mostly in the News division, have also departed the network in recent weeks, some taking voluntary redundancies while others less so, as Ten seeks to recover from its recent full-year loss of almost $13 million.
From Monday Ten News At Five continues in a solo newsreader format across the country — with Sandra Sully in Sydney, Mal Walden in Melbourne, Georgina Lewis in Brisbane, Rebecca Morse in Adelaide and Narelda Jacobs in Perth — while The Project moves back to its former 6.30pm timeslot.
Today also marked the final edition of the failed Breakfast program. Launched back in February, the network had hoped that controversial New Zealand broadcaster Paul Henry (pictured) may provide an incentive for viewers to switch to the program but the ratings started low and stayed there ever since — with Breakfast being soundly beaten daily by Sunrise, Today and ABC News Breakfast. Ironically, Henry’s greatest exposure to Australian viewers was as comic fodder for The Chaser‘s The Hamster Wheel on ABC.
Henry and co-presenter Kathryn Robinson both leave the network following Breakfast‘s demise.
A new early morning format is expected to appear on Ten sometime in 2013.