Seven delays naming Sam’s replacement
Channel 7 won't reveal who is replacing Sam Armytage this week, news.com.au understands.
Tomorrow will be Armytage's last day after she tearfully quit live on air on Monday.
Media reports suggested Armytage's replacement would be announced this week, but news.com.au understands that won't be the case.
A Channel 7 spokesperson told news.com.au: "This week is all about farewelling Sam and celebrating her best on-air moments over the past eight years."
Natalie Barr will host Sunrise on Friday (as she always does) alongside David 'Kochie' Koch (who is usually replaced by Matt Doran on Fridays).
Barr, who has been a part for the Sunrise family for more than 15 years, is currently the favourite to move into Armytage's chair.
"Natalie Barr is much-loved by the Sunrise audience and logic would suggest she naturally inherits the role," David Knox, editor of TV Tonight told news.com.au. "This would bring as little disruption as possible which is a big consideration, but none of this should detract from her steady hand and commitment.
"She's shown how well she can work with Kochie and at this point in his career, you would gravitate to anybody who is going to keep him in there longer.
"In my mind the audience and Kochie are the two prevailing factors," Mr Knox said.
There's a chance, however, that Barr might be apprehensive to take on the huge role, Mr Knox suggested.
"Nat knows that breakfast TV puts you in the crosshairs of click-bait and social media, particularly having seen some of the headlines Sam has attracted over the past 12 months, which she's largely managed to avoid as news anchor," he told news.com.au.
Barr is currently the Sunrise newsreader, and according to The Australian, Seven's internal research indicates that she is one of the most popular breakfast TV personalities in Australia.
WHO ARE THE OTHER CONTENDERS
A senior Seven executive told the Sydney Morning Herald: "We have a very strong stable of female talent on Sunrise so it would make sense to promote internally."
Given Seven is keen to "promote internally", other personalities in the mix could include:
Weekend Sunrise co-host Monique Wright, Sunrise entertainment presenter Edwina Bartholomew and journalist Angela Cox.
"Monique Wright would also be a strong contender having co-hosted Weekend Sunrise so well since 2013," Mr Knox told news.com.au. "But, like Kylie Gillies, does it upset other shows to move those that are clearly working so well?"
WHO IT WON'T BE
Sonia Kruger: She's the host of Holey Moley, Big Brother and The Voice, but don't expect to see Kruger on Sunrise. Speaking to news.com.au in January, Kruger said she wouldn't take the gig if offered.
"You know what? No," she said. "I mean, look, you never say never, but the thing is I think I live better in the night time."
Kruger continued: "There's a school of thought in the States and there's a couple of books that have been written about this: People who work in the morning generally don't work at night and vice versa. I don't know why that is. I think the audience just gets used to seeing you in their living rooms in the morning or they get used to seeing you in their living rooms in the night time.
"I just think that my place in people's lounge rooms is probably after 8pm," she told news.com.au.
Sarah Harris: The Studio 10 co-host has ample breakfast TV experience and is popular with viewers, but news.com.au understands she is still contracted to Ten until at least the end of the year.
A Ten spokesperson also told news.com.au: "We can understand why Sunrise might want to snap her up. But rest assured, she's not going anywhere."
Melissa Doyle: After Armytage's on-air resignation, social media users immediately started speculating if Doyle could return to the job she was booted from in 2013.
Speaking about the speculation to Nova's Fitzy and Wippa, Doyle said: "The way I'm looking at it, if I had a dollar for every time I'm asked that this week I'm gonna be so rich!"
So how does Mr Knox rate Doyle's chances?
"Melissa Doyle looks to be a free agent," he told news.com.au. "A favourite of Kerry Stokes, but probably an outside chance."
Originally published as Seven delays naming Sam's replacement