Sunrise host David Koch’s ‘sudden’ tearful departure from the Channel Seven breakfast show after two decades has left viewers shocked.
Just months after the iconic media personality, 67, re-signed with the network, fans were certain Kochie would grace their televisions ‘for another two years’.
But it appears there is more to the TV anchor’s two-year deal with big boss Kerry Stokes, after he revealed he’s stepping away from the cameras but not Seven.
Appearing on Melbourne’s 3AW on Monday, Kochie said: ‘I wanted to go at the end of last year and the team asked if I could stick around for another six months.’
He went on to say after completing six months in front of the cameras, he was then contracted to ‘do big finance stuff’ with Network Seven for the remaining 18 months of his contract.
Sunrise host David Koch’s, 67, (pictured) ‘sudden’ tearful departure from the Channel Seven breakfast show after two decades has left viewers shocked
Nevertheless, viewers were left shocked by his departure as they flooded online forums to speculate on what happened.
‘Wow. This has happened a lot sooner than I thought it would. Something surely more to it considering he only re-signed with Sunrise not long ago,’ one person wrote.
Another said: ‘Leaving next Friday? Wow, that was quick. Thought they’d build up his farewell a bit more.’
They added: ‘He’s been on Sunrise for almost 21 years. Such a long time as a host in Australia. He’s seen TV industry change so much.’
Just months after the iconic media personality, 67, re-signed with the the network, fans were certain Kochie would grace their televisions ‘for another two years’
Others noted the strange timing of Kochie’s exit from the top-rated breakfast show coincided with the studio’s move.
‘Leaving Friday next week – in line with the move to Eveleigh?’ they said.
Sunrise’s 19-year history of broadcasting from Sydney’s iconic Martin Place in the Sydney CBD ended earlier this year.
Kochie, Natalie Barr and everyone else working for Channel Seven in the city were expected to soon join the rest of their colleagues at Eveleigh in Redfern.
It appears Kochie will still make that move with his team, but will instead moving into a different role for the remainder of his re-signed contract.
But it appears something is afoot behind the scenes as the breakfast host’s emotional farewell is shrouded in mystery, with next Friday being his last day on set
As recently as October, the long-time host committed to staying with Seven for at least another two years after signing a contract extension.
After negotiating ‘greater flexibility’ in his schedule, it seemed he was locked in until the end of 2024, inking the deal with Seven Network CEO James Warburton.
Warburton was able to convince Kochie to put off retirement plans for another two years, but agreed to draw up a contract allowing the long-serving anchor ‘to take more breaks from the show according to his requirements’, reported The Australian.
This was in addition to Kochie’s already relaxed work schedule which saw him host Sunrise four days a week, taking Fridays off.
Kerry Stokes, the billionaire chairman of the Seven Network, was understood to have played a ‘pivotal role’ in Kochie’s contract renegotiations.
As recently as October, the long-time host committed to staying at Sunrise for at least another two years after signing a contract extension. Pictured with co-host Natalie Barr
After negotiating ‘greater flexibility’ in his schedule, it seemed he was locked in until the end of 2024, inking the deal with Seven Network CEO James Warburton. Pictured at the 2019 Logie Awards with Samantha Armytage, Natalie Barr and Mark Beretta
Having been granted more ‘flexibility’ with his schedule, Kochie hoped to spend more time with his wife Libby and focus on his businesses Ausbiz TV and Pinstripe Media.
‘I’m grateful to James and Kerry Stokes that they approached it this way,’ Kochie said at the time.
‘I’ve had long chats with both of them, and they asked me is there a way to come up with a plan that gives you the flexibility you want, and gives you a connection to the network and a continuing focus on Sunrise. I love it dearly. So I’m really fortunate to have the best of all worlds.’
He inked the deal in October at a meeting with Seven Network CEO James Warburton, during which he expressed his interest in retiring
News of Kochie’s two-year contract extension came after sources told Daily Mail Australia he was seriously considering retirement, but was swayed towards staying by the prospect of covering King Charles’ coronation at Westminster Abbey in May.
Seven bosses were said to be understandably keen for Kochie to stay on at Sunrise, which he began hosting as a fill-in in 2002.
Since then, the show has all but slaughtered Nine rival Today, winning every ratings year since 2004, and every week across the five-city metro market since 2018.
Kochie (pictured with former host Mel Doyle) has helped Sunrise slaughter Nine’s Today show, winning every ratings year since 2004, and every week across the five-city market since 2018