Why Matt Doran is still not back on TV following frantic cop search for the Seven star when he vanished covering the Hunter Valley wedding bus tragedy
Matt Doran has taken personal leave after he sparked a frantic police search when he failed to turn up to work on Tuesday morning.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Doran, 40, is ‘at home prioritising his health’ after he vanished while on assignment in the Hunter Valley.
Doran has also been replaced by newsman Michael Usher on Weekend Sunrise.
The high-profile Sydney journalist was reported as missing on Tuesday after he didn’t show up for his 5.30am shift to cover the Hunter Valley wedding bus crash live from the area.
After a desperate police search, including at his Singleton hotel, officers found the star reporter a short time later in a local cafe.
Seven reporter Matt Doran, 40, is ‘at home prioritising his health’ after sparking a frantic cop search when he vanished while covering the Hunter Valley wedding bus tragedy
The high-profile crime reporter, who has a history of personal issues, was last seen speaking to members of the Singleton community on Monday afternoon at a local football ground.
Earlier, locals had seen Doran driving away from the home of newly married couple Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell, whose wedding was at the centre of the tragedy.
One eyewitness remembers the surprising way he spoke to members of the Singleton Roosters football team, for whom several wedding guests played.
‘He seemed distracted when he was interviewing,’ the source told Daily Mail Australia.
‘He didn’t want to be there.’
Doran’s behaviour didn’t go unnoticed by viewers, with his coverage on Monday morning – the day after the fatal crash – attracting a number of critical tweets.
When the star reporter failed to answer calls, texts and emails ahead of his scheduled appearance on Sunrise on Tuesday, a producer went to find him at his Singleton hotel, only for knocks on his door to go unanswered.
Doran has also been replaced by newsman Michael Usher on Weekend Sunrise
Worried colleagues contacted police, who issued a missing persons alert across the region.
Doran was eventually found at a nearby café and swiftly replaced by his colleague Liam Tapper on air.
Seven is yet to issue a statement about Doran’s well-being; however, insiders say several factors could have contributed to his troubling behaviour.
One suggested Doran may have struggled with the confronting nature of the wedding bus crash tragedy.
Doran and his wife, Today show producer Kendall Bora, were believed to have been spending the long weekend at their $1.75million holiday home in Berowra Waters, north of Sydney, meaning he was one of the first reporters on the scene early Monday.
Matt Doran sparked panic after he vanished from Singleton, in NSW’s Hunter Valley, on Tuesday. He is pictured with his wife Kendall Bora
His live cross to Channel Seven’s studios was about 1km from the crash site where 10 wedding guests died.
‘You do wonder if that kind of job might be too much for someone prone to emotional stress,’ a Seven insider told Daily Mail Australia.
‘It would traumatise anybody, but especially someone who is particularly sensitive or struggling.’
Adding to that, Doran – until recently – was being touted as a possible replacement for retiring Sunrise host David Koch. The role instead went to Matt Shirvington.
Doran had been assigned to cover the bus crash on the same day Shirvington made his debut as Sunrise anchor alongside Natalie Barr.
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Reporter Liam Tapper replaced Doran on Sunrise on Tuesday morning (seen in Cessnock)