Kiwi news presenter Rachel Smalley has signed off from “Firstline” for the last time on Friday. She is leaving the morning show to join rival The Radio Network.
On August 8, Smalley announced her resignation from the TV3 breakfast news program. She will still continue to front “The Nation,” a current affairs show also on TV3 on Sundays.
Her last day was originally slated for “early September,” however, it turns out that her last presenting day on “Firstline” came a week than planned.
She gave an emotional goodbye to the show and its viewers on Friday morning.
“Rachel was our first European correspondent, and her hard work and dedication played a key part in making Firstline New Zealand’s premium early morning news option,” TV3 Director of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings, said.
“She leaves the program in excellent shape.”
According to reports, TV3’s parent company, MediaWorks, is looking to develop a more commercial and lighter format for “Firstline,” which might explain the shift.
Smalley is set to jump onto “Early Edition,” a new Newstalk ZB show that will air from 5am to 6am before the “Mike Hosting Breakfast” program.
“People’s work patterns are changing, requiring them to be up earlier than a few years ago. This show is designed to give them all the information they need to start the day,” TRN general manager of talk programming Dallas Gurney has been quoted by the National Business Review as saying of “Early Edition.”
Meanwhile, Simon Shepherd will host the program for the week starting Aug 26 as temporary replacement for Smalley until a permanent presenter is appointed.
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