The Nine Network has axed its long-running late evening newscast, Nightline, citing concerns over a fluid schedule and a lack of viewers.
Presenter and network veteran, Kellie Connolly, has been offered a redundancy package as a result.
A Nine spokeswoman, Victoria Buchan, revealed the bulletin “hasn’t really worked” since the Nine Late News returned in May last year and the Nightline brand was reinstated in November.
Much fanfare surrounded the revival of the program in 2009, after the decision which was made by then newly appointed director of news and current affairs, Mark Calvert, and chief executive, David Gyngell.
The service has been on hiatus recently, due to the network’s sporting commitment to Wimbledon. However, Nine confirmed this morning that the service would not return after the tournament’s competition.
“It has moved around the schedule. It hasn’t found its place,” Buchan said.
In its place, the network will return shorter news updates throughout the evening, similar to what aired between July 2008 and May 2009. Nine confirmed extended coverage would be provided during the federal election.
The updates will be presented “by whoever is on the roster. It will be a reporter, who is working that night”.
Connolly has been with Nine for thirteen years and prior to her appointment to front Nightline, she presented the Today show, Nine News‘ morning and afternoon editions, as well as filling in on Sydney’s evening news service.
“Thanks for all your wonderful words of support. Yes — sad to be leaving my ‘home’ of 13 years, but tremendously excited about the future,” she confirmed on her Twitter feed this afternoon.
Australian News Channel‘s chief executive, Angelos Frangopoulos, has reportedly said he would be interested in signing Connolly to the subscription news channel, Sky News.
“We’re investing in news and current affairs, I thought Nine said they were, too. What happened to that commitment?” he said.