TVNZ has delivered bad news to its Breakfast hosts, with sources saying Rawdon Christie and Nadine Chalmers-Ross have been told their time hosting the show is up.
After months of speculation over the future of the show - initially sparked by Hilary Barry's resignation from MediaWorks in April - sources told the Weekend Herald they had learned the news yesterday when called to a meeting with news boss John Gillespie.
It is not known if the pair will remain working at TVNZ, or whether they will be back on air on Monday.
Christie, Chalmers-Ross and morning newsreader Peter Williams were spotted drinking at a central Auckland bar yesterday afternoon. Several people were said to be commiserating with them. Sources told the Herald that Christie and Chalmers-Ross were upset. Williams is said to be staying on at the state broadcaster.
Speculation is rife that a new Breakfast host pairing of Barry and Jack Tame are set to take over the morning airwaves at TVNZ.
Barry signed off from MediaWorks in May, ending a 23-year association with TV3, where she worked on Paul Henry's morning current affairs show and co-hosted the network's 6pm news bulletin.
Tame is TVNZ's New York-based US correspondent and has a regular Saturday show on Newstalk ZB.
He has been a regular fill-in on the Breakfast couch in recent years and returned to New Zealand this week to fill in for Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp over the school holidays. However he wouldn't be drawn on the rumours when contacted on Wednesday.
Barry is believed to be heading overseas on holiday and is not due back until late August. It is not known when she might start at TVNZ.
Christie and Chalmers-Ross both declined to comment on the moves when contacted by the Herald.
Veteran TVNZ presenter Williams said yesterday he had "no idea" about any changes to the Breakfast show.
"I am going to work tomorrow as usual and as far as I am aware I still have a job to go to," he said.
"No one has told me anything different."
A representative for TVNZ would not answer any questions yesterday.
A Herald online poll on Thursday gave the thumbs up for a Barry-Tame Breakfast combo.
The unscientific poll had a 67 per cent approval rating for Barry and Tame, compared to 12 per cent for Christie and Chalmers-Ross. Christie and Alison Pugh, who is on maternity leave, had just 9 per cent behind the "someone else" option at 11 per cent.