Less than two years after he launched his eponymous breakfast show, Paul Henry is understood to be stepping down from the role.

The outspoken broadcaster will leave the network at the end of the year, according to sources, with Duncan Garner taking over his morning hosting duties.

Insiders have told the Herald an official announcement is due to be made on Thursday, following the US election and the release of the final radio survey results for the year.

Read more: Paul Henry's most offensive interview yet


However, a MediaWorks spokesperson said it was "all speculation" and the company would not comment.

In May this year, the Herald reported 112,000 listeners tuned in to Henry's breakfast radio show daily, less than half the number of rival Mike Hosking's breakfast show.

Meanwhile, tensions are high within the wider newsroom as the future of Story looks increasingly uncertain.

It's understood staff have not been spoken to directly about the changes but rumours are flying thick and fast, leaving staff unsettled.

Talk of an entertainment-focused panel show, similar to Australia's The Project, is widely tipped to be in development.

Earlier this year, insiders told the Herald Henry was due to swap roles with Garner, taking over the 7pm current affairs slot.

However, Henry dismissed the report, claiming he had no interest in the prime time slot.

"It's not true at all. I have on many occasions been offered 7 o'clock, not just by this network but by the opposition network, TVNZ, who practically begged me to do it," he said on Paul Henry.


"On every occasion I said no, because I don't want to do it."

Henry became the centre of a media storm last week, following an interview with Canvas magazine, during which he repeatedly commented on the breasts of a fellow diner.

Henry later apologised for his comments, saying: "I meant no harm or offence by what I said."

But one commentator described the interview as a "career-wrecking ball".

Yesterday, it was reported that the publicist charged with overseeing the interview was facing disciplinary action as a result of the incident.

Fairfax Media reported that MediaWorks publicist Anneke Bodde has sought legal advice after receiving an email stating that her behaviour constituted "misconduct".


In the original Canvas feature, writer Greg Bruce described a conversation between Henry and an unnamed publicist, referring to the fellow diner, who Henry described as "the girl with the perfect titties".

Later, the publicist is quoted as saying: "Wait until she has children. They won't be perfect then."

During the interview, Henry admitted he was not loving his job. When asked why he continued to do it, he replied: "Because I've boxed myself into it and because I have an obligation to do it."

Neither Henry nor Garner responded to the Herald's calls.