In what could be the country's highest-profile Covid-19 job casualty yet, Wendy Petrie has been told by TVNZ bosses they do not intend to keep her as the network's 6pm news anchor.
The nation has watched the mother-of-three read the news alongside co-presenter Simon Dallow for 14 years.
All eyes are now on Dallow and the question remains on whether he will become the sole newsreader of the weekday bulletin like former "mother of the nation" Judy Bailey was in 2004 and 2005.
The Herald on Sunday understands Petrie was told on Thursday about the move, which is part of a Covid-19 restructure the company announced on June 15.
On June 20, the Weekend Herald reported that Petrie and Dallow were having to apply for the same role as sole newsreader of the weekday 6pm bulletin. TVNZ had earlier confirmed it would reduce 70 to 90 roles to recover a 30 per cent loss in revenue during the Covid-19 lockdown.
TVNZ said last night it had no comment to make. Petrie did not respond to requests for comment.
Petrie and Dallow have co-anchored the 6pm bulletin since 2006, after taking over from Bailey.
Petrie has had time off over the past two weeks, with TVNZ confirming this week she has been on a school holiday break with her family.
She presented Thursday and Friday's 6pm bulletin this week.
Father-of-two Dallow has also been away this week and it is not clear if TVNZ bosses have been able to sit down with him.
Different news readers have been filling in, including Jack Tame, John Campbell and Melissa Stokes.
The Covid-19 economic slump has led to a massive downturn in advertising revenue for all New Zealand media outlets.
On June 12, MediaWorks slumped to a $25.14m loss, casting "significant doubt" on the company's ability to continue.
In April, NZME, which owns the NZ Herald, announced 200 job losses and asked staff on a salary of more than $50,000 per year take a 15 per cent pay cut for 12 weeks.
In April, Stuff also asked its employees on more than $50,000 to take a voluntary 15 per cent pay cut, and their senior executives to take a 25 per cent cut.
TVNZ chief executive Kevin Kenrick has said the company is trying to recover from a 30 per cent revenue drop influenced by Covid-19's impact on the advertising market. It is trying to save $10 million in this process.
The Herald is aware of other journalists in the TVNZ newsroom on six-figure salaries who were told in early June they no longer have a job.
Final consultation meetings with staff and management were reportedly occurring over the past two weeks.
The Herald understands almost half of video archive staff in the newsroom are being cut.
It is understood the decision to reduce to just one permanent 6pm news reader crystallised for management during lockdown when there was only a single week-night news anchor.
During lockdown the newsroom had been separated into two teams, who entered the TVNZ Auckland bureau in Victoria St in the CBD on alternating weeks. At the weekend, the 1 News 6pm bulletin only had one news anchor.
In March, the Herald reported that of TVNZ's top-20 highest-paid presenters between 2017-19, the average man earned $254,510 a year. Women in the group were paid $210,597.
In a 2017 round of TVNZ redundancies, weekend news reader Bernadine Oliver-Kerby lost her job at the state broadcaster after 25 years.
In 2000, news reader John Hawkesby received a $6.5m payout after he was made redundant by TVNZ.
Petrie began her career at the Independent Radio News - now Newstalk ZB - writing copy for news bulletins.
But she quickly joined TV3 in the early 90s working as a reporter for Nightline and 3 News.
In 2001, Petrie moved to Canada to become newsreader for CTV News Channel.
While there she reported for TVNZ from New York for the September 11 terrorist attacks and, in Toronto, presented during the US-led war in Iraq, the space shuttle Columbia tragedy, the death of the Queen Mother, and the Sars outbreak in Toronto.
In late 2003 she returned to New Zealand doing presenting work for TVNZ's 1 News bulletins. She took over as co-anchor of the 6pm bulletin with Dallow in 2006.