TVNZ is understood to be holding crisis talks again as Breakfast ratings decline less than a year after a major revamp.
It's understood several meetings have been held to discuss a Breakfast "reboot," which could see changes to the presenting line up. Some are speculating Hilary Barry will leave the early morning slot to bolster TVNZ's prime-time line up.
However, a spokesperson for TVNZ says Barry is not going anywhere and the company is happy with the programme's performance and welcomes the competition.
Breakfast's ratings have dropped since the start of the year, while Mediaworks rival The AM Show, hosted by Duncan Garner, has steadily grown audience.
Nielsen figures show The AM Show has nearly doubled its audience in the past six months, from 38,000 viewers in February to 69,000 in July. By comparison, Breakfast is now pulling in an average audience of 115,000 viewers this month, down from 137,000 in April.
Of more concern to TVNZ will be the key commercial demographic of viewers aged 25-54, which has dropped from an average audience of 50,000 viewers in February to 34,000 in July - a decrease of 32 per cent.
The AM Show is now outrating Breakfast in that demographic, with an average audience of 38,000 viewers so far this month.
In a statement, TVNZ said: "We're happy with the Breakfast team and so are our viewers - Hilary and Jack [Tame] continue to draw the biggest audience every morning.
"There's always some volatility when you look at audience numbers over a short period of time. To put those commercial numbers in perspective: from the start of the year until yesterday, Breakfast has won 92 out of 104 mornings in the 25-54 demo. The competition's good for us. Yes, they've been up this month but they'll be disappointed to be down again yesterday."
But Newshub's chief news officer, Hal Crawford, says the result marks "a tipping point" for The AM Show, which he says is going from strength to strength.
"Duncan, Mark and Amanda are now winning the mornings - the unique chemistry between the trio is resonating with audiences and will continue to build," he told the Herald.
Breakfast underwent a major overhaul last year, with TVNZ poaching Barry from Mediaworks and pairing her with Tame, replacing Rawdon Christie and Nadine Chalmers-Ross in the process. Likewise, there were several changes behind-the-scenes with a new executive producer brought in to lead the revamp.
The new lineup launched last September, facing off against Barry's former co-host Paul Henry, who had become a commercial threat after more than tripling his ratings since launch.
TVNZ bosses breathed a sigh of relief when Henry announced he was retiring from the media spotlight and would not return to screens this year - but it appears many underestimated the appeal of Three's new lineup, which saw Garner team up with Mark Richardson and Amanda Gillies.
That popularity hasn't translated to radio, however, where Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking remains the firm market leader, gaining listeners in last week's radio survey results, while The AM Show on Radio Live lost more than 6500 listeners.