Journalist and broadcaster Rachel Smalley has announced she is to leave Newstalk ZB at the end of 2017.

Smalley, who has successfully hosted Early Edition for the past four years, has made the call to bow out on a ratings high.

"Newstalk ZB was where my journalism career began more than 20 years ago and it's been a privilege to work with so many extraordinary people. I've loved my time in radio but I'm now looking for a new challenge and I'd like to explore opportunities in the corporate world."

Rachel Smalley has had a stellar run at Newstalk ZB.

In 2016, she travelled to the Middle East and was instrumental in lobbying the Government to extend its financial support for Syrian refugees.

Her award-winning Forgotten Millions campaign in the NZ Herald raised close to $4m for World Vision's Syrian refugee programme.

Her work also saw Early Edition win Programme Of The Year at the New Zealand Radio Awards.

NZME Head of Talk Jason Winstanley said Smalley would be missed.

"We will be very sad to see Rachel go, but I understand and respect her desire to seek out new challenges and opportunities. We wish her the very best and Rachel knows NZME's door always remains open to her."

Smalley's final day on Early Edition will be December 15. Newstalk ZB expects to announce a new host of the show shortly.