Supporters have rallied around a veteran news broadcaster as her future as the front of night news appears increasingly shaky.

TVNZ anchor Wendy Petrie, tipped to be the latest Covid-linked job casualty, has been flooded with messages of support after reports that the network has told her it does not intend to keep her on its staff.

But you wouldn't know her days on the job might be numbered, as the broadcaster fronted the news in her typically professional style this evening alongside Jack Tame.

After Monday's broadcast, supporters have flooded the broadcaster's social media with messages of support, mixed with anger at TVNZ's decision.


"Always elegant. Always professional. Best in the business!" wrote one.

"This shouldn't be happening to the best news reader we have," commented another.

The nation has watched the mother-of-three read the news alongside co-presenter Simon Dallow for 14 years.

View this post on Instagram

Sneaking in a team pic between the ad break.

A post shared by Wendy Petrie (@wendytvnz) on

Some viewers were frustrated to see the evening show cast trimmed, while four presenters host the network's morning Breakfast show.

One supporter wrote that having lived overseas, they found Petrie to be the "perfect representation" of New Zealanders.

"Wendy has such class...she is articulate, caring, humble and knowledgeable. Why would any company not want her to continue as their anchor, their spokesperson and their ambassador?"

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.

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.


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 at the weekend said it had no comment to make. Petrie did not respond to requests for comment.

Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie returned to co-anchoring the 6pm bulletin after the Covid-19 lockdown. Photo / TVNZ
Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie returned to co-anchoring the 6pm bulletin after the Covid-19 lockdown. Photo / TVNZ

Petrie and Dallow have co-anchored the 6pm bulletin since 2006, after taking over from "mother of the nation" Judy 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 last week.

Father-of-two Dallow was also away last week and it was 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 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.

TVNZ redundancies: Wendy Petrie puts on brave face for 6pm news
TVNZ's top news spot: Ditch Simon Dallow, time for a new face at 6pm, asks Bill Ralston?
TVNZ set to cut 100 jobs to find $10m while they recruit new head of news
TVNZ 6pm newsreader Wendy Petrie set to lose job, becomes NZ's highest-profile Covid-19 job casualty

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.