By AINSLEY THOMSON
Yet another well-known face is leaving TVNZ.
One News sports presenter April Bruce (nee Ieremia) will leave the programme at the end of the month.
TVNZ says the former Silver Fern is leaving, after 10 years on the programme, to spend more time with her family.
Bruce has apparently found it difficult to balance the needs of her 9-month-old baby with the increased hours she has been expected to work since returning from maternity leave.
The Herald understands that Bruce has been in talks with TVNZ over an employment dispute for the past two months.
In October it was reported in the National Business Review that Bruce, believed to be paid between $150,000 and $180,000, was in disagreement over the hours she was expected to work and had appointed a lawyer to negotiate on her behalf.
Last night TVNZ spokeswoman Diana Schnauer said she would not comment, saying it was speculation.
Ms Schnauer did say that with the changes to One News there was an expectation of staff to work longer hours.
She said TVNZ would make no further comment other than the statement by head of news and current affairs Bill Ralston that Bruce had been an important member of the news team and would be missed.
Bruce declined to comment last night.
A regular in women's magazines and a former radio host, Bruce is the latest in a growing list of "celebrities" to leave TVNZ.
Last week weatherman Jim Hickey, a 15-year veteran on One News, announced he would leave at the end of the year to focus on producing television programmes and to settle at his New Plymouth home with his wife and 10-year-old daughter.
Since starting as head of news and current affairs in July, Ralston has gone about dismantling TVNZ's celebrity culture.
The biggest head to roll is that of Richard Long.
In October, after months of rumours and leaks, it was finally confirmed that the 16-year pairing of Judy Bailey and Long would come to an end for good.
Next year Bailey will front the weeknight bulletins alone.
Bruce leaves on December 19, and no decision has been made on who will replace her as sports reporter.
Richard Long's contract as One News presenter not renewed.
Jim Hickey resigns.
Mike Hosking dumped as Sunday presenter.
Pam Corkery's late-night show The Last Word cancelled less than six months after it started.