Ballroom Shocker! 'DWTS' Pro Cheryl Burke Is Retiring After 26 Seasons
End of an era! Dancing With the Stars pro Cheryl Burke officially announced that she’s retiring from the reality competition series with the Monday, November 21, season finale, being her final episode. “I am sitting here full of so many conflicting emotions about the words I am about to write. Tomorrow night will officially be […]“I am sitting here full of so many conflicting emotions about the words I am about to write. Tomorrow night will officially be my final dance as a pro dancer on @dancingwiththestars. This has been one of the absolute hardest decisions of my life & I am also confident that it is the right one,” the 38-year-old dancer wrote via Instagram on Sunday, November 20.
Nine's embattled Today show will head into the 2023 ratings war with a secret weapon as new co-host Sarah Abo prepares to replace Ally Langdon.
Sources within the ranks at Nine's North Sydney studios say confidence around the new pairing of Abo and Karl Stefanovic is high due to one major factor - the looming departure of Sunrise veteran David Koch.
Koch - who has personally overseen 20 years of ratings dominance for Seven's breakfast show since starting as a fill-in host in 2002, will begin to scale back his workload in 2023 and is set to completely step away by the end of 2024.
It's understood the popular TV veteran, regarded internally at Seven as Sunrise's 'backbone' and 'a ratings powerhouse', has negotiated for greater flexibility in his schedule and will reduce his hours until his contract expires.
Russia’s Vindictive Rage
Ukraine is winning, but at a high cost in reprisals on civilians.Russia’s war on Ukraine is going badly: The Russian army is in retreat, and the Kremlin is looking for help from Iran and North Korea. But we must not forget that the Russian military is murdering Ukrainian civilians as the price of Moscow’s self-induced humiliation—and that Russia must pay a price for these atrocities.
'After 20 years, I’ve felt I needed more flexibility in my life with my wife Libby and my business interests,' Koch told The Australian in October. © Provided by Daily Mail David Koch (L) has begin slowly scaling back his hosting duties as he approaches retirement © Provided by Daily Mail Sarah Abo will take up the seat next to Karl Stefanovic on Today in 2023
'So when I mentioned leaving to Seven, (CEO) James (Warburton) very kindly asked me whether we could work together on a plan that I wanted, which also kept my connection to the network and my focus on Sunrise.'
However the prospect of a 'Koch-free' future comes as a welcome relief for Nine with network insiders saying Today may finally have a run at the top breakfast ratings spot thanks to 'clear air for the first time in 20 years'.
Sunrise new line-up after David Koch reveals his plans to retire
Queensland sports presenter Katie Brown will be permanently joining the Sunrise team in 2023, Channel Seven confirmed on Monday. The lively reporter filled in for weatherman Sam Mac in September when he took paternity leave and is said to have impressed series producers.Brown has reportedly signed a two-year contract to appear on the popular breakfast show as a roving reporter, alongside hosts Natalie Barr and David Koch, newsreader Edwina Bartholomew, sports reporter Mark Beretta and Mac.
'Kochie leaving marks a huge opportunity for Today - there is no denying that,' a Nine insider said.
"He is a breakfast TV behemoth. He has underpinned Sunrise's dominance for two decades.
'The idea of a breakfast TV landscape without him gives Today clear air for the first time in 20 years and there is a real sense of opportunity here.
'It means Karl will now be the most senior presence on either show... and that could resonate with viewers.' © Provided by Daily Mail 'Kochie leaving marks a huge opportunity for Today there is no denying that,' said a Nine insider © Provided by Daily Mail 'The idea of a breakfast TV landscape without him gives Today clear air for the first time in 20 years' a Nine source says of Today
However it's crucial Abo and Stefanovic strike the right chemistry, with producers said to be happy to give the new pairing several months - even up to a year - to find their footing.
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'By that stage you get a sense of whether its really working. But Koch's departure will no doubt also be forefront.'
Koch's reign has undoubtedly been a thorn in the side of Today which failed to win even one ratings week in 2022.
In fact Sunrise has all but slaughtered Today, winning every ratings year since 2004 and every week across the five-city metro market since 2018.
But while news of Koch's retirement presents a welcome reprieve for Nine, his outgoing status is being felt differently at Seven where discussions about his heir apparent are well underway.
It's understood Matt Shirvington has long-been anointed as Koch's obvious Sunrise successor. © Provided by Daily Mail Matt Shirvington (R with co-host Natalie Barr) has long-been anointed as Koch's obvious Sunrise successor © Provided by Daily Mail Before switching to TV Shirvington represented Australia at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the 2000 Sydney Olympics
However insiders say their remains some doubt as to whether the young but likeable former athlete - who recently spent $11million on a new home on Sydney's North Shore - has what it takes to fill Koch's considerable shoes.
Dog The Bounty Hunter pays tribute to late co-star David Robinson
Duane 'Dog The Bounty Hunter' Chapman paid an emotional tribute to former co-star David Robinson after his tragic death aged 50 on Wednesday. Robinson - who starred alongside Chapman in Dog's Most Wanted - was on a work Zoom call when he collapsed in his dining room and died in his wife's arms.Chapman, 69, told TMZ: 'I'm shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of David Robinson, my right-hand man of many years. Until we meet again, brother.' Brooke Robinson, David's wife said in a statement: 'David was very healthy and was on a work call in our dining room at home when he collapsed.
Shirvington already fills the hosting chair on Fridays - which Koch has off - and filled in as Sunrise co-anchor in October while Kochie was on leave.
'Sunrise will be vulnerable without David so a lot hinges on what someone can bring as a replacement ,' a Seven source said.
'David brings a lot to the network...not just ratings but security, credibility and stability.
'He's reliable and doesn't buy into any of the TV gossip and BS. He just does turns up and does his job.'
Contacted for comment, Sunrise EP Sarah Stinson said a decision on Koch's would not be made until closer to his contract date.
'It's been a huge 12 months for Sunrise, we're super grateful for another ratings win,' Stinson told Daily Mail Australia.
'The ink is still drying on Kochie's new two-year contract. No decisions have been made beyond that.'
Nine has been contacted for comment.Read more
‘It doesn’t add up’: In the bush, just before sunrise, Esther Wallace vanished .
The disappearance of Esther Wallace has rocked the small town in which she lived. Locals say there are many puzzling things about her disappearance.She drank at the hotel and made friendly small talk at the supermarket. She was quiet, polite and was “getting a bit of a friends base”, said a resident, Tom, who knew her well enough to say hello. “She’d come into the pub, sit back and grab a couple.