EXCLUSIVE | Michael Pell reveals the truth about his relationship with Sam Armytage and says TODAY is copying his breakfast show


Michael Pell is one of the most powerful people in television. As the Executive Producer of Sunrise his influence extends beyond the breakfast timeslot and into prime time as the Seven Network uses his skills on major live events.

Michael Pell in the Sunrise control room (image – News Corp)

These days Michael rarely gives interviews, so it’s a rare glimpse into his thoughts on what makes good TV, ratings and competition.

But he also talks about his personal relationships with his former boss Adam Boland and former host Samantha Armytage.

It’s an interview where nothing was off limits and Michael doesn’t hold back.

Topics of discussion:

  • 2.20 – His rise through the ranks
  • 3.20 – Work experience at the TODAY show
  • 4.20 – His relationship with former boss Adam Boland
  • 8.10 – The launch of Wake Up and the poaching of staff
  • 11.15 – The pressure of taking over Sunrise and maintaining the #1 position
  • 14.00 – Ratings pressures
  • 19.00 – Ratings spin: Metro v National figures
  • 26.48 – Dealing with cast changes and keeping the audience
  • 33.13 – How his relationship with Sam Armytage changed over the years
  • 35.27 – Kochie’s future
  • 37.25 – Watching the TODAY show implode
  • 41.00 – His analysis of the TODAY show, including claims of copying
  • 43.00 – Pranks on set (including when Michael has worn the Cash Cow suit and surprised the hosts live on air)
  • 45.20 – Prime time projects and his future at Seven
  • 47.45 – Meeting his new partner, Daniel, at work and how their love grew
  • 53.00 – Why he doesn’t do interviews like this any more

*Listen in the player below or search TV Blackbox and McKnight Tonight in your favourite podcast feed to listen to the full interview


Robert McKnight
"Leading TV commentator" - The Daily Telegraph | "Known for his impeccable sources in the TV industry" - The Daily Mail | "Always first with the correct info" - Beau Ryan | Robert McKnight is a highly regarded Australian Television Producer having worked at SEVEN, NINE and TEN during his 25 years in the industry. Publicly he is most well-known for creating and producing STUDIO 10 but has worked on SUNRISE, THE MORNING SHOW plus other prime time productions in addition to creating award-winning news campaigns for both 7NEWS and 9NEWS. Currently, Rob is the host and producer of the TV BLACKBOX, MCKNIGHT TONIGHT and MONSTERS WHO MURDER podcast, and executive producer of AFTERNOONS WITH SOFIE FORMICA on radio station 4BC


  1. Great interview! Really loved hearing from Michael – sounds like he has grown up!

    Would have loved you to ask when we can expect the on screen GFX to be refreshed as was hinted a few months back with the variation in logo in promos and on catch-up….

    Assuming it’ll now be when they move out of Martin place. But would have been interested to see what Michael said.

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