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PETER HITCHENER moves on as 9NEWS MELBOURNE weeknights presenter

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The legendary broadcaster will be replaced by a double-headed team.

The writing has been on the wall for some time but Channel 9 has now officially removed Peter Hitchener as the presenter of its weeknight Melbourne news service.

Hitch is to be replaced by Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort and will be relegated to the weekend roster. The changes come after the once-dominant Melbourne news bulletin has now lost the ratings battle for the second consecutive year to arch-rivals at Channel 7.

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A spokesperson for Channel 9 has confirmed to TV Blackbox that veteran sports presenter Tony Jones and beloved weather presenter Livinia Nixon will be remaining in their current weekday roles in 2024.

The weekend sport/weather presenter combination of Clint Stanaway and Madeline Slattery will also remain unaffected by the lineup changes.

Peter Hitchener said:

“I am thrilled to be able to continue reading the news for Nine. I love this job, which has always been a privilege. I fully support the new lineup and look forward to working alongside Alicia and Tom, both of whom I have enormous respect for.”

Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort in Melbourne.Friday, November 17, 2023.
Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort are the new presenters of 9 News Melbourne (image – supplied)

Alicia Loxley said:

“It’s a huge honour and privilege to be appointed to this role and to do it alongside Tom, who I started with at Bendigo Street, makes it extra special.

Our newsroom is filled with exceptional people and we’re looking forward to bringing you the news in 2024 and beyond.”

Tom Steinfort said:

“After so many years living out of a suitcase chasing the biggest stories around the world, I’m beyond excited to return home to Melbourne and partner with my old friend Alicia.

It’s also such a privilege to follow in the footsteps of an icon like Hitch, and I’m so glad he’ll continue to be part of the team. It will be great to live and breathe this magnificent city again, and thankfully get my kids to the MCG for Richmond games more regularly!”

The veteran broadcaster had made it known publicly he had no intentions of stepping down in a series of social media posts after an article was published in the Herald Sun saying he would soon be replaced.

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Nine denied those rumours at the time but insiders revealed to TV Blackbox plans were indeed afoot.

Hitch, known as one of the loveliest people in television, had been in the role since 1998 after taking over from Brian Naylor.

Nine has confirmed the news via a press release, below:

2024 will signal the dawning of a new era for 9News Melbourne with the introduction of an all-new presenting line-up.

Taking the reins as joint hosts of the Monday to Friday editions of 9News Melbourne are Alicia Loxley and Tom Steinfort – both proud and passionate Melburnians.

Alicia, who has been the trusted weekend presenter for 9News Melbourne for the past 12 years, will now take the helm during the week, showcasing her deep understanding of the local news landscape and her innate connection to the Melbourne community.

Tom, currently a highly-respected reporter on60 Minutes, will join Alicia as co-anchor, bringing a fresh perspective and investigative rigour to the weeknight news.

Hugh Nailon, Director of 9News Melbourne, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome Alicia and Tom to the forefront of our news team. In what will be just the fourth hosting line-up for the bulletin, this really does signify the onset of a new age. Alicia and Tom will bring a fresh dynamism to Melbourne viewers as they follow in the footsteps of Sir Eric Pearce, Brian Naylor and Peter Hitchener.

We have big plans for 2024 and look forward to bringing viewers the most accurate and informative news that they have come to rely on from 9News.”

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Veteran anchor Peter Hitchener, an iconic presence on our television screens for more than 50 years, will now anchor the weekend edition of 9News Melbourne, beginning in January 2024.

‘Hitch’, as he is affectionately known, has been the face of our weeknight news broadcast since 1998, and will bring his expertise and charisma to the weekend bulletins.

Hugh Nailon, Director of 9News Melbourne, said:

“We’re  delighted that Hitch will continue to be a valuable and much loved part of the 9News Melbourne family.

He has an unwavering passion for delivering news to Melbourne and we look forward to the wealth of experience he will continue to bring to our weekend broadcasts.”

The all-new line-up for 9News Melbourne will start in January.

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Know more about this or another Australian media story?

Contact the team anonymously at TV Blackbox

Robert McKnight
Robert McKnighthttps://tvblackbox.com.au/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 30 years in the industry. Currently Rob can be seen every fortnight on THE MORNING SHOW (7) and heard on NIGHTS WITH JOHN STANLEY (2GB/4BC). He is also a producer on 7 NEWS SPOTLIGHT.
Comments

66 COMMENTS

  1. a lot of people asking you to delete, its triggering for so many people, there are people that faint and feel sick, please im begging you to delete it, delete post right now, its forbidden and iIIegal in many countries to post something like that, people are crying

  2. Anything to make some attention TV Blackbox, he isn’t dumped…this is part of his plans to slow down and transition out of Television eventually, which when you read into the copy and paste from the press release you’ve included words to the effect of.

    Stop trying to make quick clicks.

  3. Sad news but Sunday night is the still the behemoth of TV ratings so not like he’s being trudged off into complete retirement/obscurity.

  4. Not a nice headline cmon gotta give respect to Pete. I think this headline needs to change. Gotta be better than that.

  5. I think Hitch is doing Sat-Sun Tom and Alicia are doing Mon – Fri. The reason why Hitch has been demoted is Nine are running 2nd to Seven in news ratngs.This has been occurring for 2 yrs now.
    But I ponder the? How long will Hitch last doing weekends.
    Ratings are so important in Melbourne. In the end it programmes don’t RATE. They are either given the chop or staff changes apply.

  6. Because of this irresponsible post, I will no longer follow TV Blackbox 😤
    He deserves more respect than that

  7. A very sad decision. My family loves Hitch. We will miss seeing him weeknights. Think we’ll flick over to 7 and give that a go.

  8. He’s 77 years old for gods sakes, what a horrible headline, maybe he’s stepping back a bit, please stop the fake BS

  9. Is this story exaggerated by the media? Could his reduced workload be attributed to taking more personal time at his age?

  10. Is this story exaggerated by the media? Could his reduced workload be attributed to taking more personal time at his age?

  11. I don’t understand the rating thing.. they can’t compare.. Sydney would automatically be viewed more as the population is greater than Melbourne.. not really anyones fault when your Ariel picks up local news 📰

  12. What a ridiculous headline! This is what’s wrong with all forms of “media” the idea that’s unless they click they are then misinformed.

    “Peter Hitchener becomes 9 news weekend presenter” same amount of words, better describes the story.

    I’m aware you’re not the only “organisation” to do this tactic but are you part of the problem or solution.

  13. Most disgraceful headline. He was not dumped from everything I’ve read he decided to move to weekend bulletins change the headline to more accurately describe the situation. 

  14. He is not dumped he is ready to retire terrible headline TV Blackbox should be ashamed of putting that post up

  15. all those people that are now dead due to him pushing the poison for the advertisers He was paid he is criminally liable

  16. When does Peter Hitchiner start weekend news. I don’t watch the news Monday to Friday now as I dont like the 2 who replaced him. 9 will see the ratings go way down now Peter isn’t doing the news. How come 2 have to replace Peter

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