Frontrunners to replace Sam on Sunrise
Sunrise co-host Samantha Armytage's resignation has sent shockwaves through the TV industry and now many are wondering who will replace the Channel 7 star.
Armytage, 44, abruptly quit the breakfast TV show after eight years on Monday, citing her focus on finding "some peace and calm" and now the rumour mill is in overdrive as speculation mounts over who will take her coveted spot on the couch alongside co-host David Koch at Seven's Martin Place studios.
Confidential hears that rival morning show host Sarah Harris from Studio 10 is one name being circulated to replace Armytage.
Harris, 39, joined the struggling Channel 10 show as a co-host in 2013 and last year, the show's panel of seven was slashed down to two to rival Channel's 7 and 9.
Harris now co-hosts alongside Dancing With The Stars judge Tristan MacManus, however the show has consistently struggled to compete with Channel 9's Today show and Seven's Sunrise, which remains number one.
Armytage's Sunrise co-star, Natalie Barr, who is the show's news presenter, is another favourite to replace the TV presenter.
Barr, 52, joined Channel 7 in 1994 and often fills in for Armytage when she is on leave.
A spokeswoman at Channel 7 told Confidential that there will be no official announcements regarding Armytage's replacement this week.
"No announcement to be made as yet on Sam's replacement," she said.
"The focus this week is on farewelling Sam and delighting in some of her best on air moments these past eight years."
A Network 10 spokesperson said: "Studio 10's Sarah Harris is one of Australia's favourite television hosts, so we can understand why Sunrise might want to snap her up. But rest assured, she's not going anywhere."
Meanwhile, another former Studio 10 co-host Natarsha Belling is another possibility.
Belling, 50, left Channel 10 last year after more than 20 years as part of sweeping cuts at the network.
She later joined rival Channel 7 as a temporary fill-in host for Kylie Gillies on The Morning Show.
In a statement, Armytage said the time was right to leave the breakfast program.
"The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise," she said.
"I have always been brave and fearless in my career and this decision is no different.
"I want to take a break and find some peace and calm. I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings, which not many people on television can say they do. I cannot thank you all enough for having me in your lounge rooms all these years."
Koch described Armytage as the "rock" of the show.
"Ever since Sam joined Sunrise eight years ago, she has been the rock of the program and always led from the front," he said.
"Sam's humour, work ethic and team first values have been an inspiration to us all. But now it's time for Sam to put herself and Rich first and we couldn't be happier for, or more supportive of, them both."
Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said: "Sam has been an important part of the Seven team for almost two decades, including eight fantastic years as co-host of Australia's #1 breakfast show.
"We will be sad to see her leave Sunrise, but completely understand and support her decision to step back for a while and focus on her family. We wish Sam nothing but the very best for her break and look forward to announcing some exciting new projects for her in late 2021 and into 2022."
You can listen to Something To Talk About with Samantha Armytage wherever you get your podcasts.
Originally published as Frontrunners to replace Sam on Sunrise