“I have some big news to announce,” Armytage tearfully announced on-air on March 8. “The time has come for the sun to set on my time at Sunrise. I have always been very brave and fearless in my life and my career and this decision is no different.”
“As many of you know, the last six months of my personal life have been very bittersweet. Some bits have been very happy and some bits have been very, very sad. I want to step out of this public world for a while, take some time and calm things down [and] enjoy a bit of slow living and spend some time with my precious family, my husband and Banjo.”
Armytage stressed she made the decision to leave, not addressing speculation that her contract wasn’t renewed, saying:
“I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings which not many people in television can say they do. I’m extremely proud of my almost eight years at the helm of Sunrise, my seven years before that at Weekend Sunrise and my almost 18 years with the Seven network.”
Armytage thanked viewers for “having me in your lounge rooms all these years”, adding, “Now it is time for me to spend a bit of time in my own lounge room. This is a chapter, it’s not the whole story and I have a few days left to say goodbye to you all.”
“After I take a break, and only after I feel refreshed, will I decide on my next chapter,” she said.
Channel 7 has also released a statement regarding Armytage’s resignation, and confirms that she will remain with the network and return with new projects.
“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,” Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer James Warburton said.
Earlier this month, Armytage hinted at her departure from her eight years on the show, telling News Corp: “I don’t think any of us want to do the same thing forever. There’s a lot about television that’s all about you and that’s an awful way to live your life. TV isn’t a place that’s necessarily very healthy.”
“It’s full of sociopaths and narcissists—it can be a dangerous environment, let me tell you.”
Back in 2013, Armytage replaced Melissa Doyle as the show’s co-host alongside David “Kochy” Koch. The program has remained in at the top of the ratings board since 2004, when it overtook Nine’s Today show.