David ‘Kochie’ Koch has quit as the host of Sunrise in an emotional on-air announcement.
The presenter, 67, has led the iconic breakfast show for over 20 years, first with original co-host Melissa Doyle, then Samantha Armytage, and now with Natalie Barr.
He interrupted this morning’s program with the announcement, saying, “Before we move on, just a bit of news for me. I have decided to hang up the boots as co-host of Sunrise. After nearly 21 years and over 5300 shows…” before becoming overcome with emotion.
Natalie also got emotional, with Kochie saying, “Nat, stop it,” before continuing:
“16,000 hours of TV, it is now time to work in business hours and have a bit of flexibility to focus more on our big family and the family business.
“So after 20 consecutive premierships in the breakfast TV ratings game, I’m frankly finding it harder to get off the ground to take those marks and I think it’s time to bring in the next generation.”
He added, “I have loved every single minute of my time at Sunrise, and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 21 years.”
The chairman of Seven West Media, Kerry Stokes, also commented on the news, commending Kochie for his loyalty to the network.
“David has played a central part in turning around the fortunes of the Seven Network over the past two decades to where we continue to dominate the ratings from dawn with Sunrise, a program he has been with since October 2002,” he said.
“I will personally miss David, as he is a thorough professional and a wonderful human being, particularly in the manner he has mentored so many Seven people. I wish David and his wife Libby the best after what has been a rigorous work schedule, which has also included many pro bono roles in the sports and charity arenas.”