Today Tonight host Rosanna Mangiarelli has been given assurances she will continue to be employed at Channel 7 in its newsroom after her long-running program was axed yesterday.
Today Tonight, Adelaide’s last local current affairs TV program, will air for the final time on Thursday night before Channel 7 switches to an hour-long news service from Monday.
Rosanna spoke to Jess and Soda on the Mix102.3 breakfast show on Wednesday morning, revealing the difficulty she had saying goodbye to some of the Today Tonight team who will lose their jobs.
Listen to their full conversation in the audio player below…
Rosanna said it was a “really, really sad day” when the announcement came from Channel 7 that it was pulling the plug on the 25-year-old program.
“Obviously it’s time (for Today Tonight to finish),” she said.
“The network is steering in the direction of an hour news that will fill that gap but it’s been an extraordinary 25 years, huge ratings success and the most important thing is that we have helped so many South Australians and I am so proud of that.”
Jess said Today Tonight’s success is unparalleled, winning 750 consecutive weekly ratings.
“I know that no other program has done that so it’s wonderful to bow out on a high,” Rosanna said.
“It’s going to be sad on Thursday when we do a tribute show and bring our viewers some of the highlights.”
Rosanna said she had been told she’d be “moving across to the newsdesk” in a role with the extended one-hour news program. Both Jess and Soda, who also work at Channel 7, said they’d be happy to have her on the desks next to them.
Rosanna already hosts the 4pm local news bulletin on Seven.
Others on the Today Tonight team will not be so lucky.
“This is the saddest part for me,” Rosanna said, “Today Tonight office has been the most fantastic it’s been in a long time, we had a good really hard working group and we’ve had a lot of fun so I feel sick to the stomach to say goodbye to some amazing characters (with) wonderful talent and I know they’ll find their feet.”
Rosanna described the changes to the 7 News format as a “huge moment”, given it also includes the retirement of long time newsreader John Riddell, who will read his last bulletin next week.
She also had some final words for Mix102.3 and the loyal viewers of Today Tonight.
“Mix, you guys have been fantastic, it’s been an absolute pleasure and honour to work with you guys over the years and we have done so many wonderful stories together,” Rosanna said.
“One last thing I want to say is we could not have done it without our loyal viewers. Seriously, the support we’ve had from South Australians has been extraordinary and from the bottom of my heart.”
The news comes less than two months after Seven dumped its national current affairs show Sunday Night.