After 21 years at the helm of Seven‘s Sunrise, David ‘Kochie’ Koch has announced his departure from the show.
“My kids were running a book on whether I’d cry or not, and I was doing so well until I saw Nat in the camera,” an emotional Kochie said on air after announcing the news.
Kochie will step away from the Sunrise desk in two weeks as the longest-serving breakfast television host in Australian history, having broadcast a record 16,000 hours of live TV across more than 5300 shows and some 50,000 interviews.
Kochie shared the news first with Sunrise viewers and staff during this morning’s show.
“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,” Kochie said. “I’ve been privileged to experience so many adventures, to meet so many incredible people and to cover so many moments of history in the making. It really is the world’s best job.
“What I’ll miss most is working with the amazing Sunrise team, especially Nat, Beretts, and Dave Walters who have been with me for virtually the entire time on the show. I reckon I’ve spent more time with them than my family and it has been an utter joy. I’ll miss the Sunrise viewers who have energised me every single day.
“I’ve also appreciated the support of the Seven Network, from the Chairman down, for allowing me to be myself, for their understanding when I’ve stuffed up – which is more often than I’d like to admit – and for their constant encouragement and respect,” he said.
“I know I’m going to miss it enormously, but it’s time for me to work business hours, and for Libby and I to have a bit more flexibility to enjoy our burgeoning family, to travel and focus on our family business interests in Pinstripe Media and the Ausbiz business channel. As everyone knows, I’m a finance nerd so you’ll still see me pop up every so often on RBA board meeting days or covering other big financial news, but as a guest rather than host.
“Coming up to 20 consecutive years as Australia’s most-watched breakfast show is a nice moment to exit stage left with an enormous sense of pride and gratitude. Thank you for the privilege,” Kochie said.
Seven West Media chairman, Kerry Stokes AC, said: “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.
“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.”
Seven West Media managing director and chief executive officer, James Warburton, said: “Kochie has been the king of breakfast TV for two decades, taking Sunrise to #1 and helping to keep it there year in, year out. It’s an extraordinary achievement, one that he should be very proud of. But all good things come to an end, and I admire and respect his decision to step away from Sunrise while he’s at the top of his game.
“Kochie is the ultimate team player and I’m going to miss seeing him on screen every morning. I wish him, Libby and the family all the very best for the future, and thank you from everyone at Seven.”