The 67-year-old, who is the longest-serving breakfast television host in Australian history, teared up as he announced the news live on-air on Monday morning.
“Just a bit of news from me, I’ve decided to hang up the boots as co-host of Sunrise after nearly 21 years, over 5,300 shows and almost 16,000 hours of live TV,” he said, choking up when he saw his co-host Nat Barr in his monitor.
“After 20 consecutive premierships in the breakfast TV ratings game, I’m frankly finding it harder to get off the ground to take those speccy marks and I reckon it’s time to bring through the next generation. Let me tell you, I don’t want to be a list clogger.”
Kochie pointed out that he began hosting Sunrise before Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and iPhones were all invented, and he’s “loved every single minute” of his time on the show.
“I'm incredibly proud of what we've achieved here over the last 21 years,” he continued. “I've been privileged to experience so many great 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.
“I’m going to miss working with the amazing Sunrise team, but particularly Nat, [Mark Beretta] and Dave Walters who have been with me for virtually the entire time that I’ve been here on the show. I reckon I've spent more time with them than my family and it has been an absolute joy. I'll miss you, the Sunrise viewers who have energised me every single day and been so lovely every time we’ve met in person.”
Why is Kochie leaving Sunrise?
Kochie explained in a statement from Channel Seven that he believes it’s time to shake up his routine after spending over two decades waking up in the early morning.
“I know I'm going to miss it enormously, but it's time for me to work business hours, and for (his wife) 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,” he shared.
“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 will officially step away from the Sunrise desk next Friday, with his replacement yet to be announced.
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