Channel Nine's long-standing news anchor, Peter Hitchener, 77, is transitioning from his weekday news bulletin role to a weekend slot after more than 25 years with the network. The change comes as a result of health issues, although Hitchener will continue to be a part of the 9News Melbourne family. The network has announced that Alicia Loxley, with 12 years of experience presenting for 9News Melbourne, and Tom Steinfort, a seasoned correspondent for 60 Minutes, will be taking over as his replacements. The reshuffling of the lineup is only the fourth in the bulletin's history and is seen as a positive step toward a new era at Channel Nine. The Director of 9News Melbourne, Hugh Nailon, expressed excitement about the changes and emphasized the network's commitment to delivering accurate and informative news to viewers. Hitchener's transition to the weekend broadcasts will allow him to continue contributing his wealth of experience.
Hitchener has adamantly denied rumors of retirement in recent months, reiterating his dedication to presenting the news. In 2021, he reduced his workload to four days a week, and in April of that year, concerns were raised about his health after he experienced a migraine on air. However, Hitchener has assured the public that his health is good and that he is taking better care of himself. He is grateful for the opportunity to continue delivering news and hopes to do so for a few more years.
The new lineup, featuring Loxley and Steinfort, is set to begin in January 2024. It marks an exciting chapter for 9News Melbourne as they plan for the future and strive to provide the most reliable and insightful news coverage for their audience. Viewers can look forward to the trusted journalism that the network has always delivered through these familiar and talented news presenters.