One of New Zealand’s most famous news anchors has been axed by her network after 14 years.
Wendy Petrie, 49, read the 6pm news every week night alongside Simon Dallow for TVNZ’s 1 News but was unexpectedly dumped due to COVID-19 restructuring.
The network confirmed on Tuesday Dallow would go on to be the sole newsreader starting in August and Petrie would feature on TVNZ’s news and current affairs segments as a supporting presenter.
The news came as a shock to many including Petrie’s teenage daughter who shared a heartfelt tribute to her ‘inspiring’ mum.
‘So proud of my strong, intelligent and talented mum,’ she wrote on Petrie’s Instagram page.
‘Despite what has happened in the last couple of days she had held her head up high.
‘She is a true inspiration to women working in the television industry and I am so proud to call her my mum.’
TVNZ announced last month up to 90 roles from the network would be cut after a 30 per cent loss in revenue due to the pandemic.
Both Petrie and Dallow had to apply for the same position as the sole news anchor despite sharing the role since 2006, the NZ Herald reported.
Upon losing her role, Petrie said she had ‘loved every minute’ of her time as news anchor.
‘Driving into Judy Bailey’s carpark 14 years ago was a daunting moment, with a newborn baby & a 2 year old at home,’ she wrote.
‘It’s hard to believe it’s been so long & that it’s over but I loved every minute. Thank you for all the wonderful messages.
‘I’ve been overwhelmed by your kindness. My now 16 & 14-year-old daughters (& son!) tell me how proud & inspired they are, so that’s all the motivation I need to keep going for my next exciting step.’
1 News will now be presented by anchor Simon Dallow, sports presenter Andrew Saville and weatherman Dan Corbett.
Many have since expressed their devastation in seeing Petrie lose her spot on their screens.
‘Your professionalism, kindness, style, class and beauty will be very missed. One news won’t be the same without you,’ someone wrote on Instagram.
‘Absolutely gobsmacked about the decision to return to single presenter format without Wendy,’ said another.
‘Well that’s goodbye to tv1 news for me now,’ said one.
‘Wendy Petrie is one of the few news readers anywhere that makes me feel relaxed and attentive when I am listening to what she is delivering. Wrong call’.