As we reported early this morning GMTV icon Penny Smith has announced that she is leaving the station after 17 years of service, however the move is part of wider changes at the breakfast station the company reveal.
Smith’s co-host John Stapleton will leave presenting duties to become GMTV’s first special correspondent. Smith and Stapleton had presented together for the past 12 years on the “Newshour”.
GMTV have said that the changes will “mean a move to a core presenting team on screen throughout GMTV’s output”. The new changes will come into place the beginning of June as GMTV tries to cut costs and increase viewership. It’s rival BBC Breakfast regularly comes out on top in the ratings battle. The new management of GMTV have set out a vision of taking a look at its editorial output across all GMTV programming.
GMTV Managing Editor Neil Thompson said: “Penny has been a welcoming and familiar face on Britain’s breakfast screens for many years. She has become a hallmark of GMTV’s presentation, not only on the sofa but also as a newsreader.
“She has done a fantastic job over the last 17 years and has made an enormous contribution to the success of the ‘News Hour’. She will be greatly missed by the team. We wish her all the very best for the future.”
John Stapleton on his new role says “I’m going back to doing what I love best – covering major national and international news stories, and, after 12 years of getting up at 3.45am, I’m looking forward to having at least a few lie-ins a week, when I’m not on duty.”
The current format of separate hosts for the news programme followed by further presenters for the main news and magazine show and then a final presenter for the lifestyle section was introduced by TV-am, a format GMTV adopted not long after it replaced the original station in 1993.