After five years in the role, the Executive Producer of The Today Show, Mark Calvert has this afternoon informed staff he is resigning from the role effect immediately.
The decision comes after a challenging 12 months for the breakfast program which has had to manage the departure of Lisa Wilkinson, ongoing personal scandals regarding Karl Stefanovic, an audience struggling to come to terms with new host Georgie Gardner, and declining ratings which two weeks ago hit a new record low of 197k metro.
Calvert confirmed the decision this afternoon in a staff email:
"It’s been an enormous privilege to lead Today over five roller coaster years.
We’ve had some great times. We’ve been through some tough times, too.
Throughout it all, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by committed and loyal people. You’ve made going to work, every day before dawn, an absolute pleasure.
I’m looking forward to a bit of sleep. And then I’m looking forward to the next big challenge, whether that’s at Nine, or elsewhere.
2019 is going to be a huge year for the show, and for the newly expanded company.
I wish the amazing team at Today, and all the brilliant people at Nine, nothing but success.
I’ll be around for a few days, so I’ll come and say thanks to as many of you as I can.
Nine's director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick thanked Calvert for his loyal service to the network telling staff;
"From personal experience, I know there is no more challenging role in News and Current Affairs than the daily breakfast battle between TODAY and SUNRISE. It’s a national ratings race where audience loyalty fluctuates from city to city, and often suburb to suburb.
And there is no programme on Australian television that is analysed, revised and criticised as much as TODAY. The hours are exhausting, the competition is intense and the media coverage – good and bad – is unrelenting.
But that’s the game and, nonetheless, it’s still a great programme to work on. You’re there in the driving seat when history is being made.
Mark has given it everything he’s got every day for the past five years. He rebuilt the programme, re-energised the team and led them to a memorable ratings year win in 2016. The first ratings year win over Sunrise in a decade and a half.
He was the driving force behind this year’s Drought Relief for our farmers, with TODAY raising more then $10-million for the families hurting on the land. From the hugely successful “We Love Australia” broadcasts to Royal Weddings and Royal Tours, under Mark’s guidance, TODAY was right there in the front row, taking our viewers on the journey.
And when breaking news hits – terror attacks in the UK or mainland Europe, insane mass shootings in the US, or Federal political leadership purges - it’s always TODAY that launches into our network’s rolling coverage.
Mark has been a great close colleague and mate of mine for more than a decade. I want to thank him for his passion, commitment and contribution to TODAY and NINE. We wish him well for his future."
A spokesperson for Nine declined to comment when asked about Calvert's replacement.