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Sacha McNeil and Michael Wilson named as Firstline hosts

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Sacha McNeil.
Sacha McNeil.

Nightline anchor Sacha McNeil and 3 News Business Editor Michael Wilson will host Firstline in 2014.

Sacha will make the move from late nights to early mornings next year, when Nightline takes a break. One of TV3’s most experienced news anchors; she will continue to be a backup anchor for the 6pm bulletin. Michael brings a wealth of business knowledge and extensive interviewing experience to his new role on Firstline.

TV3’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Mark Jennings says the duo’s experience and skill set will ensure Firstline is the must-watch early morning news programme for New Zealanders who want to start the day fully informed.

"Sacha memorably anchored our first breaking news coverage of the Christchurch Earthquakes in February 2011, and worked the early part of the day, handing over to Hilary Barry each afternoon. When we launched Firstline shortly afterwards Sacha took over as Nightline anchor from Rachel Smalley, and has done a terrific job. She is one of our most talented news anchors and I’m delighted to have her back in the early morning slot.

"Michael is acknowledged as one of the country’s leading business journalists and we are keen to make more use of his excellent interviewing skills. The programme targets serious news viewers and we think the combination of Sacha and Michael will allow us to further expand our coverage of business, politics and breaking news."

TV3 also announced today that Janika ter Ellen will be the news anchor for The Paul Henry Show, the network’s new late night news programme which premieres early in 2014.

Janika has been a reporter for 3 News for the past three years, based in the Wellington bureau, and has worked across Firstline, 3 News’ 6pm bulletin, and Nightline, covering everything from The Scott Guy trial to New Zealand Fashion Week.

Mark Jennings says: "Janika is a real up-and-comer, one of the talented journalist/presenters who continue to come out of the 3 News stable. We think she will form an excellent combination with Paul in what promises to be the most interesting addition to our News and Current affairs programming for 2014."

TV3 also confirmed Fiona McMillan as the executive producer of The Paul Henry Show. Fiona is currently executive producer of Firstline, and her background includes five years as executive producer of Worldwide Exchange at CNBC.

Current Firstline producer, Rebekah Ferretti, will executive produce the programme from January 2014. She will be joined by producer Paul Mayow, who is currently producing Nightline.

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