Former Sunday Telegraph editor takes senior role on Today

Channel Nine has confirmed the worst-kept secret in the television industry: soon-to-be-former Sunday Telegraph editor Neil Breen has been appointed executive producer of the Today show.

An internal memo notes that he is one of Australia's most accomplished newspaper editors and a Walkley Award-winning journalist.

"He will bring his years of experience to the program," Nine's head of news and current affairs Darren Wick said.

Breen's responsibilities will include the weekday Today show and Weekend Today.

Since announcing his intention to leave The Sunday Telegraph, there has been persistent speculation Breen would join Nine's news department, amplified by his well-known friendship with Nine Network boss David Gyngell. There was also speculation he may take a position at Fox Sports.

Breen will take up his new position later this year. In the interim, the show's senior supervising producer, Alex Thornton, will become executive producer until Breen takes over.

Breen has made regular appearances on Today, but has no previous television production experience.

Today's current executive producer, Tom Malone, also came to Nine with no previous television experience. Malone's background was in radio.

Malone will leave his post to become executive producer of Nine's venerable current affairs flagship 60 Minutes.

The current executive producer of 60 Minutes, Hamish Thomson, will take up "a senior production role across the network" producing prime-time specials.

The changes come at a transitional time for Today.

After being soundly pummelled into second place by Seven's Sunrise, Today has enjoyed a resurgency of late that is roughly in line with Nine's resurgence across the board.

Significantly for Nine, Today's biggest gains have been on the east coast, particularly Sydney and Melbourne, where most of the national advertising revenue that is funnelled into breakfast TV is sourced.

This is significant as Nine owns its east coast stations. Nine's Adelaide and Perth stations are owned by WIN Television.

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