Annette Sharp, The Daily Telegraph, reports
After 11 years rising at 3.30am to wake-up the nation on television, Melissa Doyle signed off for the last time from the Sunrise show - turning the page on a remarkable career and bringing to a partial close what will surely go down as the television PR balls-up of the year.
The Seven Network, seeking to recover from the poorly orchestrated announcement made in June that Doyle was leaving the program that made her a household name, slobbered on its star during three hours of laboured and sentimental live television.
Even Chairman of the Seven Network Kerry Stokes turned up to bid farewell to the woman who has became known as "Our Mel" during the protracted seven week period that has lapsed since she announced on June 20 she was "so sad" to be leaving the show.
Stokes, as reported by The Daily Telegraph, is said to have been part of the executive team at Seven that chose to keep Doyle's on-air offsider, David Koch, at Doyle's expense after audience research showed Doyle's popularity was waning.
"I can tell you at the boardroom, everybody supports this program and you in particular," Stokes said.
"Your extension after Sunrise gives us the opportunity to expand our entire news product and the whole network is behind you and we think that this is a new platform for you."
Seven has worked diligently to play-down reports that Doyle was shunted from Sunrise after taking a forced $150,000 pay cut.
Also among guests farewelling Doyle from breakfast television was network CEO Tim Worner, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, Olivia Newton-John, Hugh Jackman and Delta Goodrem.
Today Show co-host Lisa Wilkinson, and a raft of other celebrities and fans also tweeted their well-wishes.
"We've waited a long time to make the move," Worner said, before going close to confirming the news personality was removed from the role. "We're very pleased that you agreed to do it, Mel. The way the ratings have been for Sunrise this week we're going to lose one of you a week for the next few weeks!".
If the guest list looked a little heavy for the presenter of the frothy breakfast TV show who is simply moving to an afternoon timeslot, it was.
Doyle's departure, finally, was gracious and emotional.
Joined by her children on the lounge and a studio full of Sunrise guests, Doyle wiped away tears while embracing co-host Koch and newsreader Natalie Barr.
"As a working mum I've had nothing but support from everybody," she said. "From the very top to of the network right down to the people who have sat alongside me and it's been the most extraordinary opportunity to have been involved in a program such as Sunrise and we've had the best time ever and I've loved every second of it.
"I can't wait for what's ahead. I will miss every single person on the team but I will see you at other times of the day and I won't have bags under my eyes!
"I never ever imagined the ride would come what it has become. Thankyou."
Her husband John had the last word.
"The kids are looking forward to mum tucking them in instead of them tucking mum in at night ... and I'm looking forward to being the only person to wake up with her in the morning," he said.
On Sunday Doyle will co-host Seven's coverage of the election debate and on Monday she moves to her new role at the helm of a 4pm news bulletin and a 7pm bulletin alongside former Today Tonight presenter Matt White on Seven's second digital channel 7 TWO.