John Gillespie, TVNZ's Head of News and Current Affairs, announced tonight, "Toni and Mikeare stepping down. They're a dynamic team and together they've been a mainstay of New Zealand's evening viewing for several years. Their leadership at 7pm has been a defining force in our media landscape."
Toni, who also hosts the breakfast show on The Hits, is cutting back on her weeknight work commitments to spend more time with her family.
"This decision has not come easy for me, but with two young children, I want to be home more often in the evenings for them. Seven Sharp has been my dream job, I've absolutely loved my four years with Mike on the show," she says. "It's been a privilege to be part of such a professional, fun and supportive team. I'm really proud of our success and grateful to have been welcomed into the homes of so many New Zealanders."
And Mike, who hosts breakfast radio on Newstalk ZB, says, "This was particularly important to me personally, to honour what has been one of the best combinations on television. Given we started together we end together. It is also always good to leave on your own terms and at your own time, often a rare trick in media."
In an interview in this week's Woman's Day, Toni told us she was struggling with the juggle between home and work since her oldest daughter Juliette turned five in October.
"It means I hardly see her in the afternoons anymore," Toni said, explaining that she picks Juliette up from school, but has just five minutes with her before rushing to TVNZ.
"She'll say things like 'aw, are you really going to work now?' and I think she's struggling to understand why she's only seeing me for such a short time. I understand that heaps of women work and they have no choice but for me it's five days a week where I hardly see my girls at all. There's no night where I can read them a story before they go to sleep."
Toni, 34, who was named Woman's Day TV Personality of the Year at the 2017 NZ TV Awards, will be taking up new presenting opportunities with TVNZ in the year ahead.
"I'm really excited to be hosting the Commonwealth Games and the New Zealander of the Year Awards for TVNZ in 2018 and I look forward to working on other projects with my TVNZ family including within news and current affairs," she says.
Seven Sharp will have a new presenting line-up when it returns next year after the holiday break. Viewers won't be waiting long to find out who will be hosting, says TVNZ, with a follow-up announcement is expected in January.
To read more about Toni's tough choice, see this week's Woman's Day.