One of the worst-kept secrets in television is now confirmed with Sunrise Executive Producer Michael Pell promoted to the new role of Senior Vice President, Entertainment Content, North America, based in Los Angeles from April.
The new role will see him scour the US for Seven content, reporting to Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, and working with Chief Content Officer, Entertainment Programming, Angus Ross, and the content team.
Pell has been overseeing Sunrise since November 2010 and Weekend Sunrise since March 2009.
Seven West Media Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, James Warburton, said: “Michael has done an extraordinary job at Sunrise and Weekend Sunrise, playing a vital role in their success and ensuring they remain Australia’s most-watched TV breakfast programs by a wide margin.
“His new role represents a great opportunity for Seven and for Michael himself, adding a valuable new resource in our content development area.”
Seven’s Director of News and Public Affairs, Craig McPherson, said: “Last year, Sunrise was the #1 breakfast TV program in Australia for the 18th year in a row and this year it has increased its lead over its nearest rival.
“It is a remarkable success story and Michael has been an important part of that for over a decade. He moves to his new role with my sincere thanks and very best wishes for the future.”
“I am extraordinarily proud of what we’ve achieved at Sunrise. It has been an honour to lead the talented team for more than 11 years, and I thank every one of them for their hard work and dedication,” said Pell.
“The program is in great shape, and I have no doubt Kochie and Nat will continue to dominate the landscape.
“I’m thrilled to be taking this next step. My top priority has always been to put the viewer’s needs first, above all else. As I embark on this new journey, that will remain front of mind,” he said.
David Koch said: “Michael has been a major force behind Sunrise’s continued success over many years. His drive, his passion, his flamboyant leadership style has meant it has been an absolute delight to work for him. I’m excited about his new opportunity within the network where, I have no doubt, he will achieve similar success.
“Sunrise has seamlessly transitioned through numerous key personnel changes over the years, which is a huge testament to the depth of the entire Sunrise team. We are all proud of what Michael has achieved and wish him the very best.”
Natalie Barr said: “Working with Michael has been one of the highlights of my career. Wherever I’ve been in the world – a flood zone, a bushfire, an international terror attack, the front lawn of The White House – he’s been the voice in my ear helping me through. We’ve achieved some fantastic success over many years, and he’s built a strong team.
“Michael is a good friend and I’ll miss him dearly, but I know he’s looking forward to an
exciting new challenge in the US with Seven and we wish him every success.”
A successor will be announced soon.