Kochie has been honest about the pressures of his high-flying gig in the past, but the insider says his reasons for wanting to leave Sunrise are purely personal.
“He has made it clear, especially during Sydney’s lockdown, that being separated from his four grown-up kids and six grandchildren is too much,” says the insider, who reveals Kochie and his wife, Libby, are hoping to have “quality family time” together going forward.
“He knows he’s had a good run and would prefer to leave on a high note with great ratings.”
Following Samantha Armytage’s surprise departure from TV in March, our insider says finding the perfect replacement to co-host with Natalie Barr is “imperative”.
Interestingly, the source explains that Weekend Sunrise co-host Matt Doran is “officially out of the race” for Kochie’s job. Instead, executives are turning their attention to Larry Emdur and Michael Usher.
“Channel 7’s golden boy, Larry, is the short-odd favourite, especially after putting him in The Chase to replace Andrew [O’Keefe] – he can do no wrong,” tells the source, adding the only person standing in his way is the network’s prized news reporter, Michael.
“If it was down to Larry and Matt, Larry is the winner. But, Kochie is pushing hard for his favourite candidate to take over the reins and that’s Michael,” the insider continues, noting that Michael has taken over Kochie’s morning hosting duties on Fridays.
While Larry hosts The Chase and The Morning Show, the latter might soon be a thing of the past as he’s eyed off for the best seat in Channel 7’s stable.
Thankfully, the insider explains that the three gents are all great friends and regardless of who gets the top job, “there will be no bad blood in the corridors”.
“Kochie rates both Michael and Larry very highly, and would prefer them – over anyone else – to steer the ship,” says the source.
WATCH: David Koch and Natalie Barr receive COVID vaccine live on Sunrise (Article continues after video)
“COVID-19 has driven home for the Koch clan that family is everything. His Sunrise family want him to leave knowing they’re OK and happy with his replacement,” the source adds, noting that the veteran TV star has “read the room” when it comes to TV exits.
“Unlike some other people, Kochie plans to go gracefully … he’s given so much advice to other retirees over the years, it’s time to take his own advice and enjoy life – his grandkids want their poppy all to themselves!”
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