Channel Seven has confirmed that Melissa Doyle and Matt White will host a new 4pm national news bulletin from Monday.
Fairfax Media broke the story on Tuesday, revealing that current afternoon newsreader Rebecca Maddern had been pushed out to make way for Doyle and White.
The network did not respond to requests for comment.
Initially, Doyle had been tipped to host a new 7pm news bulletin on Seven's secondary digital channel, 7Two. She will start this role on Monday, in addition to the 4pm bulletin, after finishing her 14-year stint on Sunrise today.
Multiple sources maintain that Doyle was bumped out in a bid to overhaul Sunrise before the launch of Channel Ten's rival breakfast show Wake Up! later this year.
But a senior Channel Seven insider told Fairfax Media that Doyle did not want to be shunted off to 7Two, which has an average audience share of just 5 per cent.
"The network gave Mel this [4pm bulletin on Channel Seven] to placate her after it pushed her out of Sunrise," the source said. "They were planning to give her a show on 7Two only and she put her foot down and said, 'No, I'm staying on the main channel'."
The source said Maddern was upset "at being elbowed out", especially since her ratings are closer to Channel Nine's than most other Seven bulletins.
It is believed Maddern will continue with Seven as a reporter and is hoping to replace Samantha Armytage as co-host of Weekend Sunrise, having often filled in for Armytage when she's away.
From Monday, Armytage will join David Koch as co-host of the weekday edition of Sunrise.
Meteorologist David Brown, veteran sports presenter Jim Wilson and finance expert Scott Pape, known as "the barefoot investor", will be part of the new 4pm bulletin, which will run for 90 minutes.
Seven's news director Rob Raschke said: “There has never been a greater demand for news than there is now and Seven is determined to give Australians more choice. That's why we're investing in news.
“Our team is the best in the business. Our presenters are highly credentialed, experienced journalists, skilled at delivering news as it unfolds. These are exciting times.”
Channel Nine currently airs a one-hour news bulletin at 4.30pm but may change this in response to its rival's latest move.
On Monday, both networks announced new 7pm bulletins on their digital channels 7Two and Gem.