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Fresh faces lead Nine News' ratings assault

Channel Nine has a pair of fresh faces to front its news ratings assault from January 28.

While weather presenter Sally Ayhan is settling in and planting new roots, Perth-born newsreader Tim McMillan is reconnecting with his family tree.

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Fresh-faced Nine News

A re-shuffle at Channel Nine as bought some fresh Aussie talent to Perth's 6pm time slot.

Ayhan, who will present Nine's weather following Angela Tsun's defection to Channel Seven, comes from Sydney - where she presented for The Weather Channel - but has also worked as a journalist in Istanbul.

"I also had a stint as a Turkish soap opera actress on the side," she said.

"I wasn't a fulltime soap opera star, it was just a few commercials here and the odd soap there.

"It was good fun but I don't think I really saw a career in it, that's for sure."


The seasoned journalist, who speaks Turkish, said she fell in love with food "by osmosis" after meeting husband Utku Ayhan and now writes her own food blog, The Food Anthropologist.

"We used to bond over food and talk about Turkish cooking traditions and have beautiful traditional breakfasts," she said.

The pair own a Middle Eastern restaurant in Bondi and hope to open another eatery when he joins her in Perth next year.

"He'll make a few trips throughout the year, see what's around and what opportunities there are as far as a similar mezze bar goes," she said.

"Hopefully, all things going well, we'll have a Turkish restaurant or Middle Eastern restaurant in Perth."

While Ayhan finds her feet in her new city, McMillan is rediscovering Perth and looking for somewhere to set up camp with wife Jo and two-year-old son.

"To be able to come back here and read the news was a dream come true," McMillan said.

"Also, all my family is here, my wife's family is here, we've got a little two-year-old now, so to be able to come back and have all of his cousins, aunties, uncles, grandparents around is just going to be fantastic for him, and hopefully fantastic for us, having some babysitting around."

The former The Today Show news presenter has worked in Sydney and Melbourne, but is no stranger to the local media and earned his first pay cheque delivering newspapers in Perth's hills.

"That was torture, doing a paper round in Lesmurdie up and down hills, houses miles apart," he recalled.

"It was a pittance, two cents a paper.

"For five hours' work I got $5.60.

"It should have put me off the media, but strangely it put me on a path."

McMillan went to school at Trinity College – where his mother was also a teacher – and studied media at WAAPA before getting work experience at Channel Nine in Perth.

Now, more than a decade later, McMillan takes the reins from newsreader Greg Pearce and is looking forward to mixing up the current presenting formula.

"Hopefully just the couple of fresh faces will give it a bit of rejuvenation," he said.

"I think my background as a reporter will enable us to take the news on the road where possible and if a big story's breaking, I'm really looking forward to being at the scene and hopefully presenting news some nights from the scene itself."