Jessica Rowe shocked viewers on Studio 10 this morning by announcing she was leaving the program.
In an abrupt announcement that left several of her co-hosts in tears, an emotional Rowe told viewers the decision had been “very hard” but was made to spend more time with her family.
“I’ve decided to leave Studio 10 …it’s been a very hard thing for me to do but it’s because my family need me,” she said through tears.
“I want to be a more present mother for my girls, Allegra and Giselle. They need their mum. I want to be there in the mornings for them, to take them to school … It is something that I need to do, it is as simple as that.”
Rowe went on to say, she had spoken a lot about the decision with her husband, Nine journalist Peter Overton.
“Peter and I have spoken a lot about this over the past six months and it has weighed on me because this is the best job that I have ever had on television. It is family. It is a job that has allowed me to find my voice and my courage again and I will never forget that. When I told Paul Anderson, the CEO, of my decision earlier this week, he was incredibly supportive and understood my reasons with family and the network has been nothing but supportive and said any time I’m welcome back,” she said.
The television host was one of the founding panelists on Studio 10 when it launched in 2013, along with co-hosts Sarah Harris, Joe Hildebrand and Ita Buttrose. Rowe’s current co-hosts, expressed their gratitude at having worked with her and praised their departing colleague.
Hildebrand said in a heartwarming tweet: “Sad beyond words that my beloved @JessRowe is leaving @Studio10au We all begged her to stay but her family must come first. FYI She will still be with us all month and coming back whenever she wants. We love you Jess!!!!!”
“I have made one of the best friends I’ve ever had, and we’ve got that for the rest of our lives,” Denise Drysdale said.
“… you wear your heart on your sleeve and I can say from the bottom of my heart, rarely do you meet people with such kindness and courage and with your incredible work with mental health, you have brought comfort to so many people around this country,” Natarsha Belling added.
Following Rowe’s emotional announcement, former Studio 10 executive producer Rob McKnight, who left the show in November last year, uploaded a tweet claiming Ten had planned to sack Rowe “for over a year”.
He wrote: “Sad to hear @JessRowe is leaving @Studio10au. @channelten have been planning to sack her for over a year. She blamed me, even though I was trying to save her job.”
In response to McKnight’s tweet, Rowe’s manager David Wilson said: “@rob_mcknigh to be absolutely clear – Ten offered Jess a generous new contract for her to stay. Leaving @Studio10au was Jess’ choice for the reasons she so beautifully articulated on air this morning. It takes great courage to make these big decisions.”
@rob_mcknight to be absolutely clear – Ten offered Jess a generous new contract for her to stay. Leaving @Studio10au was Jess’ choice for the reasons she so beautifully articulated on air this morning. It takes great courage to make these big decisions.
— David H H Wilson (@DavidHHWilson) March 8, 2018
For her part, Rowe added that she was “looking forward to being with my family and being present for them, and doing the best possible job I can.
“I love you all,” she concluded.
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