When Kate Ritchie revealed last week that she was quitting her popular Nova drive show for the rest of the year owing to stress, she startled her followers and devoted listeners.
Although it seems as though her future at the station is in doubt, an insider tells Daily Mail Australia that the network is eager to have her back in the hot seat and that her recent drink-driving incident has nothing to do with her departure.
The insider claimed, “Most Nova employees are adamant that Kate won’t return, but they’ll do anything to keep her.”
The drink-driving incident was regrettable, but it didn’t affect Nova because she is a vital member of the family, they continued.
The insider claimed that Kate’s on-air admission of stress and exhaustion from her schedule is the real cause of her departure, and network executives are hoping she’ll change her mind and return.
The insider also claimed Kate was actually earning $1.2 million annually, which is considerably more than the estimated $1 million published in the media for her income.
If Kate decides not to come back, Nova is thinking about scheduling Chrissie Swan for the afternoon show.
After seven years on the air, Chrissie, Sam Pang, and Jonathan Brown made an official decision to leave their highly regarded Nova breakfast program Chrissie, Sam & Browny.
The insider claims that the news shocked Nova staff after CEO Peter Charlton sent an email to the entire staff at 8.30am with a press statement attached.
The decision may have surprised their listeners, but Chrissie stated on Friday that the timing was right for the trio to part ways.
The well-known Melbourne personality, who also makes appearances on The Project and serves as a judge on The Masked Singer, revealed that she was getting ready to transition into a new position at Nova after 20 years in breakfast radio.
For the rest of the year, Kate will not be hosting; however, she will return in the early months of 2023 with co-hosts Joel Creasey and Tim Blackwell.
Having had a “extremely stressful and full-on” year, Kate, 43, who was arrested for low-range drunk driving in August, told listeners she wanted time off.
She remarked on Thursday, “This past year has been tremendously demanding and full-on for me and my family.”
Like many of you, I have experienced a lot of change and increasing stress in a short period of time. And it has paid a price.
“But nonetheless, I am so thrilled that our Nova show is really roaring ahead, and going from strength to strength,” she continued.
We love our audience, and they seem to put up with us, she continued.
And as you might have imagined, I put a lot of emotional energy into everything I do, especially my work and my family. In the past few months, I have worked on radio, returned to TV, and in my free time, I even published a children’s book.
“So, it’s just that, like some of you, I think, I’m exhausted and I need a short break to give myself and my family more time to reenergize.
I spoke with Nova’s managers, and they gladly agreed that now would be a good time to take a vacation.
as the year’s end draws near.
“Nova has been fantastic and understanding, so thank you Nova, as well as Tim, Joel, and the team. But most of all, thank you to all of our wonderful listeners,” said the team. Yes, I do mean that.
“Recharge your batteries so you can start anew the next year,” And even if it’s only temporary, I’ll miss you all. In the New Year, I’ll see you.
‘Kate is a great broadcaster and a respected part of the Kate, Tim & Joel and Nova Network teams,’ said Peter Charlton, chief executive of Nova Entertainment.
We fully support Kate in her decision to prioritize her family and herself. We are forward to have her return in the following year.
Kate joined Nova FM for the first time in 2007 and is currently a judge on Channel Seven’s Australia’s Got Talent.
In 2014, the young celebrity started co-hosting the Kate, Tim & Marty drive show with Marty Sheargold and Tim Blackwell.
2020 saw the hiring of Creasy after Sheargold left for Triple M.
Following Kate’s arrest for drunk driving in Sydney’s eastern suburbs in August, rumors concerning her future at Nova started to circulate.
She was pulled over by police in her Subaru station wagon at 2:45 p.m. for a random breath test. She tested positive by the side of the road and was escorted to Maroubra Police Station.
She performed a supplementary breath test there, and the results showed a positive result of 0.06, which is just over the legal limit.
‘She was handed an infraction notice for the offence of Drive with Low Range Prescribed Concentration of Alcohol and issued a Licence Suspension Notice,’ a NSW Police spokeswoman said at the time.
Kate, who has a young daughter with her ex-husband Stuart Webb, reportedly received an immediate $600 fine and a driving suspension.
She later apologized for her conduct in a message posted on Instagram.
“Recently, I took a breathalyzer test at random. The test showed positive, despite the low amount, she stated.
“I made a bad choice, and I am aware of how severe my acts are,” the speaker said. I sincerely apologize.
Listeners had become aware of Kate’s frequent absences from the show at the time of her charge after she had taken a number of lengthy vacations recently.
She had seven consecutive weeks off from her late-afternoon shift at one point in 2020, which one radio personality called “unheard of.”