Melissa Doyle was left heartbroken and in tears when Seven delivered the news her beloved Sunday Night was being axed from the network and she was out of a hosting job.
But nothing could've prepared her for being completely sidelined by the network she's always been so loyal to.
"Mel has taken the axing of Sunday Night really badly. She's essentially in limbo after being at the network since she was just 20 years old," an insider tells Woman's Day.
While other Sunday Night stars such as Matt Doran and Angela Cox have been rehomed at the network, sources say the big bosses are "scrambling" to find the right projects for their once number one presenter.
There was even a whisper Mel, 49, had suggested she do special reporting for the show she took from zero to greatness – Sunrise. But Sam Armytage wouldn't be happy with that idea even getting to the boardroom for discussion.
"Mel would be an obvious pick to cover Edwina's [Bartholomew] maternity leave but there's no way Sam would want Mel to get her feet under the Sunrise breakfast table. She's too nervous about what a success she'd be.
"Everyone forgets Mel fronted Sunrise from 2002 to 2013 and it was the Kochie and Mel combo that won the hearts of viewers and took them to number one before Sam had the job."
But unless they find Mel something soon, it won't be long before she looks elsewhere. In fact, Nine are believed to be eyeing off Mel to replace Deb [Knight] and Georgie [Gardner] and host Today alongside returning star Karl Stefanovic.
WATCH BELOW: The brand-new Today show line-up featuring Deb Knight and Georgie Gardner as hosts make their debut. Story continues below...
"Karl has a soft spot for Mel and they have a great rapport already. He'd feel empathy for Mel because they've both been put out to pasture too early in their careers," our source tells.
"And Mel wouldn't be demanding the big bucks like Carrie Bickmore and realistically not be expecting the sort of coin Lisa Wilkinson was on.
"Mel just wants to know she has at least another 10 good years left in an industry that regards her as a trailblazer. Warehousing her would be an industry travesty and Nine, if they can, would fight for such a talent."
It's an idea that hasn't gone unnoticed by her rivals either.
"Georgie is genuinely worried about her future – Deb will always be fine because she was very clever to keep on so many gigs at Nine across their national and statewide programming, but Georgie knows the temptation of poaching someone as revered as Mel could be too much for network bosses," says the insider.
"Plus the combination of Mel and Karl going head to head with Kochie and Sam would certainly make for an interesting battle, then it would really be game on!"
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