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Nine’s Peter Overton is concerned about his future amidst rumours of job axings

"This won't break us."
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It’s set to become one of the biggest shake-ups in TV history, with rumours of massive budget cuts that could see an end to the era of huge paydays for the big stars.

All eyes are on newsrooms across the country after rumours first surfaced weeks ago that Seven Sydney’s long-time 6pm anchor Mark Ferguson may well be axed to make way for the network’s winning weekend team, Michael Usher and Angela Cox – a report that has Peter Overton and his loving wife Jessica Rowe feeling concerned.

Jess, wearing a pink sequined dress, and Pete, in a blue suit, hold hands
Jess will support Pete through thick and thin. (Image: Supplied)


According to one newspaper report, Seven’s power-hitters have “warmed” to the idea of replacing Fergo with a double-header, with an industry insider revealing that the move has got Nine’s news veteran Pete wondering if he might be next to get the flick or forced to have a co-anchor.

“It makes sense to put in a reliable duo like Michael [Usher] and Ange [Cox] to go head-to-head with long-time ratings winner Pete [Overton] – look how quick Tom Steinfort and Alicia Loxley have proven in a matter of a few months that they’re a resounding success for Nine’s nightly Melbourne 6pm bulletin,” the insider shares exclusively with Woman’s Day.

Such is the extraordinary success of Tom and Alicia in Melbourne that industry pundits now believe it’s only a matter of time before Nine Sydney moves toward a double act too.

Tom and Alicia have proven popular. (Image: Supplied)

“Pete has been solo at that desk for 15 years and like a good wine, at 58 he just seems to get better with age – but big bosses always have one eye on what their competitors are doing. For now, management will be doing everything to assure Pete that he’s safe – but he’s right to be feeling worried,” explains the insider.

“There is the argument that if they win the ratings year after year with just one newsreader, then why change it, but Pete would be worried all the same,” says the insider.


“But knowing Pete, if this is how the industry is shifting, then he will adapt – if he wants to remain current, he’ll have to adjust and go with the flow.”

And behind the scenes, it’s Pete’s devoted wife Jess who will be talking him down from this crisis of confidence.

“Jess is always the ultimate wing-woman and has learned from her own highs and lows how to wade through these sorts of challenges. She and Pete have a special bond – if she needs propping up, he’s right at her side. And in this instance, she’d be telling him no matter what, he will always be her number one.

Pete and Jess have always had a special bond. (Image: Getty)

She knows he doesn’t deserve to be out of a job, or replaced by someone who has far less experience. He’s one of the most trusted news anchors in Australia so Nine would be crazy to let him go – he’s got another decade in him at least!”

Adding to their woes is the fact that Pete has been missing from screens lately due to a hip replacement. “It’s given Jess a wake-up call seeing her Pete, who is the family’s protector and tower of strength, all of a sudden so vulnerable – and now there’s this question over his job security.

“But whatever happens they’ll come through it all stronger than ever – that’s just the way they are.”

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