George Negus is heading back to commercial television, quitting SBS to spearhead Channel Ten’s revamped news line-up.

It’s all but confirmed Negus, the former 60 Minutes globe-trotter, will host Ten’s new 6pm national current affairs program from next year.

His SBS contract, which sees him hosting the public broadcaster’s crusading Dateline program, ends this year. Negus has told management he won’t renew the deal to join Ten, an SBS spokesperson confirmed to Crikey this evening.

The veteran reporter has been a regular and popular panelist on Ten’s youth-orientated chat show 7PM Project. Rumours had fellow 7PM guest Jennifer Byrne as host of the new 6pm show, but Negus is now likely to inherit the gig which Ten says will feature longer-form current affairs reporting.

Ten announced the news-heavy evening line-up earlier this year, with Neighbours pushed to digital channel 11 (also launching next year) to make way for national affairs at 6pm and new local bulletins at 6:30. Ten has already announced hosts for the 6:30 bulletins but is yet to name the 6pm program presenter.

A spokesperson for Ten has not responded to Crikey‘s request for comment.

SBS confirms Dateline will return next year without Negas, who has hosted the program for the past five years. He will continue with the show until the end of the current season.

Peter Fray

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