Sunrise steps up morning TV war

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Melbourne has become the battleground for ratings between Sunrise and Today.

Sunrise executive producer Adam Boland was celebrating for two reasons today, on his 35th birthday the Seven morning show is pulling bumper figures.

On Wednesday, Sunrise had 423,000 viewers over Today's 300,000.

Like TV politics, lately there has been a swing back to Seven's show, despite the in-roads that have been made by Today over recent years.

Boland says the shift is most evident in Melbourne.

"Across the years, we've discovered one thing to be true. When we as a team have fun, the audience responds. We are truly having a blast right now. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We know what we have to do each day, but genuinely look forward to seeing what each show brings. I firmly believe we have our mojo back, in a big way," he says.

"I'm really stoked that the Melbourne audience is starting to switch back to Sunrise. We've done a lot of work in that market -- from hosting major concerts such as Katy Perry, to [talkback host] Neil Mitchell's daily spot to opening a full-time bureau. Small steps, but there's no question the audience is responding."

Today, which has been winning the Melbourne market for some time, is not about to give up easily. It's planning three broadcasts in the lead up to the AFL Grand Final.

On Wednesday, September 22, it will be at Werribee Mansion then a day later at Sofia Restaurant, Frankston Pier and on Friday, September 24, it will broadcast from GR Bricker Reserve, Rowans Rd, Moorabbin.

"We always love coming to Melbourne," says Lisa Wilkinson. "It's a great opportunity for us to meet the viewers that support the show.”

Karl Stefanovic added, "And with the AFL Grand Final just around the corner, Melbourne is an exciting place to be."

Sunrise also plans Melbourne broadcasts ahead of the AFL Grand Final.

Meanwhile, Boland is looking ahead to his final months with the Seven show, with a new executive producer to be announced soon.

"I was super keen to go out on a high, but most of all I wanted to ensure I gave everything to the team I adore so much. We'll be doing more OBs [outside broadcasts] in the next few months than we've done all year, including a week in Hawaii.

"We're about to launch our apps across iPhone, iPad and Android -- and we're about to start streaming. Plus, we're about to launch a major initiative for the 220,000 members of the Sunrise family. So no slowing down. I want to hand over to the next EP [executive producer] a show that is truly strong and one that they can then only continue to build on."

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