A clue accompanying the caption shows how after his sudden disappearance, Seven was forced to replace TV reporter Matt Doran on Sunrise – while the police frantically searched for the missing star.
The high-profile Sydney journalist was reported missing Tuesday morning after failing to show up for his 5.30am shift to provide live coverage of the Hunter Valley bus crash from the area.
After a desperate police search, including at his hotel in Singleton, officers found the star reporter in a local cafe a short time later. Doran has since personally parted ways with the network and was not on the air for the past week.
Viewers would never have known anything was wrong, as Sunrise hosts Natalie Barr and newly inaugurated Matt Shirvington smoothly transitioned to Doran’s replacement, Liam Tapper, at the start of Tuesday’s bulletin.
However, closed captions show Seven making last-minute changes to the program to explain Doran’s absence.
Matt Doran caused panic after he disappeared from Singleton, in Hunter Valley, NSW, on Tuesday. He is pictured with his wife Kendall Bora
Captions reveal Channel Seven made last-minute changes to Tuesday’s schedule after Doran went missing
According to the captions — shared with transcription websites like Tveeder — Sunrise hosts are said to say, “Live now to our team of reporters this morning at key locations. First to Matt Doran at the Greta crash scene vigil.”
Instead, Shirvington said, “First for you Liam Tapper at Cessnock Police Station.”
All free-to-air channels are required by law to provide closed captioning for their news and current affairs programs for viewers with hearing impairment.
Each channel hires human transcribers who record dialogue – usually in real time – which can then be accessed by television transcription services or turned on by viewers on any modern device.
The behind-the-scenes revelation comes as locals shed light on officers’ attempts to find Doran after he skipped work and co-workers subsequently failed to find him at his lodging.
Staff at a local motel told Daily Mail Australia that police visited the property on Tuesday equipped with a description of Doran’s appearance.
“He wasn’t staying here, but the police came in and said he was missing and asked us to keep an eye on him,” the worker said.
Another employee who works at a second motel in Singleton said she was also visited by officers, despite Doran not having a reservation there.
Pictured is Doran reporting Monday from Branxton, in the Hunter Valley, a few hundred yards from the crash site
Ten people were killed and 25 others injured after a bus carrying guests from a wedding back to a Singleton property rolled over on its side (pictured)
Reporter Liam Tapper replaced Doran on Sunrise on Tuesday morning (seen in Cessnock)
“They asked me to look him up in the system to check if he was a guest, but he wasn’t there,” she said.
NSW Police confirmed to Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday that a search had been launched for a 40-year-old man after Port Stephens Hunter Police District received a welfare report.
Officers launched an investigation and found a man a short time later. There is no further action from the police,” said a spokesman.
Doran, who has a history of personal trouble, was last seen talking to members of the Singleton community at a local soccer field on Monday afternoon.
Earlier, locals had seen Doran drive away from the home of newly married couple Mitchell Gaffney and Maddy Edsell, whose marriage was at the center of the tragedy.
An eyewitness recalls the surprising way he spoke to members of the Singleton Roosters football team, for whom several wedding guests played.
“He seemed distracted when he was interviewing,” the source told Daily Mail Australia.
“He didn’t want to be there.”
Doran’s wife Kendall Bora is an executive producer of Nine’s rival breakfast show Today
Doran’s behavior did not go unnoticed by viewers, with his Monday morning coverage – the day after the fatal crash – generating a number of critical tweets.
Seven has yet to make a statement about Doran’s well-being; however, insiders say several factors may have contributed to his troubling behavior.
One suggested that perhaps Doran was struggling with the confrontational nature of the tragedy of the wedding bus crash.
Doran and his wife, Today show producer Kendall Bora, are said to have spent the long weekend at their $1.75 million holiday home in Berowra Waters, north of Sydney, meaning he was one of the first reporters on the scene Monday morning.
His live cross to the Channel Seven studios was about 1 km from the crash site where 10 wedding guests died.
“One wonders if a job like that might be too much for someone prone to emotional stress,” a Seven insider told the Daily Mail Australia.
“It would traumatize anyone, but especially someone who is particularly sensitive or struggling.”
On top of that, Doran was – until recently – touted as a possible replacement for retired Sunrise presenter David Koch. The role instead went to Matt Shirvington.
Doran was assigned to cover the bus crash the same day Shirvington made his debut as a Sunrise anchor alongside Natalie Barr.
Radio host Kyle Sandilands speculated that Doran had struggled to be knocked out amid the fallout from his infamous Adele interview in late 2021.
Kyle Sandilands said he thought Doran was “dirty” about missing Sunrise’s main performance
“He’s still grossed out that Shirvo got the big Kochie job. Because [Doran is] the Weekend Sunrise guy, so you’d think he was in the running for Kochie’s job,” Sandilands said.
“But no, not after the Adele fiasco,” he added, referring to Doran’s disastrous interview with the Grammy-winning singer in which he admitted he hadn’t listened to her album prior to the sit-down.
The British musician then walked out in a rage and the interview, which reportedly cost the network $1 million, was never aired.
The incident comes just weeks after Doran put up for sale his lavish two-bedroom apartment in Bellevue Hill, in Sydney’s posh eastern suburbs.
The house will be auctioned by BresicWhitney on June 24 with a target price of $1.8 million.
Doran, who began his career as a police reporter at the Herald Sun, joined Seven in 2017 after nearly eight years in the Network Ten newsroom.
Two years later, he was promoted to his current role as co-host of Weekend Sunrise alongside Monique Wright, after intermittently replacing weekday host David Koch.
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