For a start, Lynne & the rest of the cast always deny when someone is leaving, despite what social media and their CV's state so take the cast and their offerings with a grain of salt. They are hardly going to confirm it are they?
It's obvious channel 7 have wanted rid for a while and despite what some fans think on here, I doubt Home & Away will still be here in 3 years time sadly. The constant time slot shifts, the late start season premier that had nothing to do with sport or any scheduling conflicts and the lack of investment in storylines and fixing issues behind the scenes result in a can't be bothered attitude and rather fixing something that isn't even broken they are willing to ditch it. It's like death of a thousand paper cuts and it's classic behaviour of a network that quietly wants to axe a show. It's just Channel 7 being greedy and using the poor ratings as some lame excuse to dump it. No show is going to consistently rate what H&A rates all year round and help anchor an evening, not even reality tv junk (which both House Rules & MKR have either plateaued or dropped).
Commercial networks just don't like investing in scripted drama. Every network has significantly decreased their output compared to ten years ago, or even five years ago. Which is strange, especially for 7 that creates their own dramas in house and then sells them overseas keeping all the profits and not sharing them with a production company. So like every time they overpay for sports rights they axe something they deem expensive to rectify their budget blowouts or reduce overheads, which is always Australian made content and nearly always scripted tv. The really ironic thing is that it's the scripted tv and other departments that make money for 7 so they can afford to buy sports rights in the first place.
As for moving to 7two or streaming, how long do you think that will last? 7two couldn't even keep their soap imports and repeats of early Home & Away were replaced by million dollar minute, aka cheap filler crap. Moving to either platform would give channel 7 the excuse they need to axe the programme with a minimal amount of fuss. If 7 are worried about ratings now, well they are certainly going to be unimpressed by the results of streaming and 7two. Costs and expenses aren't going to suddenly decrease. If H&A did move it there it would be axed within a year and hardly anyone would care as both have a far less important reach than staying on 7. H&A doesn't have a cushy deal like Neighbours.
Also blaming H&A for its other shows failing is blatantly ridiculous. MKR is ten years old and people are just tiring of the overproduced, fake crap. How many more dinner parties can we sit through where someone can be extra, bitchy or inept at cooking? Though I would love to see H&A move to a later timeslot so Channel 7 could see H&A isn't the problem (well apart from the scriptwriters) but their tacky reality offerings that people aren't interested in.
As for saying MKR did marginally better in H&A's slot, they did, but MKR isn't on for over forty weeks of the year, Channel 7 doesn't have any other show that can last the distance and deliver the same ratings and their new reality shows have all tanked. Also to note that MKR didn't significantly boost other shows that aired after it in H&A place. Also how much was spent on the marketing budget for MKR? Yeah probably ten times more than for H&A, so you would expect better results.
Lead ins are also overrated. Hardly anyone is going to watch one channel all night and not every show on one network in one night is going to appeal to everyone.
The biggest WTF though is that H&A still rates in the top ten night nearly every night and posts good demos. Yeah like I said, it's budget related, 7 are greedy and they need extra funds, probably for more sport that loses money or more reality tv that can fail.