In a statement that creates as many questions as it provides answers the ABC has announced that for "family reasons" Virginia Trioli has decided she will be unable to present ABC Radio's flagship currect affairs program AM.
The announcement that Virginia was moving to AM was made just two weeks ago. Virginia will now remain hosting ABC News Breakfast on ABC1 and ABC News 24 with co-host Michael Rowland. The statement goes on to say that "This now well-established team will continue to go from strength to strength."
Virginia had been expected to move to Sydney where her husband lives to host the radio program but will now remain in Melbourne. It has been speculated that the ABC was very nervous about loosing Trioli from ABC News Breakfast, the program achieved it's best ever ratings in 2013 and producers were keen to avoid disruption. It's believed Trioli was offered a considerable payrise to remain on Television.
AM will be presented by Chris Uhlmann. Most recently the senior political editor for7.30 and a former radio breakfast host.
Chris Uhlmann said: “AM has been the standard-bearer of ABC current affairs for nearly half a century. I am honoured and delighted to be asked to present it. Tony Eastley leaves big shoes to fill but I will work hard to ensure that I maintain the excellence of the program. I have worked with Executive Producer David Burgess in the past and he is an outstanding journalist so I’ll be in a safe pair of hands.”
Tony Eastley will be moving into his new position hosting on ABC News 24 from mid-February. Chris will be in the AM chair from Monday, February 10.
Director of News Kate Torney said: “I’m really looking forward to the high quality broadcast journalism Virginia, Tony and Chris will all bring to their respective programs in 2014.”