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Trioli fills hole left by McKew on Lateline

SYDNEY ABC radio morning host Virginia Trioli has been appointed Tony Jones's understudy on Lateline.

While Trioli's much-vaunted move to Sydney radio from Melbourne has yet to deliver results of any consequence, her TV ambitions remain strong.

Jones continues to host Lateline, with Trioli replacing Maxine McKew, who recently resigned from the ABC to become a consultant for ALP leader Kevin Rudd. McKew is tipped to contest a federal seat for the ALP this year.

Trioli will add her task of hosting ABC TV's Friday night current affairs program to her contributions to ABC TV's Insiders and Sunday Arts, where she is "special guest interviewer".

Her commitment to ABC radio has already been questioned, with her copious holidays in 2006 even including a Melbourne Cup long weekend.

Her clumsy move from the fifth-rating drive slot on Melbourne's ABC774 late in 2005 to replace the more genteel Sally Loane in ABC702's morning slot has failed to deliver. She remained fifth in the morning slot in the last ratings survey of 2006, despite now enjoying a high-rating lead-in, AM.

ABC insiders suggested Trioli was brought to Sydney to add more aggressive news content to ABC702 while furthering her designs on TV.

But her feisty demeanour and consequent results, which were considered a success by ABC management in Melbourne, where she was seen to be punching above her ratings weight in the drive slot, have not caused a ripple in Sydney, where she is more inclined to rehash the morning's newspapers.

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Original piece is,20867,21177364-2702,00.html

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