ABC responds to Mitchell claim that Trioli show will finish earlier

In his listener tips segment at the end of today’s program, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell set tongues wagging with speculation that Virginia Trioli’s new show may be one hour shorter than John Faine’s current shift.

Fain has a ‘conversation hour’ between 11am to noon each day, where he shares the stage and converses with interesting people. It is described as “an informal and relaxed opportunity to spend some time with people from all walks of life [who] meet, chat and inspire.”

While Faine is chatting to his chosen guest, most of the rest of the ABC Local Radio network is broadcasting ‘Conversations,’ a one hour long feature interview program with Richard Fidler and Sarah Kanowski.

The idea that ABC Melbourne may ‘lose’ one of its local hours to a networked show is always good marketing ammunition for a competitor station like 3AW who likes to trumpet that they are more ‘Melbourne’ than the ABC because the ABC has lots of Sydney or networked originated programming. Melbourne radio audiences are fiercely local to their local presenters and a claim like that could serve to give 3AW a competitive edge.

Mitchell told his listeners this morning:

I love scooping the ABC at their own business… I’m told they’re considering the last hour of the [Virginia Trioli] program will go national and she will only do 8.30 to 11.00.

An ABC spokesperson has told radioinfo that no decision has yet been made on timing of the new show, which will not begin until after Faine retires at the end of 2019:

We announced yesterday that Virginia would replace Jon and that’s exactly what she’ll do. There has been no decisions made yet about how Virginia’s program will be structured.

Neill Mitchell’s mischievious speculation is in the best/worst traditions of the competitive talk radio environment of Melbourne. Only time will tell if he was right.



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