ABC Newcastle morning presenter Lindy Burns is believed to have signed
on to replace Virginia Trioli on the Drive program in Melbourne – but
only until the end of the year.

In a rather tortuous process, ABC radio management selected Burns
ahead of Jill Singer after her two week on-air trial in September
generated excellent audience feedback.

However, it is believed that Burns pushed for the decision to only
commit until the end of the year, perhaps looking for an out if she has
a Julie McCrossin-type experience in a high pressure shift. Jill
Singer, or someone else, could still be appointed next year if things
don’t work with Lindy.

A similar decision appears to have been taken in the troubled breakfast
shift on ABC 702 in Sydney. Sarah McDonald, who was with Triple J in
Canberra when Mark Latham first got to Canberra, starts next Monday and
will continue until Christmas. Not an easy gig when you have young

Burns spent eight years in Melbourne during her student days but will
need to work very hard to get across the local scene, just as Trioli is
already doing in Sydney before she officially starts in Sally Loane’s old 702 Morning shift on Monday, October

Given that Trioli farewelled her listeners on August 19, you’d think an
announcement of a replacement would have been made within two months. A
raft of people have been tried and Libby Price has been filling in most
recently but will wind up next week, by which time Lindy’s appointment will
presumably have been unveiled to the world. Check out our earlier
coverage on the site here.

Stephen Mayne writes:

And here was I thinking that ABC management was pushing me into a
Friday morning breakfast slot with Red Symons (being trialled this
week) because Jill Singer had the Drive gig. Singer and I dated for a
few months in 1997-98 but it ended very badly in Vienna and there have
been no speakies since, so it would be hard to imagine having a
civilised 20 minute chat about business affairs in the studio each week.

What happens now? Two spots a week!

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.