The Australian have reported that Chris Uhlmann and Leigh Sales will be named today as hosts of the new-look The 7:30 Report when it returns in 2011. Sales will serve as the anchor in the Sydney studio, while Uhlmann will be based in Canberra where he will report on the political news of the day.

I suspect that the announcement will come as a surprise to very few people with this configuration rumoured over the past month and both hosts having been seen to be leading contenders for the gig.

UPDATE: The pairing of Uhlmann and Sales has now been confirmed by ABC Television.

Disappointingly the show will now be called 7:30, eliminating The 7:30 Report brand name. “7:30” sounds far too disposable and lacks the prestige associated with the program.

It’s also noteworthy that Stateline brand is also being eliminated. While the show will continue on in the Friday 7:30pm timeslot, it will now also be known as “7:30”. This continues the practice set by The Drum on Fridays in which they shift the focus away from politics to a discussion on sports. It’s a confusing practice that only serves to disappoint the viewers who tune in for one type of program and instead see another.