Moore finds her rhythm
Listeners have put out the welcome mat for Jon Faine’s temporary replacement
ALI Moore, the 774 ABC morning host, is talking at such a rapid clip on the phone it’s difficult to keep up. As the words tumble out of her mouth, Jon Faine’s temporary replacement admits she is trying to slow down and take things easier on air.
It’s just that a career spent tackling hard news and current affairs on shows such as ABC-TV’s 7.30 Report makes it hard for her to change down a gear.
Though there is no shortage of news and issues to explore, she says her three-hour morning-radio gig is more like a conversation with listeners rather than the rigidly structured, highly focused and intense TV current-affairs environment she is used to.
‘‘It takes a while, I think, to get your pace and re-orient yourself to what you’re doing,’’ says the Melbourne-born Moore, who commutes to her former home town each week from her base in Sydney.
‘‘It’s not an eight-minute, hard-news and current-affairs interview. It’s a 3½-hour conversation that goes through the morning.’’
Moore is in her sixth week on air after replacing Faine, who with his son has embarked on a six-month odyssey driving across Asia and Europe to London.
She is very much aware of the big shoes she has been asked to fill. Faine’s loyal audience has hung on the bearded interviewer’s every word behind the mic for 10 years.
When asked if regular listeners have accepted her in the role, she laughs.
‘‘You mean, how many people have rung up and said, ‘Get rid of her?’ ’’ Moore says.
ADMITTING she is still finding her rhythm, Moore says the overall reaction has been positive. ‘‘I find talkback terrific. People are really prepared to engage in the topic and I hope that is a reflection of their engagement with the program,’’ she says.
‘‘I’m quite sure I probably annoy a lot of people because I’m different to Jon and I’m still learning or easing my way into the different pace of a radio program.’’
Moore says she has never sat down with Faine and dissected his approach to the show and says there is no point trying to be him. Instead, she brings her own style and person- ality to the studio. ‘‘I approach it very much as a conversation that can be dipped in and out of and returned to in the sense that I might start with one story and then move on to another,’’ she says.
‘‘It’s like sitting around a table in the living room. You might get up from the table and move to the couch.
‘‘I really do see it as sort of a 3½-hour montage and I have no problems with going back or going forward, depending on what’s happening and also where the audience takes me.’’
Moore began her career on radio 22 years ago at the ABC on what was then 3LO. Six years in news and current affairs followed, including a tour of duty as the ABC’s China correspondent.
She worked for Channel 9 for 10 years from 1996, covering stories across the globe along with hosting Business Sunday.