Moore finds her rhythm

Lis­ten­ers have put out the wel­come mat for Jon Faine’s tem­po­rary re­place­ment

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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.

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