Who is likely to replace longtime ABC radio host Jon Faine?

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ABC presenter Virginia Trioli is being canvassed as a potential replacement for long-time Melbourne radio host Jon Faine.

Faine announced on Monday he intends to step away from the microphone at the end of the year, after more than two decades as the voice of ABC Radio Melbourne's mornings program.

"I told ABC management that when my present contract expires, I won't seek another," the 62-year-old told listeners. "It's time for someone else to have as much fun as I have had."

Twelve months is a long time in radio – a medium where every second counts – but ABC managers are already casting their minds to 2020 in the hope of developing a solid succession plan.

The question on everyone's lips is who will replace the man who this week celebrated 30 years with the public broadcaster? The Age understands multiple ABC identities are being considered as possible successors, with Trioli one of them.

The News Breakfast host filled in for Faine while he was on leave last year and is one of the ABC's most recognisable and respected broadcasters, with more than seven years of full-time radio experience under her belt.

The ABC's John Faine has announced he is stepping away from the microphone.

The ABC's John Faine has announced he is stepping away from the microphone. Credit:Eddie Jim

Trioli said she would seriously consider the mornings hosting role, if it were offered to her.

"Jon is a friend of mine and has done an extraordinary job and will be an incredibly hard act to follow," she said. "If it [his role] was offered, I would consider it very, very seriously.

"It's one of the great jobs at the ABC, but ... I'm also lucky to be in one of the great jobs at the ABC. I adore News Breakfast and the achievement of creating this show out of nothing in the face of extraordinary scepticism 10 years ago. It's a fantastic achievement for so many of us and something I'm enormously proud of."

Another name being thrown around the halls of ABC Radio Melbourne is drive presenter Rafael Epstein. The Walkley Award winner has been in the role since 2012 and last year increased his audience share. There is a view among ABC staff that he would be well-suited to the agenda-setting mornings program.

However, shifting Epstein to mornings would leave a gap in the competitive drive slot. ABC management would then be expected to canvass some of the talented women who have filled in for Epstein over the years. (ABC TV's Tamara Oudyn and Nine newsreader Alicia Loxley both received positive feedback during recent on-air stints.)

An ABC spokesman didn't rule out the possibility of Melbourne radio listeners having an extended, double-header breakfast program next year, replacing the mornings program entirely.

"We won't be making any decision about who will be replacing Jon Faine until well towards the end of the year," the spokesman said.

Last year, ABC Radio Sydney merged its breakfast and mornings programs, with experienced broadcasters Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck sharing hosting duties. ABC Radio Melbourne's breakfast show is currently hosted by comedian Sami Shah and broadcaster Jacinta Parsons.

However, The Age understands an extended breakfast show is unlikely for Melbourne at this stage.

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