Virginia Trioli

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Virginia Trioli
Born (1964-08-16) 16 August 1964 (age 53)
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
Education B.A., La Trobe University
Occupation Television journalist
Title News Breakfast Co-host
Spouse(s) Russell Skelton
Children 1

Virginia Frances Trioli (born 16 August 1964) is an Australian journalist, author and radio and television presenter.


Born in Bendigo, Trioli attended Donvale High School and graduated from La Trobe University in the 1980s, with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a fine arts major in cinema. She worked as a publicist for a book publisher, then at the Victorian Ethnic Affairs Commission before starting at The Age in 1990. For three years she was president of The Age's chapter of the union, the Australian Journalists Association (now the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance).

Trioli began, but never completed, postgraduate studies at New York University from 1993 to 1994 while working as a reporter for The Age, where she worked until 1999. Trioli worked part-time for the Packer organisation as a columnist in the magazine The Bulletin. She became well known as a radio presenter when she worked at 774 ABC Melbourne in 2001 on weekday afternoons, where she shared the journalist union's Walkley Award with the 774 "Drive Team". In 2001, she won a Walkley Award for her interview with former defence minister Peter Reith over the Children Overboard Affair.

In 2005, Trioli moved to Sydney to host the morning show on the radio station 702 ABC Sydney, replacing Sally Loane.[1] After nearly two years, she resigned from this role on 9 November 2007 to concentrate on developing her TV career. Many speculated she wanted the role of presenter of Media Watch on ABC TV.[2] In addition to her radio commitments, she was a regular occasional commentator on ABC TV program Insiders and was a weekly host on Sunday Arts. On 5 February 2007, Trioli was announced as the Friday presenter of ABC's Lateline news and current affairs program, replacing Maxine McKew. Trioli hosts the ABC program Q&A when its regular host, Tony Jones, is on a break.

Trioli is the author of the book Generation F: Sex, Power and the Young Feminist published in 1996 as a riposte to Helen Garner's The First Stone.

In 2008, Trioli moved back to Melbourne to commence co-hosting News Breakfast alongside Barrie Cassidy, Joe O'Brien, Paul Kennedy and Vanessa O'Hanlon. In January 2009, the ABC announced that O'Brien would remain as host on Monday to Friday replacing Cassidy. In May 2010, O'Brien left News Breakfast to work as a newsreader on ABC News 24; Michael Rowland became the new co-host. In 2013, it was reported that the ABC paid Trioli A$235,664 per year, about $84,000 more than was paid to Rowland.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Trioli is married to Russell Skelton who is a contributing editor of The Age[4] and head of the ABC's fact checking unit. The couple had their first child[5] in 2012.

On-air gaffes[edit]

Gesture made in reference to Barnaby Joyce after conclusion of an interview

On 19 October 2009, while hosting the ABC2 breakfast news program News Breakfast, live images were transmitted of Trioli making a gesture of a contorted face and a twirling finger in reference to conservative National Party Australian Senator Barnaby Joyce, thereby suggesting the senator was crazy. Trioli did not realise she was on camera.[6][7] The gesture was criticised by conservative commentator Andrew Bolt who argued it reflected what he believes is the ABC's bias to left-leaning parties.[8] She subsequently apologised for this action.[9]

During coverage of the 2016 US election, it was reported that Trioli was heard to state off camera that that Donald Trump supporters "should be subjected to an IQ test" before they voted and claimed that Trump was staring at his wife Melania's breasts as he went to vote, while Trioli was, once again unknowingly, live on air.[10][11]




  1. ^ Ziffer, Daniel (13 August 2005). "Trioli's career over the border". The Age. Retrieved 26 June 2008. 
  2. ^ Javes, Sue; Arjun Ramachandran (9 November 2007). "Trioli quits radio for full-time television career". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "On air and off, the ABC spares no expense on its stars" by Sarah Martin, The Australian, 20 November 2013
  4. ^ "Trioli quits for life on the box" by Caroline Overington, The Australian, 9 November 2007[dead link]
  5. ^ "Standing ovation for Trioli the MC" by Suzanne Carbone, The Sydney Morning Herald, 13 June 2012
  6. ^ "TV presenter sorry for crazy off-air moment". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "A hire wire act with lots of holes in the safety net" by Adam Walters, The Daily Telegraph, 20 October 2009
  8. ^ Andrew Bolt (20 October 2009). "It's crazy to think some people don't deserve to have opinions". Herald Sun. Retrieved 4 February 2014. 
  9. ^ "Breakfast Wind-Up". Media Watch. 19 October 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  10. ^ ABC presenter Virginia Trioli's 'off-camera' remarks picked up online;; 9 November 2016
  11. ^ "President Trump will do in the ABC's head" by Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun, 9 November 2016
  12. ^ a b c Profile, ABC

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Maxine McKew
Presenter (Friday)

Succeeded by
Leigh Sales
Preceded by
Program started
News Breakfast
Co-host with Michael Rowland

3 November 2008 – present
Succeeded by