Virginia Trioli

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Virginia Trioli
Born (1964-08-16) 16 August 1964 (age 54)
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)[1] 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.[2] After nearly two years, she resigned from this role on 9 November 2007 to concentrate on developing her TV career. 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 ABC 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 news presenter on ABC News 24. He was replaced by Michael Rowland.

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 in 2012.[5]

On-air gaffes[edit]

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 realize she was on camera.[6][7] The gesture was criticized by conservative commentator Andrew Bolt who argued it reflected what he believes is the ABC's bias to left-leaning parties.[8] She subsequently apologized for this action.[9]

During coverage of the 2016 US election, it was reported that Trioli was heard to state off camera 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]




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