TVNZ reporter gets Morning Report job

BY KIRSTY JOHNSTON AND VERNON SMALL
Last updated 16:22 02/11/2010
Simon Mercep
TVNZ
Simon Mercep

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TVNZ reporter Simon Mercep is the new replacement for Sean Plunket on Morning Report.

The reporter for TV1's Sunday programme was chosen from a short list that included Canterbury University public relations flack John McDonald and Radio NZ's press gallery reporter Jane Patterson.

Mercep replaces Sean Plunket and will sit alongside veteran Geoff Robinson in the 6-9am weekday slot.

TVNZ's website says Mercep joined Sunday in 2008 after spending more than seven years on Fair Go. In late 2007 he also presented TV One's Breakfast Business programme.

He has also worked as a reporter for Holmes and as a reporter and occasional presenter for One News.

Before that, he worked for ABC radio in Australia, for CBC radio in Canada and for the BBC radio and television in the UK. Simon also worked as a print journalist in Cyprus.

Radio New Zealand was forced to confirm Mercep had the role late this afternoon after the news was leaked via social networking site Twitter.

TV3 reporter Laura Frykberg, daughter of senior Radio NZ journalist Eric Frykberg, tweeted that "Mercep was being congratulated in the newsroom."

Radio New Zealand's head of news, Don Rood, said Mercep had an impeccable track record as a journalist and would "contribute significantly to Morning Report's long and proud tradition of setting the news agenda and holding people to account".

"I am confident that Simon will continue that tradition by using his expertise and professionalism to keep the New Zealand public very well informed. He will ask the hard questions."

Mercep will take up his new role in January, working alongside long-time Morning Report host Geoff Robinson.

When contacted this afternoon Mercep said he could not say anything about the role but "the person that does have that job will be making an announcement soon".

More than 80 people from New Zealand and abroad had applied for the position.

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