Morning Report to 'leave' capital

ALEX FENSOME
Last updated 05:00 31/12/2013
Guyon Espiner
TVNZ
QUESTION TIME: Guyon Espiner will join Radio New Zealand in the new year.

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Wellington will no longer play host to Radio New Zealand's flagship Morning Report after Guyon Espiner was named as its new co-presenter.

Espiner, a television journalist, has signed on to replace Geoff Robinson from April.

Once Robinson goes, live presenting will leave Wellington, with both Espiner and co-host Simon Mercep based in Auckland.

"I might go on the road, or be in Wellington for Budget day, but the day-to-day I'll be fronting it out of Auckland," Espiner, 42, said yesterday.

"It's a bit of a national treasure and a great gig. It's a really good opportunity to present a show I have been listening to for a long time."

Espiner, who was previously political editor for Television New Zealand, is now with TV3 as anchor and co-host of current affairs shows Third Degree and The Vote.

He said he would have a month or so of training in the Wellington studio before heading back to Auckland, where he moved two years ago with wife Emma.

Their young daughter Nico was providing plenty of practice for an early start to the day, he joked.

Espiner's new role will mark the end of his time at TV3.

He said he was proud of the work he had done on Third Degree and The Vote, but he always felt like "a fish out of water" in the commercial TV environment.

The opportunity to present three hours of hard news each morning was too good to pass up.

"I am a fairly serious journalist, I like the politics and the economics and business stuff and, to be honest, it's hard to do that on commercial television. I was a fish out of water to some extent."

Radio New Zealand head of news Don Rood said Morning Report producers would remain in Wellington.

"Being an election year, Guyon and Simon will be backwards and forwards between Auckland and Wellington," he said.

Radio New Zealand chief executive Paul Thompson said Espiner had "an impressive career, impeccable journalism credentials and is an incisive interviewer".

"He has a strong understanding of both the political and commercial worlds and an extensive network of contacts at the highest levels in the public and private sectors."

Thompson said the Morning Report hosting job was "one of the most influential and career-defining roles" in New Zealand media.

"The public expects the country's business and political leaders to be held to account, and Guyon's appointment means New Zealanders will be well served in what is going to be an interesting election year."

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- The Dominion Post

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