BUSINESS presenter John Murray is celebrating a top-level move into the mainstream as the replacement for Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One.
The 46-year old -- who previously hosted 'The Business' on RTE radio -- will front a new week-day programme, set to begin this September, during the prestigious 9-10am slot vacated by Tubridy.
He is returning to 2FM to replace the late Gerry Ryan.
Falling in between 'Morning Ireland' and Pat Kenny's 'Today' programme, the new 'John Murray Show' will focus on lifestyle and entertainment items.
RTE said the new show would take its cue "from real stories beyond the newsbeat", but would also have "a strong emphasis on human-interest stories".
A spokesman for the state broadcaster added: "It's still not be nailed down yet but you can see John's approach on 'The Business', which tends to come at topics from an unexpected angle.
"It will be about angles and stories that aren't necessarily out there. So it will be very different to 'Morning Ireland' or Pat Kenny's programme."
A delighted John Murray said last night that he relished the challenge his new high-profile role presented.
"The challenges don't come much bigger than this," he said, "but it's one that I take on with relish.
"I hope the experience I've gained on 'Morning Ireland' and 'The Business' will give me what it takes to command the 9-10am slot and to create good, captivating radio, building on the already strong listenership in the slot."
He added: "It's going to be fun, on air and off. I'm delighted to front this new show."
Pat Kenny had earlier spoken of his desire to move his two-hour 'Today' programme into Tubridy's slot an hour earlier.
But last night, he insisted that he was "thrilled" with Murray's appointment.
"I'm relieved now I'm not going to have to get up an hour earlier," he told the Irish Independent.
"I would have been happy to take the earlier slot if they'd asked me, but I'm happy now that we have a good solid line-up on Radio One in the mornings.
"I've been told that John's new show is not going to have a current affairs agenda, which is what I needed to hear, so I'm very pleased.
"I'm also intrigued by what he is going to do because John has a very wry sense of humour. You can see that by his previous show 'The Business', on which John managed to turn what can be a dull subject for people into something entertaining."
It had been reported that RTE was considering 'Liveline' presenter Joe Duffy for Tubridy's vacant 9am slot.
However, he directed the Irish Independent to his Twitter account, where he congratulated Murray on his new programme while referencing 'Going Forward' -- a term of jargon John Murray has continually made fun of on 'The Business'.
He tweeted: "Congrats to John Murray on joining the Radio One daily schedule going forward.
"Good humoured and likes people: a winner, going forward."
It had already been announced that George Lee would return to the airwaves this weekend after his abortive spell as a Fine Gael TD.
The former RTE economics editor will present 'Mind Your Business' on RTE Radio One at 10am on Saturdays this summer -- the slot normally occupied by 'The Business'.
RTE said no announcement would be made as to who would replace John Murray on 'The Business' until the autumn.
John Murray is a former deputy government press secretary and head of the Government Information Services.
Starting his career in the 'Tallaght Echo' newspaper in 1983, he then worked for the 'Cork Examiner' and local radio station Cork 96FM between 1989 and 1992, before moving to RTE.
He worked at the station until 1995 when he left to become an adviser to the then PD leader Mary Harney.
The father of two was the winner of the Inaugural Michael Smurfit Graduate School Business broadcaster of the year award in 2007.
'The Business' won the inaugural media award at the 2009 David Manley Emerging Entrepreneurs Awards.
John Murray's first book, 'Now That's What I Call Jargon', was published in 2008.