Morning Edition shows potential
Even during the Windows hey day, Gates was a champion eye-glazer. There's a good question about levels of Irish overseas aid in austere times, and Gates's work to eradicate polio is undoubtedly admirable, but still - this is television: give me an unreconstructed villain over a sincere philanthropist any morning.
As far as the format goes, though, it quite simply works. My one reservation is the formal reading of the news headlines. Having opted to shun the traditional husband-and-wife dual presenter system (perhaps partly for financial reasons), the logical next step was to delegate as much as possible so that Shanley isn't overburdened.
But in an era where broadcasters like the BBC prefer to speak in terms of "presenters" and not "newsreaders", RTÉ's preference across much of its schedule for a very deliberate enunciation of the headlines seems old-fashioned, and here it interrupts the easygoing, friendly tone cultivated by Shanley.
Highly respected within RTÉ for her versatility, Shanley is already well-known for her work on Prime Time and The Consumer Show. But even if it takes time for audiences to flow rather than trickle to Morning Edition, broadcasting on TV for two hours, five days a week, will inevitably bring her, and the team of on-screen regulars, more exposure.
More people watch television in the morning than you might think. It's an audience of powerful consumers too, including as it does the homemakers who make their families' purchasing decisions. This is the primary customer base of advertisers such as Avonmore, L'Oréal, Müller, Cadbury and Tesco - brands that all appeared in today's ad breaks.
The final hour of TV3's Ireland AM is now in the line of Morning Editon's fire. Murnane, speaking to me on Friday, said he hoped to lure the other side's audience to his show.
For my money, there's also a decent chance that the RTÉ programme will attract new-to-daytime viewers - in other words, people who shun the (effective) mix of commercial patter and sofa therapy on TV3, the disaffected radio listeners who learn that it's possible to have the TV on in the background too, and even news junkies (who may come away craving harder stuff).
Flicking between the various options is, well, an option.
Morning Edition is the child of two RTÉ parents - the first, RTÉ Television, needed content to up its game in daytime (the afternoon offer Today, launched late last year, is more of a cut-price sticking plaster), and so it looked to RTÉ News and Current Affairs to provide.
This multimedia network of journalistic resources will be Morning Edition's trump card on the big news days, as it learns to become more and more reactive.
The big question about this welcome addition to the RTÉ schedule is this: why didn't it do it years ago?