Crikey is trying to keep a complete list of all the changes announced to the ABC and SBS today as both broadcasters digest the impact of funding cuts announced by the government last week. We’ll be adding more details throughout the day. Have we missed anything? Get in touch, and you can remain anonymous.
Whole of ABC changes
- A total of around 400 redundancies — 300 in the “first wave”;
- Around 40 jobs in management to go — management roles will account for 10% of the 400 redundancies
- The switchboard will be “centralised”, and the mail system “reorganised”;
- Editorial policies will be centralised into a “pan-ABC unit”;
News and Current Affairs
- 30 jobs in the news division– 100 jobs gone from current operations but 70 new jobs will be created in digital. Just 5% of the ABC’s news budget currently invested in online and mobile. Given budget cuts, this means radio and TV must be cut to facilitate spending increases in online, News boss Kate Torney told staff. Moving 70 jobs into digital would move the proportion of news devoted to online up to 8%. No voluntary redundancies in the news division — the process will be entirely targeted;
- All radio news bulletins will be shortened to five minutes, apart from the 7.00am and 7.45am editions. Many ABC radio stations currently air 10-minute bulletins at key times like noon, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm and 6pm. This will not affect Triple J, and will give reporters more time to gather news, Torney said;
- No more state editions of 7.30 — they’ll be replaced by a national end-of-week edition;
- ABC News Radio to move under the purvey of the News division;
- Lateline to change to “time-friendly” slot on ABC News 24. It will have a “digital focus”;
- The Business will be relaunched as two separate daily 15 minute programs (and not be entirely cut as was feared) on News24. There’ll also be a daily new 10-minute Business PM segment on radio;
- “Savings” will be found in Landline, ABC Fact Check, Four Corners. Foreign Correspondent and Australian Story.
- The jobs currently in the 7.30 state editions will be retained. A new position of state coverage producer will be made in each state;
- “Readjusting the shape” of foreign bureaux, while opening a new post in Beirut. This is understood to mean foreign postings will be downsized from fully staffed bureaux to having journalists operating with far fewer support roles while overseas. The Auckland bureau will be entirely closed. Main overseas bureaus will be London, Washington, Beijing and Jakarta;
- New regional news division will be created;
- Closure of five regional radio posts in Wagin, Morwell, Gladstone, Port Augusta and Nowra. The sites of these posts will be sold, and some of the staff redeployed to nearby regional bureaus;
- The Newcastle Afternoons show will be axed, with the Sydney show to instead be streamed up north. The Newcastle bureau will be hard hit, losing around 9 jobs out of the 27 currently based there;
- Also cut is the Queensland Regional Afternoon program, which was broadcast out of Rockhampton to all of regional Queensland everywhere north of the Sunshine Coast. Rockhampton is the head bureau of the ABC Capricornia division, which was what the regional radio post in Gladstone reported to.
- Radio National’s Bush Telegraph will not be continuing, resulting in seven jobs lost
- 360 Documentaries, Hindsight, Into the Music, Encounter, and Poetica will be axed, with around half of their producers made redundant.
- Replacing these programs will be more commissioned 28-minute radio documentaries from freelancers.
- Radio National Drive to be cut by 30 minutes.
- Books and Arts Daily and the Weekend Arts team to be merged, with one possible redundancy
- Weekend Planet, The Quiet Space and Sound Quality to go. Daily Planet will be increased to five days, while Jazztrack will move from ABC Classic FM to Radio National.
- Classic FM will record fewer concerts;
- Closure of the Adelaide production studio, and the end of the production of everything but news and current affairs outside of Sydney and Melbourne as the ABC winds down “remaining television production in smaller states”. This will have a “significant impact on staff in Adelaide and Perth”;
- According to proposals for the television division, which are still open for two weeks of consultation, up to 71 television staff will be “impacted by potential redundancy”;
- “Efficiencies” will be found in operational resources across the TV division, including “centralising” functions;
- Children’s television will be “re-shaped” to “more effectively use the assets of the broader television division’s programming, production and acquisition structure”;
- ABC TV is proposing to withdraw from local and weekly sport coverage, and resources will be focused on on only bigger national sporting events; and
- “ABC TV will no longer provide coverage of the Sydney Rugby Union’s Shute Shield competition,” TV boss Richard Finlayson told staff. “Following the conclusion of the 14/15 season, ABCTV will withdraw from coverage of the Women’s National Basketball League, the W League competition and the Northern Territory Football League. ABC TV will no longer provide coverage of the Western Australian Football League or the Victorian Football League. We are pleased that following the successful shift of the South Australian Football League in 2014, the Victorian Football League has confirmed its move to the Seven Network in 2015 and the Western Australian Football League is in advanced discussions with a commercial network.”
- The closure of all Outside Broadcast vans. As well as the aforementioned loss of sports broadcasting, this will also affect events like the ANZAC day telecasts.
- Dateline to be cut to half an hour; and
- SBS will not be moving into the ABC’s Southbank headquarters in Melbourne
Additional reporting Sally Whyte, Diana Hodgetts