ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has sought to ease concerns about the restructure that will leave 200 employees redundant at the national broadcaster and to separate the cuts from the new content fund that is the carrot to sweeten the deal for staff. In an email to all staff yesterday, Guthrie pointed to the fact that the process that will lead to job losses is ongoing, and the content fund to which money is being diverted is overwhelmingly competitive. She also linked the job losses to meeting funding cuts from the 2014 federal budget. This comes after Guthrie told a Senate estimates committee that she didn’t think it was part of her job to lobby for extra funding for the ABC. Guthrie said:

“Redundancies are difficult for any organisation. However, in this case they are necessary for the ABC to meet its budget responsibilities following the cuts made by the Government in 2014. As I said in my announcement, this is part of the ongoing work to meet efficiency targets, reduce fixed costs and free up additional funds, they are not a result of the new strategy and Content Fund.”

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey