The ABC cuts programs, dumps 250 jobs

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 24 June 2020

The ABC plans to cut programming and axe up to 250 jobs as part of its five-year plan to address funding cuts from the government.

The broadcaster is facing a budget shortfall of $84 million and managing director David Anderson says the five-year plan, from 2020-2025, to tackle the cuts will affect every division across the company.

The proposed changes include replacing the 7.45am radio news bulletin with a 10-minute news broadcast at 8am. ABC Life, which has been scrutinised by commercial competitors, will be given a new editorial direction under the new name ABC Local, sourcing content across the ABC, including outer suburban and regional areas.

ABC Comedy will also be rebranding to include more genres, such as arts, science and religion.

“The proposals announced today ensure the ABC can enhance its value to all Australians now and into the future,” Anderson says.

“However, we anticipate we will farewell as many as 250 people through this process, valued colleagues who have made tremendous contributions to the ABC and to our audiences.”

The ABC will also reduce independent production, predominantly from factual and entertainment, by about $5 million p.a. It will also reduce its travel budget by 25% and review its property portfolio to consider options to “improve” accommodation, lease vacant space or relocate.

Three-quarters of ABC content-makers will be based outside the Sydney headquarters by 2025.

ABC chair Ita Buttrose says the five-year plan “is a robust blueprint for the future of the ABC that emphasises the important role the ABC plays in the Australian way of life.”

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