ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie has pointed to Catalyst as an example of how ABC will refresh its programming.
Speaking yesterday to Radio National’s Patricia Karvelas, “You only have to look at what we did with Catalyst; [that’s] an example of the way we should continually look at refreshing programs,” Guthrie explained.
“One of the things we investigated was, ‘Well, who [isn’t] currently watching Catalyst? Why don’t they watch Catalyst? If they’re interested in science, why isn’t Catalyst actually delivering for them?’
“Part of that was that they didn’t know what to expect when they watched Catalyst. One of the insights we had was, ‘How can you telegraph more, and have more focus around particular topics, where you can actually promote it more [and] reach new audiences?”
But the refresh of Catalyst is yet to be test driven, with no new episodes since it retrenched staff and announced 17 hour-long documentaries.
Guthrie also flagged changes for the 7pm ABC News, despite it being ABC’s highest rating daily programme.
“I do feel that increasingly, people are not turning the 7pm news to find out what happened that day.
“If people are not just looking for a list of things that happened today – but are looking for more analysis and context and investigation, and more in-depth review of the news – I think that’s certainly something we’ll have to look at.”
This week Guthrie announced up to 200 jobs would go as part of a major restructure, with 80 new roles to be positioned in regional Australia. $50m in savings would be reinvested in new content.