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Axed: New Inventors, Art Nation, Collectors.

The ABC has axed New Inventors, Art Nation and Collectors and implemented widespread redundancies in production across the country.

Following recent speculation, ABC director of television Kim Dalton has confirmed today that he had axed New Inventors, Art Nation and Collectors and implemented widespread redundancies in ABC TV production across the country.

The Australian reports ABC executives today handed redundancy notices to dozens of staff across the country, axing arts programming and production units in Adelaide and Perth.

First Tuesday Book Club with Jennifer Byrne and At The Movies are safe, but arts documentaries will be outsourced.

Dalton blamed the increasingly competitive broadcasting environment for the cuts.

“ABC TV management recognises that this can be a very difficult time for some staff and will ensure all the appropriate support is offered,” Mr Dalton said in a staff email.

“However in the face of an increasingly competitive broadcasting environment and increasing financial pressures, ABC TV must ensure it uses its Government funding as efficiently and effectively as possible to deliver maximum value to its audiences and the Australian taxpayer.”

New Inventors was has been rumoured to go for several months but a tweet by panelist Mark Pesce last week was the strongest hint yet it was axed. Its Grand Final airs on August 17.

“As a result of these changes production requirements are less. Therefore ABC TV proposes to reduce the levels of staff in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and Northern Territory Production Pools resulting in proposed staff redundancies,” he said.

Art Nation, which replaced Sunday Arts, ends on 27th November while internally-produced arts documentaries for Artscape will cease. Fifteen people were this morning  were offered redundancies. Other Arts programming will now be outsourced.

Four television staff at ABC Adelaide were made redundant earlier today. Sources say seven more redundancies have just been announced in WA, marking the end of internal TV production in that state.

Tasmanian ABC has escaped cuts with a new program, Auctions, being commissioned to replace Collectors.

Graeme Thomson, the ABC section secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, said ABC managing director Mark Scott had authorised more outsourcing than the former managing director Jonathan Shier, who was sacked by the board.

“ABC staff have been gutted by this decision. They are personally committed to delivering the quality content that has made the ABC one of Australia’s most important and respected cultural institutions,” he said.

“The cutting of Art Nation, the ABC’s only remaining TV arts program, is an act of cultural vandalism.

“The ABC is at its best when it broadcasts the best international and domestically produced material available. This has meant maintaining a balance between in-house and private sector production.

“Under Head of Television Kim Dalton ideologically driven approach, this balance has been lost. The ABC TV has been reduced to a mere transmission tower broadcasting the same material from the same production houses used by commercial channels. This threatens the ABC’s distinctiveness, rationale and ultimately, its funding.

“The national broadcaster is required to provide quality programs that reflect the diversity of Australia, its cultures and regional perspectives. The announcement today that regional TV producers are to be sacked destroys this important arm of the ABC Charter.”

38 Responses

  1. There were only 2 programs that were “must sees ” for me on TV – ABC and commercial – and they were “The New Inventors” and “Collectors”.
    A tradegy they have both been axed.
    The NI show performed a service to Australians which cannot be measured in terms of ratings. It actually fostered innovation.
    Doug Young (lawyer and inventor)
    Winner Gold Medal, Geneva Inventors Expo, 1989

  2. @Danny Wu, who says you have to watch anything? Is your remote jammed on the ABC? Personally I’m very disappointed. Is Kim Dalton talking a pay cut to help the cause…I doubt it. Again, we see a typical trend across all “commercial” stations…cut local contect in favour of overseas junk. In this case, the ABC will probably redirect the funds to produce rubbish like Angry Boys….what a waste of space.

  3. It is Not important if you liked these shows. The thing to realise is that the head of television, Kim Dalton, will not stop until all ABC internal production is ceased. This enables him to provide time slots for his mates in the private sector.

    He has to be stopped immediately or the future of our national broadcaster will be irreparably damaged.

    Do not outsource the ABC!!!!!!

  4. The ABC is not a ratings TV channel but a conscience of the Australian cultural background. It may not cater to everyone’s liking but its Charter is necessarily not to have every show that rates highly, but to give a split portion (episode of a product from the vast array of themes) of time so as many majority or minority of patrons will have some thing that takes their interest. Perhaps some re-runs of re-runs on re-runs could be cut and the Australian content could be kept.

    Thoughts are listed in the message board and people I have spoken with over the past few months all concur that “The New Inventors” should be expanded to include 3 or more extra innovations in a 1 hour time slot. The panel should be made up of some existing judges who evaluate the innovations on their worth and those judges or evaluators to be of a ‘Pier Group’ who could be called in from existing judging panel experts and some external people of respected knowledge in the field.

    As I have experienced, after my participation in ‘The New Inventors’, fielding a number of phone calls from around the Globe, being America, UK, Germany, China, the show in watched there for the Technology the ABC presents, so the audience is far more reaching than just for us Aussies. This network of viewers exceeds what ratings the PR department tells us the show is worth. As the only show that displays the Aussie’s Technology, and the Federal Government should make this Technology Show a Must Fund Solely to encourage the Technology to remain in Australia.
    The ABC Heads must be sorely out of touch with realities to axe shows that are necessary to the average Australian viewer.

  5. Sad. I wasn’t an avid viewer of Collectors but if I happened to stumble across it on the desert plains of Friday night television I’d stick around and watch it to the end. Pretty interesting seeing the weirdos, I mean, collectors, that are living amongst us.

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