$4m shortfall at SBS
Cash-strapped SBS continues to do it tough as new managing director Michael Ebeid warning of cuts to staff and programmes.
It’s no surprise to learn that SBS has a $4 million budget deficit, as reported in today’s Australian.
Last month new managing director told TV Tonight that he had cancelled upcoming Drama series, Dusty due to funding issues.
“Our budgets are just so skinny at the moment, it’s really frightening,” he said.
While the ABC is funded at around $1 billion, government funding to SBS in 2011-12 was $220m. The network raises an additional $50m in advertising revenue.
But there has been over-spending in various divisions with the director of news and current affairs, Paul Cutler, conceding the news division had also overspent by “several hundred thousand dollars”.
Despite this, former TEN news chief Jim Carroll, has been hired on a short-term contract to help refresh World News Australia. Next year it returns with a new set and a later bulletin at 10:30pm.
Ebeid recently told a parliamentary inquiry, that advertising revenue had decreased by $16m. Having made savings of $12m, there is still a $4m shortfall.
Without further funding staff and programs will be cut from the broadcaster.
Ebeid admits a large portion of his time is focussed on funding from the May budget.
“I’m spending an inordinate amount of my time working on the Triennial funding so that we can get money for more Australian content which would include a big chunk of Drama and I believe that’s really important for us going forward,” he said recently.