Axed: Auction Room

The ABC will not renew Auction Room hosted by Gordon Brown and is set to close its Tasmanian production facility.

ABC Managing Director Mark Scott has told  staff up to 16 jobs will go, saying the broadcaster must constantly assess its production activity.

Mark Scott said, “This has been a very tough decision that has taken several months to work through. Ultimately, despite the commitment of the Tasmanian production team, the ABC must ensure we deliver maximum value to our audiences and the Australian taxpayer.”

But the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, called on the ABC to reconsider its decision.

“I want to send my support to the people who have lost their jobs. It is an anxious and difficult time for them and their families,” Senator Conroy said.

“This is an extremely disappointing decision by the ABC.

“I call on the ABC Board to ensure that the broadcaster upholds its clear obligations in relation to cultural diversity and local programming.

“Cutting its production facilities in Tasmania could result in a dramatic reduction in the telling of Tasmanian stories, something that diminishes the ABC and short-changes the people of Tasmania.

“Tasmania’s Federal Labor MPs and Senators have made significant representations to protect these production services and jobs at the ABC in Tasmania.

“As the national broadcaster, it is concerning that the ABC continues to centralise its production processes in Sydney and Melbourne.

“The ABC should immediately reconsider its decision.”

Auction Room, hosted by William McInnes in its first season, was produced by ABC Tasmania after Collectors was abandoned.

11 Comments:

  1. Goodbye BAPH states – it was inevitable. Mark Scott’s stocks are so high right now with NEWS press trying to get him the BBC DG gig he’ll withstand these criticisms. The cynic in me suspects it’s a whole lot of public posturing from the PM and the Minister anyway well aware it was coming, inevitable and sensible.

  2. @Col.Mustard

    The ABC like many organisations is centred in Sydney and to a lesser extent Melbourne because tv/film production is an industry that needs enormous infrastructure support and creative agencies. These are only found in big cities.

    I actually support the axing because people are always complaining that the ABC squanders its budget on uneconomical productions. Well you can’t get much more uneconomical than Hobart.

  3. If TV networks are so serious about saving money by centralisation, why do they base themselves in the most expensive city?
    Putting Presentation in Perth for instance would save on penalties as much of the east coast’s prime time would occur in workers’ normal office hours.

  4. I’m really concerned about this decision, we don’t all live in mainland State capital cities. Mark Scott is again displaying a blatant disregard for regional Australia. For the first time in my life I have just lodged an official complaint with the ABC.

  5. The ABC has always been Sydney centric with some of the spoils going to Melbourne and the crumbs going to the BAPH states, as they are referred to in the ABC. Actually I was quite surprised that so much production was eminating from Hobart, but as they were delivering the goods, why not?. This is a cruel blow to Tassie and yet another decision that Scott has made probably to find yet more funds for boring, “radio with pictures” News24. An expensive dud if ever there was one.

  6. Can’t post what i thought when i read this headline,wouldn’t be posted! I mean come on..they just axed Collectors and just as I’m enjoying Auction Room(mainly cause of Gordo)it’s being axed as well!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously annoyed at this decision.

  7. I agree with the Minister. ABC Television has become increasingly Sydney and Melbourne centric and pays lip service to regional Australia and small states. Its drama is almost completely urban based as if there are no stories 5km from the CBD. Rather than closing these centres down the ABC must find a way to bring them into the mainstream schedule with a directive from the Board and CEO. Cost cutting is no excuse. There is a significant minority out there with very interesting stories to tell and yes even good coffee for those game to cross Bass Strait or the Great Dividing Range.

  8. It is just another in a long list of things: we only have two local radio programmes here in the ABC North now, no access to digital radio and no prospect of it arriving any time soon- Mark Scott said that about 18 months ago at a talk he gave here. There;’s really no National Broadcaster about it. It’s Mainland and Sydney as far as I can see. Very poor show Mark Scott, and thank you Stephen Conroy for your words.

  9. It’s a shame, I didn’t particularly think Auction room was a great show, but I maintain that the ABC should be producing stories from all over the country, not just Melbourne and Sydney. Aside from those two, other cities and states are turning into relay stations with news departments.

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