ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie has today advised staff of a major restructure moving staff into three new ‘agnostic’ content divisions.
The divisions overhaul specific Television, Radio & Digital departments but the restructure does not include further job losses.
The changes encompass:
- News, Analysis & Investigations team whose work will include state coverage, network news and investigations, and in-depth reporting. Led by Gaven Morris.
- Entertainment & Specialist, will include key specialist genres like arts, science, education, religion & ethics, children’s content, music & creative development, factual & entertainment, comedy and Indigenous. Director of TV David Anderson now becomes Director of Entertainment & Specialist.
- Regional & Local group will include rural and regional teams, capital city and regional productions, as well as sport, weather and live events. Led by Michael Mason.
ABC will also establish a Content Ideas Lab, responsible for developing and implementing priority projects, described as “a hot-house for projects like ABC Life and the Great Ideas Grant,” led by Angela Stengel from ABC Radio.
“I flagged in March that we would be making changes to our frontline audience areas: those of you who create and deliver the programs and services that delight and inform Australians,” Guthrie told staff.
“The initiatives that we are proposing today come directly from you. They maintain the momentum we started in March in investing in our audiences and our people. They are designed to maximise the ability of audiences to discover and enjoy the great storytelling that you create.”
It isn’t clear how Programming and Production will be directly affected by the changes, with Lateline due to shut next month and The Link already defunct.
Guthrie said the changes were not about cost cutting, program changes or a reduction in networks, nothing “this exercise today is about making sure we work collectively in better and smarter ways to serve our audiences. There is no ‘dumbing down.’ We will be boosting the capability and output of genre specialist teams.
“We will be investing more in our people. Skills training is critical to getting the best ideas and the best output. $10 million will be allocated to equipping our people for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead,” she said.
Following the announcement the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, issued a statement: “MEAA recognises today’s audiences interact differently with the ABC and the ABC must move to meet these audiences,” the statement read. “However, staff are concerned these changes may make the job of delivering content to ABC audiences more difficult given editorial staff are already overworked.”