Tonagh set to head up ABC / SBS efficiency review

Former Foxtel chief executive Peter Tonagh is tipped to lead the upcoming efficiency review of the ABC and SBS.

He will be joined by former acting Australian Communications and Media Authority chairman Richard Bean, according to media reports such as the Australian Financial Review.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield declined to comment on who would be heading the efficiency review but made clear it would not consider changes to either the public broadcaster’s charter, the editorial policies of the national broadcasters, allowing advertising on the ABC, charging for digital services, privatisation or a merger of the pair.

“The ABC and SBS are vital public news and cultural institutions that are an important underpinning of media diversity and represent a major Commonwealth contribution to civic journalism,” Senator Fifield said.

“In the fast-evolving world of media organisations, it is important to support our public broadcasters to be the best possible stewards of taxpayer dollars in undertaking their important work for the community. In the May budget the government announced a review to support the organisations to identify best public broadcasting practice.

“The review will assist the public broadcasters as they approach the next funding triennium through which more than $3.9 billion will be provided from July 2019.”

The efficiency review is in addition to one already underway about competitive neutrality of public broadcasters.


  1. bettestreep2008

    The government will waste millions on a review that will just tell the IPA what they always wanted;- ie. that the ABC and SBS should be privatised and preferably given to Rupert Murdoch for a few dollars.

    • On the plus side: the outcome every other time has been for the government-appointed right-leaning toecutter to discover to their great surprise that the national broadcasters are not only _extremely frugal & efficient with public money_, but actually grossly inhibited by their meagre funding.

      They then announce that in their report, recommend only token changes, and the whole thing sinks without trace until next time the RW noise machine gets slightly wound up by their handlers…

  2. So Fifield has virtually ruled out any changes to the public broadcasters which raises the question; what exactly is the point of this so-called review?

  3. carolemorrissey

    This is an outrage. They really must think we’re stupid. First they put ex Murdoch person as Managing Director now they put another ex Murdoch in charge of this review. It’s an absolute joke only it’s not funny.

  4. Here’s a thought: maybe all the money used for these efficiency reviews could be directed back into ABC/SBS so they can continue to invest in more quality programming? Reward rather than punish, it’ll get you further.

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