More ABC jobs to go

Some 250 staff expected to go from ABC news, entertainment & regional.

Some 200 – 250 staff are expected to depart from ABC content roles in news, entertainment and regional divisions in the latest round of cost-savings.

Managing director David Anderson has told staff the cuts are unavoidable due to a $41m shortfall per annum after an indexation freeze by the federal government.

“The budget challenge presented to us by the indexation pause remains and we will also need to finalise savings initiatives to meet this challenge,” Anderson wrote to staff.

“The budget gap of $41 million per annum means that despite our best efforts some of our services will be affected and, regrettably, there will be redundancies. We will provide more information about these changes when we share the five-year plan.”

Staff numbers were understood to be culled in March but were delayed due to COVID-19.

In divisions where more than 10 redundancies will be required ABC is inviting voluntary redundancy, but it does not automatically mean an employee will get one.

“This has been an arduous year already for all of us and I’m conscious of how many of you must be feeling right now given the uncertainty across our industry and the broader economy,” he continued.

“The work of all of you throughout the challenges we have faced together this year has been outstanding and your patience and professionalism are, as always, greatly appreciated.”

David Anderson is due to unveil his 5 year strategy for ABC before the end of the month.

Meanwhile News Corp has today signalled another 100 jobs to go including at The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, and The Australian.

Source: The Guardian

14 Responses

  1. We are so lucky to have an independent ABC that operates for the sole purpose of serving us, the people of Australia. Imagine if, like the USA, we were force-fed information by the likes of Fox News?! I thank goodness and the brilliant professionals at Auntie for fighting to protect an Aussie 4th Estate we can trust. We should do all we can to protect Auntie from the likes of Murdoch and big business interests who would love nothing more than a compliant and ignorant population.

    I really don’t understand why we subsidise SBS to buy shows about British train journeys and the like. Maybe SBS could be absorbed into NITV and the great international on-demand shows and international news stories could be shown on one of the ABC platforms?

  2. Hmm – the 2018/19 budget papers states ‘.. savings to the Budget of $83.7 million over three years from 2019-20 to 2021-22.’ but in the article above, the ABC states ‘..The budget gap of $41 million per annum means..’

  3. The ABC needs to refocus itself on its core services. Providing a comedy channel with a bunch of American shows like Parks and Recreation and Community that are available on numerous other free and subscription services is not ABC core service. I’m sure if they went through and fine tuned back to what they should be showing then they could easily make up for the perceived funding freeze. Same with SBS. Brooklyn 99 and Homeland should not be on SBS.

    1. Brooklyn 99 and Homeland and Bosch should be on SBS, thankfully the SBS do show numbers of excellent shows (albeit with annoying ad interruptions). Watching ZeroZeroZero would usually mean waiting for Foxtel or Binge. Those who cannot afford SVOD or Pay TV should enjoy while they can.

  4. Joe O’Brien revealed during an ABC 24 news segment that their big studio TV screen is a plasma, if so it would cost well over $100,000, perhaps they should sell that and buy a 65″ instead.
    Following past government practice (both state & federal), any staff member who works in bureaucracy will eventually get their job back or work under contract, though I concede some unfortunately wont.

  5. Surely their wages Bill isnt that high, haven’t seen one news reader that isn’t female, in fact they are doing a terrific job employing women, there are so many, good on them

  6. This “$41 million shortfall” is based on an inflation estimate used in the 2018 which is well above the actual (and currently forecast) CPI. Note the ABC is exempt from the efficiency dividend that applies to the rest of the public service.

    Also – 2017/18 budget allocation 1.043 billion; 2018/19 budget allocation 1.045 billion; 2019/20 budget allocation 1.062 billion (all figures from budget papers). These exclude the ‘enhanced news measure’ announced in the 2019 budget of $44 over 4 years.

  7. There was an aversion to making known the highest paid salaries, which were mostly attributed to news, current affairs and radio presenters, though there are many low paying positions too. It probably gains sympathy for funding to make redundancies than to asses salaries or cost-effective news, current affairs and radio talent.

  8. Merge ABC/SBS – there is no way the Govt should be funding the majority of our FTA channels. Also, in the age of streaming, why have so many channels?
    Move the HQ to Dubbo – why not? The inner city latte set do not speak for Australia

  9. … the ABC could easily avoid many of these redundancies by going back to public service broadcasting first principles and cutting out all of the excessive contract salaries paid to many – particularly “specialist” reporters and autocue readers in the news department. The current Employment Agreement provides for a salary range (including super) of up to $145,000 a year which should be adequate for all the positions required. And the MD’s own salary is double that recommended by the Remuneration Tribunal and more than that paid to the Director-General of the BBC with over 35,000 staff … it’s totally absurd …

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