Report: Q+A cuts back on episodes in 2024

Struggling ABC show is set to trim its output in 2024.

Q+A will trim from 40 episodes a year to 24 episodes according to internal notes sent to staff, the Australian Financial Review reports.

There will be one run from February 19 to March 25, a second from April 29 to June 3, a third from August 12 to September 16, and a final run from October 21 to November 25.

ABC recently told TV Tonight it would still run weekly, but there would be times during the year when it’s off air.

Patricia Karvelas was this week confirmed as 2024 host, but there is believed to be room for guest hosts.

The show has struggled to perform in the ratings, both in its Thursday slot, and in returning to Mondays, but ABC culled The Drum last week whilst Q+A escaped the axe.

Former Drum panelist Jenna White, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald suggests ABC News programs director Annie White was told her whole Drum unit would be disbanded while she was on leave.

Audience reaction to The Drum axing has been fierce on the broadcaster. An ABC local radio text line was inundated with sad viewers. The ABC switchboard received 2104 contacts, one of the largest reactions ever. Petitions started. But notes sent to the ABC generated generic replies.

Expect repeats of Australian Story or One Plus One, also decommissioned, to replace The Drum in the short term. New factual content is expected from mid year.

Eliza Harvey, The Drum’s executive producer, has since been approached to be the new executive producer of Q+A.

Updated: An ABC source advised Q+A will screen in conjunction with Parliamentary sitting weeks in 2024.

10 Responses

  1. I’ve read numerous articles about why the ABC is ‘capsizing’. Their strategy of trying to attract a younger cohort who use media other than TV and radio seems to ring true. They are losing their established audience in pursuit of their desired audience-who are unlikely to tune in to the ABC anyway. It seems ideology is oblivious to reality at the ABC at the moment. I hope the ABC ship can right itself before it’s too late but don’t have high expectations.

  2. Should be cut back to Zero. Time for a total refresh, something different in this space when it comes to Questions and Answers that can once again attract a wider audience and not just a left wing live in of 200K.
    Like The Project Q&A is dead.

  3. Q&A used to rate 1m. The Drum 600,000 — back when it had three guests with different perspectives discussing the 3 or 4 main stories from the days news cycle in 30 minutes 3 times a week. But that was a decade ago. Now the Drum is watch by 120,000 and Q&A gets 200,000 for episodes about Federal politicians,and maybe 300,000 for a special episode without politicians, the last on a saw was on the threat of AI. There was a world leader in Quantum Computing and host, some left-wing op-ed writers and a bloggers who tried to tell him he had no idea what he was talking about because he was in favour of technological advances. Both shows have small audience, little relevance and should have been replaced with something different 5 years ago.

  4. This on, off again programming for Q&A in 2024 is going to impact Patricia Karvelas hosting RN Breakfast radio consistently which has had lower ratings across this past year. Listeners probably like stability, continuity and having the primary host on and then away would surely be disruptive.

    But there might be a federal election late next year so perhaps that’s why ABC chose to keep Q&A on for another year; it would give an outlet for audiences to vent their issues and for politicians to sell their wins or what they could better.

  5. I guess some Q&A is better than none, but….

    Keeping up with the issues of the day is going to be difficult given weeks off air, but perhaps more themed shows will be the go.

    Frankly, I am losing hope that the ABC is going to right its capsized sail.

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