ABC Radio 'extremely disappointed' at cuts | radioinfo

ABC Radio 'extremely disappointed' at cuts

Thursday 10 May, 2018

A staff email responds to the federal budget. 

A staff email from ABC Director Regional and Local Michael Mason has expressed disappointment at the federal budget funding cuts to the ABC announced this week. 
 
In the email he outlines plans to prepare the national broadcaster's triennial funding submission and communicate the views of stakeholders to the government.

The email reads:

Following the Managing Director's message regarding more cuts to the ABC's funding, announced in last night's Budget, I wanted to add my comments.
 
Like Michelle, I am extremely disappointed in the Government's decision to freeze the corporation's annual funding indexation. And I also share the MD's concern. This move represents a loss of $84 million in funding over three years starting in the next Financial Year in July 2019.
 
This comes at a time when the ABC is preparing its submission for its next Triennial funding period, which will also start in July 2019. This means our next funding bid takes on even more importance and significance.
 
We have 12 months to try and reverse that decision and position the organisation as strongly as possible as Australia's most trusted media organisation and one that is able to meet all its charter obligations.
 
In Regional & Local we have consistently delivered high quality programming against a falling trend in funding that the ABC has had to work with over the past five years.
 
I know that everyone, from our stakeholders in Canberra, to the ABC Executive Leadership Group, to our viewers, listeners and on-line audiences, have all been hugely impressed with the work you have done. Our regional and local content is at the heart of what the ABC does and that won't change.
 
Once again, we find ourselves in the situation of defending the importance and relevance of our work in order to safeguard its future. I have every confidence that, given the talent and quality in our team, we will meet the challenge, but to do that effectively, we must do it as one.
 
I will be talking to you more in coming weeks about what is required from R&L to support the ABC's opposition to this decision and how best we can contribute to the 2019 Triennial Funding bid.

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3 Comments

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ex ABC
10 May 2018 - 5:29pm
Michael, all you have to do is take back the millions of dollars stolen from yours and other departments by the news department over the past decade or so and Public Service Broadcasting can continue without any difficulty with the frozen access to the taxpayers' hard-earned dollars. After all, the ABC is, by definition, a "broadcasting" corporation, not the "news organisation" that a former MD used to describe it.
Anthony The Koala
11 May 2018 - 8:39am
To the powers that be, please don't touch Radio National ('RN'). In the last two years in Sydney, we have lost a newstalk station 2UE to another talk format, Macquarie Radio Sports (previously Talking Lifestyle). The change in formats of 2UE by MML is a commercial decision. As a consequence the only radio station in Sydney comprehensively talking about news, politics, economics, religion and science is RN. Since MML's rejigging of its 2UE and 2GB formats, I have all my weekend spoken word/newstalk program satisfied by RN. Unfortunately the other alternative talk station 2SM has format uncertainty with some weeks sport talk and other weeks news talk.

For me RN is the real alternative news/economics/religion/politics/science talk on the weekends. What RN needs is a more refined cross promotion of its programs. The promos should not just say, "....you can find us on our podcast section..." The promos should also include when the program is tx'ed on air. For example "Background Briefing is heard on Sundays at 0830 and repeated on Mondays at XX:XXam and is available our podcast section..." RN should also be promoted on ABC-TV. It can be done.

So please leave RN and enhance it as a source of various spoken word programs.

Thank you,
Anthony of Belfield
StJohn
11 May 2018 - 12:05pm
The ABC has been transmitting 12 programs on DAB+ digital radio from a single transmitter in each state mainland capital city for 9 years. They are incessantly promoting their Listen app to listen on mobile phones because they failed to convert to FM in those cities in the 1990s and mobile phones don't receive AM.
They could save the $84 million over 3 years by switching off the 35 high powered, expensive transmitters in those cities. Listeners can buy a DAB+ radio for $24. Just under half of all new cars can receive DAB+.
After all Norway switched to DAB+ for all national programming. The Department of Communications and the ABC need to set a date for a similar switch off for state capital cities.
Unfortunately the coverage area of a DAB+ transmitter is limited to around a 100 km radius, so we need to use DRM for the rest of the country.
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