Jon Faine tells the Melbourne Press Club the ABC has to be a bit more mongrel | radioinfo

Jon Faine tells the Melbourne Press Club the ABC has to be a bit more mongrel

Friday 04 October, 2019
On the eve of retirement, the ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine addressed the Melbourne Press Club yesterday, reminiscing about 30 years of broadcasting.
When asked about the current state of the ABC, Jon said, “I do think it’s in safe hands. I thinks the board’s got some questions to answer but the management I think are pretty good these days.
“The risk to the ABC now is if anything, it could become too bland because it doesn’t want to upset people, and I think the ABC has to be a bit more mongrel.
“I don’t care whether it's… attacking people who preach from the pulpit of political correctness, which needs to be examined, whether it's looking at culture, whether it's looking at politics, whether it's looking at sport, whether it's looking at anything, our job is to … put the blow torch to people. That's the only reason we exist, surely.  
“If we can’t do that because we are scared that people might complain about us, well we may as well turn everything off and shut the doors and turn out the lights…"
On the appointment of Ita Buttrose as Chair of the ABC Board he said, “I thinks it’s been a terrific appointment…she’s showing absolutely at this stage that she’s interested, she cares, she’s involved and all the feedback that we all get is that she’s saying all the right things. And with David Anderson as the managing director I think the ABC’s got a really good team in place.”

 On the ABC’s investment in regional broadcasting, 
I think it’s great that the ABC is investing more in regional coverage, the only thing I’m worried about is the calibre and the quality. Some of the people are very new and some of it’s very bland and I want to see it get better.”


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4 October 2019 - 10:20am
Faine is absolutely right about ABC Regional. It was doing OK until the start of 2016 when Mark Scott made all the long-term regional content managers redundant and introduced a "news-based" format. The BBC had done the same thing to local radio a couple of years earlier, realised their mistake and were already back-pedalling furiously even before Scott introduced it in Oz. As a result, ABC regional radio is now terminally boring and irrelevant to a local audience, its older audience is deserting in droves while the younger audience sees nothing worth tuning in for. A massive failure.
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