The ABC’s quarter to eight news disappeared quietly this morning.
The final weekday 0745 bulletin went to air on local radio stations last Friday, without breakfast presenters flagging it would be the last bulletin, however, we have been corrected by one of our readers, who points out that there was mention of the format change at the end of Friday’s 0745 bulletin.
This morning there was also no mention of the format change, which had been flagged in July as part of the response to budget cuts in the ABC News division.
Instead of a 15 minute news bulletin, this morning ABC Sydney breakfast hosts Wendy Harmer and Robbie Buck did a newsmaker interview, talking to NSW National Party MP Leslie Williams, the Member for Port Macquarie, who will defect to the Liberal Party as a result of the Koala coalition brinkmanship issue last week.
At about 0757, the interview ended, followed by traffic and weather and a preview of content to be heard at 0830, after AM. At 8 o’clock a 5 minute ABC State News bulletin was aired, without the full version of the iconic majestic fanfare theme, which was played in the 0700 news bulletin earlier. It was followed by a 25 minute edition of AM.
Around the country, 0745 came and went with no mention of the format change.
In Perth, breakfast hosts Nadia Mitsopoulos and Russell Woolf gave a time call and played a song, then went to a news topic, replaying an extended media conference with the parents of a lost 3 year old boy who was found safe and well during the weekend.
With the cut to the 15 minute bulletin, Local Radio breakfast shows will have more time to fill. Gaven Morris told radioinfo in July that newsrooms will help with this when possible by supplying longer interviews with newsmakers, or doing Q&A explainer chats and location reports on breaking stories.
“Shows on local radio have a news vibe to them… we can help them expand their content,” he said.
While the change was made with little comment in most states, in Perth, ABC WA News Editor Andrew O’Connor joined the morning show to talk calls from listeners about the change. He explained that the reasons for the change were budgetary and were also because the national broadcaster is adapting to new delivery platforms. Many callers were not convinced by that argument and range to register their complaints about the change.
EDITOR: This story has been updated after comments from one of our readers, correcting our facts about mention of the last bulletin. See the comment below – Thanks James!