The ABC has announced a significant restructure, cutting up to 200 jobs to create a $50 million Content Fund and new positions in regional areas.
Managing director Michelle Guthrie has announced the ABC will cut management positions by an average of 20 percent across the organisation. Other positions will go as part of an attempt to reduce duplication in support roles.
Up to 200 staff will leave the ABC by June this year as a result of moves to reduce management, cut support roles and remove duplication, she said.
Money from the Content Fund, building to $15 million per year, will be used to pay for up to 80 new positions in regional areas, within 18 months. They will be aimed at increasing the ABC’s digital and video output from rural and regional Australia.
It was in February in an exclusive article in Fairfax Media’s Sydney Morning Herald revealed the ABC’s new managing director Michelle Guthrie was planning to cut a significant layer of middle management and use money saved to fund more programming.
Ms Guthrie said the Content Fund would be established using savings from staff reductions.
She said $20 million would be made available immediately, building to $50 million a year.
“The Fund enables us to respond with flexibility and speed to shifting audience trends and to extend our reach and engagement, especially with audiences who are infrequent ABC users,” Ms Guthrie said.
“Transformational change over the next year is essential if the ABC is to realise its full potential. Change that strengthens the organisation, empowers our people and delivers long-term results for audiences.
“These changes are essential to the long-term health of the corporation, but I acknowledge that this is little comfort to those whose roles are impacted.
“We will work with unions and with affected staff. We will be open and move as quickly as possible to end the uncertainty in affected areas.”
David Anderson has been appointed the new Director of ABC Television. Mr Anderson previously served as the director of corporate strategy and planning and has been with the organisation for 25 years.
The ABC will also undergo a major internal restructure, with the number of main divisions cut from 14 to nine.