David Anderson says staff cuts at the ABC are inevitable | radioinfo

David Anderson says staff cuts at the ABC are inevitable

Wednesday 08 May, 2019
David Anderson

The ABC’s newly appointed Managing Director, David Anderson, has told Radio National that the broadcaster has a couple of priorities that need to be addressed immediately.

One adapting to two budget scenarios another is getting the permanent leadership team in place as quickly as possible by confirming a number of acting or temporary appointments.
When asked about the possibility of staff cuts after the election, he said, “If the coalition is returned then we have an $84 million budget reduction over the next 3 years and having been through a number of budget reductions to this point I don’t see how we can avoid staff cuts.”
David Anderson said that even if Labor is elected and the indexation is returned that it “…is not enough to cover what are our rising costs of being the ABC, across the board, so we are always looking for efficiency…but I don’t think that efficiency will get us to $84 million.”
He said that the ABC needs “…to represent contemporary Australia in what we look like, what we sound like (and) perspective of views.
“I do not believe that the ABC is biased. I think there is no evidence to suggest that. We do have the odd error with the odd human mistake, but I don’t think that we have a systemic issue there.”

In a letter to the Communications Minister, Mitch Fifield, last year he proposed a change to the funding cycle of the ABC from 3 years to 5 years to break away from the 3-year political cycle.

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Anthony The Koala
8 May 2019 - 6:22pm
I have commented briefly on this site about how the ABC could save money without affecting programs.

* reduce power consumption of transmitters and reduce CO2. If commercial metropolitan and rural transmitters can succeed and survive on 5kW (ocassionally 10kW) and 2kW, why can't the ABC? For example Sydney's 702 (2BL) and RN (2FC) are 50kW each.

* reduce the management levels. During the long industrial dispute of the early 1990s, a person I knew remarked to me that during that time, the ABC hired more managers than actual workers. In addition, given significant technological changes in broadcasting since the 1980s have the hierarchical industrial structures of the ABC kept pace with technology?

An example of keeping pace with technology was the launch of Aussat (now Optus) which meant central distribution of programming material instead of state-based duplication of distribution. This later evolved in recent years of automating and outsourcing its presentation/master control operations to a private company at Ingleburn.

Nevertheless, have the hierarchical industrial structures remained?

* amalgamate childrens' content on ABC2 and ABC3 and put some childrens' content on ABC (main).

I stand corrected on these issues.

It seems that since the 1976 budget freeze of the ABC, programs seem to be affected. Ironically since the 1976 cuts, there is more program output on radio and TV: in radio, RN and metropolitan (702 (2BL), 774 (3LO)) used to close at 0100 and 0000 respectively. Now they are 24 hours. Similarly on TV, ABC TV, the station opened at 0700, there was about four hours of test pattern (Philips PM5544) and music. Now it's 24 hours.

If the ABC is really squeezed for funds, then it may have to look at its internal hierarchical structures, power consumption and extra channels to contain costs.

Anthony of exciting Belfield

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