ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie has finally unveiled her plans for the national broadcaster and it’s set to be one its biggest shake-ups in its 85-year history.
From early next year, staff will be reorganised to work on certain subjects (ie sport) rather than work on, say, TV or radio.
Guthrie has assured staff there will be no job cuts in the process. Nor is it clear if any programs will get the chop. As an example, there had been speculation the ABC’s 7.30 would be repackaged and moved to a later time to compensate for the recent culling of Lateline.
The changes come as a number of media reports suggest staff stress levels are high and morale is low at the public broadcaster with threats the union would intervene. There has been over 80 redundancies at the network over the past year.
The three main teams will include news, analysis and investigations led by Gaven Morris; entertainment and specialist content – that includes comedy and children’s content – led by the broadcaster’s television director David Anderson; and regional and local content led by its radio director Michael Mason.
Guthrie’s own “ideas lab” will also be established to nurture new content ideas. There will be additional staff training and a review of the broadcaster’s cadet program.
Commenting on the changes, Guthrie said: “This phase is not about cost cutting, program changes or a reduction in networks.
“Our content teams and managers will need to continually review programming for its effectiveness and distinctiveness. The search for efficiencies will go on, as it should for a taxpayer-funded organisation.
“But this exercise today is about making sure we work collectively in better and smarter ways to serve our audiences. There is no ‘dumbing down’. We will be boosting the capability and output of genre specialist teams. We will also be investing more in our people,” she said.