The ABC has announced that not only will its Catalyst program be chopped and changed into 17 one-hour documentaries, but also that its staff will be shown the door.
The broadcaster announced it would be changing the format of Catalyst following two of its stories breaching editorial standards, and has now revealed that its staff will be made redundant.
According to the ABC, the changes will affect “up to nine ongoing staff members”, with a “small internal production team” being enlisted to deliver the documentaries.
This was despite a last-minute bid by senior ABC staff on Wednesday to overturn the board’s decision to axe Catalyst failed, according to reports from Guardian Australia.
Director of TV at the ABC, Richard Finlayson, said, “Catalyst has made a huge contribution to science communication over 16 years. But, audiences can now get instant access to quality content anywhere in the world and we must ensure our programs can have the greatest possible public impact.
“Under this model, we will encourage excellence by allowing the best minds in Australia to pitch their science ideas no matter how local or how global.”
See the full statement below:
— Media Watch (@ABCmediawatch) November 2, 2016
As seen on Twitter, no one is particularly impressed with the move:
FactCheck, Catalyst & Lateline to be axed.
— MarkJacka (@themarkjacka) November 4, 2016
So sad for my ABC and for the Catalyst staff. Some excellent work on that program. And only program that showcases science, now axed. https://t.co/03NExUPxbL
— Heather (@HEB2205) November 4, 2016
— Donna (@simpsubhswf) November 3, 2016
— Capt Daags (@CaptDaags) November 3, 2016
What part of innovation/excellence does the ABC Board not get in ‘neutering’ flagship science program Catalyst? Who’s behind this overkill?
— BarbaraCSmith (@BarbaraCSmith) November 3, 2016