The ABC’s newly installed managing director Michelle Guthrie has ended speculation and all but ruled out advertising in the medium term at the public broadcaster.
Guthrie, who started in the role on Monday, appeared at her first Senate Estimates Committee yesterday and said the ABC couldn’t charge for content even if it wanted to.
The new MD said the ABC charter doesn’t allow for ads and that would need to be revisited first if it were to ever happen.
Guthrie also said there would be more job losses at the broadcaster after budget cuts were confirmed in Scott Morrison’s budget on Tuesday.
As per The Australian this morning, Gurthrie told the Senate Estimates Committee that her “understanding is that the provision of any ABC services, both on the broadcasting side, radio and digital doesn’t allow us to have a charge in either advertising or subscription services,” she said, before noting the ABC retained its corporate arm.
“I’m very conscious we need to look at licensing opportunities, particularly around digital.”
Guthrie joined the ABC with a strong mantra of expanding the broadcaster’s reach and adding more ethnic voices. “The ABC must extend our reach and relevance into areas in which we are under-represented,” she said.
The ABC had been criticised for being too metro-centric and ignoring regional viewers. When asked the question how she intended to deal with this issue Guthrie replied. “I hope you appreciate it very early days to give specific details of all of my plans.”