ABC To Axe ABC Life, ABC Comedy & Up To 250 Jobs

Daniel Fowler
June 27, 2020

 Rebranding ABC Comedy to create a home for a range of genres, such as Arts, Science, Education and Religion.

As the nation's unexpected emergency broadcaster, the ABC has also been extensively praised this year for conveying life-saving information to community communities all through Australia's bushfire disaster.

Mr Anderson said the Federal Government's indexation pause, which cut the ABC's budget by $84m over three years with an ongoing reduction of $41m a year from 2022, coming on top of the $64m in ongoing cuts imposed in 2014, made hard decisions affecting jobs and services inevitable.

Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the job losses were a matter for ABC management.

Mr Anderson told employees both he and the ABC Chair Ita Buttrose would continue to seek the Government's endorsement for a five-year funding period to give the ABC certainty in delivering this plan for all Australians.

But an indexation freeze in funding is set to cost the ABC $84 million over those three years.

A youth-oriented lifestyle site, ABC Life, will lose up to half of its staff and be rebranded.

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A VF Corp spokesman told Reuters other brands in its portfolio were actively discussing whether to take the same action. REI, another outdoor apparel store, followed suit, writing, "For 82 years, we have put people over profits".

The ABC will slash up to 250 jobs and axe its flagship 7.45am radio news bulletin in a major shake-up at the national broadcaster.

"We foresee we will farewell as numerous as 250 individuals by way of this approach, valued colleagues who have produced tremendous contributions to the ABC and to our audiences", Taking care of Director David Anderson told workers on Wednesday. The ABC has also reduced travel budgets by 25 percent.

While Deaner welcomed the continued commitment to drama and children's content, he warned: "The damage that these cuts will deal to factual and entertainment programming will begin to show immediately, not just for the small businesses which make up the Australian independent production sector, but also for the audiences who sit down to watch these programs each night. The union has in good faith negotiated a voluntary process, yet today HR is already calling people into meetings, which is causing much distress".

"And COVID-19 has tested us even further, changing the normal workplace culture that is so important for all of us here at the ABC", Anderson said in a speech.

A review of the ABC's property portfolio will consider options to either improve our accommodation, lease vacant space or relocate if it is more beneficial.

Leasing empty space at the broadcaster's headquarters in Ultimo, Sydney, could add up to $4 million to its coffers.

But some current and former staff have criticised the government for cutting funding to the ABC, which has been rated Australia's most trusted news source by the Reuters Institute Digital News Report.

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