ABC, SBS brief staff on cuts; 400 jobs to go at Aunty


Staff at the public broadcasters around the country were briefed on the impact of budget cuts this morning. The ABC will cut some 400 positions and realign some of its operations.

After months of delays, the ABC was this morning a speedy executioner. Many of those losing their jobs were told in early-morning meetings beginning at 8am today, and the broader ABC has also been informed of what is going, changing or remaining the same.

Almost all the rumours were true. The state-based 7.30 shows are gone. Lateline has been saved, but it’s moving to ABC News 24 at a “regular slot” (given management are concerned it’s too late to impact the next day’s newspapers, this will presumably be earlier in the day). The Adelaide production unit, responsible for the Countdown retrospective managing director Mark Scott was spruiking on Twitter yesterday, is also gone. ABC TV boss Richard Finlayson told staff in an email this morning:

“Unfortunately, under the new funding scenario, ABC Television can no longer justify maintaining internal production teams and facilities outside our major production centres of Melbourne and Sydney. As a result, ABC Television is proposing to cease internal production in Western Australia and South Australia beyond 2014. Should it proceed, this proposal will have a significant impact on staff in Adelaide and Perth.”

The regional bureaux have also been trimmed, with five shutting down and several more being downsized. Radio National, which has already tightened its belt once this year, will do so again.

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